*Please read the comments section of this particular blog post as there is a good discussion and update on this post*
What's happening in London with Secondary teacher jobs? Well, it's a whole new year and a whole new experience for all of us in recruitment and in teaching.
Normally, secondary school teachers have a pretty easy go of getting a full-time job and/or supply teaching right away. Primary and SEN teachers get jobs fairly quickly as well. How quickly? Well, with Classroom it can take as little as a day or as much as a year depending on the teacher's likeability, experience levels and all 'round passion for teaching.
Personally, I never had a problem getting work as a primary school teacher, whether it be day to day supply teaching (I always got 5 days/week) or long term positions teaching one class for a year. Compared to Canada, it was a cinch to get a job!
But this is a new year. The UK is just now climbing out of the "financial crisis" (or "credit crunch" as they call it there), and Secondary schools have made some changes in how they hire. Namely, they now hire what are called "cover supervisors", which I prefer to call security guards. They are people who don't have formal training as teachers. They cover the classes where the teachers are absent due to courses or illness. They're cheap and they get the job done. How well is a different story, but that's a whole other post.
We never thought the schools would actually go this route. The government made the changes last year, to help schools that just didn't have enough teachers. You see, they have a shortage of teachers. That hasn't changed.
But the change in taking on cover supervisors means that schools are now hiring anyone and everyone to supply teach. This is a problem! Luckily, Classroom has a very good reputation with London schools, so we are still getting daily supply positions, but just not as much as we have in previous years, for secondary schools anyway. Primary and SEN are still growing and doing very well compared to the other agencies in London.
Why does this affect the Secondary long term positions? Well, schools used to choose their full-time teachers from the teachers they meet on a day to day basis. Now, schools are still hiring full-time teachers, but they are doing it very differently. And everyone's in a panic.
So, what's the real deal? Well, we have amazing teachers and they are working. We have plenty of full-time teachers in jobs that they love (or grin and bear it anyway - we are talking about secondary teaching here! It's tough to say the least). The most affected teachers are the ones who have just arrived in the last month. They are trying their best to keep their heads up, and stay positive and not panic.
Teachers who can teach primary and SEN are in a much better position. Some of those secondary teachers with SEN and primary experience are actually getting 3-5 days/week and being offered full-time positions. That's amazing!
Which brings me to Amie's question on last week's post: What is my plan of attack for Classroom Canada?
I'm not making any changes to my Primary and SEN recruitment as those areas are still great. But I am making changes to how I recruit Secondary school teachers. Specifically, I'm not selecting anyone who can only teach Secondary. They have to show that they have experience in Primary and/or SEN as well, so that I can rest assured that they will be able to work in Secondary and Primary and SEN. As stressful as it is for the teachers it is just as stressful for me. I want you people working! So, I'm not selecting anyone who is a higher risk. Sad, but true.
So, for those secondary school teachers with us in London, you can also rest assured that you will have first dibs on the jobs that do come in. And they will. They always do. Cover supervisors can't teach full-time, so don't stress about that anyway.
I hope this helps explains things a little better, particularly for the amazing teachers who are being so patient, keeping their heads up, and staying positive. You rock! I can't wait to see you in November for the Classroom Canada PD sessions and Scavenger Hunt. I'll even buy your drinks.
To apply for teaching jobs with Classroom Canada, please see our website and sign up for our newsletters. Read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians by yours truly.
Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Wonderings? Please share below.