Category: Sugarman Education News

International Happiness at Work Week

We spend a lot of time at work, so it is important to have a career that we enjoy and can feel happy to get up for every day. It should be a top priority for all companies that employees are happy, so they can perform at their best. This could be something such as a weekly coffee with your colleagues or an incentive. 

As a teacher, bringing happiness into the classroom will have a positive impact on your students and encourage them to be more motivated and excited about their lessons. Teaching can be a demanding and stressful job at times, but finding the positives in your day will help eliminate negative feelings. Here are a few ideas to brighten up the school day…

 

Engage – Always make an effort to greet the children in your class, regardless of how you are feeling. This could really be the difference between a good and a bad day for you and your pupils. If this is a regular occurrence, the classroom will be a cheerier place. 

Mix it up – It is sensible to have a lesson plan in place to structure your learning, but don’t be afraid to veer off course at times. Feel the vibe of the class and if a certain joke, dance, or technique has them engaged and makes them laugh…go with it! 

Take breaks – Students will pay attention to lessons if they have regular breaks. Allow them even 5 minutes between lessons so they have a chance to adjust. 

Give choices – Usually, teachers set the rules and decide how things will go inside the classroom. Students rarely get a chance to make choices for themselves. Allowing students to have a say in what or how they will learn is a good way to make them happy. Doing so will give students some degree of independence and shows that you trust them.

Praise – Do not underestimate the power of praise. Children love to be told that they are doing a good job. Share their achievements, however big or small. 

 

Creating a happy classroom will make for enthusiastic and hardworking students who will perform at their best. You can learn more about International Happiness Week at work here.

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Sugarman launches new CPD Course

Sugarman Education, part of Affinity Workforce, is launching an innovative Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course aimed at upskilling the supply teaching sector and address the current skills shortage.

The 10-session course, titled ‘CPD Supply Toolkit’, will run from September to December and cover a variety of topics from new ways of working post-pandemic and supporting children’s mental health in the school setting, to the new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.

Esme Bianchi-Barry, CEO of Affinity Workforce, said: “Our market-leading recruitment brands have been helping schools and academies to recruit great teachers for more than 25 years. However, we have seen in recent years that there is a growing disparity between the training that supply teachers receive compared to their counterparts in school.

“In light of this, we felt it was necessary to launch a practical CPD course that would upskill candidates with the latest must-have training for supply teachers. Our goal has always been to offer best-in-class service and CPD is a fundamental part of that – it is important no matter your level, age or experience.”

Bury-based training provider, BEST Trust, has helped develop and will be delivering the course exclusively for Affinity Workforce. The live sessions will all include interactive elements as standard, to encourage candidate engagement and recall following the training.

Anne Johnson, Strategic Manager at BEST Trust, commented: “We are committed to delivering high-quality and bespoke professional learning and training, so when the opportunity arose to work with Affinity Workforce, we were keen to deliver something special.

“As Affinity Workforce’s exclusive training provider, we have been able to tailor a programme of sessions that reflect the needs of their candidates – their feedback has directly impacted and shaped the content of the course, which we know will be invaluable to supply teachers of all levels of experience.”

If you are an NQT or an experienced teacher who is looking to work on supply, Sugarman Education is here to take you step by step into your new career pathway and offers guidance and support for your new role.

Get in touch with our friendly recruitment consultants today to find out more about the support we offer and take advantage of the new CPD programme by clicking here.

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Affinity CEO looks ahead to the new financial year

Starting the new academic year brings with it excitement, apprehension and opportunities.  As the summer holidays come to an end and we prepare to go back to “reality” it’s the perfect opportunity to make new goals and objectives.

Reflecting on the past academic year, I feel very proud to work in the education recruitment sector and provide outstanding candidates to our schools. The last 18 months have been challenging to say the least, especially with school closures and staff having to adapt to ways of new working. But everyone involved with Affinity Workforce and its brands from candidates, clients and our consultants rose to the challenge.

We continued to provide outstanding candidates on short- and long-term placements at very short notice. We continued to deliver high-quality service despite the extra pressure Covid-19 brought to the sector. And we worked collaboratively with our clients to ensure their needs were met throughout the pandemic.

To do that was an achievement in itself. But we didn’t stop there. In September 2020, Sugarman Education joined the Affinity family, which has continued to grow in London and beyond. We also secured 7 managed service partnerships across the Northeast, Midlands, London and Bristol. This is an outstanding accomplishment and a testimony to the fantastic employees we have here. It showcases the ambitious nature of our business and reaffirms our desire to secure our position as a market leading provider within the education recruitment space.

We also launched two brand new websites for CER and Monarch, which boasts our refreshed branding to highlight the modern and innovative approach we take.

As we look forward to the new academic year, it brings with it opportunities and openings. One of our focuses this year is on the training and development of our candidates. We are passionate about ensuring our candidates have access to the most up-to-date training, so they can provide exceptional teaching and support for the younger generation. An exciting announcement regarding the development of our candidates will be announced very shortly, which I will probably be talking about for the next 12 months!

We also want to build on our success of last year and during the summer months, we have recruited some exceptional consultants, with experience in both recruitment and teaching. Hiring the top talent within the sector demonstrates our mission to seek the best candidates for our clients.

Although we have offices nationwide, we are very much a family. We celebrate each other’s successes through Friday Lunch Clubs, annual overseas trips and I’m sure there will be lots of celebrating this academic year as we reach personal and professional goals.

I would like to wish you all every success this academic year. I am hopeful that from last year’s experiences we can use our resilience, spirit and determination to make this year a successful and positive one!

Esme Bianchi-Barry

CEO, Affinity Workforce Solutions

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Dealing with mental health in a school setting

Being a teacher is not always about educating young people. As a teacher, you will have a unique relationship with your class and can sometimes be the one person that a student turns to for emotional support if they are struggling.

Mental health and wellbeing are much more prevalent in the mainstream nowadays; it’s refreshing to see intervention being implemented at an earlier age. What I mean by that is mental health doesn’t just affect teenagers and adults, but it impacts the younger generation too. There are already several coping strategies in place and education should be no different. Just remember it’s alright to discuss feelings, speaking to someone personally or professionally really can make all the difference!

It may be difficult to notice when a student needs help, so it is a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take note of some simple techniques to help support those who may need someone to talk to.

You can take steps to recognise mental health issues within your classroom and educate yourself on how to approach these situations. This will ensure that the children have a safe environment and will feel comfortable confiding in you. You may notice that a student is acting differently and it is starting to affect their learning. Some signs to look out for could be: 

  • constantly thinking or talking about their problem/s
  • acting and being very out of character (for example, a quiet person becoming loud and wild or an outgoing person becoming quiet)
  • changes in mood/unexpected outbursts of emotion
  • feeling/looking tired
  • unable to focus 
  • changes to eating habits 
  • avoiding friends and social events that they would normally be part of

If you have concerns for the welfare of a child, there are a few ways in which you can approach the subject:

  • Listen – It is important that students feel they can express their concerns without fear of judgement or unfair treatment. If this means simply listening to their issues, that may be all they need.
  • Offer help – without enforcing help that they may not want, you can make them aware of counselling/support services that are available to them. 
  • Seek advice – If the issue is more serious than you originally thought, you may need to make the student aware that you cannot keep it confidential and the details may need to be passed on to a higher authority. 

 

For more information about our team-teach courses, contact your local branch today!

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How teachers can prepare for school in September

It’s that time again…a new school year! A time to start a fresh, learn new skills and meet new people! Returning to work after a long break can possibly create feelings of nervousness or anxiety. There is a lot of work to do both in and out of the classroom. So it’s a good idea to make sure you are prepared for every event and reduce any stress. Here are some of our top tips…

 

Plan ahead 
Take some time before heading back to school to prepare lesson plans and what your key objectives are at the start of the year. Planning up to 2 weeks in advance is a great way to keep on top of your workload so that you don’t fall behind. Perhaps create some ‘ice breaker’ activities for the first couple of days so that pupils can get to know you and their classmates. Use a planner or calendar to structure your day.

 

Set up the classroom environment
Plan the seating arrangement and make sure all your classroom posters and displays are ready for the new school year. Have an interactive area where you can take the students away from their desks and have a variety of learning techniques. Make sure the room is bright and full of colour to keep your pupils engaged.

 

Get your classroom organised
When your classroom and working space is organised, your day will run a lot smoother. Organise your files and label all textbooks, workbooks and supplies and make sure you have enough classroom material. Create name tags for a your new class so you can get to know them by name and will know how to structure your tables.

Get to know your pupils
Before your first day, take the time to read through your pupil files to get to know them better. You may be introduced to new pupils this school year. Knowing them by name and making them feel comfortable on their first day will really help their confidence at a new school and help them settle in.

 

The day before…
Pick out your clothes and make your lunch, so you don’t have to rush in the morning of your first day. Set your alarm and try to get a good night’s sleep! If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious try some relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga to make you feel calmer.

 

Are you looking for temporary or supply work for the new school year? Contact your local branch today and discover what opportunities we have available. You can see our latest vacancies here.

 

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Tips for settling into a new school

Starting a new role is always daunting, but you’ve put in the hard work and now have the opportunity to showcase your skills and experience in a new environment.

It can take a while to get settled into your new role. Finding your groove after landing a new position can be extremely exciting, perhaps challenging and confusing at times – but becoming a valued team member is key to your job satisfaction and workplace happiness.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

As one of the leading education recruitment agencies, we’re not just here to assist teachers like you in your job search, we also offer advice to help you settle in and make a good impression at your new job.

If you’re looking for support to create a smooth transition into your new employment endeavour, then make sure you take a look at our guide to help you settle in to a new role – designed to help teachers like you acclimate to new surroundings.

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How to write the perfect CV

If you are looking for a change in career, or have recently finished your training/education, it really helps to have an up-to-date CV that sells your relevant skills, experience and abilities. But just what is it that makes a great CV?

Always keep it up to date

You might only have a few minutes to impress your potential employer, therefore it is important that the information you provide is relevant and explains why you would be suitable for the job you are applying for. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible about what you have done in your previous roles, especially skills you can carry into your new position. Always layout your career history in chronological order to look consistent.
Give prominence to experience and qualifications
Be sure to include all of your qualifications, the more the better! Include any additional programs you have taken part in, such as first aid certification or if you speak another language. This will impress the employer by showing your willingness to further educate yourself and develop in your career.
If you are applying for a role within a specific sector, be sure to specify your exact qualification relating to that sector and what responsibilities you have held in that position, this will help the employer figure out how suitable you are.

Emphasize achievements

Your CV is the one chance you have to sell yourself. Don’t worry about talking yourself up. Give examples of a time when you helped someone achieve a personal goal, or when you created a plan to help a school sports team. You may have taken part in some volunteer work, how does that contribute to your working style?
Also, be sure to include all of the qualities that you have that make you perfect for the job. Are you organized? Do you have strong leadership skills? What could you do to improve? The list is endless. It’s important to show your personality in your writing, let them see how confident you are and why they should hire
you!

Think about language and layout 

You want your CV to look simple but effective. Place your job roles in chronological order to make for easy reading and use bullet points so that the employer doesn’t have too much to read at once. Too much bulk text will not be read and they can lose interest. Be sure to proofread all of your wording before sending it to the employer. It is a great idea to attach any certificates or additional documents that may be relevant.
You should list two referees and, as far as possible, ensure that one of them is from your previous job role and the other from your university/ training institution. Ensure you get permission from the referees before including their details.
By following these simple steps, you’re bound to get the job you want! If you would like to see what vacancies we have available, click here.
Good luck!
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Meet Esme – CEO Affinity Workforce

Esme Bianchi-Barry has held the position of Affinity Workforce since 2019. During this time, the company has acquired a new business, developed its provision and successfully steered its way through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having joined the company as a Graduate Recruitment Consultant in 2010, Esme has progressed her career within the organisation holding various roles from Team Leader, Branch Manager, Regional Manager, Operations Director and Managing Director.

We recently caught up with Esme to discuss her career highlights, find out what the role of a CEO entails and discover her biggest career achievement so far.

Describe your role in a nutshell…

Operational responsibility for the Monarch Education, CER Education and Sugarman Education businesses, reporting to the Board of Directors. Involved in all aspects of running a successful recruitment business from hiring, sales, marketing and from time to time even ordering the milk!

Day to day, my role is to ensure the business is on track to achieve its financial targets and that we have a happy and engaged workforce. Constantly reviewing, checking and challenging strategy to ensure we are always achieving to the highest standard and generally being the beacon of positivity!

Tell us about your career journey so far…

I started in 2010 as a graduate recruitment consultant, initially, I had only planned to work in the role for a year as I had been awarded a place on a PGCE the following September. Having enjoyed my first year in recruitment I decided to turn down my place and continue in the role.

My career progressed through various roles in the business from Team Leader to Branch Manager, to Regional Manager, Operations Director and finally Managing Director at Monarch Education. In February 2019 I was offered the position of Chief Executive Officer across Affinity Workforce, encompassing the CER, Sugarman and Monarch Education brands.

One of my career highlights has to be winning Team of the Year whilst I was the Manager of Monarch’s Bristol Branch. Even to this day I see this as one of my biggest and most memorable achievements as well as supporting the business through 3 sales and ensuring continuity of core value propositions.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a big football fan and support Bristol City, I have been a season ticket holder for the last 3 seasons and I am really hoping for a promotion to the Premier League soon! I spend lots of time with my friends and family and am lucky that the majority of those people still live in my native Bristol. I am a bit of a foodie and enjoy eating out, especially at my sister’s restaurant in Bristol Adelina Yard (shameless plug!).

What has been the highlight of your career so far? What have you felt most proud of?

I feel proud and honoured every day to be able to lead such a talented and passionate team of recruiters and managers. Sometimes I pinch myself and wonder how I got here as I still see myself as very much part of the team and still love picking up the phone and talking to clients and candidates.

Who do you look up to?

A bit cheesy but 100% my mum! She has three daughters and has always taught us to believe in ourselves, treat others with respect and kindness, and always work hard! My Dad is an absolute legend as well though so deserves some credit too!

I have been lucky to work with some amazing women in education recruitment. My first manager taught me discipline and resilience, lessons that have stayed with me throughout my career.

What does the future look like for education?

Who knows, 12 months in recruitment can change a lot! All I know is that for now I am focused on building Affinity Workforce into one of the most respected and successful education recruitment businesses in the UK.

Have you felt you’ve had to overcome any hurdles as a woman in leadership?

Genuinely, not very many. But maybe that’s because I have always ignored them. I don’t think anyone should let another person stand in their way regardless of gender!

What would you say in a letter to your 12-year-old self?

My 12-year-old self was ok, it was around the age of 18-22 that I probably needed to have a word with myself! I would tell that person to make sure they were always respecting the people and opportunities around them and not to take them for granted!

You can find out more about Affinity Workforce by visiting their website.

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Career paths and opportunities in Education

Working in the Education sector is a challenging but fulfilling vocation that offers a wide variety of career progression opportunities.

From teaching to non-teaching jobs such as pastoral, support or even headteacher roles, there are many different positions available within the sector.

We outline the different career progression routes within education for both teaching and non-teaching staff.

Teaching Roles
There is always a high demand for teachers in the UK, so there are always jobs opportunities available. Whether it’s working as a permanent member of staff or working as a supply teacher in different schools, you have different options to fit your lifestyle.

There are many opportunities for you to progress your career and continue to teach including:

Head of Department
As part of this role, you will be responsible for leading, managing and developing the subject area as well as leading, training and managing staff within the department.

Head of Year
This role focuses more on the pastoral care of a group of students, rather than a subject area. A Head of Year is responsible for overseeing the behaviour, safeguarding and attendance of a year group and will liaise with parents and guardians as well as pupils.

Deputy & Assistant Head Teacher
These roles are senior positions within the school. As part of their role, they work with the Headteacher to promote the school’s vision and values and provide leadership and management of the teaching and learning of all pupils.

Headteacher
You must have experience as a teacher and the above roles to become a Headteacher. A Headteacher is responsible for the school’s finances as well as creating the academic programme, employee training, assessing, and tracking student progress and ensuring the safety of all students.

Non- Teaching Roles

Teaching Assistants
This role is very varied from preparing the classroom, planning learning activities and supervising group activities. If there are some pupils with particular individual needs, some teaching assistants may work one-to-one or in small groups.

Learning Support Assistant
As a Learning Support Assistant, you will provide support for pupils with special educational needs and ensure that the pupils can integrate, as fully as possible, in the activities generally undertaken by the class.

Pastoral Managers
The purpose of this role is to oversee the welfare of the pupils, as well as work with pupils with behavioural issues. You will also oversee attendance issues and contribute to the mentoring of under-performing pupils.

Find the perfect role for you!
Working in education is a rewarding career that requires hard work, compassion and commitment, and there are roles that depend on a huge variety of personal and professional skills.

At Sugarman we are dedicated to helping you find your perfect role. Search our Job Board for our latest roles in your area, or request a call from one of our advisors, who can help match you to your dream job.

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Education Conference 2021

Every July we hold our prestigious Affinity Workforce Education Conference. This is our most anticipated event of the year, which celebrates the successes of the last 12 months, highlights our top performers within the business and gives the teams a chance to let their hair down after a busy school year.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year was different to most. For the very first time we held the conference virtually, streaming across all 3 brands, in 6 locations, with almost 150 employees enjoying croupiers, casino tables and lots of fizz!

Let’s take a look at some of the winners…

Star Performer: Every year, our star performers are awarded based on recommendations by their branch managers, highlighting their exceptional work during the past 12 months and what they have done to stand out as key team members. This year’s winners are:

  • Ricky Cano – Monarch – Bristol
  • Paul Prescott – CER – Liverpool
  • Lynn Hardwick – CER – Newcastle
  • Keeley Jones – Monarch – Birmingham
  • Natalie Moody – CER – Newcastle
  • Chris Pender – CER – Sheffield

 Consultant of the Year: The winners of Affinity’s ‘Consultant of the Year’ award have shown an outstanding work ethic during the last year, have hit financial and KPI targets and generated large revenue across the brands. As well as showing great enthusiasm and dedication in their role, they have built strong relationships with their candidates and provided an efficient service. The winners are:

  • Adam Turnbull – CER – Newcastle
  • Anita Mason – Monarch – Birmingham
  • Kevin O’Connor – Sugarman – London

 Top Biller:  Our top billers are awarded in each sector for billing the highest gross profit for the business. The winners are:

  • Top Biller Primary (CER) – Elaine Berry – Liverpool
  • Top Biller Primary (Monarch) – Louise Roadknight – Birmingham
  • Top Biller Secondary (CER) – Jamil Albarq – Newcastle
  • Top Biller Secondary (Monarch) – Chris Moon – Bristol
  • Top Biller (Sugarman) – James Cooney – London

There have been many changes to the conference due to the recent pandemic, one of which is the prize awarded to the top billers and consultants of the year. Those who are lucky enough to win the sought after titles would usually be treated to an all-expenses trip to LAS VEGAS. Sadly, due to the current travel restrictions, a STAYcation is in order.

Therefore, the winners will be treated to an overnight trip to London. This includes an Oxford Street shopping trip, Selfridges vouchers, a 5-course meal at the award-winning Murano Restaurant and an overnight stay in a top hotel.

Our other winners of the night include:

  • Best Newcomer – Matty Hope – CER – Newcastle
  • Business Supporter of the Year – Laura Kilminster – Monarch – Birmingham
  • Team of the Year – CER Newcastle
  • Team of the Year – Monarch Birmingham
  • Manager of the Year – David Parsons – CER Newcastle

 

Not only did we celebrate the achievements of the last 12 months, but we also acknowledged our longest-serving CER member, Elaine Berry.

Elaine started out as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant 25 years ago! She is now the Senior Divisional Operations Manager for CER Liverpool and has been a huge support to her team and a passionate and dedicated role model for many. Elaine was presented with some wonderful gifts and celebratory messages from her team.

Congratulations Elaine!

A huge well done to all of our winners and to everyone for making our first virtual conference a huge success!

Stay tuned for some conference highlights on our social media pages. Here’s to the Education Conference 2022!

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