What should you be looking for from your teaching agency registration during Covid-19?

It can be a minefield when looking to register with a teaching agency for supply work, working out which agency is right for you. At M2 Education, we are here to get to know you to ensure that we are in the best position to place you into rewarding and successful placements, whether that be for a single day or a long term contract.

During Covid-19, agencies have been allowed to conduct video registrations, which is fantastic as it gives us the ability to carry out more registrations than ever before. However, it has definitely shown up the differences in the video registrations that candidates have had.

SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?

Below are some of the main things we have been hearing from candidates during their video registrations with M2 Education and what we have to say about it:

You’ve been very thorough with me. In previous registrations, I have just been asked to fill out forms and email over my documents:

  • It is our legal obligation, as a fully audited and accredited agency, to conduct a full face to face registration interview (video interviews during Covid).
  • One of our responsibilities as an employer is to ensure we have seen original ID documents which is why we ask you to show your documents on screen, just as we would ask to see them in person. We will then ask you to scan and email them over.
  • We believe that by getting to know you properly and understanding your skills and requirements we are in a much better place to match you up with the right schools, find out how you may react in certain situations and provide you with advice to make sure you are in a position to be confident about any work you undertake for M2 Education. Therefore we will go through your CV in detail with you, ask a number of scenario based questions and discuss both M2 Education and school expectations so that every placement is a success.

I’ve been working for my other agencies and my DBS isn’t on the update service:

  • We ask to see your original DBS as well as confirming it is on the update service to ensure that there have been no changes since the date of issue.
  • As an accredited agency, best practice means we have to check the update service every 12 weeks.

I can’t find my DBS certificate but it’s on the update service and here’s the confirmation:

  • The update service is great as it tells us of any changes since the date of issue. Unfortunately, if you do not have your DBS certificate, we do not know what was on it in the first place and therefore confirming there is no additional information does not suffice.

I didn’t need an overseas police check to work elsewhere:

  • If you have been out of the country within the past 5 years, for a period of 6 months or more (not travelling), then we will require an Overseas Police Check (or Letter of Good Conduct if not available) before we can offer you work.

I have paid for my DBS elsewhere but not heard anything back or received a certificate:

  • Once the agency has got all the correct documents from you and received payment, your DBS should be put in process immediately.
  • If you completed the application online, you will receive email updates along the way informing you of what stage it is in.
  • If you haven’t heard anything or had any updates then speak to the agency as this will delay your chance of securing work

I have not been asked previously to complete Safeguarding Level 1:

  • It is not compulsory to complete a Safeguarding qualification in order to be cleared for work by an agency, however M2 Education feel it is important that you have recently refreshed yourself before going into a school for us. We therefore ask that you complete Level 1 or an Introduction to Safeguarding and update this every 2 years.

Can my CV be sent to school without being registered?

  • Due to GDPR, your CV should not be sent to a school without being registered unless you have spoken to an agency about a specific role and given your explicit permission for your CV to be sent
  • Even when registered, your CV should not be sent to a school without your knowledge as this is a breach of GDPR legislation.
  • As a matter of good practice, your agency should be communicating with you about vacancies to give you the full information for you to decide whether or not you want to be put forward

As a candidate trying to find the right agency, I would be looking to see that the Consultant carries out a full interview as I don’t want to be “just a number”. If your consultant doesn’t know you properly, the likelihood is that your placements may be pot luck…some will be great and others may not be suitable. You have a better chance of successful placements if the person working on your behalf has a full understanding of you and your requirements.

Safeguarding checks are there for a reason. Cutting corners can put agencies and their candidates in a vulnerable position. Ensuring full and complete safeguarding checks minimises any risk, therefore I would want to know that my agency is thorough and places the utmost importance on safeguarding and service.