The job market is changing and job-hunting seems to be tougher out there than it has been in previous years, so pin back your ears!
One early indicator of the recruitment season is the university recruitment fair. Many of the universities will hold a recruitment fair, which is when people like me from the local authorities will roll up and try to convince you that ours is the only local authority you could possibly wish to work for. Find out from your careers department if your university is holding a fair, and if it is, make sure you go along - you can pick up a lot of useful advice on the jobs market in particular areas, as well as coming away with an armful of freebies
Pools vary, in deadlines, process and effectiveness, and not all authorities have them. In some cases, everyone who is accepted on to the pool will get offered a position. But in other parts of the country, where there is less demand, the pools don't work as quickly or as well. Find out from Local Authority websites, or at recruitment fairs, whether the ones you're interested in have a pool.
The domino effect
The bulk of you will get jobs between Easter and the end of May, which is the peak period. It tends to be governed by the resignation deadline, whereby any teacher looking to move to a new school for September has to submit their resignation by May 31. And there is a noticeable domino effect created by senior appointments; the head of School A retires or moves on, creating a vacancy; the job is advertised, and the deputy of School B is appointed to the headship, creating a vacancy for a deputy. Some weeks later, the assistant head of School C is appointed to that post, and so on until somewhere in May, school F suddenly discovers that a teacher is moving on for a promotion, and they need an NQT to replace them. And that’s where you come in.
Primary and secondary pointers
Jobs for primary teachers are few and far between in the north and the south west, so in places like Exeter or Liverpool a primary school may well get something like 300 applications for one job. If you're in those areas and you can relocate, at least to get a couple of years' experience under your belt, you're better off looking at London and the south east where there’s less competition.
For secondary, it depends on subject. Science and maths are shortage subjects in most places, and the one particularly in demand, especially in the south east, is English, since the TDA slashed the number of training places for English.
Finally, it's also worth finding out whether your preferred Local Authority has a Teacher Recruitment department that can advise you on local procedures. The more different options you have, the better.
• John Manning is teacher recruitment manager for Luton Borough Council. After teaching in the UK and overseas for a number of years, John Manning has been involved in Local Authority teacher recruitment since 2002
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