18th January 2008 at 00:00
Q: I'm a history teacher who is looking for a move but there are just no jobs in history. Could I apply for jobs in other subjects?

A: The simple answer is that you can apply for any teaching posts as your Qualified Teacher Status is not limited to a particular subject or even in theory to either the secondary or primary sectors. Of course, since you will be up against other candidates with better subject knowledge than you possess if you apply for posts in other subjects, you might well ask why would they appoint me?

The obvious starting place to look for another job is among those subjects where there may be a link to history. Some schools teach history as part of an integrated humanities programme and that is one place to start. Others may be looking for someone to teach history alongside citizenship.

Depending upon how long you have been teaching history, you may have acquired other skills in the classroom that can help you widen the search beyond just straightforward subject teaching in the classroom. Do you want to look for a post with responsibility for the teaching and learning of a group of pupils?

Of course, even though it may seem like there are no history jobs at present, the main recruiting season is between March and the end of May and past experience suggests that several hundred history posts will be advertised during those three months. You will, of course, be in competition with newly qualified teachers for these teaching posts, but I am sure you can make your teaching experience into a definite plus-factor to help you.

John Howson is a recruitment analyst and visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University. To ask him a question, email him at

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