Are you new to supply teaching or support work? Do you need to start earning money as soon as possible? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then these tips are for you! Find out how to fast-track your supply work application here.
At Axcis, we meet hundreds of teachers and classroom support staff every year. Some are out working the very next day while others might end up waiting weeks – or even months before they can start a job with one of our schools. So what can you do to be one of the former rather than the latter? It all comes down to compliance and communication. Here is an inside scoop on how you can make sure you are fast tracked by your agency.
1- Know your referees
Top of the list with things that hold up supply applications with is a lack of appropriate references. Before you register with an agency, make sure you know who can provide references for at least the last 2 years of your work or educational life. Referees should always be a line manager (or a tutor/teacher for educational environments). You will need to ensure that you have the correct phone and fax contact details, as well as a professional email address (agencies can’t accept references from personal email addresses). The more methods of contact you can provide, the faster we will be able to chase down your references.
The minimum standard number of references is two, so even if you’ve been with the same employer for a long time, you will still need two references – so make sure you have the details of two different people who can comment on your practice. If you’ve done voluntary/charity work, one of your references could be from this – especially if its relevant to how you work with special needs individuals.
Once you have established who your referees will be, contact them and check that they are able to respond quickly when they receive a reference request from your agency. If you take the time to explain that you can’t start work until they respond, we find that most referees will turn our request around quickly. And hearing it from you, rather than us tends to yield better results.
You can speed things up even more by doing all of this before you even come to our office for a registration meeting. The most organised candidates often have two references on file before we even shake their hands in person.
2 – Make sure police checks are in hand
All school staff must have a current DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before they can begin work (current is defined as under 3 years old). You need to hold a certificate and also join up to the update service – this means that different employers can use the same DBS check. If you don’t sign up to this online service, you’ll need to complete a fresh one for each separate employer. Therefore – if you already hold a DBS check and are signed up to the update service this shouldn’t slow down your supply work application.
However, if you do not hold a current DBS, or have not signed up to the update service, you could find yourself waiting for weeks while a new one is processed for you. This is worth considering ahead of when you want to begin supply work as you could get the DBS check in place prior to seeking work in order to avoid it causing delays. It is worth noting that if you hold an older one you may still be able to work while your new one is in process, so it’s always worth bringing whatever you have along to your interview. Speak to your local Axcis office for help with this.
In addition – for overseas staff, you’ll need to ensure you have an overseas police check in hand before you arrive in the UK (translated into English if necessary) which is under 3 months old. Axcis conforms to strict vetting criteria as laid out by the DfE so if you don’t have one, getting one processed remotely can cause unnecessary delays – so make sure you get it sorted before you board your plane!
3 – Make sure your paperwork is in order
Other paperwork you’ll need in hand when you join up to an agency includes the following:
- Qualifications (any which are relevant to the work you do will need to be seen by the agency)
- Right to work (passport/birth certificate/visa)
- Proof of address
- Additional photo ID
- Marriage/name change certification (if relevant)
- Proof of membership to relevant professional bodies
If you are not sure which of these documents apply to you, feel free to get in touch with your local Axcis office who will be able to advise you. Any outstanding documentation will cause delays in finding you work while it’s chased up.
4 – Be Available!
This might sound silly, but the more available you are, the higher the likelihood that you’ll be offered work quickly. For example, if you are still employed elsewhere and need to give notice to your current employer, this will seriously hinder your ability to take up supply work through an agency. This is because the majority of schools use agencies to fill positions when they need someone at short notice. Many of the positions we receive at Axcis start as quickly as the next day – so being available to begin an assignment with us at the drop of a hat will mean you’ll find work faster (although we can’t guarantee this).
5 – Be flexible and communicate with your agency
Once you have registered and all your paperwork is in hand, make sure you stay in close contact with your consultant. Find out what jobs they have available and make sure you are applying/being put forward for any that are of interest. Enthusiasm can get you a long way! In addition to this, be as flexible as possible in terms of the locations/types of assignment you will consider, and you should be out working in no time!
If you are considering doing supply teaching or support work in special needs schools, find out if Axcis can help you by having a friendly chat with one of our consultants. It’s totally free to join up with Axcis, so you have nothing to lose by giving us a call! In addition, if you have friends or family to recommend to Axcis and we are able to find them work, you can earn yourself up to £100 in shopping vouchers. You can’t say fairer than that!
Axcis conforms to all guidelines for school staffing, as laid out by the DfE in the keeping children safe in Education Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/550511/Keeping_children_safe_in_education.pdf