A first from Cambridge - but still no luck

Graeme Paton

Georgina Harcourt-Brown thought finding a job would be easy.

The 23-year-old graduated from Homerton College, Cambridge, with a first-class honours degree in biology with education before easing through her PGCE. She had always wanted to be a teacher and relished the chance of working with the youngest pupils as she completed a key stage 1 and foundation course in July.

But putting her training into practice has not been easy.

Miss Harcourt-Brown is originally from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and tried to find work in the Leeds area - without success.

In the months running up to the end of the course she applied for 30 jobs and secured only three interviews. She said: "My interview feedback went along the lines of 'your application was strong and you did well to get an interview as there were 80 candidates. However, we took someone with more experience'.

"At interview I met loads of other new teachers who had finished their courses last year and been forced to do supply for the year after failing to find jobs.

"I find this really disheartening as I really want to be a teacher, but I don't find the thought of doing supply for years an appealing one.

"I even looked into teaching abroad so that I could get a job for September but even these schools want experienced teachers."

She said she was now going to sign up to supply agencies after all - but admitted she may be forced to look beyond West Yorkshire.

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Graeme Paton

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