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Planning the search for your NQT role

The search for your first teaching role can be daunting. Know where to start with our advice on planning the search for your NQT role

Know what you want

Your first year as a teacher is one of the most important milestones in your teaching career. It is not only when you will have the chance to put everything that you have learnt into action, but it is likely to be the year that you discover your strengths and weaknesses and figure out what kind of teacher you are going to be.

Before you start your job search stop and take a look at what it is that you want from your teaching career. Having a clear idea of what you want in a school will simplify the job search considerably. Are you looking for a mainstream or SEN school? Are you looking for an urban or rural school? Do you want a large or small school? Deciding what you are looking for will help you narrow down your search.

Have your cover letter, application and CV up to scratch

The key to finding the right role is selling yourself in the best possible way. What makes you stand out from other NQTs? What are your strengths in the classroom? Matching your skills and experience to the schools that you are applying to will make sure you have the best possible chance of finding the right NQT position for you.

In order to do this, make sure you spend time on developing your CV cover letter and application from. Make them detailed but focussed on your experience and achievements and make sure that they sound and look professional. It is important to take time on each application you send, research the school and let them know why you specifically want to join them for your NQT year.

Know where to look

There are so many different avenues into applying for teaching roles that it is hard to know where to start. If you know exactly what area and type of school you would like to work with it can be a good idea to apply directly to schools. Ensure you are regularly checking TES, school and local authority websites. If you are looking to spread your search further or even relocate it can be useful to try some other options.

If your university holds an NQT fair then it is good to attend. A range of schools, agencies and teaching organisations attend these events so you can gain a huge amount of information on the jobs available in one place.

Signing up to an agency is also a good option as they can instantly connect you with a range of schools and a network of branches to ensure that they do what they can to find you the perfect position. It is also good because it means that you can talk to a teaching recruitment specialist and get advice on how to best approach your job search.

Be prepared

Once you have started applying to different roles the interviews and trial lessons will starting coming in quicker than you think! If a school is interested in seeing you for an interview they can often ask to see you as soon as the next day, therefore it is important to be prepared for interviews and have trial lessons planned and ready to go.

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