The recruitment crisis could be a horrific blow to new schools – whose vision and dedication to offering a better type of education could falter at the starting gates before they’ve even had the chance to make a difference.
But, as with everything that we do, Logic Studio School is taking a very different approach to recruitment. “The only way to really stand out in this ever-decreasing pool of teachers, is to ‘think differently’ and to challenge some of the normal conventions of teacher recruitment,” says Jay Lockwood, Principal Designate at Logic Studio School. He started by asking one very simple question – ‘how can we really stand out to attract teachers to a position at Logic?” Jay is determined to attract a big enough pool of candidates to only choose the very best fit.
“This isn’t just a case of ‘desperate times, desperate measures’”, continues Jay. “It’s part of our approach to always think about things from a fresh perspective. We call ourselves ‘new school’ because we’re not automatically taking on the baggage of the old school mentality. This is no different when we are designing our curriculum to better prepare students for the world of work, to building our facilities with integrated commercial workspaces or, in this case, recruiting our staff.”
He has studied what large corporate companies do to entice the best staff, and what Generation Y are looking for in an employer. “We’ve identified the key areas that we think will affect our recruitment and have taken steps to address these from the outset so that we can not only attract inspiring, well-qualified teachers, but to also retain them.” His four-point plan is to:
- Reduce the unrealistic workload expectations that are causing teachers to leave, as well as graduates to shy away from joining. “Our longer day, modeled on the commercial world, sees the whole school finishing at 5pm. As well as preparing students for the world of work, this also allows our teachers to have the time to do their job during the day. Combined with their reduced teaching timetable, we’ve put everything in place to stop killer workloads and stop late night marking for our teachers.”
- Offer a better term-time life balance. “All schools offer the same holidays - but teachers need flexibility as much as other employees. They want a life in term-time rather than having to put everything on hold until the holidays. So we’re offering early finishes every Friday, three long weekends throughout the year and two days of flexible holiday in term time.”
- Give teachers the freedom to teach. “Teachers choose to teach because they want, not surprisingly, to teach! Of course we have the highest expectations, but we’ve also offering realistic accountability – by removing unnecessary checklists to allow them to teach in a style that suits them. There aren’t any Logic lesson proformas, over-burdensome marking expectations or meetings for meetings sake. Instead, we’re telling prospective teachers from the outset that they can expect streamlined reporting, assessment, and flexible working arrangements.”
- Over-invest in their career. “We are ambitious for everyone in our community: students AND staff. So we’ve committed to spending at least 50% more on our teachers’ development than the average secondary school. Every year. Combined with termly SLT secondment opportunities and the chance to be coached and mentored by one of our Industry Partners.”
With Logic Studio School opening in September, Jay is busy recruiting a great team of staff to join the team. “This is a great opportunity for teachers who really want to be a part of something different, who believe as strongly as I do that it’s a school’s responsibly to prepare students for their lives - not just for exams.”
If you'd like to join the Logic team - see what teaching vacancies are available by clicking here.