Congratulations! You have finished your teacher training and are ready to tackle your first teaching role as an ECT. As an Early Career Teacher (ECT) you will be keen to find the right school and teaching role to start the first steps of your career in education. As we approach the end of the summer term, however, you may be beginning to feel a sense of urgency if you haven’t managed to find your perfect Early Career Teaching job just yet.
That said, don’t panic! There is still time to secure a teaching job for this September.
Read on to find out some of the options you still have to help you get that ECT teaching role.
Don't give up. Schools are dynamic places and plans change all the time, keep your eyes open for last-minute teaching jobs being advertised online. Regularly check national teacher vacancy pages, local authority teacher recruitment pages and Multi Academy Trusts' teacher vacancies on their own websites. New teacher jobs, suitable for ECTs, can be posted right up until the last week of term; it’s not unheard of for schools to interview for roles over the summer holidays if they are in urgent need of a teacher to fill a position.
As an Early Career Teacher looking to secure a role, you are in a great position being able to start immediately, without a resignation period. This puts you at the front of the field of applicants for a last-minute post with a September start date.
If you haven’t already, then consider supply work in preparation for September. Supply teachers enjoy the benefit of getting to know many schools, how they work and, importantly, their Headteachers and Senior Leadership Teams.
Not only will supply teaching roles help build up your teaching experience and add to your CV, they can also lead to long-term, or even a permanent position. You will be the first to hear about any jobs they may have coming up and will already be known to the Senior Leadership Team.
But be careful – supply agencies are often not transparent with their pay. Often, schools are charged extortionate fees while you're paid the minimum. You can avoid this by cutting out agencies with Zen Educate, where you can find great supply teaching jobs in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and more.
You may have your heart set on a job locally, but it is worth considering casting the net a little further afield or even internationally. How about a stint teaching abroad? You can even complete your Early Career Teacher induction abroad if you are teaching in a qualifying Council of British International Schools (CoBIS) school meaning you can return to the UK later, fully qualified and with a wealth of unique teaching (and life) experience.
Having spent a considerable amount of time and effort in achieving QTS you may have your heart set on a conventional teaching job as your first ECT role. However, don’t write off the idea of working in teaching or education in another capacity. For example, explore the idea of tutoring. Tutoring will provide you with a source of income while also building up alternative teaching experience that can help with applying for teaching vacancies.
Alternatively, you may wish to look into Teaching Assistant roles. This way you will still be working in a school, supporting children and young people, gaining valuable educational experience and you never know what doors this may open for you in the future.
Finally, don’t let the stress get to you. You may desperately want to get the September teaching job and begin your Early Career Teacher induction but there is no need to rush. Once you have gained QTS there is no time limit for completing your ECT induction, the only condition is that you cannot carry out short-term supply work for more than five years, giving you plenty of time to relax and find the job that is ideal for you.
Take time to apply for the jobs that are right for you, make sure your CV is up to date and your covering letter is tailored to the school and job you are applying for and finally, do not give up hope, your ideal Early Career Teacher role is out there.