Do Older Teachers Get Hired

Do Older UK Teachers Get Hired at Primary & Secondary School

Schools around the UK have long serving as well as recently employed older teachers who teach nursery, primary & secondary level at private independent and state schools.

Mature qualified school teachers and people training bring a wealth of personal, social, educational & work experience that’s useful for pupils learning and school development.

Being a vastly older teacher with 15-20 years of experience means you could be disadvantaged when looking for a new UK school teaching job as you are older and expensive to recruit.

Secondary & primary schools do continue to employ older teachers 40s, 50-55s + that are fully qualified and for teacher training. Budget constraints mean a school may employ teachers with less experience on a lower MPS salary. School hiring teacher’s age preference is younger for certain subjects, (not discrimination), for long term teaching & learning stability and continuity.

Older teachers making themselves more employable

A qualified UK teacher that’s older can easily be offered a teaching job by highlighting the qualities you bring to teaching & the specific role you’re apply. For most school subjects your never to old to be a UK teacher, expect physical education and dance & drama, which takes more physical excursion than classroom instruction.

UK secondary & primary schools are continuing to experience a shortage of classroom & head of department teachers in demand subjects and compulsory learning at 11-16 years old.

Certain UK geographical locations including London, South East England and North Scotland find it difficult to recruit & retain qualified & experienced teachers for sciences, computing and secondary maths teaching.

Older teachers that are willing & able to relocate to another part of the UK will have a better chance where there’s a shortage of teachers for the subject you teach. Certainly be prepared to apply and commute further to a school outside you’re locality as younger teachers are just employable as you.

School teacher becoming more employable

Age discrimination in teacher hiring

Think about why you are suited to the teaching role & job specification if it’s open to a new 21 year old and experienced job applicant for a school class teacher responsible role.

Curriculum vitae: Highlight past experience, but also how you are current in teaching & learning, strategies and clearly show continued professional development all matching the role. Nowadays all teachers require up to date educational keywords on a job application form and used during interview.

Too expensive to hire: A school teacher at the top of the main pay scale or on UPS 1-3 is way more expensive that a lower salary teacher that’s on M4 with a few successful classroom teaching years. All schools have a budget for salaries and many older teachers on UPS 2 for example at the same school is unaffordable.

Out of touch & date teaching methods: Teaching the same subject for many years can breed complacency, and thinking a why change it mentality. Head’s of department & head teachers look for you to use the latest & proven teaching methods and technology.

Using some of the latest teaching and education school jargon words also helps, even if it show you have been listening or reading to material that’s up to date. You’re showing knowledge and understanding when you use the latest educational jargon talking about the subject or school role.

Continuing in the same successful role or taking on additional school responsibilities, such as school head of year group is a good option for teacher’s aged 50-55 + as it more probable that you can stay employed until retirement at the same school.

One thing to think about is if a teacher is 2-3 years away from retirement a school may not spend much of the training & development budget for you’re CPD, opting to invest in a younger teacher.

Budget constraints employing older experienced teachers

Teacher recruitment at 50 years old

Head teachers receive an entire school budget each year to operate, which includes all teacher salaries. There’s not a sufficient amount of money available to recruit all highly experienced teachers.

A school benefits from a mix of teaching experience of educators as they bring different ideas & skills, and are not all retiring around the same time.

A school will employ and retain a mixture of older experienced teachers, newly qualified and recently entered the teaching profession with 2-5 years of experience for a balance of experienced and developing teaching staff pool.

Benefits older experienced school teachers bring

  • Wealth of past & present knowledge and experience working with other teachers.
  • Vast successful experience in the classroom and able to adapt to change quickly.
  • Can contribute to developing the subject curriculum and department.
  • Strong behaviour management strategies, especially teachers in UK secondary education.
  • An older experienced teacher can be a mentor to new teaching staff.
  • Has teaching & learning techniques able to firstly identify & motivate pupils that require encouragement or motivation.

United Kingdom head teachers for years, and continue to do so recruit the best suitable applicant for the school teaching role at primary or secondary level.

An underperforming school may employ an older highly experienced successful teacher for a specific department such as high demand maths teachers or sciences subject for 11-16 year olds if it positively benefits learning. Doing so would help raise attainment much faster & provide a much better teaching & learning experience for pupils and the school than a cheaper less experienced teacher.

Look out for job vacancies that state “Would suit an NQT” although other advertised teaching positions do state not suitable for NQT, so looking for an experienced teacher. Also, teacher job ads could state MPS salary indicating the class teacher wage being offered is on the main pay scale and not UPS for older experienced teachers.

Age discrimination in teacher hiring

United Kingdom laws are in place to specifically enforce & protect workers, people & organisations in relation to the work place and everyday UK society including a person’s age.

The Equality Act 2010 includes provisions that ban age discrimination against adults in the provision of services and public functions. The ban came into force on 1 October 2012 and it is now unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age unless”:

  • the practice is covered by an exception from the ban
  • good reason can be shown for the differential treatment (‘objective justification’)

What seems to be age discrimination may not be the case, as it could be organisational change. The Guardian listed an article about a teacher aged 60 years year’s old who was managed out of they’re school job. The teacher referred to older teachers 50+ was targeted for job termination at a state school in London.

A new headteacher at the school arrived and implemented change to teacher working practices and communication expectations between teacher and pupils.

In my time as a teacher changes happened all the time, slogans used and at times unrealistic expectations introduced for teachers to achieve that I didn’t like about teaching in UK.

Change is all part of teaching, adjusting teaching style when required and adopting new working practices. When new senior school management implements practices at a school teachers are then assessed and performance measured on new criteria they require to meet.

At times some teachers don’t change through a classroom career and for a few that don’t meet the standards of teaching expected and could result in you’re job termination as unsatisfactory teaching standard.

Education Tay
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