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How does one get School Office Admin experience if you've never been employed in a school office?

(32 Posts)
ColdCrumpetsandButter Thu 28-Feb-19 19:41:21

I'm having very little success regarding interviews/job offers for school office/admin/secretary positions. I've been told my admin experience to date is really good, strong and solid yet keep being overlooked by candidates who already have the school office/admin skills and experience.

Is there anything I can do?

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Lwmommy Thu 28-Feb-19 19:49:09

Its the kind of job that has lots and lots of applicants due to people wanting term time, school hour jobs.

You just need to keep applying. Maybe volunteer with the school your children attend if applicable in PT A type roles so that you can get familiar with school ways of working.

ColdCrumpetsandButter Thu 28-Feb-19 20:47:32

Thanks. I will do. I understand why the other candidates are being chosen over me as I would probably do the same in the schools position. I will keep at it.

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Yumyumbananas Fri 01-Mar-19 20:36:11

We have had people volunteer to get experience.

YessicaHaircut Fri 01-Mar-19 20:44:21

I first worked as a school administrator via a job agency and then managed to move on to a permanent role from there. Might be worth phoning round a few local agencies to see if they place any admin staff into schools?

Nelumbo Fri 01-Mar-19 20:48:50

I volunteered. Am now working in the job I was aiming for

danadas Fri 01-Mar-19 23:08:27

I don't work in a school but we have a lot of agency staff where I work and many of them have been placed in schools to cover sick etc. Might be worth signing up with some.

ColdCrumpetsandButter Thu 07-Mar-19 08:08:26

Hadn't thought of that. Thank you!

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MrsIronfoundersson Thu 14-Mar-19 20:35:30

If you have kids, go to their school and ask the head teacher have a look at SIMS. It's a dead simple database but huge emphasis placed on it for some unknown reason. Also bone up on safeguarding and multi tasking and you're in!

CanILeavenowplease Fri 15-Mar-19 08:35:55

If you are signing up to agencies, speak with those that are placing supply teachers - I am a supply teacher and am offered admin positions on and off.

MontyBowJangles Fri 15-Mar-19 16:30:30

Ooh, great thread. I have just applied for my first school office admin job! Things which I am hoping will help me get an interview:

I spent two years as the PTA Secretary and help out at school listening to readers and helping where I can

I have been volunteering for my local Children's Centre for 3.5 years and have completed safeguarding training.

I don't have SIMS knowledge but have emphasised I'm a fast learner, been working in offices all my life, touch-typing for over 20yrs and my speed is now around 70wpm.

I'm also dbs cleared at several places, and completed mental health training recently under my own steam.

Good luck to everyone trying to crack it...

pisspawpatrol Fri 15-Mar-19 16:41:16

This is a really useful thread, thanks for starting it. I'm looking to move into school admin work too.

I've noticed a lot of the job specs say that a school visit would be welcomed or even encouraged in some cases. Does anyone have any advice about what I should be asking about, looking at or doing to make myself the best candidate that I can?

ColdCrumpetsandButter Sat 16-Mar-19 10:06:22

@MontyBowJangles hell I hope we are not going for the same positions as your experience totally trumps mine! grin

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MontyBowJangles Wed 20-Mar-19 19:08:21

Well I didn't get shortlisted for interview sad

ColdCrumpetsandButter Fri 22-Mar-19 11:58:15

@MontyBowJangles that sucks. I'm sorry. Did you ask why?

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MontyBowJangles Sat 23-Mar-19 07:52:30

@ColdCrumpetsandButter no, no feedback on the massive form that I poured my heart and soul into! I have asked but am unlikely to get any. I'm sure there would have been hundreds of applicants for the p/t term-time only admin job so would have gone to someone with school office experience no doubt.

However! Was chatting to someone yesterday who works there (it's a secondary school) and she said "you don't fancy exam invigilating do you? It's a zero hours contract but we're looking for people for the summer - send me your application and I'll take a look". smile

So maybe something for you to consider too? If it's a secondary school you're trying to crack?

superram Sat 23-Mar-19 07:57:04

I would look at exam invigilation too but it doesn’t end at 3pm. However, if you are known you do have a better chance and schools do speak to each other.

MontyBowJangles Sat 23-Mar-19 08:59:09

@superram yes she said I'd need to be there for 8.30am some days too, but I'm lucky in that dh's work is flexible so he can do school run for our two if needed smile

Blackandpurple Wed 27-Mar-19 07:13:49

I work in school admin and no headteacher would allow you to look at SIMS. Thats a breach. Dont even suggest it

EmrysAtticus Wed 27-Mar-19 07:17:07

I went for a maternity cover position for 3 months so wasn't so competitive. The school are now working on getting me a permanent position there.

ColdCrumpetsandButter Wed 27-Mar-19 16:38:52

I've currently got three applications in for three part time term time positions.

Two have deadline dates pass. Im patiently waiting.....

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MontyBowJangles Wed 27-Mar-19 22:30:28

Good luck @ColdCrumpetsandButter! Let us know if you get an interview smile (keeping everything crossed for you).

ColdCrumpetsandButter Thu 28-Mar-19 11:12:36

Thank you. I will.

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YouCannotFindMe Fri 29-Mar-19 20:15:57

Get some in-school experience. I got mine via exam invigilation. Had a great exams officer who was OK with me largely doing the 9-3 exams and not being able to do many starting early/late. Also school governor so gave me an understanding of how schools are run.

ColdCrumpetsandButter Sun 07-Apr-19 13:49:47

It's proving very hard to secure interviews. 😞

I suspect there is a very large talent pool to select from.

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