Thousands of staff are being deployed into UK classrooms every week but schools need more staff to avoid shortages
New Directions Education as been placing over 3,000 education staff into work on a weekly basis to help reduce the disruption pupils face due to COVID-19 and flu-related staff absences. Despite this the company says schools still need more staff.
The specialist recruiter therefore is appealing to teachers and education staff who may be retired or taking a break from the sector to go back to school and help address staffing shortages.
Kelly Storer, national manager at New Directions Education, said: “It’s no secret that the UK education sector is under extreme pressure, and we’re seeing first-hand how hard Headteachers and their staff are working to minimise the impact of COVID in their schools.
“They’re under impossible circumstances with staff having to isolate or take time off due to other illnesses, especially as we’re also experiencing one of the worst flu seasons we’ve seen in a while, so we’re doing everything we can to provide all the staff they need,” she added. “That’s why we’re calling on everyone in the education sector who can work more days, or who may have taken a break or retired from the sector and can come back to help, even if it’s just for a day or two, to get in touch.”
The company still has work for teachers, learning support assistants, teaching assistants, cover supervisors and administrative staff throughout the country.
Some schools have reportedly been at ‘tipping point’ in recent times due to a lack of staff, with the UCAC union warning self-isolation due to COVID-19 had exacerbated a supply teacher shortage that existed before the pandemic.
Gary Williams, Group Sales and Business Development Director at New Directions, said: “In all my 25 years in the sector, I have never seen demand as busy as this.
“Since the schools returned to face-to-face learning, we’ve been reaching out to our network of education professionals to ensure we could provide enough staff to support our schools’ catch-up programmes,” he said. “As a result, we already have a number of retired teaching professionals who have returned to work for a few days a week, but we need to reach out to more people.”
“It’s been great seeing a number of our previous teachers back in work, and we’ve made sure to make all sorts of arrangements to help them enjoy the best of both retired and working life, allowing them to balance family and social commitments that inevitably come with retirement too,” Gary added.
“It also means that retired education professional after so many years in the sector can continue to stay in their field and most importantly put their skills and experience to use.”