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Newly Qualified Teachers

NQT Recruitment / Finding your first job

Finding your first job

Places to look for advertisements for NQT positions from schools:

  • Our dedicated page for NQT positions on www.educationjobs.hants.gov.uk, which are updated daily.  These include full-time, part-time and temporary (e.g maternity cover posts.

  • The Times Educational Supplement

  • Local Newspapers for the areas you are interested in working in

Checklist for final-year trainees - what do you need to check before beginning work and what are your legal responsibilities?

 

If you apply for posts on our vacancy pages, or posts advertised in the TES, newspapers, etc., you will begin by completing an application form.

This can be one of the hardest parts of finding a job.  It can be difficult to know what to write to show yourself at your best.  The best application displays a balance between your abilities as a teacher and your life outside the classroom, demonstrating how your own personal experiences can help pupils learn or assist your colleagues in school.  First impressions count, and your application form is the only evidence Headteachers have of your ability as a teacher.

  • Read the application form before you start writing.  As in an exam, make sure you fully understand what is being asked of you

  • Word process it if possible, this makes it easier to check for mistakes or make alterations

  • Don't send a CV or additional paperwork unless specifically requested

  • Tailor your application to the Job Specification if you have been sent one

  • Complete the form fully - write 'N/A' if appropriate

  • Be consistent - any contradictions will be picked up at interview!

  • Check through your form for spelling, grammar and punctuation. Ideally get someone to read through it for you

  • Keep a copy of the completed application.  If you are tailoring your responses to individual posts this is the only way to keep track of what you have said

 

What do you know about you?

Things to think about before you complete an application form or attend an interview:

Why....

  • did you decide to become a teacher?
  • did you choose your subject / keystage / specialism

Are you....

  • aware of the importance of classroom organisation and management?
  • able to create a positive learning environment?
  • able to plan and deliver the curriculum, assessment and record-keeping?
  • willing to offer extra-curricular activities and organise events?
  • developing your subject knowledge during your course? How?
  • interested in and knowledgeable of your subjects(s)?

Do you....

  • have a strong motivation to teach and teach with enthusiasm?
  • have the imagination and creativity to devise new materials and capture the interest of pupils?
  • have academic ability and versatility in covering the age/ability range you will teach?
  • understand equal opportunities?
  • appreciate the role played by parents in pupil development?
  • have patience, stamina and energy?
  • have a desire to work at this school?
  • have good communication skills?

How will you...

  • fit in with colleagues and pupils?
  • cope with pressure or in a crisis?
  • approach behaviour management?
  • manage your own workload?
  • deploy additional support, e.g. Learning Support Assistants and parents?
  • be affected in your methods by current issues in your specialism?
  • develop your professional knowledge?
  • arrange your classroom?

What is....

  • your attitude to teamwork?
  • your strongest attitude?
  • your major weakness and what are you doing to overcome it?
  • it about our school that made you decide to apply for the post?
  • your vision of your career five years from now?
  • your favourite spare-time occupation?
  • your most successful Teaching Practice experience, and why?

 

Being successful at interview is all about 'interviewing better', which means being well-prepared and confident.  Answer questions in a positive manner and demonstrate knowledge of your subject, the school and the post you hope to fill - this will make you a candidate who interviews well.

The interviewer needs to find out more about you.  Before the interview, think about what you have achieved, professionally and personally, which is relevant to your first teaching post.  It's important to demonstrate how the skills learnt from these experiences will assist both you and the school.

You know that you are the best person for the job!  But how do you convince headteachers and school governors?  Here are a few basic techniques and rules to help guide you through the interview minefield.

Be prepared.  The following points may sound obvious but each will help to make the interview day run smoother:

  • Research the school - look at recent Ofsted reports and exam and test results. As well as adding to your overall knowledge of the school, this may help you to provided fuller answers.  You should also examine the information with a view to developing questions for your interviewer, such as 'I notice the school's test results have improved over recent years.  How will this role contribute to this trend?'  You can find information about individual Hampshire schools at www.hants.gov.uk/education/schools
  • Know the time and location of the interview and the name of the person interviewing you
  • Plan how to get to your interview and when you will need to set off to be there in good time.  (AIm to get there no earlier than half an hour beforehand, and allow time for delays
  • Have what you are going to wear ready the night before
  • Prepare the day before any requested certificates or paperwork
  • Only take the bare essentials to the interview room
  • On arrival, having signed in with the receptionist, visit the toilets to tidy up and compose yourself
  • And remember - pay attention to your body language!
  • Switch off your mobile phone!

 

When you are offered a post:

  • You can ask for time to think, but the school will need a quick decision
  • If you have a comprehensive previous experience relevant to teaching, you may be able to negotiate a higher salary, but this is the school's decision
  • You complete any other documentation required by the school.  However, a verbal offer of a post, and a verbal acceptance, form a binding contract and you don't have to wait for written confirmation or for a contract to know that your job is 'safe'.  See the tab above for advice on completing application forms
  • Most NQTs are employed on permanent contracts.  However, sometimes a 'fixed-term' contract with a specified end date is appropriate (e.g. to fulfil a temporary requirement in a school, or if the number on roll is known to be falling); or sometimes an open-ended 'temporary' contract will be appropriate (e.g. to cover a colleague who is sick or on maternity leave with no specified date of return).  If you are offered a non-permanent contract and you are unsure why, ask the Headteacher to explain the reason to you.

 

"Do's" and "Don'ts" of working with children

It is essential that all staff working in schools are conscious of how they should conduct themselves to minimise the risk of finding themselves as the subject of any child protection processes.  All staff should be made aware of the following summary of things to do and not to do when working with children.

Do:

  • Read and follow the school's child protection procedures
  • Report to the Headteacher/Child Protection Liaison Officer any concerns about child welfare/safety
  • Report to the Headteacher any concerns about the conduct of other school staff / volunteers / contractors
  • Record in writing all relevant incidents
  • Work in an open and transparent way
  • Discuss and report any incidents of concern or that might lead to concerns being raised about your conduct towards a child
  • Report to the Headteacher any incidents that suggest a pupil may be infatuated with you or taking an above normal interest in you
  • Dress appropriately for your role
  • Only use e-mail contact with pupils via the school's system
  • Avoid unnecessary physical contact with children
  • Ensure you understand the rules concerning physical restraint
  • Where physical contact is essential for educational or safety reasons, gain the pupil's permission for that contact wherever possible
  • Allow children to change clothes with levels of respect and privacy appropriate to their age, gender, culture and circumstances
  • Use humour to defuse difficult situations
  • Avoid working in one-to-one situations with children
  • Avoid volunteering to house children overnight
  • Ensure that areas of the curriculum that may involve sexually explicit information are taught in accordance with school policies
  • Be careful about recording images of children and do this only when it is an approved educational activity
  • Contact your professional association or trade union if you are the subject of concerns or allegations of a child protection nature
  • Fully co-operate with any investigation into child protection issues in the school.  Listen to pupils when they express concern (rumours) about staff which might appear to be just, and check facts v fiction
 

Don't:

  • Take any action that would lead a reasonable person to question your motivation and/or intentions
  • Misuse in any way your power and influence over children
  • Use any confidential information about a child to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass a child
  • Engage in activities out of school that might compromise your position within school
  • Establish or seek to establish social contact with pupils outside of school
  • Accept regular gifts from children
  • Give personal gifts to children
  • Communicate with pupils in an inappropriate ways, including personal e-mails and mobile telephones
  • Pass your home address, phone number, e-mail address or other personal details to pupils/children
  • Make physical contact secretive
  • Arrange to meet with pupils in closed rooms without senior staff being made aware of this in advance
  • Use physical punishment of any kind
  • Confer special attention on one child unless this is part of an agreed school plan or policy
  • Transport pupils in your own vehicle without prior management approval
  • Take, publish or share images of pupils or other children without their parents' permission
  • Access abuse images (sometimes referred to as child pornography) or other inappropriate material
  • Abuse your position of trust with pupils
  • Allow boundaries to be unsafe in more informal settings such as trips out, out of school activities, etc.