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Support jobs in schools are hard to come by
9

Basketofkittens · 02/07/2019 06:47

Or is it just me?

I get interviews for TA / school library jobs. I have been a classroom volunteer for 6 months, I have an English degree, I’m currently studying an Open University primary education module.

But at the interview I’m always up against former teachers and school mums. Had an interview recently for a very part time school librarian job. The 3 other ladies being interviewed were very nice and all school mums. One was an former teacher, one was a former children’s librarian and a member of the PTA and volunteered there too and the other was a current TA at the school.

So I knew I had no chance. Everyone else was interviewed and had an observed classroom activity. I waited 2.5 hours in the staff room until it was my turn as they had “forgotten” about me. Their interviews lasted 25 minutes. I was in and out within 10 minutes so they obviously knew who they wanted!

Just feels like a complete waste of time going for these kind of interviews!

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Thistly · 02/07/2019 07:00

Oh how depressing, sounds looks a horrible experience.
I t would have been nice if they had made it feel like getting the interview experience was worth it.
Most workplaces should be scoring your interview responses and awarding the job based on that, and given the experience you had I might write and complain that their interview experience seemed less than fair.

It should be that if you have met the criteria for the post, they decide on the basis of how well you answer the questions.

I’m not sure about the qualifications, but i would be doing the ‘supporting teaching and learning ‘ at college, as this involves placements and the course leaders will be able to give you information and advice about gaining employment in local schools.

It may be that the OU is a more interesting course, but it’s the local connections you need to get an actual job.

Good luck!

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Saucery · 02/07/2019 07:11

They missed out your classroom observation completely? That is careless, unprofessional and wrong. The other candidates do sound more qualified than you, to be fair, but you deserve a chance to be interviewed on exactly the same terms as everyone else. Would you really want to work in a school that can’t organise basic interviews properly? I wouldn’t.
Keep trying, competition is fierce, but this is the time of year when a lot of support roles are advertised.

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Basketofkittens · 02/07/2019 08:27

I definitely felt like I didn’t fit in! I wore a smart Hobbs dress, tights and low court shoes. The others were dressed more casually in summer dresses, bare legs and sandals. They were all dressed very nicely, not criticising them but is that how I should be dressing for these interviews?

There seem to be quite a few TA jobs being advertised. Do TAs normally only have to give a month’s notice?

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Letseatgrandma · 02/07/2019 15:17

I definitely felt like I didn’t fit in! I wore a smart Hobbs dress, tights and low court shoes. The others were dressed more casually in summer dresses, bare legs and sandals. They were all dressed very nicely, not criticising them but is that how I should be dressing for these interviews?

I’m Primary SLT and don’t wear dresses and court shoes, I have to say. I would imagine they weren’t looking at your clothes though-as long as you are smart and clean, that’s enough!

TA jobs are very hard to get because they are school hours and term time only so childcare is barely needed, so those sort of jobs are like hen’s teeth. Whatever the reasons are for you wanting the job-loads of others will probably have similar, too.

Teaching is also a hideous job at the moment and teachers are leaving in droves-many going into TA roles to try to claw back some work/life balance.

They are competitive, yes.

Do TAs normally only have to give a month’s notice?

About that, yes.

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Saucery · 02/07/2019 16:43

I’ve seen a variety of outfits at interview. I wouldn’t differentiate between a summer dress and sandals and your slightly more formal outfit. Both are clean and presentable.

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Basketofkittens · 02/07/2019 17:04

When I’m volunteering, I normally wear White Stuff dresses or skirts and ankle boots or flats. But as it was an interview I thought I would dress smarter.

I’ve had a couple more interview invites come through so I’ll go to them and see what happens.

Before I had DC I worked as an office manager then a health and safety advisor so this is quite a change for me. I am thinking of doing a PGCE in the future, the staff at my school have been very encouraging of this as have acquaintances. But they have always stressed it’s about finding the right school.

Are there many jobs for primary teachers? Looking at my local area, there are still 10 being advertised for September starts.

Thank you for the replies!

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imip · 02/07/2019 17:19

It is really tricky to get a TA job. If you have dc, are you volunteering there? I think it’s so competitive and if you ‘know’ a person who’s applying, that may be the thing that gets you across the line when you have candidates of equal calibre.

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fedup21 · 02/07/2019 19:32

Are there many jobs for primary teachers? Looking at my local area, there are still 10 being advertised for September starts.

Loads.

You are aware there is a massive recruitment and retention crisis in teaching? Hopefully you are aware why this is.

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Danglingmod · 06/07/2019 08:40

Loads of TA jobs around here (secondary) and we're not swamped with amazing applicants. Often appoint people with no prior experience. People seem scared of working in a secondary school. I'm sure you'll get something eventually.

Library roles are a bit different. You may have an English degree but many applicants will be library trained or experienced (due to public libraries closing down) or have recent book knowledge like being a bookseller. Plus there's only one library job per school and people often just move around swap schools upon others' retirement etc.

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