Interview with... Fran, Recruitment Consultant at First Class Supply

Fran, First Class Supply, education recruitment in the north eastFran Hale, supply teacher turned recruitment consultant, of First Class Supply in Whitley Bay, talks to us about the services they can offer supply teachers.

What service do you provide to supply teachers?

At First Class Supply we provide an experienced, friendly and professional team for our teachers. We go the extra mile to find our teachers the right job at the right school. We listen and we care. We are available 24/7 for our teachers as we know how lonely it can sometimes be on supply. We provide emotional and professional support and our office is their staff room – always a cuppa on the go!

Can you tell me a little about the recruitment process for potential supply teachers?

When you come along to register you will be interviewed by one of two ex-Headteachers who have previously been responsible for booking supply cover in their own school, so they offer really useful help, advice and support right from your initial interview. They will get to know you as an individual and you will also have a chat with the team too so that we can get to know you on a personal level. All vetting checks will be undertaken at your registration interview, which includes applying for a DBS Certificate should you need one.

How do you welcome a new supply teacher into your organisation?

We make them feel at home and introduce them to everyone on the team as, after all, we are the ones who will be calling at 7 in the morning to get you out of bed so it is nice to put a face to the name! We provide our teachers with all of the support that they need and help them get together all of their resources supplies for teaching – we always introduce them to if they don’t already know about it. Our teachers work with us not for us so it is really important that they always feel welcome.

What are your expectations of a supply teacher in terms of providing work, marking work, playground duties etc.?

We always ask our schools if planning is required from our teachers. Even if they say that work will be set we tell everyone to take along planning and handy time fillers just in case! Be prepared! Always have your PE kit and a waterproof to hand. We get our teachers to call the school before any booking that is not a last minute emergency to introduce themselves and to speak to the class teacher and find out more about the class that they will be teaching and the schools policies on behaviour. We say always mark the work, leave the classroom tidy, leave feedback about your day and the work covered for the class teacher. Always go the extra mile and offer a helping hand at break times. Treat all of the staff at the school with respect and do it all with a smile.

What personal qualities does your agency look for in a supply teacher?

We look for all sorts of qualities, all schools and all classes within those schools are different so we need lots of different teachers to work with us. If we looked for the same qualities every time we would not be able to help all of our schools.

How do you support supply teachers throughout their time with your agency?

We offer excellent rates of pay and do not charge our schools an introductory fee for taking our teachers on a permanent contract. This hugely increases the likelihood of our teachers securing a permanent job. When our teachers are interviewed by one of two ex-Headteachers they offer really useful help, advice and support right from the start of them working with us and throughout their time as a supply teacher. They have helped NQT’s and experienced teachers alike with application forms for contracts and helped them build their portfolios of lesson plans. We encourage our teachers to drop in and see us for a cuppa, our office is their staff room they can come and have a moan about a bad class or tell us good news like a new job or baby!!!

Do you have any funny stories or nightmare stories relating to supply teachers that you could share with us?

We had a teacher who had a pair of knickers fall out of her trouser leg whilst she was walking around the classroom!! She said they must have been caught in there from the washing!!

And finally! Who would be the ultimate supply teacher?

Stephen Fry

Interview with a teaching agency - First Class Supply, always welcome for a cuppa!

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