Careers advice and planning

Teaching jobs: where to find them and when to apply

11 Oct 2023, 09:36

Get the lowdown on how to apply for teaching jobs, local authority registration schemes, pool applications and the other approaches schools use to recruit early career teachers.

Make a teaching application schedule

Supported by:

The National Tutoring Programme

To identify the teaching jobs you want to apply for, think about your preferences:

  • location – you probably won't want a long commute during your first year as an early career teacher (ECT)
  • type and size of school
  • year group and key stage
  • teaching methods
  • school performance and reputation
  • atmosphere and ethos of the school.

Research the school thoroughly and visit if you can - to ensure you are applying to the right school for you.

Schools recruit teachers in a variety of ways so it’s a good idea to find out the recruitment approaches for specific schools and multi-academy trusts or local authorities (LAs) well ahead of the time of application.

Applying for a teaching job in a school in England

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

  • Specific vacancies - individual schools and multi-academy trusts 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 - these are mostly used by primary schools. 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, so check with your LA for dates.
  • Pool applications - these are also mostly used by primary schools. 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 school opportunities. Dates for applications vary, so check with the relevant LA.
  • Speculative applications - these are made directly to the school. You will probably be more successful if you already have contacts at the school/have had a placement there. However, with the current national shortage of teachers, it can be a good strategy for finding opportunities for all candidates.
  • Agencies - increasing numbers of teaching applications are handled by agencies including those for permanent early career teacher (ECT) 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)

You can use local authorities to discover opportunities by:

  • Contacting LAs directly to check what the current recruitment situation is. Teacher recruitment via LAs varies throughout the UK. It is advisable to register your interest with an LA in order to make sure you receive up-to-date information on current opportunities.
  • Looking at the LA’s website. Most LAs advertise their vacancies online and many have teacher recruitment pages for ECT posts.
  • Discovering other sources of information. Some LAs issue regular vacancy lists and some have recruitment literature.
  • Attending open days. 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.

The newspapers and publications that advertise teaching jobs

You might find graduate teaching jobs by looking at:

  • The teaching vacancies listed on GOV.UK . It is free for schools to advertise on this website, so it is being used increasingly by schools to post jobs.
  • ETeach advertises a large number of teaching vacancies and operates a job alert service. It also runs a recruitment agency for permanent, temporary and supply jobs.
  • Tes Jobs and The Guardian Jobs operate job alert services via email and enable you to upload a CV or create a profile.
  • Cultural or religious newspapers. These may carry advertisements for teaching positions, especially in faith-based schools.

Other resources to help you find a teaching job

Some further options that may be available to you are:

  • School groups that run academies and free schools usually advertise opportunities on their websites; see Tes for a list of groups.
  • Recruitment agencies which register ECTs to help find them a permanent, temporary or supply job. These include Hays Education , Eteach , CER and FE Jobs . There are many other agencies - including regional agencies; see the member directory of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation .
  • Your university careers service or education department, which may have an online jobs board. The careers 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 have trained or worked as a volunteer.

The teacher recruitment timetable: what to do and when

  • Autumn term: research recruitment approaches for LAs and attend university recruitment fairs.
  • December and January: LAs advertise pool vacancies and may have closing dates. In January, schools start directly advertising vacancies.
  • January to May: this is the busiest period for recruitment. Most vacancies suitable for ECTs are advertised during this time. Register with websites to receive updates on the latest opportunities. Make applications to teacher registration schemes and databases.
  • 31 May: the final date before which 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 ECT year can be completed through long-term supply contracts if agreed with the school in advance.

Keep in mind that 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. You can also find useful information about independent schools in your area from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) .

Where to find out about jobs for early years teachers

Early years teachers with early years teacher status (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 at:

Find out more about teaching in Scotland , teaching in Wales and teaching in Northern Ireland .

Written by Vinny Potter, St Marys University, Twickenham, July 2023


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Occasionally targetjobs will work with another organisation to provide impartial careers content. This is to provide you with the most relevant information to make the best decisions about your future. As such, ‘in partnership’ content has been written or sourced by the partner organisation and edited by targetjobs as part of a content partnership.

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