Before I even started my PGCE a few months ago, I had decided to look for a post in Shropshire, my home county. There are many reasons for this, including the desire to be close to my family, friends and boyfriend, after several years away at university, as well as a liking of the place.
However, my search for a job next year has begun somewhat prematurely, as Shropshire does not have any vacancies yet! The story is different here in Oxford, however, with a few jobs appearing. One of which is in my school - Gosford Hill. As a result, I have been asked by a couple of fellow PGCE interns for my opinion on the school, should they wish to apply. This is a luxury I will not have when seeking information on schools.
Another rich source of information about Oxfordshire schools comes from our course tutors, most of whom have taught in some of these establishments and have contacts within them. Of course, I have some knowledge of the schools at home because I was a pupil in the county only a few years ago; unfortunately, this information is likely to be out of date as I'm aware that schools are constantly changing.
One more challenge I shall have to face when I get interviews is getting there and back in as little time as possible on the train. Travelling time takes anywhere between two-and-a-half and four hours!
When the deputy head of my school asked me where I would be looking for a job I had no problems answering. I had my reply ready and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of advice he was able to give about another area of the country (although the suggestion to look at Cheshire as well didn't appeal - too far to travel!).
So what have I actually been doing about finding a job for next year? Well, I am an avid reader of 'The TES' jobs, along with the website (but I'm not sure I need to check both every week) and I also check the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin education websites weekly. No joy yet, but I'm not expecting any vacancies until the New Year at the earliest. My parents are also checking the local press for me, as this is usually the first place jobs are advertised.
After my chat with the deputy head I telephoned Shropshire LEA to see if there is a pool of applicants, but was informed that this had stopped a few years ago as they don't usually have problems recruiting. No need to worry then!