Job farce no joke for candidates

17th November 2000 at 00:00
I HAVE been teaching for 22 years and have been horrified by the treatment I have received recently from three schools who invited me to interviews.

The first school gave me proper notice and asked me to do a presentation. There were two candidates, an internal one and myself. I met the head, then was taken around the school by two pupils. Then I was left in the staffroom for more than an hour while the internal candidate was interviewed. During my interview and presentation, the chair of governors was rushing me, not giving me time to answer questions. The internal candidate was given the job. The whole experience was a farce.

In the second school it was a week-and-a-half after the application deadline before I received a phone call asking me to an interview three days later. I was given no details and spoke only to the secretary. I had to phone three times before I was told, by the secretary, that I was to teach an hour's lesson, but there was no information about age group or topic. Eventually I got this information - about 36 hours before the interview.

I arrived on the Friday at 8.30am (as asked) and was left until 9am before anyone came to see me. The lesson and interiew were fine and I toured the school and met the department. The second candidate was to be interviewed in the afternoon. At 6pm I was phoned and told that neither of us had been appointed.

After applying to the third school, I was phoned on a Saturday, with a request to attend an interview two weeks later - the Monday after half-term. I waited all week for written details before phoning the head of department. She said I would receive a letter over half-term, when I was away.

I returned on the Saturday to find that I was to teach on Monday from 10-10.30am, tour the school beforehand, if I wanted to, and then my interview would be at 1.40pm. There was no mention of what I should do between 10.30am and 1.40pm.

I then phoned on the Sunday and told the head of department that I would not be attending the interview. (I had asked if there was an internal candidate, and yes, there was one.)

I, and many others, cannot believe that some schools treat candidates as badly as this before appointing internal candidates. Why waste our time?

If they treat people like this before an appointment, how do they treat them after they start?

Name and address supplied

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