So you’re looking for a teaching agency? We hear you! If you’ve worked as a supply teacher before or you’re looking at starting supply, you may know that using a teaching agency isn’t a necessity. If you can find work directly in schools, that’s great but there are so many benefits to working with a teaching agency, it’s just about finding the right one… us!
What’s does a teaching agency do?
There is a whole heap of benefits to working with an agency but it’s about finding the best one. In essence, an agency works with schools to find candidates for various positions. This includes teachers as well as teaching assistants too.
Consultants at Connex work closely with schools on a daily basis to understand their requirements. Having previously met with candidates and got an understanding of their experience and ideal school environment, they work diligently to match schools and candidates together.
This can often be a very quick process following the completion of registration and compliance. This is because schools can have a requirement first thing in the morning if a permanent member of staff is off unexpectedly.
As an example, one of our consultants recently registered a year three teacher. Following the completion of DBS checks and our compliance procedures, a school rang up for a year 3 teacher for a short-term cover role and the candidate was placed. I think in Bingo they call that a full house.
So practically, teaching agencies help match education staff to schools for daily, short-term, long-term and permanent roles.
What to look for when signing for a teaching agency
Whilst some teaching agencies stop there, Connex goes a little further. We’re heavily invested in the education sector and know that there are so many other things that we could be helping with. Which is why we also offer Team Teach and Continued Professional Development courses.
It’s always worth looking at the additional benefits when signing up with an agency, but there’s also a number of other things worth considering:
Sometimes agencies get a bad rap but most of the time people appreciate what we do. The good agencies have excellent reputations which are independent and clearly visible across social media or on search engines like Google.
This is really important because you’ve worked hard to build a reputation in the education sector so you want the best people to be representing you. You should feel comfortable that the company that’s working on your behalf is reputable because after all, it’s your reputation that’s on the line.
We’re fortunate because we’re able to display our testimonials on our website homepage and we have a load of positive ones on our Facebook page too!
Use well-trained consultants
Similar to checking out testimonials, work with an agency because of their consultants. There are some amazing education consultants out there who understand the education sector.
To spot a good consultant it’s fairly easy, it’s not about how long they’ve been in the sector (that does help) because that wouldn’t be fair to new consultants. To spot a good consultant, they will be, wait for it… consultative – mind blown! They will listen and understand what you’re looking for. A good consultant will ask questions and listen carefully and keep in contact with you and offer you roles that you made clear would be suitable.
They may sometimes also push the boundaries and offer you positions that you never thought you were ready for. In doing so, they can help advance your career and provide opportunities that they believe you’re ready for. So it’s not just about providing a cover role here and there, it’s also about career development if you want it.
Look out for the REC Audited Education
Teaching agencies that have been awarded the REC Audited Education certificate have been independently verified by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. It covers compliance as well as the REC Code of Professional Practice and ensures all relevant checks are carried out when recruiting teachers.
Furthermore, it goes way beyond compliance as it requires agencies to demonstrate that they operate best practice in areas such as customer service, staff development, diversity and client management.
Therefore, you know that if you’re working with a REC Audited Education agency, you can expect the best service in the industry. Quick fact, did you know that Connex is REC Audited? Sorry, we’re showing off.
Understand the pay rates
Pay rates differ per agency and in fact, they differ per role and location also. Ultimately, you want to receive the most amount of money for the hours that you work so, do some investigating. Speak to colleagues who work with agencies, look at testimonials from various companies and see what other candidates are saying. We’re confident you’ll find Connex extremely competitive!
I met Jenny in 2019 when I was searching for a job at schools It was the darkest time of my life as I was recovering after the sudden death of my husband. In Jenny, I have met not only an extremely efficient professional but also the kindest person who helped me enormously during those difficult times. Jenny was always asking me what I wanted and what suited me; the schools she was assigning me to had very friendly teams, and I was always feeling included even though for some schools it was only one day of work. It was very much to Jenny that I had found my professional confidence again and am now happily working at the primary school full time
I’ve been with Connex since April 2017 . It’s been my first experience working with an agency and they have made it a very easy, enjoyable experience. I love the flexibility of working when I want, with no added pressure from Connex to do more or less. The staff are very approachable, and they make you feel at ease with any situation you are in. I’ve recently been re-employed, and sadly will be leaving Connex but if I ever wanted to go back to agency work then I would choose Connex again.
The staff at the Birmingham branch are very friendly and helpful. Amy especially has been very proactive in getting me work to suit my preferences.
I have tried a few agencies and Connex were honestly the absolute best. They didn’t question my availability or try to force anything on me that I didn’t want to do, and they consistently kept me in work. All staff that I worked with were realistic, personable and friendly, and they always gave me feedback, particularly Jane, Jonny and Craig from the Nottingham branch. They have excellent relationships with the schools that they work with, so you are made to feel as part of a team. Their rates of pay are also better than the norm. I would highly recommend Connex for either short term or long term work. If I ever needed to work via an agency again I would always go to Connex first! I cannot recommend them highly enough!
Beyond supportive. All staff at Warrington go above and beyond. Absolute champions.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Jen, who has been supportive, helpful, professional and most importantly providing quality professions, even at short notice! I have always received first-class staff. Jen understands and knows exactly my expectations and the needs of the school. I’m extremely satisfied with the friendly, efficient and personal service.
Working for Connex was an excellent experience. The company is very professional with plenty of work to offer. My consultant Rachel Urwin was outstanding with her communication skills and worked to the best of her ability to ensure the assignments delegated would be suitable always with the consideration of location and travel. I always felt that I could discuss anything regarding work with Rachel as her professional manner is exceptional.
I joined Connex Education (London) in February 2016. My consultant Richard is so friendly, supportive, understanding and is very polite on the phone. He communicates with us very well, which encourages us to work in different places. Richard and Fatmata are really helping people. Thanks Connex Education for what you’ve done so far and thank you so much to Richard for getting me work in good places.
For the short time, I worked for Connex education the work was plentiful I was contacted by email or mobile with my consignment and was always placed as first call for work. Rachel Urwin was my point of call and I found her to be polite and professional at all times I would have no hesitation in advertising Connex to friends and colleagues
Having worked with Jenny since April 2018, I can honestly say it has been an exciting journey. At the start, I was very nervous getting into supply, after working in one school for several years, but Jenny Kitson was amazing in supporting me. She listened very carefully, provided work that suited me and made my transition really easy, coming from one school to working in many different schools.
I have always had work and never felt like I don’t get enough work. I truly believe Jenny and the whole team really listen; welcome you as a part of the team and respect each and every individual’s needs. I’m so grateful to the moment I joined them and highly recommend it to all those, like myself who may feel supply will be hard, but with Jenny and her team, it really isn’t. Their loyalty and professionalism are extraordinary. They are my number one agency!
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The staff at the Nottingham office are cheery and very helpful. They put a lot of effort into matching me with schools that match my experience, are familiar to me and are a reasonable distance from my home. They are a very friendly, accommodating company to work for.
I joined Connex Education Partnership after over a year away from teaching and since then, Jenny has really helped restore my love of teaching again. I have never felt the job satisfaction that I feel in my role as a supply teacher, and Jenny has massively contributed to this. She is always honest and quick to pass on feedback and is always very encouraging and empathic, and this mixed with her professionalism has made me feel like a highly valued member of the team.
Jemma Collins who works at Connex Education helped me to have the confidence to try something new and completely out of my comfort zone. I worked for 14 years as a HLTA in a main stream primary school and was offered a chance to work in a secondary special needs school. Jemma told the school that I was the perfect candidate for what they needed, but she obviously knew me better than I knew myself. Well to cut a long story short, I went for 1 days supply and was asked to come back the following week for a week. At the end of that week I was asked could I stay in till July. After 4 months of supply and learning a completely different role to what i was used to, I went for an interview at the same school and was given a permanent position. All because of Jemma Collins insisting I gave this new venture a try, so am finally doing a job that I completely love and never once thought that SEN would be my calling. Thank you Jemma for helping me on my new venture.
I have just recently had my interview with Danielle, I was very nervous and she made me feel so welcoming. She went through everything with me and I can’t wait now to start the next chapter of my life. If I where to tell anyone who i new was looking to start with an agency I would point them into Danielle’s direction. Thank you Danielle!
I have worked with Connex (Warrington) for over 2 years now. I love it! I have had regular placements including short and long term, and never have any problems! I speak to Natasha regularly – she is always checking up to make sure things are going well and I’m happy! Couldn’t ask for a better consultant!
I met Jenny during quite a difficult time during my career. I was looking to get into supply so I could go and experience different school were vibrant and where I could learn now things and meet new people. Jenny understood that completely.
She has been an absolutely superstar in finding schools that I am well suited too. I feel I can call her up and discuss any worries or concerns.
The best thing about Jenny is that she shares your triumphs. Good feedback from schools is always shared and she is excellent at boosting your confidence and helping you be the best teacher you can be.
I can’t thank Jenny enough for restoring my faith in myself.
Why use a teaching agency
Like we said earlier, you can find work directly at schools but by using a teaching agency you have access to a wider range of vacancies in your given location. Consultants will have a diverse portfolio of different schools which will match your requirements and best of all, you only have to register once with Connex and fill out one application form, instead of applying several times to different schools.
What’s more, with us, in particular, you then have access to a wide range of additional services such as CPD training and free and accredited safeguarding training. We also handle all the extra administration that comes with it such as payroll and invoicing so you can concentrate on what you’re best at, education.
Ok that’s it for now folks! If you’ve come just for the cute pictures of Colin the Cat, we can’t blame you!
Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve found this informative and if you want any more advice you can always contact your local office by clicking the button below: