How to get a job in EFL – applying

Once you’ve got your qualification, it’s time to find a job.

If you aren’t lucky enough to receive an offer from the school you train with right away, it’s worth asking your trainers if they know of any opportunities coming up. It shows a bit of gumption, and they may well know of positions coming up in the future or in other schools.

In the meantime, make sure your CV is up to date, with relevant references, no gaps and the appropriate certificates at hand.

DBS checking

You’ll also need an up-to-date DBS (formerly CRB) check. If you are not familiar with it, the Disclosure and Barring Service is a system by which employers can check whether there is anything on police records which would make a candidate unsuitable.

Here’s what you might need to know:

  • Valid for 3 years
  • Enhanced check costs around £45-50
  • Some employers will pay; others will expect you to, or will ask you to pay half

Remember to register for the Update Service. This has to be done within 19 days of the certificate being issued, but you can also register while your check is in progress. It has the advantage of making your DBS transferrable between different schools. This costs £13 a year, but it’s a small cost for the benefit of not having to go through the process again with your next employer.


How to apply

There are three main options:

  1. Online adverts

Many schools advertise for teachers in busier times. These can be found in lots of places, but is probably the most well-known.

  1. In person

Feel free to pop into schools with your CV; but if you do, make sure you look employable and don’t go in when it’s really busy. Early afternoons are generally better than mornings, midweeks better than Mondays.

  1. Via email

Look for schools in your area – they’ll be advertising for students at the very least. Email them your CV and a short covering letter.

At Sussex DoSA, we’ve made this easy for you with our list of member organisations.


When to apply

The peak times for UK schools are Easter and summer, often with an extra burst of group work in autumn. Although CVs are kept on file and a particularly good application may be remembered when a vacancy is upcoming, attempts to get a position in the months immediately before these busy periods are much more likely to be successful.


by James Malplaquet