How do schools shortlist candidates?

TheoGriff
11th May 2013 at 01:00

How do schools shortlist candidates?

 

 

How do schools decide who to shortlist? I ask because two years ago when I was applying for jobs, I got several interviews, but now that I’m trying to move school I haven’t had any luck with my applications.

 

Well, how they shortlist will vary from school to school, of course, as there's no rule or regulation about it. But I’ll describe what I would call good practice in shortlisting.

 

It starts when the decision is made to fill a vacancy, with a very clear person specification being drawn up, so that the shortlisting panel know just what they're looking for. Then a chart is devised, having down the left-hand side the criteria that have been identified in the person specification, and along the top the candidate numbers.  The last item on the criteria list will be Yes/No, to show whether or not you will be calling this candidate to interview.

 

When an application comes in, the office staff allocate a candidate number to it, photocopy the original and then anonymise it. By this, I mean that they remove the front page of the form, where your personal details are, and also any reference that there may be elsewhere to your name etc.  This is called Blind Shortlisting. 

 

The shortlisting panel get the anonymous version of the application, just the candidate number on it, so that your age, your gender, your possible ethnicity and anything else suggested by your name and personal details does not affect the decision. The panel members then compare the application with the criteria, putting ticks and crosses in the column as appropriate.

 

 Criteria

 

 Candidate 1

 

 Candidate 2

 

 Candidate 3

 

Qualified to teach and work in the UK

Y

Y

Y

Successful teaching to GCSE and A-level

Y

Y

GCSE only

Commitment to driving up standards of achievement for all

Y

?

Y

Excellent classroom teacher

Y

?

Y

Effective behaviour management

?

?

Y

Commitment to regular ongoing professional development

Y

N

Y

Shortlist Y/N

Y

N

?

 

 

This allows them to see which candidates meet all the criteria in the person specification. Assuming, of course, that your application actually addresses all these points. If you don’t, if it is unclear whether you meet their criteria and you may lose out unnecessarily.

 

 Which is why you MUST include an executive summary, to show that you DO meet their criteria.

 

Why you should always include an E.S. in an application

Person Spec too long - how do I do an E.S.? And where do I put it?  *** Beginners start here ***

Step-by-step: How to write an E.S. *** More basic advice ***

Executive summaries - where to start when no person specification

 

There will, of course, also be factors which could result in a candidate ticking all the boxes yet not being shortlisted; these would include things such as poor grammar or spelling, failure to follow instructions, or an inappropriate letter of application, including one which is plagiarised.  Make sure that you don’t lose out due to these failings!

How NOT to get shortlisted

Common errors found in applications

5 common errors in applications   

 

Best wishes