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What do teachers really look for in a job?

Jobs in schools often tend to go in cycles, coinciding with term times though they do advertise throughout the year

As a teacher looking to make a career move, there are plenty of factors that will influence your choices, not just pay. A recent survey conducted by specialist recruiter Randstad has found that location is the most important aspect with 72% giving it a top billing closely followed by 71% who consider work/life balance to be one of the key deciding factors. Strong leadership also plays a big part in how attractive a position is whilst only 57% would consider salary a deciding factor.

What should you consider when you look for your next role?

So if you’re a teacher and you’re thinking about switching roles, its therefore important to begin your search early. Jobs in schools often tend to go in cycles, coinciding with term times though they do advertise throughout the year. However, for the more senior positions, especially head teacher posts, they can be advertised a year in advance so you need to be organised and patient as opportunities are likely to be few and far between.

If you want the pick of the roles, then have your CV and covering letter ready to go as soon as you have decided to make the move. Sign up with recruitment agencies and look regularly at local education authority websites in areas that you want to work.

You should also think about what you really want from your move. As Randstad’s survey showed, work/life balance and location are both important so you might want to think about getting a job nearby so you spend less time commuting, especially during busy school run hours.

An interview scenario is likely to give you the best opportunity to weigh up things like flexible working, management support, class sizes and work load. You can also get a good feel for the school culture and atmosphere as well as learn more about promotional prospects, training and leadership opportunities.

It’s also a good idea to look at the school’s website and see what impression it gives off. Whether it’s on forums, social media or by reading press releases and news stories, assessing the school’s online reputation is important and you’re likely to get a much more rounded perspective on things like management hierarchy and any recent successes or achievements.

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