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Technique tweaking

Your job and career questions answered

I am in my fifth year of teaching and have just resigned from my post. I have been for six interviews despite being a teacher in a shortage subject.

The jobs I have applied for keep going to newly qualified teachers. I have never had any problem getting a job before and the feedback I've been given has been vague and indifferent. Any advice?

Many teachers make the mistake of believing that, because there were serious teacher recruitment problems a few years ago, there will always be a job when they want one. A combination of increased output from teacher training courses in all subjects and the early stages of a long-term decline in the secondary school population means that the boom time for teachers wanting to shift posts may soon be a thing of the past, as many primary school teachers and trainees are finding out. Fewer pupils means smaller budgets for schools, despite headline increases in overall budgets.

In the secondary sector, newly qualified teachers are still cheaper to employ than more experienced teachers even with the extra non-teaching time for the induction year. You may need to explain to schools why you are changing posts so often. Some heads may consider you are not a good longer-term investment and therefore opt for someone younger and less well qualified. Even though you have been receiving different types of feedback, a process that is notoriously random in nature, are there any common themes to what has been said? You are getting interviews, so is it something that happens on the day that is letting you down, or is it that shortages are now a thing of the past?

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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