Making the transition to independent education

Connaught Education have worked with independent, international and SEN schools for over ten years. We have a growing number of clients that ask us to help them find the ideal candidate for a wide range of jobs. Teachers are in a shortage after all, especially good teachers.

As you can imagine we must look at somewhere near 100 CVs per day. So, if there’s one thing in this world that we like to think we can do, it’s spot a good CV. We also like to think we know what these schools are looking for, what you as a teacher should highlight on your CV, and what you should be saying an interview. Here are our top CV tips for those of you who are currently working in the state sector or starting your teacher training and want to move into the independent school sector:

Your degree – Most independent schools, especially senior schools, want highly academic staff. Generally, our clients would ask for Russell group graduates. If you went to a University overseas, do all you can in your CV to highlight how good it was. If your alma mater isn’t traditionally viewed as a “top” University but you did get a First, then make sure you stress that.

Your teaching success – grades, grades, grades! Independent schools, especially senior schools, want to see teachers that can get those A or A* star grades in abundance. If you’ve been in a school where this was unlikely, then highlight any improvement in grades you have been directly responsible for. Taking a largely failing A Level group and turning them into C or B candidates is a massive achievement: brag about it!

Extra Curricular – Highlight any way you that have helped out with the extra-curricular. If you’ve had any experience helping out with activities, then make sure your CV says so. Make sure you mention what is – sport, drama, chess club, science club, debating teams, even just holding booster revision lessons shows that you are willing to put the extra effort in on top of your job description.

Dealing with difficult parents – Make sure, either on your CV or at interview, to show that you could handle the pressures and expectations that come from independent school parents. When all is said and done, they are the people paying a considerable amount of money for their child to be taught by you. As such, whether you think it’s right or it’s wrong, they will have high expectations for you and will have opinions on your work. Independent schools want a strong teacher who can cope with this pressure and is confident and secure enough in their professional identity to trust that they know best, whilst of course being respectful to the parent’s views.

Outstanding Ofsted ratings – if you highlight one thing, make it this. Being rated Ofsted Outstanding is a huge achievement. Definitely mention it in your CV, in bold and underlined.

Above all, independent schools want to see a confident, well-rounded, self-reliant person who will be able to come in and just get on with the job. Anything you do to get this message across will only boost your application

These are my quick fire tips and I hope you have found them useful. Connaught Education try to place experienced independent school teachers, state schools teachers looking to make the move across and newly qualified teachers looking to get into the sector. If you have any specific questions, or would like to talk to us about opportunities with any of our clients, then please do get in touch!

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