What can I do if I am prevented from applying to a teaching job?


You might be applying for a new position at your current school. What happens if your line manager says you can’t apply for the role? You might believe you have the experience and skills for the position so should be allowed to apply.

In this article, we look at what you can do if you are prevented from applying for a position and how to challenge the decision if you believe your school are breaking discrimination law.

What can I do if I am prevented from applying for a teaching job?

ACAS explains, if you’re interested in applying for a job and your school says that you cannot, you can ask them to tell you the reasons why. 

You can also ask them to share with you any formal rules they might have (for example, a recruitment policy).

Your school does not have to give you this information. However, it’s a good idea they do, so that they can demonstrate that they’re being open in the way they recruit people.

You might be able to challenge their decision if you believe they are:

  • Breaking discrimination law, for example they have said you cannot apply for the job because of your sex or race
  • Not keeping to a recruitment policy, or any other rules, consistently – for example, you’re told the job requires a degree that you do not have, but they then let someone else without this degree to apply

If you are an Edapt subscriber and you believe you have been discriminated against you can contact us for further support and advice.

What can I do if I applied for a job but did not get it? 

If you applied for a job and did not get it, you can your school to:

  • Tell you the reasons why
  • Share with you any formal rules – for example, a school recruitment policy, or rules it has on recruiting for that role – employers do not have to have these formal rules
  • Give you any other feedback, for example how you could have done better in the job interview

Your school does not have to give you this information. But it’s a good idea that they do, so that:

  • You know what to do differently with your future job applications
  • They show they’re open in how they make these decisions
  • They keep a good relationship with you, if you already work for them

If a school has viewed your social media profile

If a school has viewed your social media profile before they made a decision related to hiring you (such as choosing whether or not to interview you), they could have discriminated against you.

This is because they may have formed an opinion that relates to a protected characteristic, such as disability or race, or an opinion that’s unrelated to your ability to do the job.


You’ve applied for a teaching job at a new school. The employer happens to come across your profile on Facebook and discovers a photo that confirms your race. It could be that they’ve unintentionally made up their mind about you before interviewing you for the job.

The employer can make a decision based on your social media profile if they can prove it’s crucial to the job requirements.

Social media privacy settings

If you’re concerned about the information that potential employers may come across, it’s a good idea to check:

  • The privacy settings of your social media profile
  • Any information that an employer could see without clicking on your profile, such as your profile picture

Be careful about any information you include on jobs websites, or social networking sites that focus on business (for example, LinkedIn). An employer could argue that they’re justified in using this information, as it reflects your professionalism and employability.

We’ve written a teacher’s guide on staying safe on social media in the following article.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.