The recruitment market in general is a challenging place in which to operate at the moment, let alone within education where schools are increasingly fighting for the best candidates in their regions.
As you will know, a considerable amount of thought and effort is put into ensuring full-time teachers fit with the cultural ethos and wider environment of the school that they’re being recruited by, but less effort is generally spent doing the same with supply staff. However, ensuring your pool of supply teachers fit with your existing staff, and the wider school, should be a priority. Here’s why.
Short term needs
It is, to a degree, understandable that cultural fit isn’t always at the forefront of your thoughts when sourcing supply teachers. We don’t need to tell you that finding staff, at short notice for an urgent need, can be stressful and without a proper system in place, you can be forced into making hiring decisions you wouldn’t necessarily have made with more time at your disposal.
However, an individual’s cultural fit with their organisation impacts their effectiveness within any environment, and supply teaching is no different. Yes, skills and experience are important, but so is how the individual blends with the school community. Firstly, there are clear benefits for the other staff within your workforce. Teachers who feel like they are a real part of the school, regardless of how long they are working there, are generally more positive and energised than those who feel distant or disconnected from colleagues. They are also more likely to implement changes more effectively and will collaborate with other educators, creating more effective and cohesive lessons.
Consistency is key
There are also a number of benefits for students when you recruit supply teachers that fit with your culture. Supply staff that appreciate and understand how your school works and the educational concepts that you are trying to deliver will be more likely to blend seamlessly into the school environment without disturbance and interruption for pupils and therefore their education pathways. As we all know, consistency is key in education and bringing in staff, even in the short term, who don’t fit and can’t convey ideas to students in ways that they’re familiar with is only going to create disruption. Young people who face high levels of teacher turnover have been shown to perform more poorly in exams, and the presence of a familiar, understanding face can go a long way.
The issue of cultural fit with supply teachers is particularly pressing in environments with a clear and distinct culture. If you are fortunate enough to have developed such a setting, and employ staff who are all facing in the same direction and are focused on achieving the same goals, it is even more important to ensure you are working with supply staff that understand what they are walking into. If the teacher doesn’t understand the concepts that the school is enforcing, it will be hard for them to relay ideas to pupils effectively, particularly when these concepts are strongly reinforced within the school environment.
However, unless you’re incredibly lucky, being able to regularly source supply staff that fit with your organisational culture is only achievable by having a suitable pool of candidates at your disposal. At The Supply Register our unique, custom-built platform gives schools complete control by helping you to build a ‘bank’ of cover staff, streamline processes and ultimately cut your supply staffing bill by up to 20%. All of the candidates that we work with are strictly vetted and paid at the best market rates, so when you work with us you will have access to the best quality teaching and support staff and can ensure you work with professionals that align with your school environment. Our Master Vendor approach works for schools, academies and multi-academy trusts that want us to generate a first-rate pool of staff for you to choose from, while the Neutral Vendor option enables us to manage a supply chain of agencies to fulfil your placements. The Bank First solution is the best of both worlds and combines the key features of both Neutral and Master Vendor options with additional features. We will work with you to define a suitable sourcing strategy bespoke to your school or trust that can factor in key requirements, like a need for a specific personality type or someone who can be assured to fit with your cultural environment.
To find out how we can help you solve your staffing issues get in contact.