With the pool, you make one application and have one interview, and if accepted could be offered a job in any of our group of schools. Open the headers below for more information on the various stages of the process.
First, you fill in the application form and send it in to me by the deadline, Feb 23rd. Email me through the Contact Us page to request a copy of the form and guidance, or download a copy from the box above. When you submit the form, you should also indicate your preferred year group for the interview. I would suggest this should be the year group you feel most confident with teaching – it will not influence which Key Stage you hope to be teaching in for your NQT year. We just want to see you teaching at your best, so this will probably reflect the year group you are in for your current or most recent placement. Please tell me which year group you want to be observed teaching in your covering email when you send in your application.
I expect to be able to confirm whether you have an interview the next working day after the deadline, and the date and venue within the following week. Interviews will then be held as soon as possible during March.
There are three parts to the interview process, which will look like this:
You'll teach a 30-minute lesson, for which the brief is to have a focus on speaking and listening. It’s as simple as that! It could be anything – most candidates seem to think that speaking and listening is going to mean literacy or PSHCE, but actually it could be anything, like science, or maths, or humanities – you have scope to be creative. There will be two observers for the lesson, who will be heads or deputies from schools that are participating in the pool. Remember to let me know which year group you want to teach - you are allowed to choose your preference.
You'll then complete a writing task, which is basically just to check that you can spell, use apostrophes correctly etc, and that we can read your writing.
Finally, there’s the interview, where you'll be faced with the fearsome prospect of me, flanked by two headteachers, while we interrogate you about all the usual topics. Once your interview is over, you’ll be free to leave. On each day, we'll try to arrange the interviews so that the candidates with the longest journeys finish first, though obviously how quickly you can get away will depend on the mix of candidates for the day.
Obviously, we won’t be in a position to confirm outcomes until we have completed all the interviews, but if you are successful, then your details will be placed on a list which will be emailed to all the heads. They'll then contact you directly to invite you in for a look round their schools. If you’re towards the top of the list, this will happen pretty quickly – you may find three or four schools scrambling to get at you the moment the list is sent out – but don’t panic if it takes a week or two for the phone to ring, everybody that is accepted onto the list will be offered a job in one of the schools.
The protocol then is that, if you are invited into a school, it is for an informal chat with the head (and, probably, deputy) and a walk round the school. If the chemistry feels right, the head will then offer you the job. You are at liberty to ask to sleep on the decision, and in fact you’ll probably want to ask for thinking time if you have another school visit lined up, which is not unusual, but you should communicate your decision, either way, to the school by first thing the next morning. You're free to decline an offer and if you do, you then remain in the pool for the next school that comes along. The only thing which is not acceptable is to accept an offer and then renege on it later – but to put it in context, you wouldn’t like it if a school offered you a job and then came along a month or so later and said ‘sorry, we’ve changed our minds’, would you?
The schools are mostly in Luton, but we currently have one school in Aylesbury and another two in Dunstable.
If you're unsuccessful in the pool interview, this does not close the door as far as our group of schools is concerned. We have had a number of candidates over the years whose pool interview didn’t got to plan – often because it was their first interview, and nerves got in the way – but you can re-apply, and your application will then be passed to the schools once all the pool candidates have been placed. Each school would then conduct their own interview process, but a good number of candidates have succeeded at the second or third attempt.