Dear John: I want a permanent, primary job. Where are the best places to look?

Q

I am currently in my fourth year of teaching and am working as a supply teacher in Brighton.  I have had two long term temporary posts, one in Berkshire and the other in Crawley.  I am now thinking of relocating to London, with the hope that there may be more (or at least some) permanent posts there.  Am I disillusioning myself or are there likely to be jobs in London for the next academic year?  I would prefer the South/South-West although I don’t know the area very well.  Which LEAs would you suggest applying to work in?  What issues/challenges do primary school teachers in London face?  Are London schools much harder to work in that other areas?  Which areas are better to work in?

 

A

Traditionally, there are more jobs in London and the home counties than elsewhere in the country if you measure the percentage of NQTs in the teacher workforce by local authority. What will happen next year is challenging to analysts such as myself. Consider the fall in the housing market, if schools traditionally rely upon parents moving into a catchment area and they cannot now do that, what will happen to the rolls in those schools. Will teachers also stay put rather than move out of London if they cannot sell their house or will the price reductions encourage younger teachers to move to arts of the country where they can now afford to buy a better quality of property?

If pupil numbers are increasing in the primary sector, think of all those buggies you see around the shopping centres these days, ten that will translate into more jobs, most of them permanent. As to London schools, they are much like those in Brighton and vary by neighbourhood and the quality of the leadership. The challenges are likely to be the same but possibly more extreme, with many different languages and cultures amongst the pupils in some schools.  In parts of the capital, primary schools are often larger than elsewhere in the country, with more opportunities for promotion.

Rather than ask which areas are better, for all have a range of schools, you would probably be better looking for a job to apply for. Most jobs will appear from about February or March through to the end of May. However, some authorities operate ’pools’ that may exclude teachers such as yourself in favour of NQTs. You might wa

am currently in my fourth year of teaching and am working as a supply teacher in Brighton.  I have had two long term temporary posts, one in Berkshire and the other in Crawley.  I am now thinking of relocating to London, with the hope that there may be more (or at least some) permanent posts there.  Am I disillusioning myself or are there likely to be jobs in London for the next academic year?  I would prefer the South/South-West although I don’t know the area very well.  Which LEAs would you suggest applying to work in?  What issues/challenges do primary school teachers in London face?  Are London schools much harder to work in that other areas?  Which areas are better to work in?

John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher training and consultancy, includinga brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes Universityand hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.