Returning to School after COVID-19 Lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented level of stress and uncertainty for so many people, particularly across the education sector. Anyone who currently holds any level of teaching job has been affected in some way by this unexpected turn of events.
Below are just some of the increasingly prevalent topics around the 2020-2021 term, following the government’s announcement of mandatory returns to schools. COVID-19 has played a significant part in:
- How local schools may use an education agency
- How candidates can apply for teaching vacancies
- Matching the right teaching job applicants in the right positions (remotely)
- How permanent and supply teachers, as well as teaching assistants, will be supported
Given the pandemic is still ongoing, it is very difficult to gauge just how severe the impact the situation has been on every pupil, teacher and those in school leadership positions.
As an experienced education recruitment agency, the team at Always Flourishing know fully well how much pressure there is on schools, staff and students even in a pre-coronavirus time. Our education recruitment consultants all possess a wealth of experience in teaching, and therefore, given our position, mission and values, we want to encourage all school leaders to take steps to ensure that their staff and student wellbeing is looked after during what will be a challenging term.
Tips to Support Pupils and Staff
- Engage parents - We would recommend headteachers offer opportunities for parents to engage with you directly. Many parents will no doubt be worried or stressed about their children returning to school, so offering an ear to them to voice any concerns will go a long way.
- Training - it makes sense to identify gaps in knowledge or confidence around pupils’ mental health, as well as that of your staff. Providing extra training resources which teachers can complete, without interfering too much with their teaching time, can send a positive message of support and encouragement.
- Pastoral care - make time, over the course of several weeks, for pupils to connect with adults. It’s also important you ensure staff are supported, with processes in place for reporting any pastoral/safeguarding issues.
- Teamwork - consider the support from teaching agencies like us at Always Flourishing, and other organisations, who you can draw on for suggestions, advice and ongoing help. We want to lend our hand to anyone currently expressing concern regarding their placement or teaching job application. Working together is key here.
- Positivity - consider how effective your school counselling, learning support and mentoring schemes are. Use this knowledge to identify ways in which you can keep everyone safe, while thinking of positive aspects of the lockdown situation that you can implement into the school. Embrace the new way of working in schools, and put wellbeing at the heart of your institution, and you may find the whole situation somewhat easier.
How Have Teachers Been Affected?
Since the nationwide lockdown was announced, it’s no secret that anyone with a teaching position would have been concerned about the ongoing situation.
The pandemic has meant that teachers, parents and pupils have had to find ways of continuing education throughout a crucial time period of many school year groups.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has resulted in some redundancies of teaching staff. This of course is never an ideal situation to be in. Newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) have, over the years, been in high demand to boost comparatively low teaching ranks at schools across the country. With fewer full-time teaching job vacancies than perhaps there were before, many teachers have turned to supply teaching jobs.
Supply teaching positions offer a great deal of flexibility and autonomy for candidates, and with continued support from a Thames Valley-based education agency like Always Flourishing, we can help schools fill teaching agency jobs for both short and long term cover.
We recognise that staff numbers can be a growing concern, especially during a time like this, but we want to reassure you we are committed to helping schools recruit the right teaching applicants. This doesn’t just apply to supply teachers, but those looking for full-time work, or working as a teaching assistant too.
Ongoing Support from an Education Agency
If you are looking for dedicated, bespoke support regarding job applications, vacancies, sourcing candidates and more, then get in touch with Always Flourishing today. We’re more than happy to listen to you and offer advice and ongoing support where we can.
Having more support staff on hand, who know what they’re doing, can be a big difference in how your school operates during this time.