Looking for your first job as an Early Career Teacher (formerly known as an NQT) should be an exciting time. You’re on the cusp of putting all the skills you’ve gained in your teacher training into practice.
But when you hit the tangle of application and recruitment processes that precede your placement, that excitement can grind to an abrupt halt.
With so much conflicting information about the best way to find an ECT job, a newly qualified teacher could be forgiven for finding it all a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve summarised some of the options for you to make life a little bit easier!
Where are ECT roles advertised?
It won’t surprise you to find out that the bulk of recruitment happens online. ECT jobs are advertised through various routes:
Any jobs will be advertised directly on the school websites, so if you know the specific school you are wanting to join for ECT jobs near you, then you can look at their website directly.
There is a section on the gov.uk website with details of job vacancies available, and links taking you through to each school so you can apply directly on their website.
Many ECT jobs are still advertised in newspapers, both their print and online versions. Primary school opportunities can often be found in local and regional papers, and secondary opportunities in specialist press like TES.
Online with Teaching Agencies
Many schools also recruit through agencies like Protocol Education to help them attract and shortlist the right teachers for their school, particularly with the hard to fill posts in certain subjects and locations.
How do I know where to begin?
First, you need to think ‘where will I find NQT jobs near me’. Realistically, your ECT years will be quite gruelling, so finding something close to home with minimal commuting is advisable.
It’s worth looking at the website of a few of your local schools. Each school will have its own application process, which can be quite time consuming, so be prepared to invest some serious time in your applications if you are applying directly.
In fact, finding and applying to all the local ECT jobs can feel like a full-time job in itself.
The alternative route is to join an agency’s ECT Pool and speak with a consultant to explain what kind of job you are looking for (and where) and highlight what’s important to you. They will then do the legwork for you and will speak to suitable schools on your behalf.
Let’s take Protocol Education, for example. One of our consultants will get to know you in detail, your skills, your experience, what makes you stand out. Instead of having to rewrite your applications for each specific job time and time again, the agency will become the voice of your application. They will speak to the school on your behalf and try and arrange an interview for you.
Protocol Education can also give you some tips on how to deal with interviews, as well as a little insider knowledge on what’s important to that school and what to highlight in your replies.
Our advice would be to give all these options a try. But remember - an agency’s relationships with schools mean they quite often have a heads up about jobs before they’re even advertised.
When choosing your agency, make sure you have a look at what else they have to offer too. Do they help you out throughout the year? Do they provide extra support and training? Protocol Education’s partnership with New Skills Academy gives registered educators access to a raft of online career development resources. Make sure you choose your agency based not just on who can find you the ECT job, but who’ll be with you for the long haul through the year.