There is a real problem in Scotland at the moment with what appears to be the majority of NQTs unable to find jobs, or even short term contracts.At best you will get on the supply list of one or two councils, in fact there are lots of teachers who qualified several years ago still scrabbling around looking for work.
Being on supply is also a nightmare, if you do less than three consecutive days you’re only paid by the hour so less than six hours for a days work.(and obviously there is no work during holidays so there are months where you won’t be getting any work) Each morning you have to wake up and in the case of the two councils I know about wait for emails or texts, which you reply to.(or use an app to apply)
Some councils don’t even tell you haven’t got the job you just know you didn’t get it because you don’t get a reply.
Even councils with the app where you can see that the job has gone, the chances are there are hundreds of people chasing and you may not get any work. Since the beginning of term I’ve had precisely six days work, and one of the councils I’m on the list for I haven’t managed to get a single day.
They also appeared to pay a month in arrears so all work done in September is not paid until the end of October. Consequently having got slightly less than half a month pay at the end of August for my NQT year, I have not had any money to live on since then. The money I do get at the end of this month will not even cover my bills.
And there appears to be no discrimination between the quality of teachers, people who got excellent feedback from their NQTyear have no better chance of getting a job than those who struggled because often the schools just take the first person who replied. Indeed, in one council, a computer allocates the job so no one cares how good or bad you are or what your experience might be.
There has been some supply work and the school I was NQT in. The school has given me excellent references told me I did a great job and said they would be happy to employ me if there was a job but I don’t get the supply there because the computer has randomly allocated someone else.
So this is a warning to all of you applying for teaching in Scotland at Primary level, or who have mortgages and large financial commitments. Primary teaching is not currently a secure job and it may be sometime before you get any kind of full-time work after your NQT year.
NQTs, are a cheap way to employ someone so it is very tempting for school just to get new ones each year and let the last one go into the wilderness of supply teaching. Of course this is not best for continuity of teaching for children, but with council strapped for cash and schools, having to increase class sizes and reduce the number of teachers they employ it is the reality.
I love teaching and I’m devastated that it would appear that it may be a long time, if ever, before I get to do it properly. Ultimately, there is only so long, you can live on universal credit and the crumbs of supply.
Ps Each council has a different way of allocating jobs at the end of year, some do it completely internally, but to be honest with you, there were so few jobs advertised last year and most of them short-term contracts the chances of getting a job are pretty slim. I got a couple of interviews for short term contracts, but in both cases the jobs went to people who had four or five years experience and were already at the school. I was also told that the schools had had hundreds of applications for the jobs- in one case, 250!