When do you move on from your first school? This is open to some hot debate.  The general advice is you should stay in your first school at least two years and that after 5 years you probably should have started looking for your second teaching job.  If you aspire for senior leadership you need to have experience of at least two different schools – preferably schools with different catchment and separate challenges.

In core subjects, you can move for promotion quite early on, as there are second in department roles. The school will be looking for anywhere from three years of experience.  If you are particularly talented or you are on a fast-track programme, you might find two years to be enough experience for second in charge posts.  Other curriculum areas tend to be a little quirkier – some subjects have only one teacher, so you are default in charge – some are part of a bigger faculty and you are looking at a lot of experience for this sort of role.

There are roles in schools that offer TLR points for other posts, such as Literacy, extra-curricular, teaching and learning ambassadors, etc. These roles are useful means of building your CV and some schools might expect you to take these on without additional pay.  Think carefully about how you can make your promotion letter stand out – maybe an unpaid position is poor in the short term but an excellent long term investment.

Before you make your move, consider your career plan.  Consider where you want to be in 3 years from that point, in five years and in 10 years.  The move to the second school might be out of practicality – because of a change in your life or because of difficulties at the first school.  But, if you are moving to advance your career then you need to make a move that shows intent.  If you are aware of where you want to go in your career, it makes you look switched on in interview, if nothing else!