Want to know what it’s like to work for Axcis? We’ve invited some of our contractors to write a blog for us. This week’s article comes from Matthew Dunn who works for our Liverpool office. Matthew is a teacher who has just completed a year of working for Axcis – and this is what he has to say about the experience…
I initially heard about Axcis at a Liverpool local authority based SEN CPD event, when I was discussing the possibility of moving from mainstream school to a more specialist educational setting with teachers from schools within the Liverpool area. Although I had completed seven years in a mainstream context and just gained a master’s degree, I decided to apply and register with Axcis and left my mainstream position.
During the course of the interview, it became obvious that Axcis worked with a large variety of schools within the Liverpool and wider Merseyside area unlike some other agencies that I had also initially approached. Axcis were keen and very thorough assessing my experiences and in determining what sorts of placements would be the most suitable for me. Overall the process of registration was very straight forward.
At the beginning I decided to undertake work on a day to day basis in order to develop a broader experience of specialist schools. During this time I was able to utilise the online availability system in order to plan the days I wanted to work. Thanks to Axcis I was able experience a wide variety of specialist educational contexts, such as speech and language schools, pupil referral units, and extreme behaviour difficulty schools alongside mainstream contexts that had specialist provision.
A really great feature of the Liverpool Axcis team that I never expected from an agency has been that when you complete a day at a new placement, Axcis will call you not only to seek out your thoughts but also to make sure that the placement is suited to your needs.
Undertaking this variety of work enabled me to learn and develop skills from other specialist teaching practitioners and test out some of my own ideas. Eventually I was offered a more permanent role within an EBD context, where I have taken on the role of tutor for a nurture group. A major benefit of working for Axcis has been the amount of CPD that has taken place, often the CPD is also offered to all staff within the school itself. Alongside this Axcis often has an online competition for useful teaching resources.
One of the traits of working for Axcis is that it is held with high regard within the teaching profession, often within schools other teaching professionals will comment on the specialist aspect of the company. Another great aspect of joining Axcis has been to meet new colleagues, but also to make new friends as well. The flexibility of working for Axcis has also been another key feature of working for the company, which has been especially useful in getting a good work life balance, which I have found to be really important when you have young children.
I have a huge amount of respect for Gail and all the staff in the Liverpool office team who have been fantastic and always on hand to discuss and answer any questions or queries. Prior to working for Axcis I had never worked for a teaching agency, however the payroll process has been faultless, the use of an umbrella payroll company has made it possible to manage online mileage and receipt claims with ease. Even when I had forgotten to send a timesheet in via email, the staff at Axcis have been on hand to help me sort it out.
Thanks to Axcis I have been able to gain a broad range of experiences of schools in specialist contexts, this has helped me to develop as a specialist SEN teaching practitioner and gain the experience needed to gain a permanent SEN teaching position where over fifty other candidates had applied.