Completing teaching job application forms | Oxfordshire County Council

Completing teaching job application forms

Your application form will be your first opportunity to introduce yourself to headteachers.

A good application will get you interviews that lead to job offers. You should highlight your skills, accomplishments and experience in a way that distinguishes you from the rest of the field. Ensure that you complete the form fully. Use the ‘Relevant Skills and Experience’ section of the form to your full advantage to portray yourself at your best.

Relevant skills and experience

Use this section to:

  • demonstrate how your own personal and professional experiences can help pupils and assist you in working as part of the school staff
  • outline the experience that you have gained through your teaching placements, mentioning your most successful placement
  • demonstrate your knowledge of the theory and practice of effective teaching and learning
  • demonstrate your ability to create a stimulating and safe learning environment for all pupils, detailing how you achieve this.

If there is a job specification, use it to tailor the information in this section of your application.

Essentially, you will need to make sure that you include any relevant experience, knowledge or skills obtained through previous employment, teaching practices, your course, voluntary work and interests. Always try to give practical examples to support your answers.

Structuring your relevant skills and experience statement

General advice

  • Competition for teaching posts is fierce, so make sure that you emphasise all your strengths and that you back them up with examples from your experience, both in schools and other environments.
  • Do not over-claim, as any statements you make may explored in depth during the course of the recruitment process.
  • Avoid clich├ęs - concrete examples and firm reasoning are more likely to impress headteachers.
  • Schools may receive a large volume of applications, so any originality that you can bring to your application will help you to stand out from the crowd.

Topics to explore

What influenced you to train as a teacher? This could be an opportunity to explore any relevant experience you have had outside the classroom, for example sports coaching, work with young people, volunteering, etc. as well as any work experience you undertook in schools prior to ITT.

What is it about teaching/working with young people that you have enjoyed the most so far? What do you consider to be good qualities in a teacher and how do you fulfil them? Here are some examples of what may characterise an outstanding teacher:

  • an ability to relate to young people, good interpersonal and listening skills
  • the capacity to be alert, creative, imaginative, energetic and enthusiastic
  • an ability to be adaptable and versatile
  • a sense of responsibility and reliability
  • good time management and organisational skills
  • resilience, motivation and tenacity
  • a desire for self-development

For secondary applications

  • what subject knowledge do you have and how did you gain it?
  • how does it relate to the National Curriculum?
  • incorporate formal study, work experience, volunteering and leisure activities

Work experience

Outline the work experience you have had in schools, including previous employment, voluntary work and placements you completed through ITT. What did you learn from these activities and how will this influence your work as a teacher? It may be helpful to focus on one particular aspect/lesson learned for each experience.

  • What can you offer a future employer apart from your ITT qualification and subject knowledge?
  • Do you have any skills/talents that may be useful in a school environment? For example, foreign language skills, creative talents/interests such art or drama, sports/coaching abilities, transferable skills from a previous career, etc.

Although incorporating all these topics would be useful, do ensure that your statement is not too long. Limit yourself to 1-2 typed pages and ensure that your writing is concise and to the point. Avoid any overlap and unnecessary linguistic ‘padding’.

Don't forget

The basic things matter: always check your spelling and use of grammar. Additionally, remember to draft your application first to so you can have a ‘trial run’ before you submit the final version.

Ensure that the information you provide is as up to date and relevant as possible.

Further advice

For further guidance and advice Department for Education and The Times Educational Supplement, in particular the First Appointments online publication, are very useful resources.  Hopefully this information will prove useful in structuring your application.

Last reviewed
29 July 2016
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