In a strategic move to combat the acute shortage of school support staff, Principal Resourcing, a Yorkshire-based education recruitment agency, has launched the ‘Get Into The Classroom‘ campaign, now welcoming its newest intake.

The latest figures from March 2024 underscore a concerning trend, with a fifth of teaching assistant positions in the UK remaining unoccupied, leading to a significant reduction in school support staff availability. This issue is especially pronounced in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where the vacancy rate hovers around 19%.

Principal Resourcing‘s initiative aims to bridge this gap by offering cost-free training to individuals aspiring to become teaching assistants or cover supervisors, particularly targeting those in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire without formal educational qualifications but who have relevant transferable skills.

Reflecting on her journey, Becky Scott from Principal Resourcing highlighted the value of her background in healthcare: “The transferable skills that I realised I had from being in healthcare were person-centred care, being nurturing, and being able to build positive, trusting relationships.”

The ‘Get Into The Classroom’ initiative is designed to address the dire need for additional school support staff by providing candidates with targeted classroom training, thus increasing the availability of teaching assistants and cover supervisors.

Michelle Grassby, Principal Resourcing’s Director, pointed out the persistent challenges in filling teaching positions: “The need for qualified teachers in schools continues to be an issue, especially in certain subjects and in certain geographical areas.”

“While many teaching posts do get filled from schools’ own recruitment, the problems lie when sickness occurs and then certain subject specialists are not available. Maths, science and MFL continue to be a shortage area. Sickness can occur in any subject area and we, a supply agency, need to ensure we have a wide range of subject specialists available to cover in these cases.”

Principal Resourcing has two in-house trainers who collectively have 35 years of classroom experience. Training can be tailored to roles in SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) settings, to roles in primary or secondary education, or even to roles with specific schools.

To participate, individuals are required to undergo a comprehensive training programme, including a minimum of ten hours of instruction, homework assignments, and mentorship, ultimately joining Principal Resourcing’s extensive pool of educational candidates.

Kerry Holt, Principal Resourcing Candidate Development and Wellbeing Manager said: “There is a huge shortage in support staff for schools, especially for working 1-1 with individual students who have additional needs.
“Using the benefits of my 20 years plus experience in schools, I provide candidates with bespoke training in a wide range of subjects.They bring their skills, and I add to those skills, tooling them up for the classroom. This training provides schools with additional support staff and candidates with the real opportunity to enjoy a career in the classroom that they might not have thought possible.”
Those interested in helping to fill the labour shortage of teaching assistants should take a look at the ‘Get into the Classroom’ initiative. Enquiries submitted on Principal Resourcing’s website will be responded to within 24 hours.