back to blogs

How To Write an ECT Personal Statement and Land Your First Job as a Newly Qualified Teacher

About 6 months ago By Scott Owen

Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575

If you’re an early career teacher (ECT; still known in Wales as an NQT), then a well-written ECT personal statement is the bridge between you and an interview for the school of your choice. But how to write a personal statement?

While Googling examples of ECT personal statements can sometimes prove helpful, it can also just lead to more confusion. There’s a reason for that. Whilst it’s helpful to get some guidance on what people are looking for, at the end of the day, the personal touches on your statement are what make you stand out. Sticking rigidly to someone else’s template is a risky road to take.

Most people will admit to finding personal statements tedious things to write, particularly when tailoring them to multiple different applications. Protocol Education can help you find an ECT job for September without the need to handcraft dozens of personal statements.

Our ECT Pool consists of a single application form, a few chats with your consultant and interviews in schools where you want to work. Find out more about the ECT Pool here.

However, if you’re dead set on a particular job which expects you to write a personal statement as part of the application process, here’s how you do it.

So, let’s think about the actual purpose of the statement, show the school you are the right person for their job, the right fit for their school, and how you will benefit their students.

Did you notice how many times I used 'their' in that sentence?

This is because a one-size-fits-all ECT Personal Statement is not going to cut it. Any school hiring manager can see straight through a generic, templated statement.

Where do I begin, though, you ask? These tips for writing your personal statement should help you get started.

Read, read, read

The very first thing you need to do is read all the documentation included in the application pack. The letter, the job description, the person specification, the application guidance, everything!

Get out your highlighter pen and start reading and colouring in anything that stands out as important. Focus on important things to the school, unique to the school’s ethos, approach, values, and anything that is particularly aligned to your skills and work experience.

Get personal with the Person Specification

Next up, you need to look at what they have specified the essential criteria for the role. Put each point on a sheet of paper and start jotting down notes underneath each showing how you meet that criteria – it could be a qualification, teaching experience, depth of subject knowledge, your extra-curricular interests, your approach to teaching or your particular specialisms.

Get your skeleton structure in place

Good supporting statements share a fairly consistent anatomy. Here’s a handy NQT personal statement example structure:

  1. Your area(s) of interest/expertise: Subjects, age ranges, SEN, all the details relevant to your desired career route and the needs of their role.

  2. Your teaching experience – Include a general overview and a specific example that lets them visualise you in the classroom, how you work, how you support their pupils with their teaching and learning.

  3. Address the Person Spec - This is where you demonstrate how you meet any additional criteria in the Person Specification that haven’t been covered yet. Have they said that experience in a particular area would be beneficial? Are they looking for knowledge of a specific learning style? Do they want some technical expertise to help with blended learning? This is the part to include all that extra detail.

  4. Your USP - Your unique selling point goes in your NQT personal statement here. This is where you make yourself stand out from the crowd – try to answer the question ‘why would you hire you? It may be a specific skill, achievement or experience, your approach to teaching or work, or your alignment to their mission and ethos.

Let’s say you're applying for an SEN primary school that has a sensory garden, and you are an experienced gardener who has been involved in community gardening? Tell them. Do they run a chess club, and you played chess for the county? Let them know. Perhaps they have a dedicated SEN department, and you have volunteered in this area for the past couple of years. Whatever value you can add, it’s on you to make them aware of it.

Sum up what you have learnt in your teacher training and experience so far and how you are looking to develop your skills. Talk about why teaching is so important to you, and explain clearly why you want to work for that particular school.

Finally, the ‘SO-WHAT’ test

Once you’ve written everything up, apply the so-what test to each point.

For every point you have included, ask yourself – so what?

How does this point show I can benefit the students – and if it doesn’t, re-write or remove it. This document is not about what you want for yourself; it’s about what you can give to the individuals you are teaching, and highlighting this throughout is what will make your NQT Personal Statement shine!

Oh, and one last thing – proofread your statement, and proofread it again!

​Alternatively, you could just join our ECT Pool to bypass it altogether and start teaching in your first role as an early career teacher. The choice is yours.

Join the ECT Pool

Brooke Cagle J Bwcen Ou R Cg Unsplash Medium
08 Aug 22, by Alex Schulte

How To Take Your Teaching Career in a New Direction

Where do you see your journey through education taking you? For many teachers, the answer is simple: building experience and...

Read More
​How to Know When A Long-Term Teaching Role is Right For You
03 Aug 22, by Sam Layng

​How to Know When A Long-Term Teaching Role is Right For You

Finding a school that suits your needs can be difficult. Everyone has their own experiences, either positive or negative, that...

Read More
​Why Teachers Should Understand Curriculum Design
25 Jul 22, by Alex Schulte

​Why Teachers Should Understand Curriculum Design

Every teacher working in local-authority-maintained schools in England delivers lessons based on the National Curriculum: the statutory set of subjects,...

Read More
Adobe Stock 169534527 (1) Medium Min
18 Jul 22, by Eloise Gladwyn

​How to Stay Productive in the Last Week of Term

It’s the last week of term, and classrooms across the country will be succumbing to the condition that teachers commonly...

Read More
how to become a special needs teacher uk
13 Jul 22, by Scott Owen

Why the UK is Crying Out For Special Needs Teachers

​Every year, more and more pupils are identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). DfE figures from May...

Read More
08 Jul 22, by Scott Owen

Team Teach Training, 6th August, London

​Team Teach training is back! On 6th August from 9 am to 5 pm, Protocol Education's Ruth Bell will be...

Read More
Image 2022 07 07 T11 07 33
07 Jul 22, by Alex Schulte

​Why BSL (British Sign Language) is Taking Off in Schools

More than confidence, more even than subject knowledge, communication is the one skill no educator can do without. Relaying an...

Read More
A Teachers’ Guide to Trauma-Informed Practice In UK Schools
15 Jun 22, by Alex Schulte

A Teachers’ Guide to Trauma-Informed Practice in UK Schools

Nowhere in the world should be safer than a school. Yet for all the work that teachers do to create...

Read More
13 Jun 22, by Scott Owen

Considering a Career in Recruitment? Join Our London Team

​Have you ever considered a career in recruitment? ​If so, we are looking for people to join our fast-growing London...

Read More
I Stock 1047532500 Min
09 Jun 22, by Alex Schulte

More Options Announced for Using your NTP Funding

​To encourage greater uptake of NTP funding during what’s left of the academic year, the Department for Education has offered...

Read More
5 Steps To Becoming A SEN Teaching Assistant
30 May 22, by Eloise Gladwyn

5 Steps to Becoming a SEN Teaching Assistant

​Teaching Assistants (TAs) are essential elements of any classroom. Any teacher will tell you how critical TAs are critical for...

Read More
This Teaching Assistant CV will help you land your next job
23 May 22, by Eloise Gladwyn

This Example Teaching Assistant CV Will Help You Land Your Next Job

Download example teaching assistant CV here​When it comes to job hunting, a great CV is your best friend. With just...

Read More
The Top Traits of an Effective SEN Teacher
16 May 22, by Eloise Gladwyn

The Top Traits of an Effective SEN Teacher

​Effective Special Educational Needs teachers are a special type of person. You will be teaching and supporting some of society’s...

Read More
Microsoft Teams Image (28)
12 May 22, by Scott Owen

Protocol Education's Educator Festival

​Come to our Educator Festival! This term, Protocol Education is holding an Educator Festival, a series of events that will...

Read More
How Teachers Can Manage and Reduce their Workload
10 May 22, by Eloise Gladwyn

How Teachers Can Manage and Reduce their Workload

​As every educator finds out in their own time, teaching can be exhausting. A teacher’s to-do list is rarely complete,...

Read More