Schoolzone blog: researching the school

Researching the school
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8 April 2015

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You’ve seen a job…what next?

  • Have a good look at the job.
  • Is it a main-scale job?
  • Is it a state or independent school?
  • Does the school welcome NQT applications for this particular job?
  • Once you are happy that it is a goer start to put your application together.


If there is a person specification in the job details go through it carefully and highlight the areas that you think you cover. Start to think of examples

Look carefully at the wording of the advert. These are the words or themes that you will need to cover in your application

Look carefully at the school’s website. Look at your department or Key Stage area and make a note of things that might be relevant. For example if the school runs a trip to some local castle perhaps you could mention this in your letter. Try to find out about the extra-curricular provision offered in the school. It might be that you could deliberately look to compliment some area of the school’s work. On a broader level try to get a sense of the ethos of the school. This will be particularly important at interview.

A headhunter once told me that the only worthwhile aspect of an application that's worth considering is previous experience as this shows what you're capable of, not what you claim to be good at. So, when you're researching the school, make a note of anything that your experience will contribute to and try to work these into your letter. Prioritise those which are most relevant to the post you're applying for and phrase the letter to show that you understand what value your experience will bring - but don't lay it on too think.

If I'm a head who has just read your letter, you want me to be thinking, this person sounds intelligent, enthusiastic and relevant to our needs. If you've managed to convince me of those three - you'll almost certainly get an interview.





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