Job watch

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
As another school year draws to a close, so the recruitment round for September has also come to an end. For those of you who had been looking to move schools, I hope you have been lucky. Whether you were on a one-year contract, perhaps because pupil numbers at the school were falling, or had just decided that you and the school weren't compatible, looking for a new post this year hasn't been an easy task, particularly in the primary sector.

A record number of newly trained primary teachers, together with a falling school population across the country as a whole, has meant many schools have been deluged with applications where a few years ago there would have been just a trickle. This situation is not going to improve much next year, so make sure you keep your career under review and don't get caught out by any nasty surprises due to falling rolls leading to budget cuts and possible job losses.

Even in the secondary sector, job seekers no longer have it all their own way. Rolls have now peaked here too, and many schools are already experiencing a downturn in pupil numbers. This means flexibility and adaptability are the new buzzwords for those of you seeking to move school.

Can you offer a second subject or other experience? Schools will be looking for those with abilities in more than one area; time to brush up on that sports coaching award or musical talent.

Next year, new arrangements for management allowances are being introduced and this may make such payments more difficult to come by. This could mean you will spend longer just on the main salary scale.

However, that's for the future, in the meantime enjoy the summer holidays, you have earned a break; and, anyway, there are no job adverts in August to hunt for.

John Howson

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