The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Recruitment

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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John Viner

Are schools facing a recruitment crisis?

Faced with a dwindling supply of teachers and school leaders, we must accept that schools are facing severe recruitment problems. Crisis? What crisis? Are teacher recruitment problems myth or reality? Ask schools minister, Nick Gibb, about the teacher recruitment crisis and he is likely to tell you...
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Gareth D Morewood

Recruiting teaching assistants: right person, right time

One of your teaching assistants is leaving: what do you need to think about when interviewing and recruiting new support staff? Gareth D Morewood explains. First things first, do I actually need to recruit a new TA? Firstly, I think it is important to look at your structure, students’ needs and...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Teaching interviews: 10 top tips

Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. Elizabeth Holmes shares tips to make them less painful and more productive. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt Whether you’re helping colleagues to move on in their careers or thinking of making a change yourself...
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Lizzie Gait

The most efficient form of recruitment is retention

Here at Optimus HQ, we often end up having debates about education and this time we ended up on the topic of recruitment and retention. Training lead, Lizzie Gait, offers schools top tips for retaining staff. The figures around NQT retention are, in the words of Sir Michael Wilshaw, ‘a national...
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