Schools reap benefits of new regional teacher recruitment drive

Jobs in Schools | North East, a not-for-profit recruitment portal, plays a key role in fighting teacher shortage in region’s schools

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A not-for-profit teacher recruitment initiative set up to tackle school staff shortages has exceeded expectations in its first eight weeks in operation.

The regional schools network, SCHOOLS NorthEast, created the recruitment portal – Jobs in Schools|North East – after Head Teachers reported growing concerns with filling classroom vacancies.

A SCHOOLS NorthEast survey in December found that nearly 9 in 10 (89%) had issues with recruiting staff in 2015. Some 72% anticipate that finding teaching talent will become more difficult in the future.

Nearly 150 schools have already signed up to Jobs in Schools|North East (www.jobsinschoolsnortheast.com) and have advertised more than 267 vacancies. To date, there have been 5,200+ unique users to the site who have created nearly 40,000 page views.

Head Teachers in the North East have reported a significant increase in the number and quality of applicants. With schools able to upload unlimited vacancies for as little as £200/year, the portal is a cost-effective solution at a time when school budgets are increasingly squeezed.

Derryth Hope, Head Teacher at Berwick Middle School in Northumberland, had experienced considerable difficulties with recruitment previously, including it taking 18 months to recruit a maths teacher in 2014. She publicised a teacher vacancy on Jobs in Schools | North East and received a total of nine applications for the post.

Danny Eason, Head Teacher at Fishburn Primary School in County Durham, advertised a Deputy Head position: “We had a cracking response for the vacancy, nearly double the usual average and at minimal cost. If there is one thing that has become apparent to me in the last few years is that people prefer regional to national solutions.”

Jobs in Schools | North East is a not-for-profit jobs portal created by schools for schools and powered by the only regional education network of Head Teachers in the UK – SCHOOLS NorthEast. It took shape as a solution to the recruitment concerns needs of schools in the region.

The website has attracted potential candidates from across the entire region, but also from the South of England, with London being the second most popular location for traffic.

SCHOOLS NorthEast Director Mike Parker said: “There has been a phenomenal reaction to Jobs in Schools|North East – both from schools and candidates. Our intention is to bring, for the first time, all job vacancies in schools across the region on one dedicated portal.

“We have been staggered by the interest in candidates which will grow and grow the more schools in the region sign-up and publish vacancies. While we believe it will take up to three years for it mature, we are delighted to hear the brilliant feedback from Head Teachers who have used the portal.

“Heads have repeatedly identified recruitment as one of the most significant issues and expressed reservations about the ability of national jobs boards to deliver sufficient quality and quantity of candidates for vacancies.

“We want Jobs in Schools | North East to make a positive impact and the early signs suggest it will deliver the teaching talent schools in our region so desperately need.”

All four of the region’s teaching universities are on board and actively marketing the Jobs in Schools | North East to current students and their alumni as well as active social media campaigning to raise awareness among established teachers.

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