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Why I Chose to Teach Through Protocol Education

21/06/18

Ray has been getting supply work from us for more than 9 years. He wrote this genuine blog about deciding between multiple agencies and why he has been loyal to Protocol Education since the beginning.

As soon as I gained Qualified Teacher Status I was bombarded with Recruitment agency requests to sign up with them. Initially, I signed up with four agencies, two large companies, one medium and a small one. During this period I instantly rejected a large well known recruitment agency because of the way the managers spoke to their staff, one was barking orders and undermining the young lady who was checking my documents; first impressions are so important.

When I first signed up with Protocol Education I was given a friendly welcome as they introduced me to the team. They put me at ease and demonstrated professionalism when checking safeguarding documents and when ascertaining my requirements. Nothing was too much trouble and I left the Chelmsford branch feeling confident that Protocol knew what they were doing.

They started to supply work straight away. I liked the personal touch given by the consultants and I knew they had my interests at heart. The consultant from the small company was the only other to offer a good personal service and instant work but she later joined a large recruitment agency and the personal service petered out, I then worked solely with Protocol who continued to give an excellent service. My consultant Matt Hicks then always listened listened to me and worked tirelessly to keep me busy, that was nine years ago. More recently my day-to-day work is handled by a team which is lead by Ian Chilmaid and assisted by fellow consultant, Demi Cato, together they have successfully arranged placements across a range of different schools on long-term placements.

I have written in the past about Ian's qualities; he has integrity, honesty, a sense of humour with a professional approach which is unrivaled. His positive and fair approach to both clients in schools and Protocol's employees guarantees that he can be relied on and trusted. His attention to detail ensures that both parties are happy with the service and on the rare occasions when issues may need resolving his articulate communication is always factually correct. You may think that this is a normal practice but I have had several incidents when other agencies have lied, misled and fabricated the truth in order to get a booking. I know the staff at Protocol Education's Chelmsford branch would rather lose a ‘sale’ than compromise their integrity. For this reason, I have brought additional business to them.

I can phone anytime about any aspect of my booking or with any concerns, which are treated respectfully and with professionalism. Protocol will never knowingly place supply staff in situations that compromise their safety, but I know from experience that some agencies do.

If my consultant is unavailable, other members of staff will do their utmost to assist with my enquiries. They work as a close team and often know about my booking details.

Protocol Education offer a digital timesheet to schools and those that opt for it have found it a faster and more efficient way of confirming hours worked. Previously, paper timesheets needed to be signed at the end of the day/placement by a designated person at the host school. In the past I have experienced difficulties getting signatures due to the busy nature of their job. Digital timesheets can be approved at a convenient time to the signatory, even remotely. Any queries can be raised by schools or Protocol staff via the same website and there is even a digital diary.

Digital diaries are another useful resource for Protocol staff. Consultants can check and update them with bookings and supply staff can amend and adjust them according to their availability remotely without the need to phone or text.

There are so many recruitment agencies for teachers to choose from and they can be forgiven for believing that they all offer the same service but they do not. Some are sporadic in their bookings, others believe that the schools are the important clients and fail to recognise that both the teachers and schools are equally important. A good consultant knows this, but agencies as a whole need teams of consultants with the same ethos in order to be successful, and that is rare to find.

Protocol is one such rarity.

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