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Always Flourishing Office News

10 Reasons To Consider Using Teaching Recruitment Agencies

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

Teaching recruitment agencies, including supply teaching agencies, have become an integral part of most UK school recruitment strategies.

As an education agency of choice for many schools across the Thames Valley and surrounding areas, Always Flourishing would like to share some of the reasons why these schools choose to use us, as well as a number of other reputable education recruitment agencies.

What does an Education Agency Do?

While education agencies are often called supply agencies, many of them provide staff for a wide range of contracts. Short-term supply teaching cover and supervising is one of the services we provide here at Always Flourishing, but we also fill longer-term teaching vacancies, for example, to cover maternity leave, sabbaticals and long-term illnesses. We also recruit for full-time teaching positions and roles in leadership.

Like many organisations across several industries use independent recruitment companies as part of their hiring strategies, schools use education recruitment consultants to fill roles they have available. At Always Flourishing, however, we offer plenty of added value support to schools. We're former teachers ourselves and understand the current challenges schools face, exacerbated significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of COVID-19 on Schools and Agencies

Schools play an essential role in supporting children, not just with their education but also with their health. The national lockdown in the UK in March 2020 forced schools, nurseries and colleges to close for all students, with the exception of children of key workers and vulnerable pupils. The UK government also announced that GCSE and A-Level exams would be cancelled, with grades awarded based on teacher assessment and predicted grades, which resulted in widespread controversy. Now, as we are partially through the 2020-21 school term, with some schools being forced to close temporarily due to ongoing fluctuating COVID-19 infections in teachers, the pressure has not exactly eased for schools.
Always Flourishing are committed to helping our partner schools stay on top of the current situation, by providing short and long-term cover supervisors, supply teachers, teaching assistants and other staff where we can. If you are considering using an education recruitment specialist, here are ten reasons why you should consider doing so.

How can Teaching Recruitment Agencies Help You?

Teaching agencies have the ability to spot worthy candidates for available vacancies, while schools struggle to find the time to effectively screen applicants. A teaching recruitment specialist can save schools so much time and resources by handling recruitment for them, ensuring the best possible candidates are hired.

  1. We have access to a large talent pool of candidates.

    Always Flourishing has extensive databases of potential candidates. Whether they're actively looking for new teaching jobs or not, our team has taken time to assess what they are looking for in an ideal vacancy.
  2. We take care of the whole screening and interviewing process.

    It's safe to say we are adept at filtering through candidates that are unsuitable for your vacant position(s), and ensure that the very best are passed onto you for consideration.
  3. Using an agency allows you to focus on retaining your existing staff.

    Although hiring teaching staff is a necessity, the teaching recruitment process is time-consuming and can have a detrimental effect on your current teachers. Delegating it to an agency will free up your time to focus on improving your current staff's skills, subsequently improving your staff turnover and retention.
  4. You have more room and time to focus on what's going on in your school.

    The time it takes to source and recruit staff distracts you from your core school activities. This time could be spent doing the things you need to do to help your school run smoothly.
  5. It's very low risk.

    Most recruiters have a "no placement, no fee" policy, meaning that if a hire is unsuccessful, there is no fee to pay. This means that education agencies have to make smart decisions at passing the very best candidates for your needs.
  6. Confidentiality.

    We always keep our clients' names confidential in the first instance, usually until the candidate has passed the initial screening and progressed past an initial conversation with the recruiter.
  7. Industry experience.

    We are all former teachers and education professionals, so we know the industry very well.
  8. Get access to qualified, professional applicants quickly and efficiently.

    Education agencies only focus on recruiting for education positions. Whenever new challenges or changes present themselves, we don't let this affect our work.
  9. Added value services.

    We offer much more than standard recruitment too, including a carefully-selected talent pool of video interviews, tracking and sourcing talent consistently and independent advice on development and management.
  10. A team of specialist recruiters covering different sectors.

    We have dedicated people recruiting for primary school jobs, as well as jobs in secondary schools, nurseries, private schools, the SEND sector and much more.

Ready to Register a Teaching Vacancy?

Contact us today to advertise a vacant teaching position, or contact us today to see how we can help.

Back To School For Always Flourishing In Aid Of Comic Relief!

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

The 24th March marks the ever popular and ever humours Red Nose Day and to bring an additional element of fun to the office, the Always Flourishing team dressed up as school children!

Always Flourishing Red Nose Day Group Picture

The Always Flourishing employees donned their ties, shirts, skirts and the all-important Red Noses to bring the spirit of the school playground to the office.

If you've enjoyed seeing us be silly for charity, please head to the Comic Relief page and donate to a really great cause! Or you can text "HELP" to 70703 to donate £3.

Full text codes available on the Comic Relief website.

Flourishing In The Face Of Adversity!

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

Recent events at the Always Flourishing office have made the phrases “Keep Calm and Carry On” and “Accentuate The Positive” take on a new resonance…. But, true to our name we were 'Flourishing’. 

Another Water Damaged Picture Of The Always Flourishing Office

It was on a normal Monday morning when we discovered to our surprise that the Always Flourishing office had been completely flooded causing a fair bit of damage because a seemingly innocent tap from the office above had split in two!

Those who came into work that morning were quickly relocated to our Director Andy’s house and those who were on their way, were told to retreat and form what we called the Home Front. The war references abound as we certainly felt a bit of ‘blitz spirit’ as we tried to keep ‘business as usual’ in these unexpectedly challenging circumstances.

However, we would like to apologise to any of our highly valued customers and candidates who may have tried to contact us via the company number when our phone lines were down. Although, we were soon able to have our company number diverted and in no time at all, we were able to take and receive calls. With all of us scattered across various areas in Berkshire, we wouldn’t be swayed in supporting both quality teachers and the many schools we actively support in The Home Counties.

The Water Damaged Always Flourishing Office

On Day 2, the Always Flourishing team were temporarily housed in a serviced office for 1 day before making our new home at Merlin House in Theale the next day. All of us here are absolutely thrilled with our temporary office, and it should be a hit with our teachers as It is adjacent to Theale train station, has a spacious parking facility as well as a very popular canteen!

We’ll be at Merlin house for a few months and whilst we greatly miss our office in Pangbourne, we’re going to make the most of our time in Theale and continue to do our upmost best in supporting our schools and our teachers.

It’s been one very hectic and challenging journey but even in the face of adversity we are 'Always Flourishing!’

Statement from Director Vicky Nyssen,

I am so proud of how the Always Flourishing team rallied through this unexpected challenge and apologise to anybody who wasn’t able to get hold of us last Monday. However, we now fit for business in our temporary home and look forward to welcoming you to our new home.

A Sensational Start To 2017 For Always Flourishing

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

A strong, enthusiastic and cohesive team of staff members is what makes Always Flourishing not only a fantastic place to work but fully able to support all of our schools and teachers.

We have such a diverse mix of illuminating personalities who each have a significant drive and passion for giving their very best to all professionals in the Education sector.

We've been incredibly lucky to secure two new fantastic consultants who will be working closely with Secondary and Independent schools across the Home Counties. But, before we introduce them to you, we'd like to announce that one of our longest serving employees and Secondary specialist, Laura Arnott has been promoted to the role of Senior Consultant.

Laura Arnott - Senior ConsultantLaura has been with the company since it was first established and has single handily developed and grown the successful secondary branch. With an innovative and fresh approach to retaining the relationship between both clients and candidates, Laura has been instrumental in creating new and exciting ways to offer her support, guidance and expertise to an array of individuals.

Laura also helped launch our launched a termly networking event 'Cover Club' for school recruitment associates as a means of discussing best practice and individual needs for organising teachers on a supply basis as well as working with agencies. The event proved so successful that they were able to replicate it in various counties within the Thames Valley.

We'd like to wish Laura the best of luck in her new position!

In addition to this, we'd like to give a warm welcome to Alex Nigbur who will be supporting Laura on the Secondary desk. He is joined by our other new recruit Sophie Appleton Wyeth who will be responsible for our Independent school division.

Alex Nigbur

Alex comes from a recruitment and customer service background and he greatly understand the needs of both candidates and clients and how to build long lasting, positive relationships. Upon joining Alex stated,

''Always Flourishing has allowed me to entwine both skills and passion to build a career that is both challenging and enjoyable. It is my desire to help other people find the correct career and calling in life and it gives me immense satisfaction knowing I have made a difference in a candidate's life but also contributing to the next generation's education'.

Sophie Appleton WyethSophie is a former teacher at Dulwich Prep London and has also worked in an international school, over a period of six years. With extensive experience covering Preparatory and Independent Secondary Schools, Sophie was and still remains passionate about facilitating the Independent Sector whole-child approach to education.

'All my experience uses the same fundamental skill; that of building and maintaining positive, meaningful relationships with people. I look forward to utilising this expertise at Always Flourishing'. We are confident that both Sophie and Alex will add another layer of success and inspiration to the Always Flourishing team. 2017 is already looking to be a fantastic year for all of us at Always Flourishing and we can't wait to see what the year holds.

If you are looking for a suitable candidate for your school or a new teaching job in some of the many areas we support, get in touch and contact us today!

Two Terrific Teacher Testimonials!

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

Two fantastic primary school teachers working with Always Flourishing we're recently moved to write these fantastic testimonials due to the outstanding level of care, support and career guidance from our consultants Jamie Pilling and Annie Davis.


Here's what our teachers had to say.

"Annie Davis is a delight to work with. She is extremely supportive and has prepped me thoroughly for job interviews, wishing me well before the interview and phoning me directly after.

She has introduced me to schools close to my home for supply work. Her encouraging, pleasant manner makes working with her a pleasure. She is one of the best teaching agents that I have worked with and I am currently registered with 5 teaching companies. Thank you Annie for what you do."

Linda - Primary Teacher - Surrey

"When I put my CV online I had around 12 different agencies contact me, saying they could find work for me. However, Jamie at Always Flourishing was the only one who listened carefully and actually took the time to get to know what I was looking for.

At the time, I was only available part time and only wanted to teach in early years and Jamie took the time to match me to the right school and arrange for me to speak to the head. I was unable to make certain days for interview due to family commitments so Jamie liaised with the school to first arrange a telephone interview, and then an interview in school on a day which I was available. I really felt that I was listened to, not just matched to any role and I am now happily working full time in the school that Jamie found for me.

During the school holidays before I began my role, I was a little anxious, but Jamie was available to answer any questions I had.

When registering with Always Flourishing there were only certain times/days that I was available and the staff at Always Flourishing strived to ensure that I was able to register at a convenient time for me."

Natalie - Early Years Teacher - Berkshire

If you are a Primary Teacher in Berkshire or Surrey and would like to receive this level of outstanding service, please submit your details to us today.

All Fun At The Always Flourishing Opening

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

Opening Office Image with Always Flourishing and Alok SharmaThe 1st Of July, 2016 marked the official opening of relocation of The Always Flourishing Office! To celebrate this company milestone, we invited a range of education professionals including teachers; school business managers as well as Local West Reading MP Alok Sharma.

With an extravagant spread of food as well as the all-important party décor the Always Flourishing team played host the numerous guests who attended.

To view pictures of our event, head to our Facebook gallery! 

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State of The Art New Office for Always Flourishing

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

The Front of Always Flourishing within Pangbourne BerkshireAlways flourishing are celebrating the opening of a brand new office in the heart of Pangbourne, Berkshire for Specialist Education recruitment and consultancy. The free opening event will take place on Friday 1st of July at 4:00 pm with local West Reading MP Alok Sharma cutting the Red Ribbon joined by a range of Education Professionals that work with Always Flourishing.

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All change for Always Flourishing Education

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

A New Year calls for change in almost every person. Whether it is taking up a new hobby, finding a different job or learning a new skill, change seems very much at the forefront of people minds and Always Flourishing is no exception to this.

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Christmas Card Competition

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

IMG 1348 2We were pleased to attend a special festive assembly to unveil the winner of our Christmas Card competition. We gave local schools the opportunity to design a beautiful Christmas Card to be sent to all of our fantastic clients. Everyone involved made a big effort and there was a significant number of entries to choose from. However, the decision was made and Phoebe from Downsway Primary School won a £25 book voucher! We'd like to thank everyone and every school who participated in this competition. To show our gratitude, we have uploaded the winning schools beautiful cards to our Pinterest board for everyone to see this Christmas!



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Cover Club Success

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

Cover ClubThe role of a Cover Manger is an important and pivotal role in School, the Always Flourishing Education Cover Club goal is to bring together Cover Managers and expert guest's speakers to network and share best practice.

Many thanks to all those who attended our first Always Flourishing Cover Club. The feedback was fantastic and we managed to discuss a range of topics. If you weren't able to make it this time then hopefully the minutes below will give cause for thought and we look forward to seeing you next time.

Nick Parker chaired our first meeting. Nick has been a qualified teacher for over 17 years who has also been a Deputy Head, a role which involved arranging and managing emergency and planned cover. He now focuses on HR management with a particular interest in the Education sector. A full overview of the content of event presentation is available to all Cover Managers on request. Topics covered included:

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Always Flourishing do Children In Need

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It may look like the Always Flourishing team have rolled straight out of bed and into the office this morning but it's all for a good cause, Children In Need!Always Flourishing Do Children In Need

Children In Need is a nationwide fundraising event that is heavily supported across the country. Since the 1980's, the Children In Need annual telethon has raised over £600 million to send to disadvantaged children and families across the UK. The annual telethon has been fronted by a list of presenters and celebrities over the years. But the real star of the show and the entire fundraising campaign is none other than the Children In Need Mascot, Pudsey Bear!

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Always Flourishing Launch The Cover Club Networking Event!

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

Always Flourishing Launch A New Networking Event For School Cover Managers in The Thames Valley!

This blog was partially updated on the 23rd November 2016 for improved accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

New Cover Club Listening to local Primary and Secondary schools across Berkshire and Oxfordshire is part of what makes Always Flourishing's approach to education recruitment distinctively refreshing . A number of cover managers and school recruitment associates we work with asked for our advice on best practice advice in other schools around maintaining cover, managing agencies and getting not only quality but good value supply teachers in to cover lessons. 

Our expert team of education consultants are always happy to share our experiences with local schools but as a collective, we felt that offering something more innovative to cover managers in schools might be of a greater benefit.

As a result of this need for shared advice and guidance, we are launching a quartley networking event for school cover managers called 'Cover Club' for schools across the Thames Valley such as Berkshire and Oxfordshire on a termly basis.

What Is Cover Club?

We've created 'Cover Club' as a means to enable cover managers and those involved in school recruitment to have the opportunity to get together, share ideas and develop best practice when considering the staffing needs of each unique school environment. Our 'Cover Club' events will be  FREE event upon confirmation and will bring together a variety of education recruitment professionals together.  

Additionally, we will be inviting an experienced guest speaker from the eduaction sector to each event to a short presentation on a topic that is relevant to your day to day role in recruiting school staff members. 

The next event will be held in term two but there will be limited numbers for membership so if you would like to register your interest in joining the 'Cover Club',  please contact our organiser Laura Arnott on 01189 842413 or email                

How Always Flourishing Is Battling The Teacher Recruitment Crisis

  • Category: Always Flourishing Office News

A teacher actively engaging with her student.This blog was partially updated on the 23rd November 2016 for improved accuracy and comprehensiveness.

There is little doubt that there is a looming teacher crisis in England with many areas more affected than others. In our first blog related to the education recruitment sector, we are looking at some of the challenges faced by schools we work with and examining the startling data around the looming crisis in teaching recruitment. 

Today a poll by PA news showed almost three out of four local education authorities in England are experiencing a teacher shortage, and 18 percent of those polled said the problem had reached crisis levels. This is by no means news to Always Flourishing.

This week we talked with three secondary heads who are actively working with us to plan how we can address likely vaccines just through retirement in January 2016. They also expressed growing concern relating to 'no cover' industrial action in the news.

The NASUWT is holding ballots in a number of schools and has threatened to hold more votes on an LEA-wide basis in protest at shortages.

This week a number of Always Flourishing team members attending the REC Education conference in London where again talking about teacher shortages being at the top of the agenda. Information from Oxford Teaching Services suggested that there will be no further supply of entrants to teaching from training until the 2015 cohort commences job hunting in early 2016.

The remaining supply of entrants will have to help fill any late vacancies for September and the vacancies that will arise for January 2016. (It is assumed that no new entrants will be needed in April 2016).

The absence of a pool of trainees means vacancies for January 2016 will need to be filled by returners, existing teachers changing schools, which creates further vacancies, and the recruitment of either teacher from overseas or those with no teaching qualifications or inappropriate qualifications.

We are working with Headteachers in both Primary and Secondary settings to support recruitment planning well in advance of 2016. Helping to plan for a mix of qualified, highly skilled unqualified teacher and overseas trained teachers to meet there needs.

If you would like to know more about how the Always Flourishing recruitment team can support you into 2016 with the right school teachers in place for January, please submit your enquiries to our contact form.

Sources: PA News, Oxford Teaching Services Ltd, NASUWT