After years of hard work finishing your degree, and your NQT induction year, the time has finally come.
You now have to start looking for a paid teaching position.
However, for many new graduate NQT’s that’s not the end of the hard work and confusion.
And that’s why we’ve created this guide - To help you find your first NQT teaching position. And not just any old position. A teaching position you’re completely happy with so you can excel and shine.
Obviously, the main purpose of going through your teaching course is to find a fab teaching position.
So, during the last three or four years, you’ve eased into the fabulous world of education.
And perhaps in your final year of training, you’ve already started looking for a full-time teaching position.
Did you choose the School Direct option into teaching?
If you did, perhaps the school has already confirmed you can stay on as an employed teacher.
However, many schools are not in that kind of position to offer every trainee a full-time teaching role.
If that’s you, don’t stress out.
Of course, it can be worrying knowing you’ll be joining all the other recently qualified graduates looking to find employment.
So, how can you find the school of your dreams?
What’s the best way to find the school where you want to start your teaching career?
How can you ensure that you’re the winning candidate?
Read on for our top advice on finding the right NQT job for you.
How can I find the perfect NQT job?
Let’s be realistic. You’re looking for the perfect job and it might actually be out there for you, but the first challenge you face is simply getting an NQT role that is a fit. The perfect NQT job is the goal, but an NQT job that’s a good fit for you and that you’ll enjoy is definitely within reach.
There are always compromises to consider and decide upon.
Here are a few of the dilemmas you might be faced with?
These are all genuine concerns and most, if not all will be answered throughout the Teach Lambeth website.
One of the first things to think about when looking for your first NQT job is whether you should use an agency.
The simple truth is, you do NOT need an agency.
In fact, your future employer would much prefer to work with you directly.
The plain simple truth is Teacher Recruitment Agencies are expensive and unnecessary!
Recruitment agency fees are often in the region of £3,000 to £5,000 for a single job placement. And sometimes as much as £12,000 especially where the placement happens as a conversion of a previous supply teacher arrangement.
Your potential employer would obviously prefer to avoid paying these astronomical fees. In fact, due to economic constraints, many schools are actively looking for ways to avoid paying these high and unnecessary costs.
But anecdotal evidence suggests that many teachers seeking a new job through a teacher recruitment agency can find the experience negative, end up not finding the job they’re looking for and feeling pushed down a route they feel is unsuitable.
So what’s the alternative?
Take a look at our full guide on the topic here: https://teachlambeth.com/nqt-agency/
Of course there are so many things to think about when you are looking for your first NQT job. And in the next part of this article, we’ll cover many of the areas that come up most frequently. Let’s start with your teaching application.
What’s the best way to complete my teaching application?
First of all, you should read the job advertisement carefully. You must follow the school’s exact procedure for applying for a position, or you will probably not even make it to second base.
If the school asks you to attach a cover letter, make sure you do so. Likewise, if one is not asked for, don’t attach one thinking you may get bonus points. Follow their procedure to a tee.
Next, you should assess the specifics of the advertisement. Write down all the qualities they mention they are looking for in the new position.
You must reference all these qualities in your application to make sure you make it to the interview stage.
If this is your first position, don’t worry about your lack of experience. Just highlight your personal qualities, skills, and experience in other areas which could be relevant to your application.
If you have to complete an online form, use a program like MS Word to type out your answers to the questions and review and spell-check each of your replies carefully. This way you can make sure you don’t make any silly mistakes. You’d be surprised how many applicants mess up this important step. Separate yourself from those people by following our advice. Keep everything you write clear and concise. Then paste your answer into the relevant section.
We have written a detailed article on writing your application. You can find it by following this link: NQT Job Applications and Who Should be My Referees?
How do I write a strong NQT personal statement?
Your application and your NQT statement are going to be the first steps in securing the position you are looking for. Therefore, you obviously want to make a great first impression.
And I’m sure you have a ton of questions about writing a perfect personal statement.That’s why we have written a full, in-depth article on this topic. You can find it here: Your NQT Personal Statement.
How do I choose my referees?
Be careful who you choose as your personal referees. Don’t choose friends, neighbours or relatives as your referees.
Your referees should know you professionally. Your line manager from a school you’ve worked at before would be perfect. Also, a senior colleague from your placement schools would also be a good choice.
It is a good idea to choose a referee from your current placement school. If you don’t, this could be a red flag that there has been an issue at that school.
Where can you look for NQT jobs?
There are numerous websites all over the internet showing job listings for schools. But the trouble is many websites are not updated on a regular basis.
That’s why we have created the Teach Lambeth jobs board. You can find the latest jobs vacancies within the London Borough of Lambeth on this page: https://teachlambeth.com/jobs/
There is even an opportunity to sign up to receive specific job alerts for vacancies that interest you by clicking the relevant button.
However, like some Local Authorities, Lambeth has an NQT Pool which enables you to apply to the pool and then have the schools in the borough searching for NQTs approach you. In effect you’ll be applying for a bunch of NQT roles with just one application.Read more on that here - https://teachlambeth.com/nqt-lambeth/
Getting a job as an NQT
Getting your first job as an NQT is a very exciting time of your life. And obviously there are so many things to think about, plan for and arrange.
One of the first things you will need to think about is when is the best time to start looking for your NQT job.
Well, some schools start to recruit for September as early as January. In fact, the peak recruitment time is often from March to late May. After this period, the amount of job advertisements usually falls, but some NQTs get their jobs as late as mid-July.
So make sure you plan ahead accordingly to give yourself plenty of time.
What kind of salary can I expect with my first NQT job?
Congratulations! You've been offered and accepted your dream NQT position in Lambeth. You already know that teaching is a rewarding career with some great benefits long term, but what does that mean when you’re freshly qualified and starting your new job in one of the most vibrant cities in the world?
All very valid questions, which is why we have created a full post on this topic. You can find all the information you will need concerning your NQT salary here: https://teachlambeth.com/nqt-salary/
Current Lambeth NQT Vacancies
All education vacancies within the London Borough of Lambeth are listed on the link below. To find a vacancy that suits your needs you can use the filter to refine your search.
This will usually include NQT roles but some schools will only be searching the NQT Pool when looking for their NQTs so, if you’re looking for an NQT role in Lambeth you’ll want to be in the pool and keeping an eye on the jobs board.
Check out the Current Lambeth Vacancies here: https://teachlambeth.com/jobs/
Filter by Job Type
This will help you find positions within these four main job types: Apprenticeships & Graduate trainees, Leadership, Teaching, and Supporting Roles.
If you find there is nothing here for you, why not sign up to receive specific job alerts? That way you can be sure you see up and coming job vacancies first.
Is it a good time for finding your first NQT job?
Right now, you might be thinking it’s not the best time to be looking for a job. For sure, the economic climate is not in the best state.
But one of the great things about education is schools will always need good teachers.
Sure, the job market may be tough right now, but it’s not impossible to find a great school to take you on.
Proper preparation will take you a long way. So, to make sure you are prepared for the NQT job market, here are some important tips to follow:
Tip 1: Prepare a portfolio
As a new NQT you can’t dazzle your new employer with oodles of teaching experience. But you can impress them with your attitude and organization skills. Create a folder with all your transcripts, certificates, recommendations, references, best lesson plans, and anything that will help you in an interview. An in-depth, well organized portfolio will show your professionalism as a teacher, and will impress any future employer.
Tip 2: Keep busy
Begin each day with a ‘To Do’ list. Think about all the things you can be doing to push yourself closer to that dream job.
Even if you only have two or three things to complete every day, at least you’re getting closer.
Tip 3: Think about substitute teaching
During tough economic times, just getting your foot in the door is better than no position at all.
One of the best things about being a substitute teacher is you will get the opportunity to show what you are made of. You’ll also be at the coal-face so to speak, so you'll be rubbing shoulders with other teachers and administrators. And basically, you’re in the right place at the right time when positions open up.
Tip 4: Practice your interview skills
Let’s face it, few people love interviews. They can be stressful and daunting. But, as with anything, practice makes perfect. You need to shake off those nerves. And that only comes with practice and experience. However, being relaxed can be tough, especially if you are not well prepared.
Final thoughts on getting your first NQT job
We’ve come to the end of this article. We hope you’ve found it useful.
Spend your time wisely in this period of your life. Brush up on the skills you’ll need to get your dream job, such as improving your interview skills. Be organised and make every day count.
Research the top few schools you’d love to work for. Find out as much as you can.
Please remember not to be intimidated by your whole job seeking adventure.
By following the advice we’ve laid out here and all the advice throughout the Teach Lambeth website, you’ll have that dream job nailed!