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The SCJ Consulting team


Newly Qualified Teachers

SCJ has a very successful and established track record in helping schools find good quality NQT's, through SCJ’s links with Universities nationally we have managed to build a solid reputation based on providing support, advice and finding the right school for NQT's.

Our unique partnership with the PiXL club has enabled SCJ Consulting to offer numerous permanent opportunities nationally to many PGCE graduates.   Graduate advice does not stop once you have secured your first teaching position, we will continually offer a careers service through your journey as a teacher.





Completing Application forms

Preparing for the Interview day

Expectations on
the Day


NQT Process

  • Position is advertised via the school or various publications: TES / Guardian / Education job board and external recruitment partner e.g.  SCJ Consulting.
  • Request or download an application form from TES/ Guardian/ School/ Recruitment Partner
  • Recommend arranging a visit – although may not be feasible (check with the school)
  • Complete the application form and covering letter / supporting statement by the closing date  - I would suggest emailing this and ask for confirmation.  If you have not received confirmation, phone the school to confirm receipt
  • Most schools will shortlist within a week of the closing date; again if you have not heard anything then we recommend contacting the school. Please be aware not all schools will send rejection letters
  • If successful, you will be contacted by the school via phone or email to give you details of either an interview or assessment day. The information will include the date/ time / lesson details and general format/ structure for the day
  • Once you have this information refer to top tips (Preparing for the Interview Day)
  • Arrive in plenty of time on the interview day. We would suggest that if you drive, you have asked in advance about the parking situation at the school. If you are taking public transport, then please ensure you have map of how to get to the school
  • Try not to be nervous and remember to smile
  • The majority of schools will let you know of the outcome on the same day, some will keep you on site or call you in the evening
  • If offered the position the expectation is you give a decision on the same day, however you are within your right to ask for a short time to consider the job offer – please note schools do need to know a decision ASAP
  • Once offered and accepted a position, you will then receive an offer letter which will be subject to satisfactory references and a clear CRB check
  • Communication with the school is encouraged thereafter and a day or more will be set up in the summer term,  prior to starting to introduce you to the team and students

Completing Application forms

The majority of school application forms are very similar and most will often provide guidance notes. Key notes to remember when completing an application form are:

  • Unless stated – Complete electronically
  • Make sure your personal details are correct especially your email and phone number.
  • Make clear your previous experience is covered with dates and no gaps in your background.
  • Detail all education including school and include summary for GCSE’s and grades for AS /A levels
  • As part of the application you will be asked to write a covering letter / supporting statement
  • If you want to speak to someone or to see an example of a covering letter then please contact us on:

Preparing for the Interview day

Don’t be nervous and remember to be yourself – the most important skill that schools look for : is how you communicate with the students and your presence in the classroom.

  • Take 2 copies of your lesson plan to give out to the observers.
  • Make sure you have all the details for the lesson - Do not be afraid to ask for additional information: SEN data/ number of pupils/ computer facility/ class list/ levels etc.
  • If you require additional resources, please ask for this before the day of the interview.
  • Make sure you have done a journey planner before setting off – give yourself an extra half hour to allow for traffic etc.  Also check for any train engineering works.  It is better to arrive 10 minutes early than late.
  • If driving ask for parking information as not all schools have visitor parking.
  • Preparing for school and interview – read the schools website and Ofsted report:
  • Identify the name of the Head Teacher / HOD (Head of Department)
  • Know the headline examination results and what exam board they are using for your subject.
  • Prepare questions that you may wish to ask on the day at the interview or whilst touring the school, this is a good opportunity to make an impression.
  • Be interested in the school, be engaging and polite.
  • Firm hand shake, eye contact and most importantly smile.
  • Interviews generally last between 25-45 minutes.
  • The questions will vary depending on the school, however it is highly likely that you will be asked questions on; about your lesson and reflecting on what went well and what you would do differently, how you showed progress, behaviour management and safeguarding.
  • Practice Interview questions making sure that you give concise answers which include relevant examples.
  • As an NQT they are not expecting you to be the finished product, however they are looking for you to have show the ability to reflect on your practice and experiences.

Competency based questions – for further information please contact:

  • Show your personality, smile and relax and give honest answers
  • If you are unsure of the question ask for it to be repeated
  • Make eye contact with the whole panel not just the one asking the questions.
  • Thank the interview panel/ Head teacher at the end of the interview .

Expectations on the Day

You will be given basic details of what to expect on the day by the school, this will usually involve:

  • Welcome – Introduction by the Leadership team
  • Tour of the school lead by the Head or students (some schools may not do this)
  • Teach a lesson – this will vary from 20 minutes to 1 hour
  • Interview – this will generally last about half an hour
  • Student panel interview
  • Some schools may ask you to do an additional task such as in-tray exercise. There isn’t much you can do to prepare for this as could involve a variety of tasks.

Interview Guidance

Feedback we get from Head Teacher’s is that the interview is often the area that can let PGCE students down.                                                                                                                                                                                               

  • Schools are looking for the ability to give clear and concise answers that are backed up with examples.
  • Some of the best answers to questions are when you admit mistakes / reflection.
  • Self-analysis and reflection is critical in teaching and a key skill.

DfE Competencies are:

1.    Suitability to the role

2.    School and Staff

3.    Teaching and Learning

4.    Ensuring Progress

5.    Behaviour Management

6.    Career Development

For a sample covering letter and interview questions please contact


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LOCATION UK International Both