A recent study by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) found that on average students spend three hours per week with casual relief teachers (CRTs) or, put another way, a cumulative one school year of their educational lives. Statistics like this tell us loud and clear that CRTs are one of the keystones of the Victorian education system. CRTs support our schools and our children with an important helping hand, bridging the gap when needed to maintain ongoing learning and growth.
But just as not every CRT is the same as the next, nor is every CRT recruitment agency. Even right here in Melbourne, there are so many different organisations offering emergency teachers to schools it can be difficult to know where to start or what criteria you should use for picking an education recruitment partner.
Here are the four key points to consider when choosing the right CRT recruitment agency.
4 Steps for Choosing the Right Casual Relief Teaching Agency.
1. Your Recruiter Should Take a Long-term Approach
The words ‘casual’ and ‘relief’ really don’t do justice to the dedication and commitment of CRTs. There is a misconception among people not working in education that students and their CRTs have fleeting, impersonal relationships, but as you well know and as the stats prove, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 75% of CRTs usually work at the same school regularly, and for this reason, the casual relief teaching recruitment agency you work with should manage your vacancy with the same energy and attention to detail as you would expect when making a permanent hire.
2. They Should be Specialist Education Recruiters
Approximately 7,000 recruitment agencies are operating across Australia, some big, some small, some generalist and some specialist, so how and where do you start to vet them? The ideal CRT is someone who you and your school can rely upon term-after-term, year-after-year to fit seamlessly back into the school community, this kind of person is not easy to find, the help of a specialist can is important.
How to identify a ‘specialist’ CRT Recruitment Agency:
- Browse the content they share on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social channels. Does it demonstrate a deep understanding of the teaching profession? And does it concentrate in this area or is there variation?
- How about their presence on job boards? Does it demonstrate specialisation or are they spread across multiple industries?
- Does the business have a presence locally? Though public numbers are difficult to get for CRTs, a study by the Victorian Auditor-General’s office estimated that 12% of the teaching workforce in Victoria was made up of CRTs, which equated to around 13,000 educators. A CRT recruitment agency with ‘boots on the ground’ is far more likely to have the network to reach and connect you with these people.
3. Recruiters Should Actively Develop the Casual Relief Teachers They Work With.
A nationwide survey completed by more than 400 CRTs found that 59% had never been invited to undertake professional learning (PL) within their workplaces, and 52% had undertaken fewer than 16 hours In the 12 months prior. Clearly, there is a shortfall in provision from schools for their CRTs in this area, the CRT recruitment agency you choose to work with should be there to help pick up the slack.
Here at Tradewind for example, we offer PL and coaching led by two school principals turned mentors to all of our agency CRTs throughout the year. Subjects range from day-to-day life as a CRT in school to classroom behaviour management.
4. Get the Most out of Your CRT Recruiter Relationship
Once you have identified a specialist CRT recruitment agency with a good knowledge of the what it takes to recruit in your area it’s time to think about how you can get as much value from this relationship that you can.
The more honest, detailed and direct you can make your feedback, the more carefully your CRT recruitment agency can search the market to make sure you get precisely the right result. Investing time and effort in developing a close dialogue with your agency will lead to sustained and repeated successes. Many of our CRTs at Tradewind have been working with the same pool of schools for many years, over time building strong bonds with colleagues and pupils, our consultants have been able to create these connections largely through working closely with school stakeholders over a prolonged period.
Interested in learning a little more about how we work and the roles we are currently recruiting? You can browse a selection of our latest casual relief teaching jobs here, or for more information about our unique brand of CRT recruitment in Melbourne why not speak with one of our specialist consultants about a current or future hiring need, contact us today and one of the team will be in touch.