If you are a newly qualified teacher (NQT) looking to find work to no avail, you are not alone. Indeed, the emergence of coronavirus and school closures had an unexpected effect on the teaching profession, with a 17% rise in those applying for teacher training courses in 2020. There are many reasons to be positive, however, as this colossal change in the job market opens up the opportunity to take less conventional approaches into landing your first teaching role.
Whether its primary, secondary or SEN teaching that takes your fancy, here are our top tips for hitting the ground running and finding work in September as an NQT.
Join an Agency
Between January and April is a great time to sign up to an agency, so you can be ready for any roles that may become available once you’ve submitted your dissertation. There’s nothing stopping you from building up your experience and CV before September, and agencies will be a great place to help you gain this experience and foot in the door.
Education agencies have spent years building up their networks and creating relationships with schools that you could only dream of, providing you with that all important ‘in’ that you need to kickstart your career. Recruiters put the leg-work in for you and can be your best chance at securing a role.
Agencies are able to find work in supply, temporary and longer term roles, just let them know what you’re after and be open to their suggestions. With years of experience in the education industry, recruitment agencies will often know what’s best for you and your career, so reach out, register and what have you got to lose?
Consider Supply teaching
Supply teaching is fast becoming a hugely popular alternative route into teaching thanks to the incredible opportunities and flexibility that it offers. As an NQT, you will have completed several placements, however in terms of experience you will not have had the chance to work in a wide range of schools to find out where you excel best. Supply teaching offers you just this, with the chance to work at a variety of schools, from SEN primary one day to mainstream secondary the next, you could even develop a newfound love of teaching specific year groups that you’ve never given the time of day to before.
What’s more, supply teaching is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door and make yourself heard within the school community – schools are more likely to come to you when longer term roles come about than searching through a sea of CVs. This way of teaching provides many avenues for personal development as it teaches individuals the importance of being organised, adaptive and flexible and this in turn will make your CV stand out ahead of the rest when applying for those longer term roles. Reach out with a copy of your most up to date CV or simply your list of questions and we can help steer you in the right direction.
The tendency is for teachers to hand in their notices in May, fulfilling their terms notice in the second half of the summer term and moving on, meaning that as a general rule of thumb you will see more roles advertised during this time. However, if you are still on the hunt for a September role in the summer, look beyond job boards and browse school websites as if they have not been successful I filling the role you could still have a chance.
Spend some time putting together a unique cover letter and go through your CV thoroughly to make sure that there are no spellng mistakes that will make your claim that you pay exceptional attention to detail look futile.
Be prepared to travel
Location is a crucial cog to consider when looking for a role as an NQT as your dream job is most likely not going to be on your doorstep. Relocating can open up your reach and availability, however if this is a step too far, consider broadening your commute radius or looking at schools with close proximity to public transport. Increasing your commute to 30-45 minutes can widen the range of opportunities available to you, particularly if you are looking to start part time or in supply.
At Initial Education we’re always looking for NQTs, experienced teachers and teaching assistants to join our talent pool, so get in touch with us today!