Should I consider moving to a new location for my NQT year?

It is often a question that I get asked and there really is no black and white answer that I can give…so here’s what you need to consider.

In what circumstances would this be considered?

  • You are ready to leave home and start your career in a new and exciting place
  • There is a shortage of vacant posts in your own home area
  • You have decided to stay in the place (city / town ) where you went to college or University and not return home.

The flip side would be – why do you wish to return or stay in your own home town / area?

  • You do not feel ready or confident enough to leave home or start in a new location – this is not a criticism but it is a personal decision to stay or to leave and decisions can be made whenever you feel ready.
  • You already have a family or relationship and as such cannot, or do not, wish to move
  • You really like and wish to return to your home location

With these in mind let’s consider situations that may occur.

Situation 1 – You wish to return home and there are a shortage of jobs or you are unable to get a full time job.

Solution –

  • You have the choice of applying for a part time post – which still means you can start your NQT year but it will take longer
  • You can go on supply which enables you to get to know schools in your area (and this may help when they have vacancies). If the supply is long term – over a term then this can be counted as part of your NQT year – but if not then you are getting experience and being paid. But do remember you can only do 5 years on supply without completing your NQT year.

Situation 2 – You wish to return home but are aiming for your independence in the future.

Solution –

  • This really depends on how you feel about things personally. In this situation you have the support and help of family but perhaps in the future are preparing to strike out on your own and become independent.
  • However there is also something else to consider here and that is that you are not the same person that you were when you went away (if that’s the case) to study. The situation cannot be the same as previously. You have a different job / workload and responsibilities and in many cases the friends you had previously will have also moved away – basically it’s not the same as it was and to try to re-create the past is a mistake. (That’s why moving back into  your parents home often causes problems!)
  • If you can get a job in your home location then things have worked out well.
  • But the long and short of it is that you are within an area that you know and with family support.

Situation 3There are few or no vacancies in your home location and you feel you should move to a new location to work.

Solution – 

  • This really is a personal decision that only you can make. If you have the confidence to make the change then it is something well worth considering if your options  are limited on returning home.
  • There really are plenty of job vacancies and some great schools in different areas of the country although consideration needs to be given to the cost of accommodation
  • It is about starting again, not only with work but also in making friends and a social life. The usual routes of sports teams / clubs are easy to get involved with but there are always plenty of alternatives that can be followed up (most are listed in local libraries). You will need to strike some sort of work / life balance although this you will find to be limited during this year.
  • You should realise that your NQT year can be challenging and it is vital that you get a supportive and well organised school. In changing locations you will not have that “immediate” family support that you would have if you lived at home but with a little resilience (and modern tech) you will find that people are always there to help and encourage you and help with any questions or problems you may have….this of course includes our NQT Facebook group.

In conclusion

No one can really advise you on the rights or wrongs of each option. It really does depend on you as a person and what would suit you best at this particular point in your life and also career.

For some people they will happily strike out into new areas and are confident in themselves to manage the change. However for others this may be a more gradual process and returning either home or to the home location will be the best decision to make at the time.

One of the great things about teaching is that the job opportunities are always out there. Yes, certain areas and locations may be at times restricted but the world of teaching is wide and accommodating and whatever situation you may find yourself there will always be something out there that can be found.

Whatever you choose to do and wherever you choose to be, Primary practice will be here to help and advise –  good luck in your search.


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