Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Term-time jobs - a headmaster's view

T

erm-time jobs are massively attractive to women running a home and raising children. That is why whenever they are advertised they attract a lot of applicants.

Chris Stafford, headteacher
of Monkton Combe Prep 
But did you know there are many more jobs available in schools other than midday assistants or teachers’ assistants, neither of which have attractive salaries. 

If you are looking for a bigger salary, unless you are a teacher looking to resume your career, you may not have thought the skills you spent years acquiring might have a use in a school. Let me put you straight!

I spoke to the headmaster of a fee-paying school in Bath, Chris Stafford, who is head of Monkton Combe Prep School. He says the school, which is run in connection with Monkton’s senior school situated on another site nearby, is always on the lookout for good staff.

Aside from the obvious jobs such as teachers, midday assistants and teachers’ assistants there are also roles that include marketing professionals, financial professionals, purchasing managers, technicians and ledger book-keepers to name just a few.

He said there are part-time and full-time jobs available but the vast majority of jobs are, indeed, for term-times only. So how do you obtain one of these jobs?

Mr Stafford said: “I get a lot of unsolicited applications, which I file away, and if a classroom assistant’s job becomes available that is the first place I look. In fact I look into these files a lot.

“I always have to advertise the job on our website and sometimes I’ll advertise in the local press but I find more and more people are trawling through websites such as ours looking for jobs of this nature.”

He said volunteering at a school is always a good way to get known. “Volunteering is often something that schools look upon favourably. This does two things: a) it enables the person to add constructively to the CV and b) gives a foot in the door should a post crop up, especially if they are volunteering at the time.

“Also, most heads or HR managers will happily glance over a CV and give helpful advice re content, shape etc, which is well worth doing.

“CVs are essential but make sure you explain any gaps and I like to see a short covering letter stating the reasons for wanting a particular role. One other thing. I have a huge respect for older people who want to retrain or have managed to get qualified later in life. So that could be a mother with grown-up children. Good luck.”

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