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We all want a seat at the table.

But if you wanted to sit at the longest table, which one in the image below would you choose?

Our brains are hardwired to seek comparisons. How much do they get paid? How many bedrooms do they have? Does their hair have more volume than mine?

But if you were to take a ruler to this picture you would see both tables are actually the same length.

Try it.

This illusion, known as 'Shephard tables', makes two parallelograms of the same size appear differently because our eyes decode them according to our perceptive rules for three-dimensional objects.

It can be a bit like that when searching for a new education role. We make comparisons based on the easily accessible information we have available to us. What is their OFSTED grading? Look at that shiny website! They’ve got a new build!

But are you looking at what really matters? Get past lazy comparisons and look deeper with these 3 simple strategies:

Money talks: Take a closer look at the prospective new school’s budget using the Schools Financial benchmarking Tool ( The financial situation has a direct impact on how schools can feel day to day. Times are hard in all schools right now - but taking a look at the budget can reveal a picture of the resources available and warn of tricky situations.

The Policy Policy: Get past the landing page and into the murky waters of the website of your prospective new school. Somewhere, 20, 000 leagues under the expensive shiny photography lies the policy pages. What policies are available? What do they tell you about approaches to curriculum? Behaviour? Diversity, Equity & Inclusion? The less manicured parts of a website will tell you a lot about any given school.

Scout it Out: This one is for elite level sleuths. Take a walk or drive by the school at the beginning or end of the school day. You can tell a lot about a school from start and end of day admission and dismissal. Long brown coat and magnifying glass optional.

Picking the wrong role, or applying blindly, is quickening exits from the profession. Make sure you do your homework!

If you are looking for your next role, or some advice on applying for roles, Diverse Apply Recruitment can help you.

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