When applying for a job, carefully read the requirements in the job advert. Some employers and agencies only require a CV and covering letter, but it is more usual to have to complete an application form along with a covering letter or personal statement, so we have put together some teacher job application form advice for you.
What to do before you apply
- Read the all the information you have about the job carefully before you start writing. Often schools will share the job description and person specification with applicants.
- Research the school as thoroughly as you can, looking at their website, Ofsted reports, social media and coverage in the local press.
- If at all possible, visit the school before you submit your application.
- Let your referees know that you are applying for jobs so that they are prepared.
What kind of things will be on an application form?
While the designs of application forms vary, they will all ask for much the same things;
- Personal details such as name, address etc.
- This is straightforward factual information. Make sure you have your National Insurance number and DfE Reference number.
- This usually asks for your present employment in quite a lot of detail, followed by a space to give brief details of your other employments. If you do not have a lot of teaching experience, it is quite acceptable to put other work in here. Also remember to put any relevant unpaid or voluntary experience, especially if it involves working with children or young people. If you have had a lot of jobs, you may need to continue on another sheet. Some forms also ask you to account for any gaps in your employment history.
- Read the instructions on the form, but generally this requires your most recent qualifications first.
- Professional Development
- This space is for recent relevant professional development.
- Personal Interests
- Use this section to share something specific, don’t just say I like walking and reading! If possible, link them back to your application. For example, if you are a keen gardener, how could you use that in the classroom?
- Personal (or Supporting) Statement
- This is the most important part of the form. It is your opportunity to demonstrate to the school what you have to offer.
- Unless advised otherwise, keep to two sides of A4, well spaced and in a clear, legible font and size.
- Make sure your application is tailored to the job advert or description. So, if the person specification mentions IT skills, be sure to include evidence of your IT skills in your application. If may be useful to use the person specification as a guide to the structure of your statement.
- Make sure this shows your enthusiasm for the role. Expand on any relevant work experience.
- Explain your reasons for wanting this job.
- Share your philosophy of teaching and show how it influences your practice.
- Reference current issues in education and how you have responded to them.
- Show how your experience meets the criteria in the job description or person specification. Always give specific examples. Do not say “I always do X”, try “One way in which I implemented X in my last job was…” followed by your example.
- Give details of how you have planned, assessed and evaluated and the impact that has had on your pupils.
- Outline your approach to behaviour management and classroom organisation.
- Demonstrate how you have maintained good relationships with parents and staff.
- Show how your recent training has influenced your knowledge and teaching practice.
- Mention anything that shows you are especially well suited for the role. Your research into the school will be helpful here.
- End on a positive note, but avoid emojis and overuse of exclamation marks. Your application should reflect your professionalism.
- Employment checks
- All teachers in England and Wales need to have a satisfactory enhanced DBS check (Disclosure in Scotland, Criminal Records Check in Northern Ireland). Many application forms will ask you to declare if you have any convictions or cautions that will show up on the DBS check.
- Equal opportunities and employment eligibility information
- This section is usually simple yes or no questions about disability, eligibility to work in the UK and so on. If you answer yes to any of them, you may need to supply extra information.
- Usually this requires two referees. It is generally expected that one referee should be from your current (or previous) school or training institution. The other can be another professional reference, or another person who can comment on your character and suitability for the role. However read the form carefully to check what the employer is looking for.
When you have filled in your application form, double check it for spelling and grammatical errors. Ask someone you trust to read it over as well. Make sure you keep a copy of it as you will be asked about it if you are called to interview.
What should I include on my CV?
If you are applying with a CV, make sure it covers no more than 2 sides of A4. If you need help laying it out, there are lots of templates available on the internet. Ensure that it is clear and legible; avoid fancy fonts and over complicated layouts.
Your CV should cover
- Personal Information
- This includes contact details and your DfE teacher number. Do not include your date of birth.
- Teaching Experience
- Starting with your most recent. If you have a lot of experience, you will have to summarise in order to keep it brief. If you are recently qualified, list all of your teaching placements here. Detail your responsibilities and achievements.
- Start with your teacher training and work backwards in chronological order.
- Tailor these to the job you are applying for. So if the person specification mentions a specific skill, make sure you refer to it here.
- List your achievements in and out of the classroom.
- Personal Interests
- Make these specific and where possible show how they are relevant to the application.
- Include contact details for your referees. At least one of these should be from your current or last school, or your training placement.
What should I include in a covering letter?
If you have completed an application form with a personal or supporting statement, your covering letter only needs to be very brief.
If however you are applying for a job with a CV and covering letter, it takes the place of the personal statement and is your main chance to “sell” yourself to the school. See the section on the personal or supporting statement above for what to include.