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Thread: Chances of finding a teaching position in a primary school at the moment?

  1. #1
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    Default Chances of finding a teaching position in a primary school at the moment?

    Hi everyone,

    My partner and I are making preparations to move to New Zealand later this year - I'm a kiwi (have been living in the UK for 11 years - since I was 16) and he is English, so he's in the process of getting a partnership visa. We will be moving to Auckland.

    A bit about my partner: His teaching qualification has been approved in NZ. He has had two years' teaching experience (teaching year 3-4 in an inner-city London school, and then a year doing supply/relief work in an outer borough of London). He has good qualifications (did both his PGCE and his BA at Cambridge), has excellent references, and he is sports mad and would readily help out with extra-curricular sports.

    I know there have been quite a few related questions in the past - I guess my questions relate to the job market as it stands right now. I know teachnz have now updated their site to deter overseas teachers from applying and I'm told that primary school teachers have never been in demand in New Zealand anyway, so I imagine the situation is particularly tough right now.

    Firstly, if there are any (primary) teachers out there either trying to find work, or who have found work already in New Zealand, how difficult have you found it? If you are already teaching over there, how welcoming of overseas applicants have you found your schools to be?

    Initially (last year) we were thinking of moving to Wellington and he sent out a handful of CVs then. He didn't even receive acknowledgement letters or emails, let alone rejection letters, which seemed pretty odd (as this standard here in the UK). A year on and our plans have changed - he will be looking more concertedly this time, and only in the Auckland area. Will the fact that he will have a partnership visa help him this time around?

    While I have a flight booked for November, he is nervous about coming over straight away (i.e. before he has a job offer). Is this a good strategy, or should he just take the plunge and fly out with me then? We have the option of staying with my family for a few months until we get on our feet, and he is happy to do supply work in 2013 if he can't get a permanent position.

    Sorry for the barrage of questions! I'm hoping I can extract something positive to reassure him with - he is very excited about moving to New Zealand, but after sending out those CVs to Wellington schools last year, he ended up wondering if there was any point..

    Many thanks in advance,
    Renee

  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    Hello and welcome.

    I am not at all surprised that your partner didn't get any replies when enquiring from outside the country, and with no visa. Even now when he will have a visa, he would have practically zero chance of landing a teaching job without being available to go into schools to show his face.

    The trouble is that many NZ employers are mistrustful of applicants from overseas, because so many turn out to be timewasters. People apply for a job without having researched the stringent NZ immigration laws, and so without realizing the amount of time and money it will take to obtain a visa. Or they apply without having discussed the matter with their family, who are then not in agreement to such a change in their lives. In either case, the employer, who thought he had made an appointment for someone to start in the near future, would end up with nobody to do the job, and having to start all over again.

    For this reason, many NZ employers are reluctant to deal with anyone from overseas, unless and until they have come to NZ to be interviewed, and/or have started the visa application process. Both scenarios demonstrate a commitment of time and money, and go some way to proving the candidate's serious intentions to making the move.

    And the matter of not getting any reply at all is fairly common, too - not just him. It's partly the generally laid-back attitude, and partly that there are so many applications that it would get prohibitive to react to all.

    I'm sure you'll get people in NZ telling you what they did in order to get a position in a school, later on when NZ wakes up. From memory, a lot have gone round everywhere, personally taking in their CV (a NZ-style CV, which is not like a UK one), and making a point of talking to the head and teachers, if possible, stressing all the things they'd be willing and able to do. Get him on that plane! - he can't do any of this from back in England.

    At least once he has his visa, he'll be able to take any job around to help make ends meet, and will also be legally allowed to volunteer for out-of-school activities and clubs, which will help with the networking.

  3. #3
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    @JandM Thank you so much for replying, and so thoroughly - - everything you say makes complete sense, and is just what he needed to hear ... I imagine it's even more important to see someone face-to-face when you're a primary school recruiting a male teacher! I think Mark was afraid he would get to New Zealand to discover the entire country doesn't want him, but it's a relief to know that the rejections were most likely the result of his distance and lack of visa, and were nothing personal.

    It's interesting what you say about there being a difference between NZ and UK CVs. Mark's CV is comprehensive, to say the least, and I don't think 1,500 word personal statements are very 'kiwi'.

    Thank you again - and thanks from Mark too!

  4. #4
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    You're welcome. And/But do a Search for NZ CVs - you may be surprised.

  5. #5
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    For primary and secondary being in the country seems to be a requirement to get a job in a major centre. Bring letters of reference and start ringning 'round once you're both in NZ.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Thank you @jawnbc - that's very helpful.

    Do you (or anyone else) think that November 20th is too late to be going over if he wants to find a teaching job for the new school year?

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    Not sure, to be honest. There's always mat leave replacement positions!

  8. #8
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    You have probably seen or done this but it is probably a good idea to register with a recruitment agency. Your partner would then hopefully get some daily relief work (supply teaching) which would have the double advantage of gaining experience in New Zealand and getting his face known in the system. Good for the all-important networking.

    http://www.teachnz.govt.nz/teaching-...ment-agencies/

  9. #9
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    Best way is to get your self known...go into schools, make an appointment with the Principal, take in your CV ( with a photo), volunteer in a chosen school if you can afford to......many schools only take on people they know. In short, he needs to be in NZ. Jobs are advertised from Sept/Oct so should still be some around in Nov.

    Sadly a current male teacher security issue may cloud Principals view of employing male candidates at the moment but male primary teachers are in short supply overall which hopefully will be in his favour, once this particular issue has died down.
    Good luck and keep us posted on progress.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaranths View Post
    Thank you @jawnbc - that's very helpful.

    Do you (or anyone else) think that November 20th is too late to be going over if he wants to find a teaching job for the new school year?

    Thanks again!
    November is not too late. Many teachers don't announce they are leaving until after the spring break which is sometime in November. And the new school year is not until February. Plus if you come in November, you get to enjoy summer!

    Once you are here, it is highly recommended to go into the schools you might want to work at and try to meet with the principal. This was the message for secondary and it probably is even more effective at primary.

    Another thought on why the response from afar was poor. Many schools will make very fast decisions. You have to be on the spot when the opening comes up or it goes to someone else. They don't want to wait until you can come out for an interview.
    Last edited by Millieandme; 24th August 2012 at 08:26 PM.

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