The standard application form for teaching posts was designed to be the only document that would be required by schools when advertising posts – therefore the document is quite long and detailed. Thankfully many parts of the document only need to be filled in once; personal details, qualification, courses, references etc.

You can download the Standard Application Form here.

In this blogpost, I’ll go through each section of the application form sharing some tips I have picked up after filling in countless applications over the past – hopefully they will help!

Applicant’s Personal Details

Here you are asked for;

  • Name (as per teaching council register – this is VERY important as schools might check to make sure you are registered!)
  • Correspondence Address
  • Mobile Phone and landline number
  • Email address (Ensure that your email address is appropriate and not something like ‘


Qualification to teach at primary level

  • Qualifications, university/college, final result

Details of Academic Qualifications

  • Any undergraduate/postgraduate qualifications can be included here

Teaching Council Registration

  • If you have not received your teaching council number yet – write pending and there is also another section where you can state the date of submission of application.

Teaching Experience

  • Include casual subbing, substitute and temporary contracts or permanent contracts in this section
  • If you can’t remember specific dates – you can include the month/months

Posts of responsibility

  • Include any extra duties/ posts you had in previous schools.

Teaching Practice Grades

  • Start with the most recent teaching practice grade.

Additional Qualifications

These are qualifications you may have from college courses e.g. certificate to teach R.E. or a course that you completed in ICT etc.

Non Accredited Courses

  • Include all CPD courses you have completed
  • Have you completed a First Aid course – add this in here
  • Have you completed grades in a musical instrument? Add these in too as they show you have musical skills

Areas of Special Interest – Curricular/ Other

  • Is there a particular subject that you love to teach/have completed further study (disseration/elective) in?
  • Have you worked with children with additional educational needs? (Resource/ Learning Support Teacher, Grinds/Child – Minding etc.)
  • Do you have a hobby such as sport/music/drama etc. that you could use to enhance your teaching or help out with an extra curricular activity?

Other Relevant Employment Experience

I think its important to focus on the relevant employment – working with children, dealing with large groups of people, working with people with additional needs, co-ordinating groups and organising activities etc.

Relevant employment might include;

  • Babysitting/Child minding
  • Grinds
  • Summer camps
  • Volunteering (working with children, working abroad etc)

For the next 3 questions – look on the school website, read their mission statement, take a look at the pictures on the website to get an idea of the things that the school thrives on and values. It can be tempting to send the same application to hundreds of schools but this doesn’t make your application stand out. Try to tailor the application to each school – mentioning 2/3 things that are important to the school you are applying to!

Please indicate how you think your experience/skill(s) can assist in this particular post (150 words)

Some topics/areas to mention;

Mainstream positions – planning, organisation, catering for the needs of all children (differentiation), assessment, active learning, use of ICT, interpersonal skills – meeting with parents.

Resource/Learning Support – planning, organisation, experience working with children with additional educational needs, assessment etc.

Think of 5 things that you can bring to the position – what makes you unique? what can you offer to contribute to the school? (Read this blogpost about the Give me 5 approach to job applications and interviews!)

Please indicate how you think you can contribute to the ethos of the school (150 words)

What is the ethos of the school? Look at their school website and mission statement – link your experience and skills with what the ethos. Be specific and give examples – don’t just copy what is written online.

Additional information (150 words)

Here you can include anything you haven’t mentioned before. Think back to the top 5 things you can contribute. What extra curricular activities would you be willing to co-ordinate? Link back to the areas that the school values e.g. some schools have a very strong music tradition, others have strong links with the G.A.A. – these areas are very important to the schools identity and the principal will be looking for teachers who can continue these links and also form new links too!


There are spaces for four referees – personally I think it’s important to include at least 1 principal (ask a principal from one of the schools you completed teaching practice in). Other referees might include; a host teacher (from teaching practice), a faculty member from your college or a manager from another employment.

Try to include mobile numbers for your referees as otherwise it can be difficult for principals to contact them.

Hope this has helped you if you are applying for jobs this year! Niamh

For further support, check out my job application and interview course. This course covers every aspect of applying for jobs and interviews including;

  • Building your confidence
  • Teaching applications overview
  • Researching the school
  • Looking at our schools
  • Buzz Words
  • The Standard Application Form (SAF)
  • Letter of application
  • CV
  • Other documents
  • Interview process
  • Tips for the interview
  • How to prepare for an interview
  • Interview questions
  • Re-interviewing
  • Covid 19
  • Believing in yourself

You’ll receive support through a private Facebook group and discussion forums throughout the module if you have any additional questions. Check it out here.