Start your easter hunt

24th March 2006 at 00:00
The annual vacancy cycle is heading towards its peak. April is usually when the greatest numbers of adverts for teaching posts that start in September appear. With Easter in the middle of the month, there should be a bumper TES to look forward to. Fortunately, that is the May Day bank holiday weekend, so there will be plenty of time for job hunters to scan the paper and to write off for details and an application form.

The pattern for adverts in February followed that for January, with few main scale primary jobs being advertised nationally, but nearly 2,500 secondary jobs available. Of the posts in secondary, more than 1,500 were main scale jobs suitable for newly qualified teachers or those in the early stages of their careers.

Nearly half the jobs were available in just three of the 10 regions of England and Wales: London, the South East and the east of England, an area that includes the commuter belt to the east and north of London. By contrast, secondary schools in the North East advertised fewer than 100 jobs nationally, although there may have been more that were only advertised locally. Similarly, fewer than 60 posts in Wales made it to national adverts and websites with a national reach: again more may have been advertised locally.

Mathematics was close to the top of the list, with more than 270 adverts.

English had 218 adverts; IT 135; PE 116 and design and technology 138, of which 50 were for food technology. However, the largest number of posts was in science, with 285 at all grades. Of these, 189 were for general science teachers, although some expressed a preference for a chemist or a physicist. There were 31 schools that advertised for a chemist, 34 for a physicist and 16 for a biologist.

There were 80 posts in humanities, spread equally between history and geography, but only four for teachers of citizenship - one more than for teachers of classics. Art and design and music had around 50 each. There was a similar number for drama teachers. This month there were fewer than 10 adverts for teachers of dance, fewer than the 12 posts for psychologists recorded.

Overall, jobs for secondary teachers are still plentiful and, in many subjects, there will be room to pick and choose. But don't leave it too late if you are thinking of changing jobs. With council tax rises being pegged to less than 5 per cent and some schools having spent more on staffing than they expect after the review, budgets will be tight. For primary teachers, if you see a job you like, go for it, but don't be surprised if competition is fierce.

John Howson

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