Keep an ear to the ground

23rd September 2005 at 01:00
Many of you will be teaching the class of your dreams, in the school of your choice, and you won't be thinking about the future, only enjoying the present.

However, not all newly qualified teachers will be in this fortunate position. Some will be in temporary posts, others on supply and, sadly, some will still be hunting that elusive first teaching job. Each month, this column will review the job scene, and also comment upon some of the major trends in the market place for teachers.

If you have not yet found a teaching post, don't despair. Even though the autumn recruitment season has got off to a slow start this year, teaching jobs will be advertised between now and Christmas as staff are promoted or depart for other reasons. For instance, there are always teachers leaving throughout the year, or going on maternity leave.

Most vacancies in secondary schools appear in the jobs pages of The TES.

Vacancies in primary schools are more likely to be advertised locally in the first instance. This is because there is an over-supply of these teachers at present, and schools that advertise main-scale posts can be deluged with applications. However, the pool system only operates for first-time appointments and doesn't cover these vacancies so don't rely entirely upon having signed up with a local authority last year to be told about job possibilities.

So, if you are a primary teacher still hunting that first job, keep your ear to the ground. If you have a good relationship with your former tutor and course leader, keep in touch. Although they don't visit schools as much as they did in the past, they may still hear of impending vacancies before they are advertised. Visit local authority websites for teaching jobs every week, as vacancies sometimes appear there before being advertised in the press.

Finally, if all else seems to be failing, consider applying for a classroom assistant post. You can offer to stand in when a teacher leaves. However, do beware the rules about when the clock will start ticking on your induction year.

Even if you are in your dream job, keep an eye on what is happening around you. Next month, I'll explain why schools are reviewing their staffing structures this term.

John Howson

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