Teaching Personnel are Praised by MAT Leader for Helping Keep Schools Open Through the Omicron Surge

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January 17, 2022

Supporting Education partner company Teaching Personnel has been praised by a prominent Multi Academy Trust for its ‘culture and people-first approach’ to short-term supply cover.

The rise of the Omicron variant has dealt a hammer blow to many schools’ workforce arrangements, with an estimated one in 12 teachers absent in England during the first week of term. This has generated a huge demand for supply teachers.

As the UK’s leading supply agency, Teaching Personnel has built longstanding partnerships with schools and academy trusts across the country that long predate the pandemic. With schools so heavily strained, these partnerships have taken on a new importance.

Last week, Teaching Personnel interviewed Matt Coleman, the School Improvement Director of Northamptonshire’s Nene Education Trust to gain a closer insight into schools’ current staffing challenges and the role of supply in overcoming them. Their conversation, published on Teaching Personnel’s website here, makes for illuminating reading.

Covid-19 isolation periods have significantly extended the average absence, meaning that a supply teacher will now typically have to embed themselves in a school for a minimum of four to five days.  

This has motivated school leaders to be more discerning about the supply agencies they work with. In Matt’s telling, the pandemic has driven schools towards agencies with a more highly developed understanding of their customers; agencies ‘who understand their skillset and niche, who can…partner the right person with the right school’.  

Matt held up his schools’ working relationship with Teaching Personnel as a great example of a working relationship built on a ‘human link’, with an alignment of ‘values and ethos’. This gives Matt confidence in Teaching Personnel’s ‘authority’ when selecting educators to come into Nene schools.

The full interview is available to read here. We congratulate Teaching Personnel for this acknowledgement of their important work to maintain in-person education during the Omicron surge.