How to find the right school

Top tips on finding the right school to suit you

Every teacher has a different image of their ideal school, so it's worth spending some time thinking carefully about what you're looking for from your next teaching environment.

Here are some of our tips to help you figure out whether a school is right for you.

Visit the school

Visiting the school before you interview will give you an opportunity to scope out the school environment without worrying about your trial lesson or interview answers. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the atmosphere of the school, and the relationship between staff, and between pupils.

If you're working with an agency, ask your consultant for information about the school, and ask if there's any other teachers who work there that you could speak you to get further insight.

Study the Ofsted Report

This is a great tool to help you understand a school. However, don't automatically write a school off because of negatives, as it could still be a good fit for you, and a school on a mission to improve can offer challenges and rewards that an 'outstanding' school can't.

Teach a trial lesson or teach on supply

Teaching on supply will allow you to develop relationships, and talk with other teachers about their thoughts about working at the school. Teaching a trial lesson is a great way to demonstrate your talents, and to get a feel for what resources and support will be available for teachers.

If you're working with an agency, tell your consultant about schools you would be interested in working for, and your consultant can arrange some supply work to give you the opportunity to spend time in the environment.

Think about the logistics

Even if you love the school, if it's a long commute, or will cause issues with other areas of your life, you need to be realistic about whether you are happy to undertake the commitment in the long term.

Use your instincts

While speaking to other teachers can be a great way to find out more about a school, your perfect school is unique, so it's important to consider your gut instinct to determine whether a school is right for you. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions about the school to make sure you get the best outline on the atmosphere and culture that you can.

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