How can I get experience of working in a school?

If you think you’d like to work in a school but don’t have recent experience, you could start by arranging a visit to observe at a local school or offering to work as a volunteer to get the chance to decide which role interests you most.

If you or your friends and relatives have children, the school they go to is an ideal place to start. Or you could find out about other schools in your area on the school finder website (England). This allows you to search for schools in your area using your postcode. You could also find out about schools in your area by going to your local council's website. 

If you already know the school you could start by having an informal chat with your child’s teacher or the head teacher. Otherwise, write a letter addressed to the head teacher which explains why you are looking for voluntary work and mention something specific about the school that appeals to you (visit the school website to help you or read the Ofsted report). State when and for how long you can volunteer. Also write about your skills and experience. If you speak different languages, for example, that could be very useful to the school. It may be that the knowledge and skills you’ve gained in your current or previous roles may be relevant to particular roles within the school workforce so you may also want to include your CV.

If the school offer to meet with you, think of it like a job interview. You can wear a suit or smart clothes to make a good impression in case the school has a dress code. Ask about the school’s behaviour policy, dress code, what time classes start and when you would be expected to start and finish each day