Interview with... Mike, Managing Director of Premier Teachers and former supply teacher

Interview with the managing director of a supply teacher recruitment agenciyFormer supply teacher Mike Donnelly, now Managing Director of Premier Teachers Ltd, talks to us about how he helps to improve the working lives of his supply teachers.
 
Have you ever worked as a supply teacher?

Yes, when I relocated to the North East I worked on supply before setting up my agency.

What service do you provide to supply teachers?

We provide career advice, mock interviews, CV advice and of course job placements.

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

Firstly we ask for full CVs and this is followed up with a telephone conversation by one of our Consultants before interview to check there is something we can offer the teacher. Teachers are then given a full interview to check; ID, qualifications, proofs of address, DBS/CRBs and teachers also complete a registration form a work history form. Following that we give teachers a thorough interview to find out about their understanding of safe guarding, what makes a good lesson, differentiation and AFL.

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

We make sure they meet all of the team and not just the Consultant interviewing them. We also try to get them a placement quickly and we always ring at the end of the first day and first week to ask how things have went for our teachers.

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

It depends whether the teacher is Primary trained or Secondary. Our Primary teachers are expected to mark all of the books before they leave, this is really important. Secondary teachers would not be expected to mark books for short term supply but this would begin after the first week. Setting of work normally starts after the first two weeks but this depends on the schools' expectations. All of our supply staff are expected to carry out a duty if asked by the school.

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

Willingness to learn, enthusiasm, good time keeping, ability to plan and teach effective lessons and certainly a sense of humour.

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

We check up on how they are progressing regularly with both the teacher and the school. If it is a subject we can help with we may even help with resources as we are all teachers ourselves. We observe lessons when we can as this is a great way to support our teachers. We have been know to pay for a taxi if their car is off the road and the school is not too far!

Storytime!
 
We had one teacher who who got stuck in a tunnel on the way to an interview which meant neither the school nor our agency could get in touch with them.
 
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