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Business as Usual

Schools will need to ensure that they have sufficient staff for when schools return to normal operation and while clearly more challenging during this lockdown period, it will be necessary for some recruitment of teaching and support staff to continue.

Resignation dates for teachers and headteachers remain, but individuals and schools will need to be as flexible as possible.

During this period, it is important that schools continue to ensure that they keep their staff, governors and applicants safe, so it would not be appropriate to carry out a normal face-to-face school visits or interviews.

Schools visits:

  • Candidates should be encouraged to explore the school Website and could be offered the opportunity to talk to someone not on the selection panel about the school, to get a feel for the ethos and culture.

  • This can be done remotely, with a discussion by email or conference call to agree the shortlist.

  • It is possible to carry out interviews involving a panel using conferencing tools such as Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Interviewing Remotely

Selection panels should carefully plan and practice conference calling prior to interviewing. Ensure the flow of the call runs smoothly and consistently for the candidates, including preparing questions in advance as usual.

Selection panels can also set tasks to candidates before a conference call, via email, ready for discussion. Examples might include; asking candidates to complete a lesson plan, providing case studies or scenarios and explaining the steps they would take in that situation.

Concerns about not seeing candidates in action
Unfortunately, schools will not be able to watch a candidate teach or interact with pupils during this period. However, robust questioning, additional exercises, as well as using professional instinct, will help decide the correct candidate. Panels may want to ask for reports about a candidate’s teaching (NQTs) and be more specific in their questions about the quality of their work when calling for references.

conducting remote interviews

Safer Recruitment

All appointments should continue to be subject to the normal recruitment checks.

  • References: Many people are working remotely and will be able to provide a reference, some may not. References from an official email can be accepted, however.
  • DBS checks should be carried out as normal. There have been some temporary changes to DBS checks, permitting remote document checking for urgent checks: COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines.
  • Right to Work checks will need to be checked prior to a new employee starting. Temporary changes to right to work checks have been taken, permitting remote document checking in the first instance, subject to normal checking when possible: Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks.
  • Identity checks can also be carried out remotely, subject to normal checking when possible.
  • Other checks can be carried out remotely (i.e. scanned documents) or online as normal.

See also:

Nicki Harris

Nicki Harris

Nicki joined the Education HR Team in 1989, following completion of her psychology degrees and has a Post-Graduate Certificate in Employment Law. Nicki co-manages the HR team with Colin Hooker and her main responsibilities are leadership of the support, business and development functions services. She manages the provision of model policies, procedures and guidance to customers, pay and conditions issues and the training offer. Nicki has worked with the Local Government Association over the years on various projects around pay, terms and conditions and is an Advisor to the National Employers Organisation for School Teachers (NEOST).