Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

My school was put into special measures just before Christmas, but my department was fine. I was planning to move at the end of my induction year but I'm worried that a failed inspection will hinder my prospects. It may look as if I'm jumping ship.

Don't worry. There are two aspects to think about: the reaction of prospective employers and of people in your school. Choose a new school carefully, one where you'll be able to work well and be happy for at least three or four years. The places you apply to may know nothing about your present school, in which case there's no need to mention the inspection. With schools that are likely to know about it, you ought to be proactive and mention this at interview. Peoplenormally sympathise as schools go into special measures because of poor management, so an NQT is an innocent victim.

Prospective employers will want to know that you are an effective teacher. Your application form needs to make a big impact, so address all parts of the job specification and use concrete examples. If the inspectors gave you satisfactory or better (1-4) grades, mention this - but don't say anything if they were unsatisfactory (5-7).

You should work hard at keeping good relationships with everyone at your present school. Let the people who will act as referees know when - but only when - you've applied for a job. Tell them that you had always intended to move and that, although you know that it's not the best time for your current school, you feel that you can't miss the opportunities open to you for career development. People may feel let down at first, but demonstrate your commitment to the place while you're still there by continuing to work really hard and by helping to implement new initiatives. Not only is this thoroughlyprofessional, but it will earn you the good reference that will help you to get your next job.

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