Thank God it's Friday

14th September 2001 at 01:00
Monday I meet with my line manager first thing. I've been feeling overwhelmed by desperate calls from headteachers who haven't got staff for September. Spend the afternoon reading our first exit survey. The response has been amazing - it's as if teachers are seizing the opportunity to get things off their chests. A worrying number are leaving teaching altogether. Key themes are workload, paperwork, behaviour management and housing costs.

Tuesday Although schools have broken up for the summer, many heads are still trying to recruit. I go through applicants for our primary returners' course. A mixed bunch, but some good candidates. As the high cost of housing deters people from moving to the area, we have to make the most of our PIT (pool of inactive teachers).

Wednesday Working at home. I flesh out the returners' courses, plan a PR strategy for next year, cross-match action plans, write a job description for additional staffing to cope with the exploding workload and plead for budgets to fund NQT recruitment days. I get sniffy when my partner tells me I'm a salesperson, but recruitment is about promoting our "product" above other LEAs. Teachers can pick and choose these days.

Thursday Every week I receive enquiries from all over the world about teaching in the UK. I spend an interesting afternoon talking to a researcher on key worker housing, a big issue in recruitment. Those authorities that can offer accommodation have an advantage, especially with NQTs.

Friday I give a lift to a student at Bournemouth University. I can't resist asking him if he's considered teaching. I browse through The TES which is mercifully thin, although recruitment is still prominent. My job has expanded remarkably since I started two years ago although short-term funding means I could be redundant in April. On current experience, I doubt it, despite the reassuring noises of ministers.

The writer, who wants to remain anonymous, is a recruitment strategy manager in the south of England

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