5 Wells has been working closely with other trusts and collaborators, and with Teach Northamptonshire to promote Northamptonshire as the place to teach. Working in partnership we are all trying to address the recruitment issues that are facing all schools across the country by showing potential trainees that Northamptonshire can offer them an excellent start to their teaching careers.
As part of this promotion we have secured places at Train to Teach events across the country. These events help to explain to applicants the various options for routes into teaching.
So the 5 Wells found itself setting up a stall at the Westminster event, held in the QEII Conference Centre, right opposite Westminster Abbey on a rather grey November Saturday. Using the materials produced by NEP – a slide show of Northamptonshire attractions and a series of posters, one of which featured our very own Jamie Pell, and fliers showing all of the School Direct providers in Northamptonshire – we talked to prospective teachers from 9am until 4pm.
There were 1700 people registered to attend the event but lots more came through on spec. There were over 70 stalls with London based teaching schools and universities and colleges. We were one of just two other counties represented at the event (the other was a joint stall by Norfolk and Suffolk.)
Being close to the entrance meant that we could engage people as they came in. We don’t know how many people we talked to as we didn’t have time to keep a tally: as soon as one person moved off we were talking to the next person.
We used the sentence – Have you considered an alternative to training in London? – and that attracted a great deal of attention – we handed out lots of leaflets pointing out the website: www.theplacetoteach.com.There was a real mix of primary and secondary and great interest in the special school possibilities as well as lots of returners to teaching. There even seemed to be lots of maths and sciences at secondary who have obviously been attracted by the current publicity in these areas.
Seemed to be lots of young people who were interested in Northamptonshire as somewhere to settle because London is too expensive (and we spoke to quite a number of couples who were both thinking about teaching as an option) and we made a great deal about the cost of accommodation in Northamptonshire compared to London as well as the quality of life.