Lessons in landing a teaching job

Nicola Roth (left), headteacher of Lilycroft Primary School interviews a Bradford College teaching student with a recruitment expert from Hays

Teaching students from Bradford College took lessons in landing a job by taking part in mock interviews with industry experts.

Local headteachers and recruitment specialists from Hays spent a day at the college quizzing prospective primary school teachers on their skills, ideas and experience, mimicking the kind of scenario they will face in the next few months as they seek their first teaching job.

Around 50 students who are in the final year of their teaching course and looking to start working in a school from September took the chance to practice their interview technique.

For Jamie Cunningham of Silsden, who is studying for a BA (Hons) in Primary Education, it was an eye-opening experience.

He said: “It was great to get feedback from the interviewers. I learned I need to be more specific in my answers.

“Hopefully I will get to put what I have learned into practice soon as I start to look for a job starting in September.”

Fellow student Hannah Cairns from Skipton said: “It was really useful. It was good practice. I am glad I did it.

“It felt like a genuine job interview and the feedback was constructive and very helpful.”

Among the headteachers interviewing the prospective teachers was Gaynor Kilmister, head of Lister Primary School in Manningham, Bradford, who has recruited staff as a direct result of previous events.

She said: “This is the third year I have been involved in this event and I have actually recruited from the previous two.

“I have spotted talented students and then invited them into my school and had them go through a formal recruitment process.

“Those students that we recruited are now in their Newly Qualified Teacher year and doing really well.

“It is a chance to spot talent and potential. We are looking for passion, that spark that someone has that we want to work with. A lot is about personality. They are not the finished product yet but that is not what we are looking for.”

Nicola Roth, headteacher of Lilycroft Primary School in Manningham was impressed by the candidates she saw.

She said: “We see teachers with their raw talent and passion before they have started saying what they think the headteacher wants to hear.

“That is refreshing and it is good to be able to give the students some guidance at the start of their careers that may help them land their dream job.”

Michelle Taylor, Partnership Development Manager at Bradford College, said: “It was a great exercise for our students who will be starting as Newly Qualified Teachers this September.

“There was a lot of positive feedback from the interviewers. We are very grateful to the headteachers and staff from Hays who gave up their time.”

A quarter of primary and a third of secondary Newly Qualified Teachers employed in Bradford last year trained via a Bradford College training route.

The University Centre Bradford College offers a range of teaching courses. Anyone interested in a career in teaching is encouraged to attend the college’s open day this Saturday to find out more details. The open day runs between 11am and 2pm at the David Hockney Building on Great Horton Road.