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Job watch

Now is the time to be sharpening up your CV if you are thinking of moving jobs this summer; or have to if you are only on a one-year contract.

Revisit what you wrote when you applied for your present post and ask yourself what have you been teaching that is not covered in your application. Are there other activities that you have become involved in at school that will help you sell yourself ahead of other candidates to a potential employer?

Figures for job adverts are now available for the autumn term and they make somewhat depressing reading for anyone looking for a new teaching job in the primary sector. During the whole of last term there were fewer than 500 primary main scale classroom teacher posts advertised nationally. That's an average of less than 40 per week. Add to that posts of responsibility and those posts on the leadership scale, and the total reaches around 2,500 for the whole of England and Wales.

However, that is a total that is less than half the figure for the secondary sector, where the number of adverts by maintained schools during the whole of last term reached the 6,000 mark.

Include those adverts from the independent sector, and there were probably close to 7,000 teaching posts on offer last term in secondary schools. This is a similar number to the figure in 2003.

One notable change over 2003 was a further decline in foreign languages posts advertised, as the subject now takes up less space on the curriculum.

There was also a dip in the number of posts for teachers of English that were advertised. However, science teachers were in greater demand last term, with a rise of around 12 per cent in the number of posts advertised compared with the autumn term of 2003.

Schools should know the total amount of their budgets for the next school year sometime this month; for most, there will be no large increases.

In calculating the number of staff posts they can afford, heads and governors will need to take account of the new management structure that comes into force this year and the final stage of the Workload Agreement, which is implemented in September.

Although the latter provides for non-contact time for all teachers, it seems unlikely that it will result in a large number of new teaching jobs, even in the primary sector where the changes will have the greatest impact.

Indeed, in those areas where classroom assistants can negotiate new pay scales on the back of the agreement, there may even be less money for teaching posts than in the past. This is especially the case in those parts of the country where falling school rolls are reducing the number of pupils in schools.

This is not going to be an easy recruitment round for many teachers, especially after this year's trainees are added into the equation.

There may be some compensation in the fact that there are likely to be fewer overseas teachers recruited than in recent years.

John Howson

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