Updated: May 19
Having spent the last few weeks out of the office visiting schools and talking to their staff, you quickly realise that the needs of each school is very similar. Schools need, especially in these difficult times, a company who is working to help them, a company they can trust, a company who understands their needs, a company who has the same values as they have.
It has been lovely to get out and meet people. Find out what exactly everyone is looking for. What has been more pleasing is the fact that we were able to answer those questions and ease concerns.
You are available on a Sunday - that’s good to know. So, being teachers, you’ll know what we are looking for and what makes a good teacher. We are looking for a local company to work with. I guess being a family business means you have more to lose which in turn means you’ll work harder to ensure both schools and teachers are happy.
It was great to hear the positive comments that us coming to meet them face to face was something that doesn’t seem to happen very often. We believe in a more personal touch. We want to develop relationships and not just at the start but we want it to continue even when times are hard.
We are the first to admit that there is a balance needed here. It would be very difficult to get around every school in the local area and say hello – not to mention the cost to travelling around – it's just not practical. Schools are very busy places and the staff within them work so incredibly hard. Time then, is precious and the approach made by ourselves is carefully considered. It’s to the point, essential information only and a reassurance of a quality service.
The questions we were asked are probably no different now to say if we had gone around three years ago. Schools have always had a budget to stick too. They want reliability from an agency. They want an agency who understands their needs. We’ve heard that relationships between schools and their agency of choice have become more detached recently. A lack of effective communication or a feeling of being hounded with phone calls being the most common theme.
It seems common sense to us to let schools know you are there but when they need you. They don’t need a constant reminder you are but on the other hand, they want the reassurance that you want more than just the money a placement of a teacher brings and that’s it. A mutually beneficial relationship. I’m guessing some would argue that that is business and you should expect that detachment to some level but we disagree. We believe that the boundaries of respect have been crossed and that as professionals, school staff can make decisions without the need for constant reminders and prompts.
As we have said before, part of our ethos is to give back, to be there when needed and understand those needs, provide a friendly and personal service where developing a close relationship with our schools is at the heart.