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How do teachers move schools?

(12 Posts)
partystress Thu 08-Nov-12 17:46:23

Sorry, sounds like a completely clueless question, but I am a bit baffled. I am in my 3rd year of primary teaching. Worked for 30 years in other areas where you either got headhunted or you saw something, applied, got it, worked your notice and moved.

In teaching I understand that you have to give notice at least half a term before you want to leave, and you can only leave at the end of a term. I also understand that references are usually taken quite early in the process, so you have to tell your head you are applying. But, when jobs are scarce and so you are not likely to get the first you apply for, does that not have you marked down in HT's book as uncommitted traitor who should be given the worst class in the school next year?

Is it ever the done thing to target a school you like the sound of and write and introduce yourself - or would that just look too pushy? And can you apply for a more senior role than you have in your current school, or do people get the experience and then move? Sorry, all this sounds completely naive, but it seems, at my school at least, that no-one talks about this stuff. (No-one has left while I have been there... at least not of their own accord hmm). Any advice from teachers or HTs would be most appreciated. Thank you.

notnowImreading Thu 08-Nov-12 17:51:20

You keep an eye on the TES jobs section at key times of the year - usually around half terms and holidays when people tend to get other jobs and start handing in their notice. Applying for other jobs shouldn't cause any problems in your current job - it often starts the head thinking about whether you'd be suitable for promotion within your own school, especially if you are applying for positions with responsibility.

I'm in a secondary school, though; the politics in a primary school might be different. In secondary people move on all the time and no one thinks any the worse of them.

KnowsabitabouteducationScience Thu 08-Nov-12 18:00:38

You see an ad in the TES and apply for it. Make sure you tell your headteacher first.

Don't worry about wanting to move. It is reasonable for teachers to move on, especially if it is for promotion and your current school is not able to do that for you. They won't brand you a traitor. Schools need a certain turnover of staff to prevent stagnation and to ensure a diversity of ages.

I don't know about approaching a school in anticipation. They will need to advertise the vacancy regardless and would expect you to keep your eyes open for opportunities.

FermezLaBouche Thu 08-Nov-12 18:06:04

Yes - do keep an eye on the jobs pages; both in the TES and on your county council website. I had a look at my old county's website this week and there were 15 jobs on there for Primary.

I know exactly what you mean about marking your own card as a traitor who wants out. It can be really awkward, but as you're in 3rd year a perfect reason for looking elsewhere is career progression.

Here is my recent job application history, if it helps:
Had been at previous school for 3 years - bullied and denied leadership opps. Unions involved, horrible situation, constantly graded inadequate/satisfactory by the bullying pair (but oddly enough Good 3 times from Ofsted!). Co-incidentally I got my heart broken by a wanker man when it was all going wrong at work.

On the spur of the moment I decided I wanted to go back to my old university city. Found an ad for some nice looking schools, applied without even visiting it (220 miles away) and got 2 interviews. Got them both and was in the fortunate position of having a choice of jobs. In my first week there I was made Lit co-ordinator and am on SLT. (5th year teaching.) Recently got graded Outstanding by new Head.

My Head from old school was in all honesty relieved that I was going. He wasn't the bully, it was 2 women more senior to me, but he did nothing about it. I have nor regrets whatsoever.

So..... I would say, wait till a good job comes up then talk to your head. There's no shame in wanting a new challenge - I think it adds to your teaching more then lingering in the same post for 20 years or more.

Have you got your eye on a particular job or just thinking it's time for a change?

partystress Thu 08-Nov-12 20:29:45

Thanks all - sounds encouraging.

Glad things worked out for you Fermez. I'm not desperately unhappy, but the school has become very cliquey and negative. We are due Ofsted any day, so I am clinging onto the hope that once that's over, things might go back to 'normal'. However, I am also aware there is v little room for progression: SLT and subject leader roles all filled by people I can't see leaving any time soon.

Sadly, having come to teaching as a (very) late career changer, I don't have another 20 years, but I have consistently got outstanding or good observations, and my pupil progress last year was outstanding. I feel I still have a lot to learn about the pedagogical side of teaching, but would like to have a chance to use my leadership experience too before it is too late! I'd also welcome more autonomy - I felt I needed the comfort blanket of other year group colleagues when I was starting out, and I would no longer be daunted by one form entry or even mixed year groups.

Would be v interested to hear from any HTs whether they would look askance at a direct approach. I appreciate jobs need to be advertised, but would it be proactive or pushy to send a speculative letter or email?

QueenofLouisiana Thu 08-Nov-12 20:42:55

Hi, I'm not a headteacher, but I have got a job by blagging before now. I heard on the grapevine that a teacher had left another school. I was being made redundant due to falling rolls in the school, so I asked my head to ring the other head and ask if the job was available and could I be considered for it, before it was advertised.
It worked, I got the job! Not sure I would try it again though. Good luck with your career move.

teacherwith2kids Fri 09-Nov-12 21:28:22

Recently done this - coming up to 3 years in my current school, also late career switcher.

I commute a LONG way and a job came up in a local school. Spoke to my head just before putting the application in (after speaking to a previous mentor who I am still in touch with, who reassured me that it was totally acceptable).

Got interviewed, got the job. Current head actually very nice about it - aware that as it's a small school there is little opportunity for progression, and also that my commute is a big factor in my life which I will be better for being rid of.

Go for it. It does feel like being a traitor BUT it's 'the way things are done' so you won't be the first.

(BTW, local county websites are MUCH the best source of primary jobs - and many feed into eteach if you are looking over a wide area. IME, relatrively few primary jobs make it to the (relatively expensive) TES as so many have hundreds of applicants just from local websites.)

partystress Sat 10-Nov-12 12:13:34

Thanks TW2K. I am on a couple of county web listings, but everything seems to be short term contracts or mat leave cover - don't know if that is the way with everything now, suss you out before offering permanent.

There is a school very close which I know is changing status and will have upper KS2 - my preferred age range - classes for the first time from next year. It's a school that has improved massively over the last 3 or 4 years, and I love the idea of being able to go in and get a new phase going. I think I am going to go for it and write to the head - nothing ventured grin.

teacherwith2kids Sat 10-Nov-12 12:48:02

Permanent jobs are basically only ever on offer just before each half term (and perhaps a little later in the summer term, though those are jobs for NQTs as you can't resign in time to take them IYSWIM).

The rest of the time, I agree, there's nothing permanent on offer. My current school is advertising my role as temporary - because no currently-employed teacher can take it as it's from January and they'll get a better, larger and stronger field if advertised in Aprilish as a permanent job from September. If the temp teacher is good, they'll be in a good position to get it permanently - but on the other hand, last year we didn't keep on a temporary teacher but appointed a better candidate when we came to fill the vacancy on a permanent contract.

partystress Sat 10-Nov-12 13:19:41

Ah, that makes sense. Good luck with your move - hope it works out well (and you don't use the time you save commuting to do more school work!!)

EBDTeacher Sun 11-Nov-12 19:31:59

Does your local area have something like 'Greensheets'? (Google Greensheets school vacancies- you will see what I mean).

My local schools tend to advertise 'standard' positions in there and only more senior posts in the TES.

I don't think you will be looked at at all askance for applying for other jobs, especially ones with additional responsibility, as it just shows you are motivated and looking to broaden your horizons. Agree with poster above that it may make your current Head look at ways to retain you. Don't know what area you are in, but there are jobs around at all times of the year in my area (South East).

EBDTeacher Sun 11-Nov-12 19:35:16

BTW my DH and I are both now in senior roles and each on our 4th school (both having taught for 10 years). Neither of us has ever applied speculatively for a job but DH has appointed somebody who did just that so it does happen caveat, he is in the independent sector .

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