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Teaching and education
Teaching jobs: where to find them and when to apply

Teaching jobs: where to find them and when to apply

Get to grips with local authority registration schemes, pool applications and the other approaches schools use to recruit newly qualified teachers.
Register your interest with a local authority to make sure you receive up-to-date information on the latest opportunities.

It’s a good idea to find out the recruitment approaches for specific schools or local authorities (LAs) well ahead of the time of application. Schools recruit teachers in a variety of ways, including direct advertisements, through recruitment agencies and, in some areas of the country, through local authority (LA) registration schemes with a pool application.

The five main ways of applying for a teaching job in a school

The five main ways of applying for a teaching job are:

  • Specific vacancies. Schools recruit directly through their own advertisements and selection procedures. Advertisements for teaching posts start in January, and the peak time is between February and June. This is how most schools recruit for teaching posts.
  • Teacher registration schemes and databases. You register an interest to work for a school within a particular LA area and complete a single application form. Your application is then sent to schools with opportunities that meet your criteria. Registrations may open in the autumn; check with your LA for dates.
  • Pool applications. These are similar to registration schemes, but in addition to the central application form, you may also complete the selection process centrally. Schools can then select applicants to interview from the available, approved list. Most pool applications are for primary opportunities. Dates for applications vary so check with the relevant LA for dates.
  • Speculative applications. These are also made directly to the school. You will probably be more successful if you already have contacts at the school.
  • Agencies. Increasing numbers of teaching applications are handled by agencies, including those for permanent NQT posts. Registration with an agency will usually involve submitting an application form or CV followed by a meeting with a recruitment agent.

Finding out about teaching vacancies from local authorities (LAs)

  • Teacher recruitment via LAs varies throughout the UK. Contact LAs directly to check what the current recruitment situation is. It is advisable to register your interest with a LA, to make sure you receive up-to-date information on current opportunities.
  • Most LAs advertise their vacancies online and many have teacher recruitment pages for newly qualified teacher (NQT) posts.
  • Some LAs issue regular vacancy lists and some have recruitment literature.
  • Some LAs hold open days (usually in the spring and for primary teaching only) so applicants can talk to several schools in the area. These provide an opportunity to find out more about schools and their requirements. The day may also include a selection interview. In some LAs, you will only receive an invitation to an open day after submitting an application.

Which newspapers and publications advertise teaching jobs?

  • Times Educational Supplement Jobs and Guardian Jobs operate job alert services via email and enable you to upload a CV or create a profile.
  • Local press. The Newspaper Society has links to local newspapers around the country.
  • Cultural or religious newspapers. These often carry advertisements for teaching positions, especially in faith-based schools.

Other resources to help you find a teaching job

  • School groups which run academies and free schools advertise opportunities through their websites; see TES for a list of groups.
  • Recruitment agencies, such as Hays Education, Eteach, Capita Education Resourcing and FE Jobs, will register NQTs to help find them a permanent, temporary or supply job. There are many other agencies, including regional agencies; see the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
  • Your university careers service or education department may have an online job board. Your service will also be able to advise on other local sources of opportunities.
  • Teaching fairs. These are held nationwide, often within universities. They are attended by local authorities, recruitment agencies, teaching unions and schools.
  • Networking. Keep in touch with the schools where you did your practice or worked as a volunteer.

The teacher recruitment timetable: what to do when

  • Autumn: research recruitment approaches for LAs and attend university recruitment fairs.
  • December/January: LAs advertise pool vacancies and may have closing dates.
  • January: schools start directly advertising vacancies.
  • Spring term: applications to teacher registration schemes and databases.
  • April: many vacancies suitable for NQTs are advertised from this time. Register with websites to receive updates on the latest opportunities.
  • 31 May: final date when teachers leaving their jobs in the summer must resign, so more jobs appear around this time.
  • Summer: consider registering with an agency for supply work as your NQT year can be completed through long-term supply contracts.
  • Independent and overseas schools may advertise at any stage throughout the year.

Where to find out about teaching jobs in independent schools

Vacancies in independent schools are advertised in similar places to other teaching posts. Here are some further useful sources of information:

Where to find out about jobs for early years teachers

Early years teachers with EYTS may be employed by:

  • Private, voluntary and independent nurseries.
  • Children’s Centres.
  • Free schools, academies and independent schools delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • State funded nurseries or primary schools’ reception classes – working alongside staff with qualified teacher status.

Vacancies for early years teachers can be found at:

Recruitment agencies, specialising in the education sector, such as Hays Education and Randstad Education, may also have suitable vacancies, offering part-time, full-time, temporary and permanent contracts.

Where to find out about teaching jobs within further education

Further education vacancies can be found in the following sources of information:

  • FE Jobs, College Jobs, FE Careers and AoC Jobs
Written by Sabrina Altariva, University of Northampton
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