Working as a supply teacher is a path that has been successfully navigated for many years, and since the reduction and limitation of the Local Authority supply list more and more supply teachers work via Teaching Recruitment Agencies.
Here is a simple guide on what to look out for when choosing your teaching agency:
Trust your gut!
If you begin researching and communicating with a teaching recruitment agency, the chances are you will be flooded with information. It’s not until you actually start speaking to a human that you will find out the quality of the business. Like in all industries, there are some great teaching agencies in the sector but there are also a few that let the sector down. This can also be found within the same business but in different regions. Don’t stand for the poor, simply move on to the next teacher recruitment agency.
Do they listen to you?
When you go through your registration interview you will no doubt set out the guidelines of what you are looking for. Are you being consulted with or dictated to? If it’s the latter then you may want to consider what you will be doing moving forward. The number of times you hear of a Primary Key Stage 1 teacher being asked to cover Year 6 when they have told the agency they are not looking nor willing to do this age is very common. Yet at times the supply teacher will feel like they are letting the agency down! Ensure you feel comfortable, don’t be forced into any work you are not trained or feel suitable for.
That being said, if you only want to work on the second Tuesday of every month in a school 3miles away from your home, you have to understand the limitations you place on any teaching recruitment agencies to provide you with work. Set realistic boundaries you are happy to work with, consider travel time to school, calls in the morning for last-minute work, types of school you want to work in, schools you don’t want to work in, specialism that means you can perform at your best. All play a key part in your experience as a supply teacher, be flexible but have clear concise boundaries.
The hot topic in any supply teacher network is how much are you getting paid? When the government allowed Cover Supervisors into the classroom in 2006 it opened the door for schools to say we are not paying for a supply teacher for one day. Unfortunately, this has grown to some schools (not all) setting a pay limit when they require supply teachers. In an ideal world, schools would have unlimited budgets, teachers would get paid to scale and everyone would be happy. This is not the case. You have to navigate this on a case-by-case basis. Stick to what you feel you are worth. If you want to be paid to scale, here are the current pay spines per region, divide this by 195 (there are 195 teaching days per year) and this will give you your “daily supply teacher rate”. Some agencies will ask you how much you are willing to work for? As they will probably work with schools not willing to pay more than a set figure. Think wisely about this, you do not want to under-sell yourself, but neither do you want to price yourself out of the market.
TEACHING RECRUITMENT AGENCY PAY HACK
If you are not paid to scale, after a long term placement or a duration of positive work, ask the agency to increase your daily rate, if the feedback is good and schools are happy to have you back in to cover you will find you will be able to command a higher daily pay rate.
How you are paid
There is no more umbrella pay. IR35 has ended most if not all benefits within the supply teacher self-employment classification. Therefore you will have 2 options, PAYE or PAYE via a payroll provider. The main difference is the PAYE via a payroll provider will normally set you up as a Limited Company and then you will be liable for not only the Employees National Insurance but also the Employers National Insurance (along with their fee for processing the payroll). Make sure you ask the agency how you are going to get paid. Some will operate both and not tell you until you have been paid, then you have the issue of correcting this.
When you have been into a school and completed an assignment, ensure you keep your own feedback and look out for the agency feedback also. You need to know from the outset that the school is happy with your performance. No news is normally good news, however, if you are able to get feedback whether this is from the school directly or from the agency it will further add to your employment history. If you decide in the future to return to permanent work or are trying to obtain a permanent job then you need to build up your references and feedback.
Does your Teaching Recruitment Agency support you?
Are you getting that personal touch? Do you feel supported? Yes? Fantastic, If not feedback. Make sure you are getting all the help and guidance you desire. One of the biggest ways your teacher agency can help you is by simply being there. Listening to your needs, experiences, and feedback. If you can never get hold of anyone to talk to then you may well just be a number in the database.
If you are not happy … move forward.
There may come a time when you feel you cannot work with an agent, there are many to choose from in the current climate. Simply investigate, do your due-diligence and register with an alterantive. You will often find most supply teachers are registered with at least two teaching recruitment agencies.
If you are looking to register with a teaching recruitment agency and would like to have a conversation book in for a career call here. We would be happy to help you.
Teaching Applications are getting more and more competitive.
Greater numbers of teachers in the market mean a greater number applying for that role you have been waiting for. The sole purpose of your teaching application is to get you an interview. So how do you ensure that your teaching application gets you that interview for the teaching job you want?
Follow these 3 simple steps to ensure you are not failing at the first hurdle.
- Value-added teacher applications.
- Keywords are critical to getting past the application algorithm.
- Your Teaching Philosophy is key.
Develop a Value Added Teaching application
What do we mean when we talk about Value-Added Teacher application, well quite simply, what value will you bring to the school and team you are applying to? If we look at everyone’s roles and responsibilities from any submission they will pretty much be like for like. Develop a Scheme of work, Plan lessons, deliver, mark, assess, and analyse to find the gaps right?
But what value did you actually add in doing this? The BIGGEST Value Add will be the results of your teaching, how many 9’s did your cohort get? Have you achieved this over 2-3 years with a variety of learners? Progress 8 is also a great stat for a Senior Leader application.
Can you show the improvement made, Subject progress index is a great way that every Principal will be able to see clearly and concisely?
Failing that can you describe any specific wins with key groups, strategies that made a true impact (and be able to demonstrate this)? You have to set yourself apart from the next teacher whose application is next on the pile!
Keywords are critical to getting past the algorithm
Most schools use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) of some sort these days. Looking at the Job Description and Person Specification are there specific keywords that come up over and over again? You will probably need to highlight these words to make sure your application is visible. Why not use a free word cloud to identify an app like Rezi.ai that will allow you to upload the job description and give you a keyword analysis of what keywords you will need to include in your teaching application to get past any Applicant Tracking System. This is even MORE important if you are applying via an Indeed or TES website.
Your Teaching Philosophy is KEY!
Your Teaching philosophy is critical to your Teaching Application. FACT. More importantly, your ability to concisely communicate this within your application is just as critical. The Principal will need to understand fully who you are as a Teacher and what you believe in. This needs to align with their own beliefs and values, so ensure you do your due diligence before you spend time applying. Visit the school, check them out on look at their Ofsted report, follow them on social media, local news, and also perhaps set up a Google Alerts with the school name or Principal name so you get all new and recent information about them. Do your due diligence!
“Have a good think about what is it because some people see special needs schools as something which they’re not, and there’s a variety of special needs schools. So the biggest thing for me would be to have a good look around, you know, visit schools, you know, and then use that time to really think about, first of all, what is the right type of school for you is” – Chris Rue
Listen to Chris Rue’s amazing journey within Special Needs Education, which started with him dropping a suitcase off, having one interview, and is now a successful Head Teacher within Epinay Business and Enterprise School. Chris gives a truly heartfelt insight into his learns and progression within a career he never expected to have!
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for show notes, transcript and links…
[00:35] Chris’s route into teaching.
[02:07] Learning and working up from the very bottom
[05:36] Moving from teacher to middle leadership fast
[07:03] Chris gives advice to NQT’s
[08:51] Learns as a Middle Leader.
[10:08] Becoming ambitious, developing the skills and experience to make the move into Headship.
[11:55] 20 years of history, moving onto pastures new!
[13:51] Big achievements.
[15:35] Current initiatives at Epinay.
[17:24] How Chris gets away from teaching.
[19:14] Education post-COVID-19.
[22:43] The biggest influencers in Chris’s teaching career so far.
[23:40] If Chris hadn’t been a teacher.
Lee Stanley 0:06
Hello, and welcome to Hadfield Educations Good to Great webinar series, where I interview the leading head teachers across the UK, and today I’m very fortunate to be joined by Chris Rue, who is the head teacher at Epinay school. Good afternoon, Chris. Thank you for being here. [Read more…] about Good to Great Webinar Series – Chris Rue – Epinay Business and Enterprise School
If you are one of those individuals who rarely receive any positive feedback from online teaching job application, then this post will shed light on how you need to optimise your online job application.
The first place most people go to when looking for a new teaching opportunity is TES or other well-known job boards. Teaching job applications via online channels have become the norm with various platforms available all across the world, giving you the opportunity to browse through thousands of the latest job vacancies.
Understanding How Education Recruiters or Employers Filter Applicants
Most online teaching job application platforms let you browse the various available jobs without having to sign up for any sort of account. However, the minute you want to apply, sign up is required. Once this happens, you have an online profile to develop on that particular platform. You may add your CV to the database, giving you the opportunity to be searched/found. Most platforms allow recruiters and employers the option to browse through the “CV database”, you must keep this in mind when filling out your profile as it is vitally important.
Education recruiters and employers do not have the time to look at every single application, and generally, when they search their database they would use keywords to narrow down the search parameters of teaching applicants. E.g. “Teacher of Humanities Manchester” or “Year 6 Teacher London”
The system would also use an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to filter through the multitude of teaching job application/CV and order the profiles that best match the job description/search criteria. An ATS is a filing cabinet with a ‘CV robot” that searches for keywords/terms on a CV/profile, then selecting the one with the best matching criteria to creating a shortlist for the hiring manager to look at.
How to Optimise the text content of your Teaching Job Application
Now that you understand how your CV/application would be filtered through an online job portal/databases, it’s time to optimise your teacher CV so that you are one of the individuals that make it through the “CV robot” to get an interview.
Your CV has to be readable by the ATS algorithms, while having pictures and graphics on your CV may be something that you think looks great, unfortunately, the “CV robots” are not able to read them.
The same goes for the Design Technology and Art teachers out there, having a graphic or arty CV might seem like a fantastic way to showcase your design and creative skill set, the ATS, would not be able to read it.
Importance of Job Keywords within your Teaching Job Application
As mentioned, the ATS searches for keywords in your CV, and you would need to include all relevant keywords pertaining to the vacancy you are applying for. For instance, if the vacancy is for a Head of Business Studies who has experience dealing with demotivated learners, engagement, and outstanding teaching are all important keywords that must, where possible, be included on your CV.
Readability of Your Teaching job Application
When writing your teaching job applications it is important to remember that whoever is reviewing it, has reviewed hundreds of CVs/applications. Keep to one font, and standard font sizes for headings and the body of the text making sure your headings are bold enough to catch the eye. It is important to keep your CV to two pages. Think less is more.
Ensure you upload your CV in a readable Docx or PDF, many pdf converter websites take a snapshot of your CV so it is almost like a picture instead of a PDF. So it would be best if you save it as a pdf.
If you think you need some more help optimising your CV, feel free to book a one-on-one CV & LinkedIn Review with Hadfield Education.