The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi recommends face covering for pupils staff and visitors in Year 7 & above

Department for Education recognise high absence & issue of availability of supply staff

The Department for Education is looking at steps and measures to put in place to boost supply capacity, face coverings in schools will help to reduce risk for supply staff which might help a little. This already includes encouraging recently retired teachers to return through registering with supply teacher agencies. Although that has had a mixed reaction since most retired workers are often the most vulnerable – although they are also most likely to have had all the injections and booster too.

He went on to say “I urge you to do everything in your power to protect face to face learning for our children and young people and am confident that you will of course make every endeavour to do so. I understand that a possible challenge for keeping young people in classrooms is staff absence, which is why I am continuing to call on any former teacher who can do so to come back to the classroom. You can support this effort by using your own professional and personal networks to encourage others to sign up to offer temporary help.

“if operational challenges caused by workforce shortages in your setting make delivery of face-to-face teaching impossible, I would encourage you to consider ways to implement a flexible approach to learning. Flexible delivery involves utilising all your available teaching and non-teaching workforce to maximise on-site education for as many pupils as possible.”

“Utilising all your available teaching and non-teaching workforce to maximise on-site education”

If you are a returning teacher or part of the non-teaching workforce and are looking to provide your availability to support schools then please use the free Updatedge app to easily share your availability with all your contacts in schools, academy trusts, your Local Authority talent pool, and any recruitment agencies you choose to work with. To find out more about the updatedge mobile app to share your availability click here.

Local Authority, Academy Trusts, School Talent Pools

Local authorities, academy trusts and schools are doing their very best to run talent pools knowing how demanding it is to get supply teachers and support staff through the registration process and match skills and availability to vacancies.

The obligatory checks references and safeguarding already take significant time along with the DBS checks. The ambition to clear returning retired education supply staff to fill the school vacancies in time is a tall order under normal circumstances. Bottom line there are too few supply teachers.  However, there are limited options, safeguarding checks must be completed, DBS must be completed, there is no way to short-circuit this, even with the government recognising the availability of supply staff a national issue exacerbated by Covid19.

Skills and Availability

Once supply staff are cleared, they are in high demand with schools, academy trusts & agencies needing to know availability of suitably skilled supply staff to fill vacancies.

Talent pools run by Local Authorities and individual schools have found that knowing which supply staff are available with the appropriate skills, matching them to job vacancies is a very time consuming and frustrating process.

The Updatedge service removes these inefficiencies and frustration for all; academy trusts, local authorities and individual schools running their own talent pools enabling them to search for staff with suitable skills to instantly see their availability, to offer work and select the best applicants.  Removing uncertainty of availability for cover managers and headteachers is one of the many benefits schools instantly get by quickly filling vacancies with suitable internal talent pool staff that are hopefully going to be supplemented by returning retired teachers and other many necessary education support staff.

Where local authority or schools internal talent pools are unable to find available supply staff they are able to offer work to their many contingent workers and agencies contacts in their talent pool using the Updatedge application.  Supplementing internal talent pool with agency contingency workers gives schools far greater choice, control and success to fill vacancies.

Local Authorities and school clusters running larger local talent pools are able to more regularly enable schools to fulfil their own vacancies using the self-service Updatedge application, available from any device at all times, day and night, removing the necessity for the talent pool hosts to do the matching, a blessed relief especially with so much demand from schools for supply staff.  And we all know the forecast is that demand for education supply staff is going to be pretty much around the clock through January and February 2022.

To see Nadhim Zahawi’s open letter click here

Education returning retired supply teachers and support staff are using the free Updatedge mobile app available from their app store.  Schools, Academy Trusts, and Local Authorities use the free Updatedge core service for their talent pools and any contingent workers from any agencies.