…decideson theinterviewprocess?…part of theday shouldbe the mostchallenging?…is it not agood timeto hold aninterview?…do you informthe candidatesbefore and afterthe event?…do youconduct theinterview(s)?
Recruitment issues (Physical ups/down)1. Please stand up…and keep standing if…(and sit down if you haven‟t)2. Keep standing if, you have a job…3. You‟ve ever had an interview!4. You‟ve had to complete an application form.5. Keep standing if you have used the TES to find a job?6. Keep standing if, you have ever been the interviewer?7. Have ever accepted an application late (after the deadline)?8. Keep standing if you have ever used another method (other than TES) to recruit?9. Keep standing if you have ever said „no‟ to an applicant, and then changedyour mind?!10. That your classroom (teaching) practice WAS NOT taken into account.
• Given the fact that the Equality Act 2010 wasrefined to take into account gender and agediscrimination, the followingfacts should make little relevance to anyjob application in the sector… but it servesas interesting reading.
• In England 2010, 73.2%of full and part-timeregular teachers werefemale with just 26.8%male.• 65.2% of all headteachers were female.• 23.0% of the workforcewere aged under 30,with 22.8% aged 50+.
• Other noteworthy statistics include:• 53.4% of full-time equivalent head teacherswho were aged 50 or over and the vastmajority (94.8%) of teachers held degree levelqualifications or higher.
Experience:• I have worked with teachers from Ireland, South Africa,New Zealand, Australia and Canada, as well as teachersfrom native speaking countries such as France, Spainand Germany.• Discussions with various teachers, there was anabundance of variety experiences communicated ofthose working with teachers from other parts of theworld. For example: Romania; Switzerland; China andRussia.• Michael Gove is keen to see more foreign teachers inschools. From 1 April 2012, teachers who qualified inAustralia, New Zealand, Canada and the US are to berecognised as qualified teachers and awardedqualified teacher status in England.
SOME QUOTES…Two head teachers I spoke to were very unwavering about recruitment.They exclaimed that;"there was no need to look overseas”…and believed that"there are plenty of good teachers in the UK!”
So, to what extentare school leadershaving problemssourcing the rightteachers for theirschools?
Problems:• Irrefutably, sourcing calibre can be an issue.• Conducting a very rigorous interview process will enable realquality to shine through.• A rigorous interview processes can hinder those who find theprocess daunting.
• A primary school head teacher said; "NQT (NewlyQualified Teachers) applications - not all - are patchy,which is often a mismatch between the applicationform and their ability in the classroom.”…Unfortunately, this forms part of the interviewprocess and those who are unfamiliar with this, willfall short.• Some believed having only 1 or 2 days to form ajudgement on an applicant made it difficult to make aninformed decision.• The conversations and testimonies I have go on & on…
• Another teacher from Yorkshire, believed it was;"…difficult to recruit quality, be that experienced ornot. Shortage-subjects makes this morechallenging…” and"…working with a wide range of primary academies,I can confirm that successful recruitment is amajor issue!”
Some more quotes…• A teacher in Manchester said; "...attracting quality stafftwo pupil referral-units were virtually impossible!• Staff are poorly paid and teacher reputation is dire.”• An additional primary head teacher in Suffolk, whoworks in a good school with outstanding features said;“We advertised for a year 1 reception teacher twice.We received zero applicants!”, but yet a deputy headteacher in Suffolk said; “we are very lucky and have noproblems."
Is this just occurring in afew schools oris it a national issue?(Hands up!)
Overseas…Farther afield, I spokewith a head teacher inStockholm…
Overseas…• This Headteacher recruits immigrants fromcountries in the Middle-East with foreign degrees.• She stated that ”overseas teachers were not certifiedby Swedish standards, but because they spokeSwedish, this was beneficial."• She added; “We do have a shortage of teachers, notonly due to retirement, but also because becoming ateacher is not so popular. The Swedish School Act of2010 requires more from the schools. By 2015, allteachers must be certified and the hiring ofunqualified teaching staff will be banned.”
Temporary staffing• Two supply agencies I spoke with accentuated some regionswill have more demands than others.• For supply teachers, an evolving national issue is thatrecruitment agencies are now recruiting from abroad to avoidnational insurance contributions.• Those teachers who shared their experience,talked about varied techniques they have used or seen othersemploy successfully.• Examples include Skype interviews - equivalent for those Britishteachers who move overseas. Or attending mass recruitmentfairs to attract candidates with the wind-in-their-sails and shipthem off on a 2-year contract with very attractive benefits.• Other riskier techniques include applying for temporarycontracts which may lead to permanence.
• During the last decade, I have interviewed hundredsof teachers myself. I‟d like to think I know exactlywhat employers are thinking and looking for; buttotally understand that when we all apply for apromotion or a new position, we are all taking a stepinto the unknown and the process is anyone‟s game.• In short, we may be unaware of something that maystill be out of our reach.• The interview process must be taken seriously.• That all decisions must be deliberated and fullyconsulted to ensure accurate safeguardingprocedures.• That the process is robust and fair.
The problem.• Consistency!• For many schools, they are not compliant.• They fail to address the latest Equality Act 2010 reforms.• Curriculum vitae are accepted in independent schools andin some schools I have worked in, I have witnessedapplications being accepted after the published deadline.• Internal candidates are also considered - and oftenappointed.• Nevertheless, I know every single reason why schools maydo this and fully expect to do it myself!• Schools simply need the „right teacher‟ in front of theirstudents and at the risk of not recruiting or spendingextortionate sums of money to re-advertise, this may not anoption for some.
• „Grow-your-own‟ philosophy• Teach First, Future Leaders, Teaching Leadersand the evolving School Direct programmeswill continue to cultivate thenext generation of teachers on home soil.• But, what we really need to do is provide asimpler forum for current teachersto move easily and regularly to keep theprofession alive.
Consideration?• A College of Teachers.• A national forum for professionalism.• A set-standard for interview protocol.• A professional development portfolio. Perhaps aself-sustained, online forum for managing yourown work-history, CPD and job applications.• A private profile for schools and teacherssearching for work containing your history;detailing performance; references; data; CPD;attendance; evidence and so on.• The possibilities are endless and can onlybenefit the recruitment process.
“ We will always have a need for schooling. Wewill always have students and a prerequisite forthose that teach. Recruiting teachers andhelping those move from school to school ismuch more complex and it needn‟t be.It is up to us to succour our employment on ourvery own doorstep, as well as for theprofession.”@TeacherToolkit
“ From a small seed amighty trunk may grow.”AeschylusRoss Morrison McGill@TeacherToolkit