How do I get casual teaching work in the independent sector?

Compared to the government sector, getting work as a casual teacher in the non-government sector can seem quite confusing. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the non-government sector is not one single body - instead, it is made up of many different organisations that often have different policies and procedures when it comes to applying for work as a casual teacher. Read on to find out more about how to get casual work in the non-government sector.

The first - and most important thing - is to make sure that you follow the procedures that are in place for the school and the sector. If you are seeking work at a Catholic systemic school, then you will need to be registered with the head office of the sector first - for example, Sydney Catholic Schools, or Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Broken Bay. The head office will want to see copies of your qualifications, including transcripts and also your recognition by NESA that you are accredited to teach. They will most likely need certified copies of these documents. They will also want to see an up to date Working with Children Check.

Once they have sighted and approved these documents, which can take a number of weeks, they will give you a number which will allow you to work in any of the diocese’s schools. Sometimes, this is called your PIN number or your CEO PIN. Just because you’ve got the number doesn’t mean that you will automatically get casual work: it just means that you are cleared to work casually.

After that, you can then approach individual schools to work casually. I recommend approaching three or four to start off with - if you approach less than this, you might be waiting a long time, and if you approach too many, you might be stretched too thin, which will just annoy the people in the schools who try to book casuals.

I also advise casuals to do more than simply email in a CV. It’s important that your CV looks the business - make sure you put your CEO PIN on there, as well as your WWCC number, your qualifications and most importantly a contact number. You should also make it clear what days you are available to work - no one wants to get woken up at 6:00am on a day when you’re meant to be at university. However, having a good CV is only half the battle: that’s why I also recommend dropping off your CV in person. I encourage casuals to front up to the school - dressed as if they were working that day - and ask to see the person in charge of casuals. Sometimes, you won’t be able to see him or her - that’s fine, just hand over your CV and leave, but if you are able to see the person in charge, it’s a good chance to convince them why they should call you next time they need a casual teacher. You should introduce yourself, explain that you are looking for casual work, and say that you hope they will call you. This will plant your image in their mind - and hopefully that means more work for you later on.

For other systems, the system is a little bit different. For large independent schools, it’s often best to approach the school directly - there is no need to go through a head office. You should still submit a CV in person, and you should make sure that you have your documents and Working with Children Check on the CV. Sometimes, large independent schools like to interview all potential casual teachers: you should treat this as a genuine interview, as sometimes casual work might lead to other opportunities. And finally, be aware that some schools and systems are able to discriminate on the basis of the religion of the casual teacher; this means that if you don’t meet their faith requirements, you are unlikely to ever get work there. These schools have an exemption from anti-discrimination legislation, so they are legally able to do this, however unfair it may seem,.

A final point: don’t be disappointed if you haven’t heard anything for a while. Early in the term, and especially in Term 1, there are lots of casual teachers looking for work, and often not many teachers off sick. Be patient - by the time terms 2 and 3 roll around, there’s plenty of work available for casual teachers!