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Looking for your first teaching job can be stressful and a bit daunting, but don’t worry there is plenty of help and support available to get you to that first post! If you are worried and would like to speak to someone about your options or get you CV, application form or statement checked over just email careers@cumbria.ac.uk and we will arrange an appointment to see you.

Primary and secondary teaching careers

Working alongside the Education lecturers, we run sessions for trainee teachers on job search skills. Here are some useful links provided by our Careers Advisers to help NQTs find induction posts or useful alternatives.

A number of vacancies are notified to us directly and you can register to search them on our online job shop.

You should be able to find interactive materials on Finding Teaching Vacancies and a Personal Statements Workshop on your PGCE or QTS Year 3/4 Blackboard site.

Early years teaching careers

Early years specialists have some extra career options in the pre-school sector besides teaching posts at Foundation or Key Stage 1.  Some of the main extra alternatives are:

Teaching in a Local Authority nursery school

Most nurseries and reception classes are attached to primary schools, but some are separate. When applying for nursery posts, you can use the same basic approach as when applying for primary posts, but with reference to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum requirements. Teamwork and special educational needs are two themes that are often extremely important when applying for teaching posts in nurseries.

Children's centres

Children's centres provide a one-stop shop for families with a child under five in socially deprived areas, offering healthcare, early years education, wrap-around care i.e. 8am – 6pm, training and job support for parents. Exact provision will vary a good deal from place to place.

Working in Children's Centres is not as well paid as teaching and has specific requirements – in particular skills and experience in leadership/management, work with children under three years including babies, multi-agency working, work with families and understanding of social as well as educational issues.

Typical job roles include centre manager, childcare quality manager, nursery education officer.

Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) sector

The PVI sector includes private nurseries as well as national charities. Opportunities are more level 3 roles than level 6 with consequent pay levels and there can be problems organising an NQT year for teaching posts. However, there is a national initiative to upgrade the standards of PVI provision.

Registered childminder

Although an unpopular choice with some students, all childminders are now registered with/inspected by OFSTED and must plan and deliver the Foundation stage. Childminding can be an option for a qualified teacher wanting to work from home and provides an opportunity to start up your own business.

Special Educational Needs

This includes portage and carework functions as well as the possibility of becoming an SEN Teacher, usually after gaining some initial teaching experience. Early years training/experience is an advantage for roles within Special Needs Education due to the amount of expertise in child development involved.

Other opportunities

These include:

  • Mentoring and assessing for NVQs in Childcare
  • Working abroad
  • Educational psychology and educational welfare

Vacancy advertisements

As well as PVI sector jobs in the local press, early years vacancies can be found in in Nursery World and Early Years Educator.  Links to these publications and other early years information are available. 

Useful links

Looking for work

Prospects website - Education community

Advice on getting a teaching job

Listing of teaching careers fairs

Alternative Education Systems and jobs

Getting a Teaching Job

Routes into teaching

Training to teach in the FE sector

Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers

National Union of Teachers - Guide to induction

Working in other parts of the UK

Department for Education of Northern Ireland - for guidance for applying for posts.

Northern Ireland Education Library Boards - to subscribe to job vacancies notices

Northern Ireland Substitute Teacher register

Teaching in Northern Ireland

General Teaching Council for Scotland

Scottish Curriculum for excellence

Teaching in Scotland

Republic of Ireland Department for Education and Skills

Education jobs in the Republic of Ireland

Teaching in Wales