Returning to teaching?

Published on 28 November 2016 to Returning to teaching

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There is a natural nervousness about the prospect of returning to teaching when you have been away from the profession for some time.  However, the good news is that there is a great deal of support out there to help you get back into teaching and in terms of job prospects there has never been a better time.

Your first port of call should probably be the website ‘Get into teaching’ which has a whole section for those considering a return to teaching.  Once you have registered with them you can check a list of events for those re-joining the profession with a chance to speak to experts and receive one to one advice

Before you consider applying for any posts it would be a good idea to consider doing some voluntary work in a local school. Volunteering will help you get back into the school environment, give you the opportunity to talk to current teachers about their experiences and get up to date with the National Curriculum. A list of all Croydon schools is available on the CHTA website hereAnother advantage of undertaking this kind of voluntering is that the Headteacher may then be willing to provide you with a reference when you apply for permanent roles – speaking about your recent experience in their school.

If you feel your IT knowledge is in need of a refresh or you need to learn from scratch you can access free Functional Skills in ICT and Digital Skills qualification courses through Learndirect to get your computer skills up to date.

For further further advice, Get Into Teaching have a Freephone helpline 0800 389 2500 and an online chat service that you can contact for information and support. Don’t let lack of confidence stop you from returning to a worthwhile and fulfilling career.


Safeguarding guidance now requires that candidates for teaching jobs provide two references from their most recent jobs – including one from their current employer.  Please make sure that former and current employers are briefed and can be contacted for references – as most schools will not allow you to start without these.  It is a good idea to arrange some some transition days before you start back in a permanent role and this is best discussed with SLT at the interview stage.  This will allow you to get to know other colleagues and mean that you are more confident with the systems and procedures that the school uses prior to your starting date.

In addition, if you have been out of work for a long period, for instance if you have started a family, it is worth contacting the school you are applying at and explaining your situation.  Many schools will look at your employment history and will question what you have been doing since your last employment and it is best to be proactive about this.

For more information, visit the Department of Education website.

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