Interview with... Gemma, Director at Apple a Day Supply

Interview with... Gemma HectorOur interview with Gemma Hector, Company Director at Apple A Day Supply, reveals her expectations of a supply teacher.
 
Have you ever worked as a supply teacher?

Yes. Following qualifying as a teacher I worked as a Head Nanny for a luxury ski company for nearly a year. When I returned in May, I worked as a supply teacher in Bristol with all ages of primary whilst looking for a job to start in September

What service do you provide to supply teachers?

As teachers ourselves, we offer a true understanding of what it is like to teach in today’s classroom. We genuinely enjoying getting to know our teachers personally and understanding their needs. The service that we provide is personal, tailored and caring. I have also taught in nearly all of our schools now so I truly know our schools needs and I am able to carefully match our teachers with suitable schools and age range. We offer our teachers free CPD throughout the year, free social events and a bank of online resources. Our teachers are supported through help with job applications, lesson planning and interview techniques. 

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

Any potential supply teacher is asked to send us their CV. If this shows all the necessary qualifications, attitude and skills, we will give them a call to find out more. Following a chat, if we feel that they may be right for the position, we will invite them for an interview. We personally interview all prospective teachers. We talk with them about their experiences, their passions within teaching and find out how they would handle various situations that they may face whilst on supply. If we are happy that the teacher will provide children with only the highest quality of cover will we progress to check qualifications, safeguarding and ID checks. Our checks are extremely stringent and our supply teachers are encouraged to sign up to the update service to allow their DBS to always be up to date and regularly checked.

How does Apple A Day Supply welcome a new supply teacher into your organisation?
 
To welcome new teachers we formally welcome them on our website. We also try to introduce them to other local supply teachers and let our schools know about our latest new teacher and what they can offer. 
 
What are your expectations of a supply teacher in terms of providing work, marking work, playground duties etc.?

Most of the time our schools set work for our supply teachers but there are always some occasions when this doesn't happen such as covering a last minute sickness. Sometimes our schools will provide learning objectives or topics that they would like us to cover. We will always let the teacher know when offering them the work what the situation is with work. In terms of marking, our teachers mark in line with the school policy. They are asked to mark the work that they have completed with the class that day within reason. We encourage the use of techniques such as self assessment against given success criteria as it is very difficult to quality mark 60 pieces of work after school! If it is playground duty of the teacher that a supply teacher is covering for we would expect them to cover.

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

We look for teachers who are dedicated to teaching high quality lessons, have good communication skills, a friendly confident manner, the ability and willingness to quality mark work, and really show a passion for teaching.

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

We call our teachers after working in a school that is new to them, we provide as much information on the class / schools / work as possible, provide free CPD, give our teachers as much feedback as possible, provide free online resources and just generally go the extra mile to show that we care!

Apple A Day Supply chose to support National Supply Teacher Week this year. Could you tell us a little about why and how?

We are supporting National Supply Teacher week as we know how hard supply teachers work and what a challenging role it can be. We believe that everyone needs praise and rewards for their hard-work and whilst we do this throughout the year already, it is great to have a week when we really focus on saying a big thank you to our teachers. We will be presenting our teachers with pressies and cards in school during this week.

And finally! Who would be the ultimate supply teacher?
 
That would be Stephen Fry!

Interview with... Gail Anderson, Managing Director of SupplyMatch Teachers and occasional supply teacher

Interview with Gail Anderson, SupplyMatch TeachersGail Anderson, Managing Director at SupplyMatch Teachers Limited, likes to keep her hand in by going on supply herself...
 
Have you ever worked as a supply teacher Gail?

Sure have! I still do the odd day here and there; I like to be able to give our teachers and cover supervisors a genuine description of where they are heading. It makes for an easier day if you have additional information about the general school ethos.

What service do you provide to supply teachers?

We are super friendly, reliable and honest. We pay when we say we'll pay, agree all rates prior to placements, keep in regular touch and are there 24/7 for support. We provide work in Primary and Secondary schools across the north east to teachers, cover supervisors and support staff.

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

You would be invited to interview based on your letter of application and CV. You'd meet myself and another recruitment consultant (Kim) in our Durham office and have a chat about what you are looking for. Safeguarding is our number one priority and we would do a series of checks including ID verification and referencing. We would also require a DBS. Based on your experience we would recommend and provide training where required.

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

With a big smile and an open door. Cake seems to always appear (and disappear) in the office too.

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

The answer to that is in the question. Ignore the word supply and focus on teacher. We expect our staff to step straight into the absent teacher's shoes and do all that would be expected of a full time permanent member of staff.

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

Honesty, reliability, professionalism and adaptability.

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

Both myself and Kim are just a phone call away whether it be 9am on a Monday morning or 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. Next time you're in the staffroom, ask the SupplyMatch teachers why they love working with us. Close relationships and an open door policy will be top of the list.

Do you have any stories relating to supply teaching that you could share with us?

Hundreds, but I don't want to frighten the next generation of supply so I'll keep quiet....

And finally! Who would be the ultimate supply teacher?

Prof Brian Cox. Young, trendy and with a brain the size of Britain.
 
 
Interview with Gail Anderson, SupplyMatch Teachers

 

If you'd like to get in touch with Gail, contact her:

SupplyMatch Teachers Ltd,
The Rivergreen Centre,
Aykley Heads,
Durham City

DH1 5TS

 

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 SupplyBag.co.uk 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!

Interview with... Gavin, Head of Secondary Schools Recruitment at Principal Resourcing

Interview with a recruitment consultant - Gavin HansbroEarlier this year, I met with Gavin Hansbro, Head of Secondary Schools Recruitment at Principal Resourcing. It struck me how passionate he was about placing the right candidates in the right schools, and helping less confident candidates overcome their fears.

Have you ever worked as a supply teacher?

No, I considered PGCE whilst at Uni but never went ahead with it. I think supply has to be one of the hardest jobs ever and I take my hat of to them all.

What service does Principal Resourcing provide to supply teachers?

A wide range really, we offer a very consultative approach and provide a personal touch for candidates. We are able to offer, daily assignments, short term, long term and permanent assignments. We also provide tutoring and consulting positions especially within SEN for those suitable.

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

Teacher are initially spoken with over the phone to establish what they are looking for and to discover whether we are the right agency for them. From the first call they are invited for a face to face interview (to fill in the usual paperwork- and to thoroughly check all safeguarding aspects) We chat with the candidate during the face to face interview about what we can offer, how we can help them and what they want from Principal Resourcing. It is at this stage we get to know the candidate in more detail and introduce them to the team. We then stay in touch and advise on the progress of all applications right up until offer of work.

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

With open arms!! The initial meet and greet is our first step, then continuous contact via phone, text and email. We invite our teachers on to any CPD courses in order to further develop their skills/portfolio and to also meet other candidates registered with us.

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

Each assignment is different but in the first instance we provide a supply handbook which has all the relevant information on which candidates must adhere to, in this booklet it covers aspects including marking work etc. Aside from this, on taking a booking from a School we ask all the necessary questions in order to pass on a fully prepare our candidates- this of course can change on arrival for a booking but the booklet has hints and tips of what to do in situations likes this.

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

We like teachers that are passionate about teaching and want to get fully involved in all aspects whilst in School.

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

We ensure we regularly speak with candidates and if we are unable to get hold them via phone, we will text and email them. If candidates are in a long term placement we generally make contact with them every other week to make sure everything is ok and they are enjoying their assignment.

Storytime!

I imagine it's probably a common one, but we had a teacher locked in a school having stayed behind to complete marking. Unable to get hold of the School as everyone had gone home, we managed to get hold of someone from School using the BT phonebook!!

And finally! Who would be the ultimate supply teacher?

Has to be Barack Obama!!

Interview with... Vicki, assistant primary manager at Vision for Education

 

Vicki Ayres Assistant Primary Manager Vision for Education

Interview with Vicki Ayres of Vision for EducationHave you ever worked as a supply teacher?

Not personally but over 50% of our team have.

What service do you provide to supply teachers?

At Vision for Education we want every one of our supply teachers to have positive experiences. We also want our relationships to be long and successful! The entire team have extensive experience of working with schools and teaching professionals and because of this we have been able to tailor a service that we are very proud of. We provide teachers with both day to day and long term assignments which meet their individual needs in terms of location, age range and specialist subjects etc. In addition we offer market leading rates of pay, a Guaranteed Pay Scheme, a £50 refer a friend incentive, free CPD courses on a half termly basis, the Team Teach qualification (run by our trained, in house Team Teach team) and social evenings where drinks and nibbles are on us as well as a big end of year party and a Christmas get together. We are available to chat 24/7 due to our on call service, Facebook/Twitter accounts and email access, as we like all of our teachers to be able to contact us should they need anything.

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

Regardless of whether the teacher has found us in the paper, at www.visionforeducation.com, through a friend or job advert, or if we have found them, our recruitment process will begin with an in-depth chat about what the teacher is looking for from us and their work history/qualifications etc. At the end of this conversation a number of personal details will be taken and the teacher will be booked in for a face to face interview at their local office, this will be confirmed by email and in a letter. The face to face interview is where we get together over a cuppa and go through the important parts- proof of ID, right to work in the UK, qualifications, address and CRB details. Once all of this is done and all the paper work is complete we will go over exactly what we can do for them, what we expect from our supply teachers and where we go from here. We supply all of our teachers with an in-depth information pack which includes information for teachers on supply assignments, timesheets, details of our payroll department, resources which can be photocopied and a list of our contact details. The teachers leave that day having met the team, with knowledge of Vision for Education as a company and are looking forward to their first assignment! Once the interview is over then all of the teachers’ documents will be sent to our dedicated Safeguarding Team in Sheffield who make sure that all compliance is in place. As soon as our teachers have been cleared to work by Safeguarding we will call them to let them know, double check all the information we have on them is correct and the rest they say is history!

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

We would ask a supply teacher to fulfil the same duties as a permanent member of staff whilst in the school, although the workload will vary depending on the type of assignment. For example all of our supply teachers are asked to mark work that they have set throughout the day and take prepared work in case there is none available upon arrival. We also ask that they leave hand over notes for the permanent teacher, make sure the classroom is tidy and left how they found it on the morning and be in school long enough for parents to contact them should they need to. In longer term posts our staff take on more responsibility, and in many cases take on the full role of a teacher, planning lessons, taking part in parent’s evenings and writing reports for the children in their class.

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

We look for supply teachers who are reliable, effective communicators, flexible, organised, enthusiastic and those who have a good sense of humour!

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

As mentioned earlier they can contact us at any time should they need us through a number of different channels and we will ensure that we are in contact with them on a regular basis. It is very important to everyone here at Vision for Education that our teachers feel part of a bigger valued team.....not to mention all of the added extras mentioned earlier.

And finally! Who would be the ultimate supply teacher?

John Keating from Dead Poets Society- He is a passionate literary scholar who takes learning to a new level with his profound lessons of non-conformity, individuality and self-confidence. He inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day! Carpe Diem.

 

Interview with Vicki Ayres of Vision for Education

 

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