Finding the Right Job

Created on: 20 Aug 2020 | Last modified: 14 Jul 2022

Man teaching

The next challenge is finding your first teaching job.

You will no doubt give priority to seeking a teaching post that suits your circumstances – its location, whether it is full or part-time etc. In choosing the right job – you should be aware of the different types of contracts used in Scottish schools and that it is a regulated profession.

All teachers in Scotland must hold a teaching qualification and be registered by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS). Teachers who have qualified outside Scotland are not automatically allowed to teach in Scotland; they will need to apply for registration and may be asked to undertake a period of probation.

Probationary service can be undertaken in one of two ways:

  • The Teacher Induction Scheme provides a guaranteed one-year full-time probationer post for every eligible student graduating with a teaching qualification from one of Scotland’s universities.
  • The Flexible Route is a way of meeting the probationary requirement for those who have opted out of the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS), are not eligible to join the TIS, can’t commit to a full-time post, want to complete probation somewhere other than a Scottish state school, or are eligible to become fully registered in another subject or sector.

You can't apply for permanent jobs if you are not in the Teacher Induction Scheme.

Visit the GTCS website to find out more about eligibility and registration.

In Scotland you are therefore restricted to teaching posts for which your qualifications and training has given you GTCS registration for. There are however a large number of other factors to consider – age range (for primary teachers), full time or part-time contract, fixed term or open ended or supply list, location, etc.

If the job you are interested in is not advertised as full time and permanent you should check the exact nature of the contract being offered and its implications. Information about different contracts can be found on page 8. If in any doubt contact the EIS for advice.

When Should I Start Looking For My First Job?

It is often said that it is never too early to start looking for your first job in teaching.

job search

We would recommend you checking job adverts and updating your CV from the start of your probationary/ induction year.

You are guaranteed a job for your induction year, unless you are on the flexible route. Different Local Authorities appoint staff differently to their schools, and in some Local Authorities schools may appoint directly.

Find out about any ‘pool’ systems operated by local authorities where new teachers are appointed to the local authority and subsequently allocated to schools as vacancies are reported. Find out whether the local authority operates a recruitment database whereby they receive application forms and hold them on file to match against suitable vacancies when they arise.

Look at the teaching jobs sections of all the local authorities’ own websites.

For most new teachers, supply teaching will only be an option if a better post cannot be found. Remember you’ve been around education all through your training. Friends and course tutors may have contacts who inform them of vacancies that arise and be alert to job vacancies from
contacts you may make during your teaching practice.

Where are Teaching Jobs Advertised?


In Scotland, all local authority teaching jobs are advertised through

Other sources of vacancies are:

  • S1Jobs
  • Scottish Council of Independent Schools
  • Times Educational Supplement 
  • The Newspaper Society has links to local newspapers around the country. Cultural/religious newspapers often carry advertisements for teaching positions, especially in faith-based schools. 
  • Agencies - We recommend that you do not join an education agency that deals with teachers. Going to an agency may well result in you being under contractual obligation to the agencies and it will certainly cost your school money to employ you, which is not necessarily the best start to your career.


The national pay and conditions arrangements for classroom teachers in local authoritymaintained schools are set out in the statutory Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).

The EIS is the main negotiating trade union on this body representing over 80% of teachers in Scotland. We are constantly campaigning for higher pay for teachers and the reversal of any detrimental changes with threaten your pay and progression. 


Current Salary 1 April 2020

Revised Salary 1 January 2022 +1%

0 (Probationer)


















The pay scale continues to include principal teachers, depute and headteachers, as well as other allowances. The full salary scales for teachers may be found on the SNCT website.

Teachers may receive additional allowances to reflect teaching and learning responsibilities and special needs teaching involvement. Some schools may also pay recruitment and retention incentive payments, check on your local authority education website for further information. You can contact your EIS local Association or EIS Organiser if you need further information or support with this.

Probationer & New Teachers’ Pay

Teachers during their probationary period should be placed on Point 0 of the Main Grade Scale. Following full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) teachers should be moved on to Point 1 of the Main Grade Scale or to a higher point if additional salary points are awarded in accordance with SNCT agreements.


The pension scheme for Scottish teachers is called the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme and is a public sector pension ultimately backed by the UK Government. Members’ benefits and contributions are tiered depending on their salary. 

As a member of the teaching profession in Scotland, your employer will automatically opt you in the STSS.

The STSS is a defined benefit scheme and an important and valuable staff benefit for people working in the teaching profession. EIS Financial Services offer EIS members independent financial advice on pensions and other financial matters. The EIS does not recommend that you opt out of the scheme. New entrants should be aware that they may be able to transfer pension credits from another scheme into the STSS.

Employment Contracts

Whilst most teachers are seeking open-ended contracts, many teachers begin their careers on a temporary or fixed term contract.

Open-ended contracts used to be called “permanent contracts” and simply there is no end planned for that post. Open ended contracts may be full time or part-time. 

Most temporary contracts are technically fixed term contracts. A fixed term contract either terminates on a specific date, or on the completion of a specific task. They are frequently used where teachers are employed to cover maternity or adoption leave, long-term sickness absence, secondments or for posts associated with time limited funding (such as the Pupil Equity Fund).

The law provides that fixed term employees must not be treated less favourably than similar open-ended employees, i.e. they have the same employment rights eg redundancy. Fixed term contract holders usually automatically transfer to open-ended contract holders after 4 years of
continuous service.

Supply teachers are arguably on a form of fixed term contract – where the contract may be renewed on a daily or weekly basis or when the specified task ends (eg covering a sick teacher). Sometimes these are called temporary contracts.

Employment rights

It is a common misconception that teachers employed on fixed term (or temporary contracts) have the same employment rights as colleagues on permanent contracts. Regardless of whether you work on a full-time, part-time, temporary, fixed term or permanent basis, once you have completed two years of continuous service with the same employer you have the right not to be unfairly dismissed.

All employees also have the same rights against discrimination (i.e. from day one), pension rights, occupational sick pay etc.

If you are concerned or uncertain about anything set out in a contract you have been offered, please seek professional help and advice from the EIS by contacting your EIS Local Association.

Cyber Safe Employment Advice

woman using phone

If you use social networking sites, such as Facebook, be extremely vigilant. Some prospective employers will look you up, so make sure that the content does not show you in a bad light before making an employment offer. Likewise, your employer may – in certain circumstances - take disciplinary action if it finds problematic or unprofessional content on your personal social media space.


How to stay ‘cybersafe’

  • Do not publicly post information and photos about yourself, or school-related matters, that you wouldn’t want employers, prospective employers, colleagues, pupils, or parents to see;
  • Discuss expectations with friends – are you happy to be tagged in photos? 
  • Keep passwords secret and protect access to accounts; 
  • Do not befriend pupils or other members of the school community on social networking sites.

GTCS’ Code of Professionalism and Conduct (CoPAC)

The GTCS Code of Professionalism and Conduct (CoPAC) sets out key principles and values for registered teachers in Scotland.

GTCS logo

It is intended that teachers should be mindful of the Code in relation to the judgements which they will be called upon to make, both within and outwith the classroom. It is important to note that the Code speaks not only to the profession but also to members of the public about the standards of conduct and competence expected of registered teachers. 

Although the behaviours described in CoPAC may be unthinkable to the vast majority of registered teachers, the GTCS has a duty to identify them so that the boundaries of professional behaviour and conduct are clear and the trust of the public in teachers is maintained. 

In other words, inside and outside of school your behaviour must satisfy the Code as a condition of your employment and if the GTCS (after a hearing) finds that you have broken the Code then it may disbar you from teaching.