Q&A with Kiera Robbins, Founder of Enhance Education

January 10, 2021

Recruitment in the education sector continues to be disrupted by Covid19 and the reopening of schools causes further tension in the UK, some companies are taking positive action to support schools through a difficult period. We caught up with Kiera Robbins, the founder of Enhance Education to discuss how they are supporting Schools.

Being a qualified teacher too, Kiera’s passion for education has enabled her to create strong working relationships with schools and teachers through this period. We also needed to speak to her about ‘Find a Star’, which we believe is a unique approach to support schools with recruitment now and in the future.

Kiera, why did you set up Enhance education?

As a qualified primary school teacher myself, I felt there was a gap in the education recruitment sector for an honest, trustworthy, and affordable agency that has the importance of education at the heart of the business.

I wanted to create an agency that truly cares about placing high-quality candidates within well-matched schools. Spending time to get to know our candidates and schools allows us to fully understand what it is the candidate is looking for within their new role and what a school is searching for in their new employee.

And what sets you apart from other recruitment agencies?

Enhance Education is a small business with a passion for making a positive impact on education recruitment. We are not driven by targets or commission, but by making the ‘right’ placement every time. We will not match incompatible candidates to schools just to make a placement and we are honest with our schools communicating openly if we do not have a suitable candidate, after searching our database, CV sifting, and interviewing.

Another feature that sets Enhance Education apart from other recruitment agencies will be the option of choosing to utilise our new pricing structure that is launching next month.

How is 'Find your Star'? helping Schools?

As well as continuing to offer our normal reduced supply and permanent rates, we now offer two package options as part of our new ‘Find your Star’ upfront pricing structure.

Both the Silver Star and Gold Star options veer away from ongoing, daily supply costs and permanent placement fees and allow you the flexibility of being able to pay an upfront price depending on the type of role you are recruiting for.

The Silver Star option is well suited for short term supply roles (of up to 6 weeks) and the Gold Star works well for short term/ long term supply roles that may progress into permanent positions. With the Gold Star option there are no further fees for taking staff members on a permanent basis!!

Offering an upfront pricing structure gives ownership back to schools to pay their new recruits a higher rate of pay, dependant on experience and qualifications. We feel strongly that our candidates should be paid what they are entitled to depending on their pay scale and years of dedication and experience that is being offered. Schools can opt to pay their new recruit via PAYE or using an umbrella company.

Free job posts on our website are available to all schools.

How is Enhance education adapting to the situation (Covid19)?

Enhance Education has a very stringent vetting process where we always meet our new candidates face to face and conduct an interview. We have had to adapt this during the current situation and now conduct interviews via an online video call. Candidate forms and declarations are required and we always see a copy of all documentation and send reference requests in the same way as before. We then notify our schools of how the candidate has been vetted when putting them forward for positions.

What advice would you give teachers currently looking for work?

Stay positive. There are plenty of vacancies out there, so if you are looking for a new position you can either apply to schools directly or join a reputable agency. Take the time to research and think about the type of school you can see yourself working in.  

If you decide to join an recruitment agency, make sure you research the company and spend time speaking to the consultant/s that will be looking after you and finding you a new role. Do their values and ethos align with your own? Will you be paid for your experience and dedication to teaching? Have a clear idea of the area, the salary, and the hours you are looking for before starting your search, and review your latest CV to make sure it accurately reflects your experience.

How are Schools responding to you approach?

We have had exceptional feedback from the schools we have worked with and spoken to. Even before the launch of the ‘Find your Star’ pricing structure we have always offered reduced and honest fees and this is something we have been praised for on multiple occasions. Our teachers and candidates have been very positive about the service we offer and the time we take to provide support and advice.

Finally, what's your feedback about llama.id?

llama.id and Enhance Education both have a similar vision and ethos that cares deeply about stringent vetting and providing high-quality candidates to the education sector.

llama.id is a much-needed database for storing and sharing safeguarding documents. Before we even interview a new teacher, llama.id can collect and validate a candidate’s background and any required documentation . llama.id stores and updates checks, and documentation on a monthly basis.

It sends out constant reference requests, freeing up our time to continue connecting our candidates and schools. If a candidate decides to join more than one agency, having a llama.id account means that they will not need to repeat the same on-boarding process time and time again.

Schools can then have access to the account once recruited which will facilitate and simplify the ongoing process.  We would recommend anyone who hires staff in this industry, to look into llama.id as it will save a lot business overheads and hours of time on-boarding and maintaining staff records.