Latest Lockdown Update
Further to our last update of 5th January, we wanted to let you know how we’ve been working hard during this week to find out what we can about the latest lockdown implications for our supply team.
If you are currently working in a long-term assignment, we have been working with your placement school/setting to confirm the arrangements for your booking. We have already spoken to many of you to confirm the details, but if we haven’t yet spoken to you, we are hoping to confirm these details by the end of the week wherever possible.
As you can imagine in this ever-changing environment, these decisions are not easy for our schools to predict at the moment. However we have been asking that where possible your placement will continue, either in school or by remotely supporting pupils and/or the school. We are also asking our schools to honour placements and therefore the payment to support this. Unfortunately, not all schools have agreed to this, but please be assured we are doing all we can on your behalf in this situation. We are also working with our governing bodies, the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and APSCO (The Association of Professional Staffing Companies) who are in turn awaiting guidance from the DfE.
Unlike the last lockdown during the spring/summer, we are continuing to receive calls for bookings for long-term and day-to-day assignments within schools for teachers and support staff. There seem to be a much larger number of children of key workers and vulnerable children in school during this lockdown and it would therefore be helpful if you could let us know your availability for work when we speak to you, or if you can update your availability diary as usual on our online portal.
We are also looking into the furlough situation again. During the last lockdown we took the decision to furlough all those eligible for the scheme and we will of course be reviewing this again in the current lockdown. To manage expectations, this time is very different as a significant cost now sits with all employers in relation to the furlough, namely statutory on-costs such as National Insurance and Pension contributions. Please note, we are not saying that the job retention scheme will not be utilised by ourselves, only that we need to fully ascertain the needs and requirements of all our schools before we can confirm whether or not we will be able to use the scheme. We will of course be in touch with a further update as soon as we possibly can.
At the moment we continue to work safely within our offices in Whitley Bay and whether we move to home working in the future or not, we will be available for you as always.
In the meantime, please do take care and stay safe, and we will be in touch as soon as we have any further information for you.