By Darren Jones
The Transfer Deadline is a time of much excitement and speculation for football fans across the world as international transfers are arranged. Betting shops offer special odds and promotions as last-minute negotiations go down to the wire as the Transfer Window draws to a close.
For Schools, the transfer deadline is also a source of anxiety and nail biting tension but the stakes are much higher as the transfer deadline at the end of May 2018 means that there are no other options to change staffing in 2018. If a school doesn’t have all of its staffing arranged by the end of May then the next time they can hire a teacher currently employed at another school is Christmas.
This is because there are three resignation deadlines in the school year, the end of October, February and May. If a teacher resigns before this point then they can leave by the end of the following half-term, the difficulty comes if they leave it to the end of the deadline, especially May. If a school is negotiating with a teacher to join them, they have to get this signed and sealed by the end of May. If negotiations fail, if a teacher is offered a fantastic job on the final day of May and accepts then the school cannot bring on an experienced member of staff from another school until December.
This doesn’t mean that schools are going to be without a teacher for the entire of the Autumn Term, there are PGCE students looking for work, there are freelance teachers ready for long-term positions but it does mean that schools are potentially looking at unqualified teachers, teachers without regular classroom experience and teachers who don’t always have a grip on the expectations of the national curriculum or of teaching in the modern classroom. It also means that if you are looking for an experienced head of department then you are going to have sixteen weeks where you may have to compromise on getting the right person. For schools this challenge comes as schools are settling into a new term, dealing with a fresh intake of new pupils and other demands and while this problem with teacher transfer windows is well known, there is no sign on the horizon of a solution for schools. The major impact of this is felt by the school teams, struggling to fill these positions and by the children who are left without a regular teacher for the first term of the new school year.
This is where Teach Agency can be a support for schools trapped without teachers because of the current system. We work with experienced teachers, familiar with the national curriculum and with a wide base of experience within Primary, Secondary and SEN schools across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. These teachers are available for long-term roles, giving schools a way to offer continuity of education for children across the first 16 weeks until the transfer window opens again.
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