Personal Statement

Please take time to read the following information which is designed to help you to write your personal statement effectively

  1. Remember, the function of the personal statement is to secure the interview for you.
  2. Apply as early as possible – it takes time to get the references, for UCAS to complete their checks etc., so try not to leave it to the very last minute.
  3. Be clear – don’t make assumptions about the reader’s knowledge; sometimes when there’s a pile of forms to read and only a short time to do it, it is easy to reject an application for not meeting one of the entry criteria, even when the candidate does actually meet them but just hasn’t made it obvious.
  4. Wring value out of every sentence you put in, cut the waffle.
  5. Make a list of the points you wish to cover, make sure that you cover them all.
  6. Refer to the Teachers’ Standards as you plan. You don’t need to mention the Standards explicitly but you do need to ensure that you have addressed as many of them as you can (e.g. I volunteer at my local homeless shelter once a month tells us that you are referencing Part 2 or I coach adult swimming classes from non-swimmers through to Bronze medal, tells us you are referencing Standards 1,2, 4 & 5)
  7. Use concrete examples. If you did something, say exactly what you did (e.g. As a TA I have supported children to develop a range of skills in mathematics. I used a cookery lesson to teach my Y5 pupils about weighing and measuring and have taught volume and capacity to Y1 pupils as part of a topic on looking after our fish).
  8. Say what you learned (e.g. Whilst observing in a Y3 class, I was impressed at the way the pupils responded to the Learning Objectives. I understand how important it is to make these explicit as it helps the children to XXXXX)
  9. Broadly, the statement should cover these areas:
    1. why you want to become a teacher and, for School Direct, why you want to work in a particular school or area;
    2. your skills, knowledge and experience which are directly relevant to the post, and what they will enable you to offer a school
    3. your philosophy of education – what it’s all about (and this might be where you want to include your thoughts on things like inclusion);
    4. what other transferable skills, knowledge and experience you can offer, including extra-curricular.
  10. Try to include something ‘desirable’ – that little something which will make your application stand out e.g.  Willing and able to coach the school football or netball team?
  11. Internal structure: use three or four main sections, e.g.,
    1. Current and recent experience: Say what you are doing, but in a structured fashion: school experience, work experience, transferable skills, extra-curricular, why you are ready/able for teaching.
    2. Priorities: What you include will indicate what you see as the priorities for teaching so your statement must explain to the reader how you would you fulfil these. This is your chance to show them that the school or provider needs you.
    3. Other achievements relevant to the post: Responsibilities/ contributions in previous posts; any outside activities that show skills relevant to teaching and managing children and colleagues; any specific training done

Final dos and don’ts

Don’t:

  • Go over the word or line limit – the form will just cut you off mid-sentence

Do:

  • Keep a copy of your application form – you will be asked questions based on it at interview
  • Draft your statement on Word first then cut and paste
  • Proof read very carefully – errors in written English are frowned upon
  • Get someone else to read over your form before you press send

Good Luck!