Why adopting a talent pool for agency and temporary staff transforms SEN schools

Save money. SEN settings spend a huge amount of their budget on supply staff, especially on agency fees. SEN settings make up around 4.5% of all schools and settings in England, but account for 13.5% of total supply staff spend across all settings. We completely understand why this happens. The high needs of the students means you HAVE to have cover, it is not something that can normally be internally covered. Using a Talent Pool removes agency fees and drastically reduces a school’s spend. How, I hear you ask? Simple! The workers in your Talent Pool are yours. No fees and your Talent Pool operator (psst — we provide this service at Teacher Booker) can run the payroll for you.

Collaborate with other local SEN settings. Working with similar settings in your local area to build a collaborative Talent Pool allows for idea sharing on outstanding practice. When staff are part of your local collaborative Talent Pool you are not in competition for certain members of staff and can work together to ascertain each school’s needs and ensure every school is resourced appropriately.

Consistency. Many students within an SEN setting will respond so differently to a new face – when I taught in SEN settings I felt it could even set their development back. Having a pool of known workers who can be on hand when it works for both you and them not only allows for student learning to blossom but also the workers’ knowledge to grow, so that they will continue to give back to the school and group.

Chloe Bedford – Teacher of the Deaf. ‘Having the same TAs for pupils with very high needs has given the students and the school the confidence that the students can and will succeed. The TAs have consistently been outstanding in their practice even with highly challenging pupils. We have even made permanent job offers to those that wanted permanent roles.’

Fair pay for a difficult job. On average a SEN TA takes home £55-£65 after tax. This may not make sense as the invoices that pass your desk are for a small fortune? Some agencies charge the employers costs to the worker leaving them with not very much and they can only in term time! The SEN settings we work with can afford to pay their temporary workers more which leads to greater retention within the sector and hopefully that awesome feeling you will get when you know the money you are paying is going directly to the worker. And don’t even get me started on umbrella companies (more on that here – https://teacherbooker.com/agency-supply-teacher-pay-deciphering-the-deductions/)

Feeling part of the team. The school I used to teach in always invited (and paid) longer term temporary workers to attend important training. This is also true of many of the SEN settings we work with at Teacher Booker. This encourages a feeling of unity, family and most importantly staff who understand the school and students’ needs. Of course this comes at a cost to the schools but with a Talent Pool it is doable, and well worth it for the retention it inspires.

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