How to find an ECT Job

Written by Dan

Have you recently graduated with a PGCE or teaching degree? Are you looking for a job? If so, you’re in luck! There are many great opportunities available out there. But where do you start? How do you find the right job for you? In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks for finding an ECT job. Let’s get started!

What do you want?

While searching for the right teaching job, keep what you want in mind:

  • Location: you probably won’t want a long commute during your first year as an early career teacher (ECT)
  • Number of forms, children, and type of school
  • Which year group and Key Stage would you be in?
  • What curriculum does the school follow?
  • What was the school’s OFSTED grading and when is the next visit ?
  • What does the school feel like – listen to the teachers who already work there, what atmosphere are they creating?

Make sure you are applying to the best school for you by researching it extensively and, if possible, visiting in person. Different schools have different ways of recruiting teachers, so find out about specific recruitment approaches well before you apply.

Applying for a teaching job in a school in England

There are five primary methods of applying for a teaching job in England:

  • Independent School Adverts: These adverts will be sent out by schools that are not affiliated with any academies. They will create their own advert, and job description and post the advert on local authority websites. Most schools begin advertising teaching positions in January, with the majority of postings appearing between February and June.
  • Schemes and Databases: If you’re interested in working for a primary school, you can register with your local area’s education authority. Once registered, you’ll be able to fill out a single application form that will then be sent to schools with opportunities that match your interests and qualifications. Registrations usually open in the autumn; however, it’s best to check with your local authority for specific dates.
  • Teaching Pool: These are mostly used by primary schools as well. These work similarly to registration schemes, but in addition to the central application form, you may also complete the selection process centrally. Usually, applicants will gather together for one day on lesson observations with multiple members of SLT from different schools there to observe. Schools can then select applicants to interview from the available, approved list. Most pool applications are for primary school opportunities. Dates for Applications vary so check with your relevant Local Authority (LA).
  • Speculative emails: In this situation, you will send in an application, or CV to a school even though a job advert may not be online. This will really depend on the needs of the school and how much experience you have as a candidate. If you have some extra years of experience as a teaching assistant or as a cover supervisor then it will help your application look more appealing. You’re more likely to land a job if you have connections at the school and if there is a teacher shortage in that area.
  • Recruitment Agencies: More and more teaching applications are processed by agencies, which also cover positions for permanent early career teachers (ECT). If you want to register with an agency, usually the first step is sending in an application form or CV. After that, you’ll have a meeting with a recruitment consultant.

Local Authorities

Local Authorities are very useful for prospective teachers because they provide several ways you can find a school that suits you. Things to consider:

  • The recruitment process for teachers can be different depending on where you are in the UK. To make sure you’re getting accurate information, reach out and contact local education authorities directly to ask about current opportunities.
  • Many local authorities (LAs) have teacher recruitment pages for ECT posts on their websites.
  • Some LAs release regular vacancy lists and some have recruitment pamphlets.
  • Attending open days: Some Local Authorities hold open days (usually in the spring and for primary teaching only) so applicants can talk to several schools in the area at the same time. These provide an opportunity to find out more about schools and their requirements. The day may also include a selection interview. In some cases, you will only receive an invitation to an open day after submitting an application

Online Advertisements

There are many ways to find teaching jobs online:

  • ETeach is a website that advertises vacancies and also has a job alert service.
  • Tes Jobs and The Guardian Jobs both have job alert services where you can sign up to receive emails about new positions, and you can also upload your CV or create a profile on their websites.
  • Another option is cultural or religious newspapers – these might carry advertisements for teaching positions, especially in faith-based schools.

Extra Options:

  • The teaching vacancies are always updated on the GOV.UK website so that schools can post their openings for free.
  • Large school groups that control academies and some free schools will often advertise jobs on their websites; see Tes for a list of academies.
  • ECTs can find agencies that will help them get a permanent, temporary, or supply job by looking in the member directory of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. Some notable options include Hays Education, Eteach, CER, and FE Jobs.
  • The university careers service or education department may have an online jobs board with other local sources of opportunities. The careers service will also be able to advise you on these options.


What is classed as an early career teacher?

‘Early career teachers’ (ECTs) are those who start induction after 1 September 2021. ECTs have a longer induction, spanning over 2 school years. During this time, they gain access to

-a 2-year training programme that follows the early career framework

What are the benefits of an ECT job?

The benefits of an ECT job can include a lower workload, more support from colleagues, and the opportunity to learn from more experienced teachers.

What is the difference between an ECT job and a regular teaching job?

The main difference between an ECT job and a regular teaching job is the amount of experience the teacher has. ECTs have less experience than regular teachers, so they may have a lower workload and more support from colleagues.

What are some ways to find an ECT job?

Some ways to find an ECT job include using recruitment agencies, Local Authorities, online advertisements, and university careers services.

Does Ofsted observe early career teachers?

Yes, early career teachers can be observed by Ofsted during their induction period.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

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