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If you haven’t applied for a job for some time you may be unaware of an increasingly common aspect of the job application process – the trial lesson.
In secondary schools this will be in your subject area and your interview pack should contain guidelines on the lesson you need to plan. In primary schools you will also be given guidelines on the lesson, or part of a lesson, which you’ve been asked to deliver. Don’t panic – with thorough preparation you will be great.
For more information on trial lessons visit page 16 of www.teachers.org.uk/files/first-post-2012.pdf
You may also be asked to do a presentation, though this is more common for leadership positions.
Giving notice to your present employer
If you are in a teaching post there are strict rules about giving notice to leave. Unless specifically released by the local authority or your school, you can only leave at the end of term.
There are three deadlines for handing in your notice*:
• in the autumn term, by 31 October
• in the spring term, by 28 February
• in the summer term, by 31 May.
These rules may be waived, but only with the agreement of the head teacher/governors of the school and of the local authority where appropriate.
* If you are currently working in an academy, independent school or free school please be aware that these arrangements may not apply to you. Make sure you find out what your notice period is. Check your contract or ask your NUT rep.
Thinking of working in an academy or free school?
The NUT fully supports members in academies, but we remain opposed in principle to the academies programme because of a range of concerns, not least pay and conditions of service.
There are key questions on pay and conditions that you need to ask when applying for a job in an academy or free school. Find detailed NUT guidance on our website at www.teachers.org.uk/academies-pay-and-conditions
We asked some experienced teachers what advice they would give on finding a new job.
Search hard, respond fast and focus your application on the specific job you have in mind, not a generic response for any job – and be prepared and fully briefed on the role you’ve applied for.
Len Parkyn, SEN teacher for 33 years
The key to finding a great job is in knowing exactly what you want. What type of role do you want, and what type of school do you want to work in? Once you’ve made your decisions, let your interviewers know what your aspirations are, and let your personality shine through! It’s far better to find a school where you can achieve your goals than to mislead your interviewer by giving answers you think they want to hear, only to regret taking the job down the line.
Matt Bradley, PPA cover teacher for five years
It was surprising and shocking how many applications for English posts were riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes when I was asked to draw up shortlists of candidates for interview. Letters of application must be of the highest standard for any teaching post and it is of paramount importance that they are read by at least two other people to eradicate errors – or your application is certainly heading for the bin. The assumption will be that you are not methodical, and what school needs teachers who cannot prepare thoroughly or who have poor literacy skills? You may be the most exceptional candidate but if you fail to appear so on paper you will not be given the chance to prove it!
Anne, retired, secondary teacher for 32 years
Ask for as much support as you can. Get help with your application forms and ask those who do interviews to give you a mock one. Persevere. Nowadays when you look for a job, there are a lot of hoops to jump through, but don’t let that stop you from being yourself – somewhere there will be a job that is right for you.
Nicky Ilsley, primary teacher for 17 years
Going for promotion?
If you are considering moving into management you can apply for the NUT’s Moving into Management course. The next one runs from 30 May to 1 June. Topics covered include developing staff, delegating, problem solving and presentation skills. For more information go to www.teachers.org.uk/mim