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School Recruitment Award

This award recognises an educational establishment which has invested in its recruitment methods and processes to ensure a timely intake of appropriate teaching and support staff.

2024 Winner: The Laurus Trust

The small recruitment team at Laurus created a unique online recruitment brand to increase attraction, promote the Trust as an employer of choice and shout about its culture and benefits. The brand has been a resounding success, with over 1000 registrations to its talent pool and a 140 per cent increase in website traffic. This, along with well-attended events and successful referral initiatives, meant the 2022/23 recruitment cycle saw a 13 per cent increase in applicants. By September 2023, 317 new staff were successfully appointed.


Anthem Schools Trust
The Hopedale Group
Robert Drake Primary School, London

2023 Winner: Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire

Berkhamsted School comprises a family of six schools – a Pre-Prep, Prep, Boys, Girls and co-ed Sixth and a satellite girls Prep, Heatherton. The recent introduction of web recruitment has allowed for the anonymisation of candidates ahead of the selection for interview stage. This helps to limit any unconscious bias or preconceptions that might arise and allows for a focus solely on the skills and experience of each candidate. It also reports on and monitors the diversity of applicants. In conjunction with values-based interviews, which help informed decision making. Berkhamsted has demonstrated a progressive recruitment process which helps identify and recruit individuals who embody and thrive within the school values.

Shrewton CE Primary School, Wiltshire
Kingsbury Primary School, Lancashire

2022 Winner Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, London

St John's CE Primary, Bradford
Plymouth CAST
United Learning

2021 Winner
High Hazels Academy, Sheffield

High Hazels Academy is part of United Learning, a large chain with over 80 primary and secondary schools across the UK. In order to address recruitment and retention challenges, the school’s leadership team undertook a programme of initiatives, including mentoring, continuing professional development (CPD), succession planning and flexible working. Strong communication has been central to the success of the new flexible working strategy. Voluntary staff turnover rates have reduced significantly in the same timeframe, dropping from 12.2% to 2.5% in 2019 for Key Stage 1, and from 10.9% to 4.9% for Key Stage 2. Recruitment costs have been reduced accordingly and in 2020, just 2 new teachers were required.

Cullompton Community College, Devon
White Meadows Primary School, West Sussex
Northern Education Trust

2020 Winner
Sturton-by-Stow Primary School, Lincoln

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sturton by Stow proved that it is possible to carry out interviews remotely and to appoint successfully by employing a process which involved shortlisting and interviewing via zoom. Following advice from HR, pre-employment checks were adapted so that they can be completed remotely whilst complying with safer recruitment. The School Business Manager held video calls with successful candidates, who displayed the necessary documents on the screen and then sent copies for verification by the local authority.


Northern Education Trust
Herts 4 Learning

2019 Winner
North Yorkshire Education Services/North Yorkshire County Council

A company set up by North Yorkshire County Council has a detailed understanding of overall school challenges and workforce needs. Working with candidates from start to finish, the project has enabled schools to recruit more effectively first time. The service has developed a bank of talent to meet the predicted demand for teachers on the coast. Within the first year, more than £18,000 saved in advertising costs and around £350,000 a term in supply agency costs avoided. Seventeen teachers have been recruited from outside the area.


Bridge Learning Campus, Bristol
As part of a highly successful recruitment drive, Bridge Learning Campus offered a financial ‘golden hello’ as well as opportunities to become a real leader in the school community. They didn’t set about recruiting just a maths teacher or a music teacher, but instead they just sought the very best teachers. A Facebook campaign produced around 110 experienced teachers signed up and expressing interest in just 9 days. An open evening was held, attended by a high calibre range of applicants with more events planned for the future.

Croydon Headteachers Association (CHTA)
Croydon Headteachers Association (CHTA) has been working closely on teacher recruitment initiatives to raise Croydon’s profile as a destination of choice. The Association hosted its third annual teacher recruitment fair in February. Around 48 schools, teacher training providers and trade union representatives attended, making it an ideal opportunity to hear about Croydon school vacancies and ways into teaching. The response was fantastic with 190 attendees consisting of NQTs, overseas trained teachers, teaching assistants and headteachers.

Herts for Learning
In consultation with headteachers, Herts for Learning developed a new and extended format for the Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fairs, creating more localised events around Hertfordshire. Schools offered themselves as venues in different parts of the county. Two distinct events were developed this year; a new ‘Get into Teaching Event’ kicked off the academic year in November and January, and this was followed by three focused recruitment events in February, March and May targeting NQTs and experienced teachers looking for jobs but continuing to attract individuals into teaching.

2018 Winner
St Peter's School, Cambridgeshire

2018 School Recruitment Award winner: St.Peter's School

Three years ago, St Peter’s School relied heavily upon agency staff to fill vacancies, but a comprehensive recruitment schedule which begins in December of each year includes attendance at recruitment events, hosting Teach in Cambridgeshire events and several training programmes. Trainee testimonials state that they have been ‘positively influenced by their professional development and experiences during their time at St Peter’s School.


Herts for Learning
Hertfordshire North Yorkshire County Council
Bradford MDC / Northern Lights
Neale-Wade Academy, Cambridgeshir

2017 Winner
The Weald School

2017 School Recruitment Award winner - The Weald School

Headteacher Peter Woodman continually revises his staffing plans throughout the year, meeting with the senior leadership team four times a week to discuss staffing. Together, they react quickly to staff turnover and to the school’s success in recruiting teachers, so an effective staffing structure is always in place.


North Yorkshire County Council
Teach in Herts - Herts for Learning
Newham Partnership Working
Bridge Multi-Academy Trust
Eden Academy

2016 Winner Herts for Learning - Recruitment Fair

Held at Hertfordshire Development Centre, the second annual Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair was a huge success, with hundreds of experienced, newly qualified and returning teachers in attendance. A total of 302 Hertfordshire schools were represented by Teaching School Alliances. 79 schools had exhibition stands on the day, with the event featuring numerous CPD workshops on topics including returning to teaching, teaching in the UK for overseas qualified teachers and changing from a teaching assistant to teacher. Advice surgeries were made available for attendees with specific circumstances. The recruitment fair proved to be an excellent method to showcase the strengths of teaching in the county. One high school identified 31 potential teachers, which will all be invited to visit the school.


Bradford Birth to 19 Teaching School Alliance
Hillside High School/Liverpool Echo

2015 Winner
Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School , West Midlands

Elmfield Rudolf Steiner is the second oldest of the UK’s 38 Steiner-Waldorf Schools and educates children from the age of three up to GCSE level.  It has faced many problems, primarily concerning recruitment - three new Steiner academies created between 2012 and 2014 instantly doubled the demand for qualified Waldorf teachers, 35 per cent of whom are expected to retire by 2020. Consequently, experienced mainstream teachers who join Elmfield have to ‘unlearn’ many teaching habits and often struggle with experiential learning aspect of its teaching.

To solve this issue, Elmfield Rudolf Steiner established a trainee teacher scheme to find potential candidates before they qualified as teachers. Assessing them over two days, the school selects the best and sponsors them to undergo the two years of Waldorf teacher training. The school has also set up a partnership with the West of England Steiner Teacher Training (WESTT) teacher training course, and advertises across Europe, using social media, the local community, open events, and giving talks at universities across the region. The school emails PGCE students, and creates a database of potential candidates. Advertising campaigns direct people to the Elmfield website where a brochure details different ways to inspire young people. Last year, over 100 people applied, 12 were shortlisted and after two days of assessments, which included working interviews, competency-based interviews and teaching tests, three candidates were selected to train up.  Additionally, the school has aimed to improve its brand as an employer via online videos and a YouTube Channel, with classroom footage and staff profiles.

Elmfield Rudolf Steiner has also organised a national residential education conference, focussing on creativity and experiential learning. This helped the school spread best practice but also helped it network with potential candidates and put it on the map as an employer. Elmfield overhauled its induction and new class teachers now receive paid mentoring from experienced teachers.

The project has been extremely cost effective. Staff turnover and teacher recruitment spend have both more than halved.


Educate Norfolk
SGOSS - Governors for Schools/University of Manchester