The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Recruitment

Julie Moktadir

Tier 5 sponsorship and independent schools: what to know

With recent difficulties in Tier 5 sponsorship for independent schools, Stone King lawyer Julie Moktadir explains what schools need to consider when applying for a visa. Independent schools often sponsor individuals from outside the EEA to enhance the educational experience of their students. As...
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David Weston

4 ways for MATs to become employers of choice

David Weston describes key ways MATs can become employers of choice where talented individuals want to stay and develop. In a time of significant challenges for recruitment and retention, MATs are under pressure to stand out as great employers. CEOs and executive headteachers are increasingly...
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John Viner

Midday meals supervisor: the school's superhero

While every school might have different expectations of the midday meals team, such expectations are invariably high. John Viner makes the case for recognising their valuable input. In the grand scheme of things, a school’s midday meals supervisor (MMS) is often its unsung hero. Yet the fact that,...
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Charlie Roden

Days like this: how I became a teaching assistant

Bottle caps can be wheelchair lifts, and students can be tougher interviewers than staff: just some of the things I learned when applying to become a TA. I have been interviewed many times over the years – when applying to the role of support worker, bartender, retail assistant and even university...
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John Viner

Staff retention means keeping the right people on the bus

A long and costly recruitment cycle is just one of the things a school has to endure if they can't keep their eggs on the bus - and their foxes at bay. At the sharp end of budget matters, school business managers are likely to have a very good idea of the cost of recruiting a new member of staff...
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Alex Masters

Why pupil interview panels are a bad idea

Pupil empowerment is something to actively embrace in schools but, Alex Masters argues, involving 11 year-olds in the interview process is a step too far. 'I'd now like you to sing a few bars of your favourite song. In your own time...' I still remember it vividly. It was my fourth teaching job...
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John Viner

Voluntary but unvalued: the crisis in governor recruitment

When governors are so often blamed for poor inspection judgements, is it any wonder that schools struggle to get committed volunteers through the door? When preparing for a Section 48 inspection I have to read a number of documents, including the school’s most recent Ofsted report. Recently, I...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Spotlight on #WomenEd

Is #WomenEd, a growing grassroots movement for women aspiring to school leadership, a force for good in education's current climate? I caught up with Jules Daulby to find out more. Elizabeth Holmes : What is #WomenEd? Jules Daulby : #WomenEd is a grassroots movement which connects existing and...
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Alex Cuetos

Native speaker, better teacher? Not always!

Demand for teachers has made China a popular working destination. As I’ve found, it’s also a destination for unqualified and unmotivated ‘teachers’ looking to make easy money. As a Spaniard teaching English in China, I’m living proof of the fact that teachers are becoming increasingly hard to come...
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John Viner

The perils of school-based initial teacher training

Faced with declining candidate quality for teaching posts, we need to consider the variability of initial teacher training (ITT) and how it might be adding to our recruitment woes. The most recent Teacher Recruitment Index from the Times Educational Supplement reports that headteachers are unhappy...
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