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Disturbing news on jobs

It's official: finding a job is harder in the north than the south. My analysis of more than 2,800 main scale jobs that were advertised last term across England and Wales showed fewer posts on offer in the north.

Vacancies advertised by schools in the north-east amounted to 1.2 per cent of the secondary school teaching force in the region, compared with 2.42 per cent in the London area, and 2.3 per cent in the rest of the south-east. Nationally, the average turnover last term in the secondary sector was 1.8 per cent of the teaching force.

Even more disturbing for jobseekers in the north-east was the ratio of classroom posts advertised compared with middle management posts at head of department level. This was also the lowest in England, with classroom teacher posts in the north-east amounting to 71.2 per cent of posts advertised. Only in Wales, where classroom posts accounted for 71 per cent, was the figure lower. However, not all posts for classroom teachers in Wales may figure in the national press or on national recruitment websites.

Some, as with posts in primary schools, may only be locally advertised because recruiters know that to advertise nationally may produce a deluge of applications.

In the primary sector, pickings still remain thin, with few nationally advertised posts. If you have to switch schools, investigate the local job scene thoroughly, as well as looking in national publications such as The TES and on its website. Consider sending your CV to schools, even colleges.

As a primary teacher, there may be other openings for your expertise. The Home Office is keen to improve the literacy standards of the prison population; at present it is woefully poor. There may be jobs in this sector, as well as in other basic literacy and numeracy centres. Be creative. Conduct an audit of your skills and experience and you will see that you are well qualified for many roles. You are adaptable, with multi-tasking skills of the highest order, have an ability to absorb quickly new information and create opportunities for others to understand it. Make the experience work for you and you'll have more to offer when the right post in the classroom does appear.

If you are not constrained by family, or they are willing to try something new, teach overseas. Teachers trained in England are in demand in many international schools around the world and a placement overseas for a year or two can broaden horizons and make you a more attractive candidate for future teaching posts back home.

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