And find out why ATL is the fastest growing union in the education sector
Donít forget, if thereís a particular school you want to work in, you donít have to wait for a vacancy to be advertised. Send them your CV and a covering letter as a speculative application.
If you intend to teach in England, you will probably want to make sure that you can complete or begin an induction period. If you don't successfully complete an induction period, you won't be able to teach in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools.
Make sure if you do go for a temporary job that the headteacher will agree that you can begin induction in that post.
Remember, if you trained as a primary school teacher but want to work in the secondary sector - or vice versa - there is no legal requirement in England that you have to retrain. However, you would probably be wise to try and get some work experience in your chosen sector - and it may also be harder to get a job than if you were looking for something in your original phase and specialist area.
Independent schools and induction
Some independent schools participate in the induction programme, but not all, as it is not compulsory for them. If you do start your career in an independent school that does not offer an induction period, you will have to complete the induction period if you later decide that you want to teach in a maintained school or a non-maintained special school. Therefore, if completing induction at the beginning of your teaching career matters to you, you should make sure that the independent school you apply to lets you complete induction.
Other important considerations concern your pay, the type of contract and degree of job security offered, your pension, and the curriculum covered. While you will have to talk to the individual school about these details, you can get some general information about terms and conditions in the independent sector from the Independent Schools Council website.
Induction in Wales
There is now also statutory induction followed by two years of early professional development for all newly-qualified teachers in Wales. There are distinctive standards for induction in Wales. One significant difference between the arrangements for England and Wales is that there is no opportunity to retake induction in England should you fail, whereas in Wales, there is.
If you trained in Wales but want to work in England or vice versa, you can under mutual recognition of qualifications arrangements.
There are different arrangements for induction in Northern Ireland, and teachers who complete this stage in the Province are exempt from the Induction Regulations if they later teach in English schools.
Sixth-form colleges/the FE sector
If you want to begin your teaching career in a sixth-form college, be aware that sixth-form colleges participate in the induction programme, but only on a voluntary basis. If you wanted to move to the schools sector after working in a sixth form college but your college did not offer you the opportunity to complete your induction period, you would have to complete it later on. It isn't possible to complete the induction requirements in FE colleges.
If you want to work as a supply teacher, only posts of at least one term in duration can be counted towards your induction. If you don't begin your induction within four terms of first taking up your initial supply post after gaining Qualified Teacher Status, you won't be able to take up non-inductable supply posts (i.e. those of less than one term). However, changes to the rules mean that local authorities (LAs) now have the power to extend your entitlement to short-term supply work in some exceptional circumstances if they prevent you from securing an inductable post. This is decided on a case-by-case basis. LAs have discretion to extend the period of short-term supply work by up to a maximum of 12 months.
Reasons for such an extension might include:
If you need an extension to the four-term limit, your LA and ATL will be able to advise you. If you are looking for supply work, contact the LAs nearest you to see if they are operating a supply pool system. If you decide to seek work through a supply agency and are unsure about your terms of employment, ATL can advise its members on this.
Where to look for vacancies
Once you have taken the induction requirements into consideration, you can begin your search for actual vacancies.
The local authorities
For a list of all the LAs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, please see the Department for Children, Schools and Families website where you'll find all the relevant contact details, as well as useful information about recruitment processes in each area.
If you are coming to the end of your training, your course tutors may have information on local vacancies or personal contacts that may be helpful to you. There is often more variety and choice in the weeks following the three deadlines for resignations from teaching posts ≠usually 31 October, 28 February and 31 May.
The Times Educational Supplement (TES)
The TES has pages of advertisements for vacancies every Friday.
Other broadsheets covering education and vacancies
Other newspapers to keep an eye on are:
If you're looking for a post in a denominational school, look out for: ≠The Church Times (Church of England);The Universe (Roman Catholic); ≠The Jewish Chronicle; The Daily Jang (a leading Asian paper).
The local or regional press in the specific areas you are interested in may carry advertisements for teaching posts. They are worth checking, as only vacancies for headteachers and deputies have to be advertised nationally.
LA job bulletins often carry details of vacancies before they reach the national press. Contact the appropriate education personnel office to arrange for these bulletins to be sent to you.
The contacts you make while on school placement or while doing supply work can lead to employment. Never underestimate the value of networking!
The Training and Development Agency website has a dedicated section on looking for jobs.
What to look for in a vacancy
As a newly-qualified teacher facing an induction period, be sure to look out for vacancies advertised as being on the main pay scale (often written as `main scale') or those that refer specifically to newly-qualified teachers (in other words, vacancies that carry no extra responsibility points).
If you're returning to the profession, look for vacancies that will support your return, even if this means a temporary backward step. It's far better to settle back into the profession at a comfortable pace than be forced to hit the ground running at a speed faster than you have achieved in the past.