You’ve written the job advert, posted it and you’re waiting for a steady stream of well-qualified applicants to inundate your inbox. But as you review your inbox and as the closing date approaches, you suddenly realise you've had no applications...

It’s a common situation in schools in the UK and you are not alone. This shortage of teachers has forced schools to rely heavily on supply agencies and has left many children without a permanent teacher, a situation that is unsustainable.

When recruiting in this candidate-driven market it is important to write an engaging, clear and concise job advert that makes your school stand out from the rest. This will enable you to attract the attention of relevant candidates (even those that are passive) and get the maximum amount of interest possible. Once you’ve got the right candidates looking at it, it needs to be clear and transparent so that the people who apply know what they are applying for. That way, you are more likely to get the sort of applicant you want!

Talk as an employer - speak to and appeal to the candidate by telling them what you can offer them in terms of Continuing Professional Development, support and development, workload balance, work-life balance and that they will be able to practice great teaching.

Did you know only 12 per cent of candidates move due to salary - try to highlight what you as an employer can offer in terms of 'experience'. This will appeal directly to the candidate as it’s personal.

Here are some things to consider:

Factual Experience
  • Salary
  • Location
  • Hours
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Subject
  • Age range
  • Job title
  • Tasks
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Supportive supervision
  • Workload management / flexibility
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Reputation (Ofsted, parents, awards)
  • Team and social events
  • Unique features, interest factors
  • Impact and making a difference
  • Career progression

It sounds so simple but how is this achieved? Below are a few hints and tips on how to write a good advert:

This is a lot to take in, so we've created some example job adverts for you to use as inspiration for your own adverts.

You can also find sample recruitment packs below that put what we have talked about into practice.

Example job adverts

Recruitment packs

If you have any further questions or would like further guidance about this, or wish to talk to someone about anything to do with recruitment, please just get in touch.

Where to advertise

After considering all the aspects of your advert and putting it together the next and possibly most important thing to consider is where do you advertise it?

It is crucial that you post it where it will attract the most relevant interest. You need to think about this carefully as the cost of advertising is unfortunately never cheap. There are a multitude of sites that are available to you to advertise on but it is critical that you consider the return on any investment. With this in mind, we have provided you a short breakdown of sites we currently use that are either free or available on a pay-per-use basis: 

Department for Education - Teacher Recruitment Service

This a relatively new site which has been created by the Department for Education to help all schools recruit. It is free to use and is currently the one site that all trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers are been advised to look on. The aim is that eventually it will surpass TES as the number one teaching recruitment site.

We strongly recommend that all of your vacancies are listed on this site. We recognise that the site will take time to become the ‘go to’ site for all teacher vacancies but it will be a great tool for you in the future and hopefully remove the burdens and costs around recruiting teachers. We need to support its growth by adding all vacancies to the site.

You can find some guidance on listing vacancies on this site here.


Tes is currently the most utilised site in the teaching sector. The only drawback on it is the price. We would advise that this is utilised on very hard to fill roles in secondary schools. Due to its national reach it is good for the attraction of candidates from outside of the area.

Local authority and neighbouring local authority sites

Local authority and neighbouring local authority sites can be useful in the attraction of experienced local teachers.

For example - Doncaster Council jobs site and the Doncaster ITT Partnership.

Local partners

Talk to your local ITT’s about the possibility of them sending out your adverts to there soon to qualify teachers.

Your school website

Your school website has to be high quality - providing current and relevant information, not only for parents, but bear in mind it’s the first place perspective candidates visit when they are considering your school as a great place to work.

Have you considered a 'Work for us page'?

This should detail items like:

  • Commitments from the school around support and development;
  • Information about Continuing Professional Development and courses on offer for teachers;
  • Add a letter from the headteacher welcoming potential candidates to come in and visit your school; and
  • You could provide video snap shots from current teachers sharing their positive experiences around working at the school.

Social media

Link your social media pages on your website. Facebook and Twitter are popular within the education sector and you can create a solid network of education professionals through these sites. You should also follow other educational support organisations such as the Doncaster Opportunity Area and Department for Education - this will help you understand what networking opportunities and initiatives on offer to help promote your school.

The one place we would not advise is local printed press. With the shift to online advertisement, printed press adverts will not reach out to the wider market and you will not see a good return on the cost.

Find out how to advertise your teaching vacancies for maximum results.

Find out how to shortlist and interview effectively.

Use this timetable to manage your recruitment process effectively.

Learn about onboarding techniques to help your new teacher settle in.

Learn about the importance of safeguarding in your recruitment process.

Contact us for help with your recruitment process.