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Secrets to getting a clerical job in a school ?

(22 Posts)
purple15 Thu 17-Oct-13 18:38:34

ah well done for getting that far.
At least you got an interview.

BellaI Wed 16-Oct-13 23:31:53

I had interview today, first for 8 years! They said I presented my work well but they gave job to someone with school experience. The one thing I couldn't compete with. So annoying as spent a lot of time preparing!

ProphetOfDoom Sun 13-Oct-13 23:09:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BellaI Sun 13-Oct-13 22:41:20

I've got an interview on Weds! I have been given a task to plan a Sports Awards Evening for whole school. Does anyone have any experience of these in relation to a State Secondary? Would students have to pay to attend as it includes refreshments? Would it be held on site to keep cost down? Thanks for your help I'm experienced in corporate side so this is a different angle for me!

ProphetOfDoom Sat 12-Oct-13 22:04:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EachDay Sat 12-Oct-13 21:52:01

Coming over in your applications

EachDay Sat 12-Oct-13 21:49:48

Is it possible the attitude in your op has been coming over in your op? Why do you want to work in a school - other than because you fancy the cushy hours?

invicta Sat 12-Oct-13 00:18:43

Each day. - depends on the PTA. One school i know employs at least two PTA members as staff in various different roles.

eggyweggies Fri 11-Oct-13 18:21:58

I think the word you're looking for is 'cliquey', blue

EachDay Fri 11-Oct-13 17:59:54

There is no way on earth any of the most active people in the PTA would be offered paid employment at our school.

Not sure how to explain it without causing offence (sorry) but those over enthusiastic lively sociable types would drive the head and the rest of the staff mad. The work they do is appreciated (and it takes all sorts) but no-one wants to be around them all day.

Maybe it's not like that at all schools though.

Department Fri 11-Oct-13 14:18:14

Actually just read you posts back. Do the local school know you're (a properly qualified?) rugby coach? Ours would bite your arm off if you offered to do that on a voluntary basis - or even (maybe) a paid one to cover PPA time

Department Fri 11-Oct-13 13:51:48

Well, I'm going to go against everything that's been said above.

I got the first school job I applied for 3 months after being made redundant from a completely different career. I had no school experience and had never volunteered at the school or on PTA (despite one or other of my Dc having been at the school for c. 10 years)

What I did do was spend a whole day working on my CV and application form. I didn't use one that would have suited my old career, it was tailored exactly to this role. It really was a very professional job, even though I say so myself! I looked at the job and person specification and made sure every point was covered thoroughly. I covered the career change (and reduction in pay) aspect by saying that it had been an excellent opportunity to become more involved in the community with examples of what I had done in that respect - working in the local school was a way of building on this community involvement.

I spent 2 full days preparing for the interview. I had loads of examples of when I had dealt with the kinds of situation which might come up and I rehearsed my "stories"

Yes, the school already knew (of) me. They knew that I had reasonably bright but by no means exceptional children who were well behaved and had excellent attendance and they knew that I turned up regularly and on time for assemblies/parents eve/sports day, but that they saw or heard very little of me in between times.

IME of the 3 years I've worked at the school, the last kind of parents they want to employ (dinner lady/TA/Office) are the ones who need to be involved in everything, are always at the school in one capacity or another and generally hoover up the school's time.

If your children have poor attendance that will definitely work against you, as they know if the child's off, mum will be off - especially true when mum does a "menial job" and dad doesn't.


Volunteering in a primary school didn't help me. I had to move on after, like you, 2 years of applications. I do think often these jobs go to people that the Head likes. It really was word of mouth.

SIMS is the school information service - I am an accountant and have always had to pick up new systems, but even that didn't count sad

invicta Tue 08-Oct-13 23:17:24

The best advice to get a job in school,is to become a parent helper. That way, you'll get direct experience of schools. Volunteer to hear kids read - they always appreciate this.

BellaI Tue 08-Oct-13 23:15:27

I've just applied for an events/admin job in a high school. Def got the events experience but wonder if I will get interview!

purple15 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:00:49

I also quite fancy a school office job. A lot of the vacancies ask for Sims.
How are you supposed to get experience of this ?
I think it is a major competitive market, and there will be loads applying with experience of Sims.

CointreauVersial Wed 02-Oct-13 23:26:10

You can get school hours jobs outside a school, you know. I work in Sales & Marketing, 9-3. Maybe widen your search, try temping to start with.....

ModeratelyObvious Wed 02-Oct-13 23:22:02

Um, who is telling you that someone's mum got it?

(Btw, I assume from your post that you are someone's mum, but you are of course also well qualified so would be getting the job for the latter, not the former reason)

PottyLotty Mon 30-Sep-13 13:36:15

Thank you. I havent even thought of being a dinner lady. I already have a full disclosure/CRB as I teach tag rugby to under 7's at our local rugby club so I feel this is sufficient experience of working with children as ive been doing it for over 3 years.

Im sure its easier to get wool off a tortoise than get a position in a school. Im just feeling a little 'let down' by the recruitment processes given there are laws in place to try and prevent this. confused

I think I will head off and see if I can find a vacancy as a dinner lady.

Msbluebozooka Mon 30-Sep-13 12:17:07

You could do with working as a afternoon assistant 'dinner lady' so that you get the CRB check and then you've got your foot in the door.

I must admit schools are very 'clicky' so there is no way you will get a job at your school I wouldn't even reapply for any post at this school.

Good luck for the future

mirry2 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:02:52

Could you apply to become a school governor or volunteer at a local Brownies group. It would give you some experience of schools and/orworking with children.

PottyLotty Mon 30-Sep-13 11:56:35

I have applied for in excess of 30 clerical roles in schools over the last 2 years. I havent even managed to get an interview despite having 10+ years of clerical experience within court service/solicitors offices and a string of IT/typing/secretarial qualifications, usually exceeding the qualifications requested in the adverts. Im usually advised I dont have any relevant experience of working in a school.

Is there a secret to getting a job in a school? I can only work school hours due to the stupidly excessive cost of childcare for which we are entitled to absolutely nothing towards to costs due to my husbands apparent excessive salary (no idea where he's keeping all his money but the tax man says he's got it somewhere). [hmmm]

When I do ask about roles that come up I am frequently told that someones Mum got the post or someone on the PTFA got the role etc and the job is advertised due to a 'legal requirement' rather than because its actually available. (I do go to PTFA meetings but as my husband works shifts I miss several a year so im not considered to be a fully active member of the PTFA)

I have also been unable to find work on a voluntary basis at my childrens school because they are currently overrun with volunteers at this time and the other local schools say they give preference to parents of the children at the school.

Does anyone have any advice on what I can do next to improve my chances of finding work in a school ?

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