I'm going to preface all of this by mentioning that in my life before teaching, I worked in HR so I understand the need for thorough, well-written application forms. And after 20 years in education I also acknowledge the necessity for comprehensive personal details allowing for back checks and references.
Completing a teaching application form is akin to walking though treacle... in cement filled boots.
There's all the usual personal stuff, CV manna (or mire), and the dastardly request for hobbies and interests. But in addition to that there is the 'letter of application' - I'm not sure if every profession has these - the (no more than two sides) chance to shine like the diamond you are. This is the part that every applicant needs to work on; this is where you get to strut your stuff in short sentences, emblazon your personality across the A4 page and show off your USP-X factor.
But the other bit - the legal document bit, which yes is incredibly important, does it really need to be completely handwritten? Every time? In this day and age? With such electronic systems as DBS in our lives?
I know people who have spent the months between January and May applying for over 15 teaching jobs; that's 15 times handwriting your Economics GCSE grade and mentioning how you like to scuba dive with dancing turtles every third Friday.
Is there not a way that there could be a teacher database with our personal info, education history, employment history, referees and all that jazz held centrally which we access via a password in order to amend as and when. Then prospective employees could access your application details when you apply for a job, a bit like the way recruitment agencies work. It should only be accessed when you - the applicant - submits some sort of code giving permission for your information to be seen.
This is the way employees can access my information via the DBS update service.
Yes, there are wrinkles and crinkles that need ironing out - that's the job of super-brainy IT whizzkids.
This would leave precious time available for applicants to get their letter of application groove on because no-one should be completely judged on exams they did in the last century, in a stuffy hall, at a desk scrawled with their name in a love heart next to Barry, the Head Boy's.