New North East London Academy

In 2009, a new Principal was appointed for a new Academy. The school was due to open in September 2010 but the new Principal was due to start in January 2010 to prepare for the new school and have everything in place for the new school to open.

The Principal knew that one of the most important issues that he would have to deal with was staffing. Therefore, the very first meeting that the Principal organised was with REd Teachers (REd stands for ‘Recruitment for Education’) and two of their Directors, Neil Beytell and Sian Beytell.

The Principal had worked with Neil at two of his previous schools and their working relationship went back over 10 years. His aim was to ensure that the Academy had the best possible teachers. He knew that the recruitment and retention of high quality staff would be crucial in the establishment and direction of the new academy. Having a staff that would be dynamic, enthusiastic, child-centred, driven and loyal would help ensure that the children had the best opportunity of fulfilling their potential and would cement a positive sentiment about the academy in the local community.

The Academy is located in North East London and the school would have many children from a low socio-economic area. The school that was on the site previously clearly did wonderful things for their children but was not without some difficulties. Thus, it was imperative that the Academy created a positive image amongst the community as soon as possible. It needed to be ‘up-and-running’ as soon as possible with the children reporting home that the school was a wonderful and safe place to learn and develop. They needed to ‘want to be there’.

Appointing, hiring and retaining high quality staff was the number one priority and that is why the Principal organised his first meeting with REd Teachers. He knew that REd Teachers is run by educationalists who understand that the right teaching staff are required for the right school. Support for those teachers is of paramount importance and having ex-senior teachers, school governors and a previous schools’ inspector as senior members of the company certainly helps. REd Teachers specialise in securing the right teachers for each school by listening carefully to what is required and finding out as much as possible about the schools they are working with.

After discussing the history of the school and what the Principal’s vision of the Academy was, a recruitment plan was formulated and timescales put in place for the school. One of the main developments was to fly out to Canada to interview teachers in person who were graduating from some excellent universities. The Principal was incredibly impressed with the high quality of teachers that he interviewed and reported this back to the UK and some other Principals. The candidates had been pre-screened (and vetted) and only the highest possible candidates were seen which saved a huge amount of time and effort. Teacher’s from Ireland were also interviewed as well as Australasian teachers and, of course, UK trained teachers.

The final outcome of all this was that 3 UK teachers (both experienced and an NQT), 2 Irish and 5 Canadians have been hired by the Academy. The SMT and Heads of Department at the Academy have gone out of their way to be supportive of all the new teachers that have arrived. Also, REd Teachers come into the school to see the teachers regularly and there is an ‘open line’ between the Principal and the Directors at REd Teachers which is used to ensure that all teachers are supported (and praised when appropriate) and therefore can give their best to the children. REd Teachers and the Academy monitor the progress of teachers in an open and honest way.

The Academy is now seen as a real success in the community with student roles increasing and the plans for expanding and creating a new Year 12 and Year 13, in September 2012, are well under way. It is widely viewed that the collaboration between the Academy and REd Teachers was one of the key factors of ensuring a successful start and securing the best possible staff for the school and, most importantly, for their children. If you would like to discuss this collaboration or take up the opportunity of working with REd Teachers please contact Neil Beytell at neil@redteachers.com or if you would like to contact the Principal from the Academy in this case study we would be delighted to pass their details to you.

Principal, New North East London Academy

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