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Congratulations all NQTs you are about to enter a hugely rewarding career that changes lives.
Each year I am proud that lots of local universities trust myself and the team at Smile Education to help their NQT’s understand their options when entering full time teaching. This year things are looking a little different and it can be hard as an NQT to navigate your options so I wanted to share some thoughts and information on how an agency like Smile Education can help you find work in these times.
What does a Recruitment Agency do?
A recruitment agency job is to fill vacancies for clients (schools or companies) and help candidates (teachers) find their ideal job. They essentially take responsibility for as much of the recruitment process as the client (school) wants, this can include; writing a job spec, advertising the job, screening cvs, conducting 1st interviews, organising interviews with the client, giving two way feedback. They should work with an applicant to ensure their profile is made available to a wide variety of potential employers.
They also provide temporary or contract workers to cover short or long term issues like staff sickness, training or PPA time.
Why would a school use an agency?
There are various reasons, for supply work it’s much easier for them as the agency takes the admin burden of compliance, payroll and finding available local staff.
On a permanent basis, schools may use various avenues to attract teachers, the agency route may be preferred as schools only pay once an offer has been made. This is different to paying for adverts where they pay upfront irrelevant of if they appoint or not. Some schools also like to outsource the advert writing, pre-screening etc, which costs time and money.
Some schools however do not choose this way of recruiting, they prefer to have control of the process and they can advertise on local authority boards etc. totally free of charge.
During these times we expect more schools to offer temporary contracts in the first instance as lesson observations will be challenging.
How do they make money?
All the money should be paid by the client (school) not the candidate (teacher) this is either by a one of fee or on supply the agency makes a daily charge to the school.
The only reason an applicant should ever give money to an agency is to cover a DBS if a new one is required and that is the agencies policy.
What are the advantages of joining?
It’s another way of finding a job. It does not have to be the only way but in these times it’s important to have a variety of options. Agencies may have jobs that are exclusive and not advertised anywhere else. Recruitment Consultants often have good relationships with SLT and can help to get you in front of headteachers at schools you really want to work at.
Supply work is a great back up plan and often if you do get a permanent job the school might want to use you for supply at the end of the summer term. Supply gives you the option to show what you can do and network.
Working for an agency can be flexible to fit around your lifestyle, it can also help you gain experience in a variety of settings.
All good agencies should provide you a personal consultant for advice and first-hand knowledge about certain schools. This is especially important during these uncertain times for both wellbeing and to gain the most up to date information on how schools are navigating these challenges.
At Smile all our consultants work in a specific geographical location and area of education so we can truly say they are experts.
Can I complete my Induction on supply?
Absolutely yes! We have lots of teachers who have done this, it is not possible on day to day supply working in different schools. However, with a placement in the same school of at least a term and the schools support, yes! You do not need to complete all terms of your induction in the same school so bear that in mind too.
Can I join more than one agency?
Absolutely yes although if you pick the right one you should not need to! Please be aware of joining too many, you don’t want your cv to be sent to the same school multiple times, it means you lose credibility.
What should I consider when deciding which agency to join?
Make sure you check they fully meet your needs, be clear on what you want.
Do they work in your location?
What sort of work do you want (permanent/supply etc), can they provide this?
What are their reviews like online? What jobs do they have advertised are they the sort you would want?
I don’t have a job and I’m worried about September, any advice?
Yes! Don’t panic! Things are strange right now however when schools go back, they will need teachers, take care of yourself and your wellbeing to ensure you are ready when the time comes.
Take practical action- join an agency so you will get a range of permanent job and temporary job options that suit your needs.
Sign up for job alerts online, network with your peers and placement schools, do online training to enhance your skills.
I hope my advice is useful, please do contact me directly Katy@smile-education.co.uk and I’m happy to offer help on an individual basis. If I missed any questions please ask below or email me.