Building a contingent work force by teachers for teachers

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Building a contingent work force by teachers for teachers

As a considerable source of support for schools across the UK, agencies can provide affordable and convenient staffing solutions where internal resourcing is limited, or where there is no capability. Beyond this, flexible approaches to teaching and support staff opportunities have been difficult to offer or find in schools.

“Where workplace cultures or management processes do not frame flexible working positively, these may pose a significant barrier to their implementation and effectiveness.”[1][ 

As a multi academy trust with 48 primary and secondary academies in London, Harris is uniquely placed to support our academies with contingent recruitment, and provide them with assurances and cost savings when hiring temporary staff.

We have been working to provide experienced teachers and support staff with a more flexible, fairer, and better-paid approach to securing fixed-term contract assignments with our academies.

Our contingent work force or “talent pool” is designed to support individuals looking for a simple and easy way to access professional teaching roles across all 50+ academies in and around London. Once registered and compliant to start assignments, individuals communicate directly with Harris academies, without third-party involvement, and supported by departments in our central team. Through this talent pool teachers and classroom support staff can benefit from flexibility of fixed term contract, part-time/term time only work.

What is a talent pool?

It is a highly mobile workforce of teachers and support staff who are vetted and cleared for contract work within the Federation. Individuals registered in our pool receive work only from Harris academies, and are employed via a managed service provider. Working through a talent pool is much like working via an employment agency, except you’ll be in contact with our academies directly rather than communicating via a third party. Individuals who register must be fully vetted in line with Keeping Children Safe in Education before starting any assignments with academies in the Federation.

Interesting in joining? Here is what you need to know

Once registered and fully vetted, you’ll be ready to start working with our academies. You’ll receive job requests based on your preferences, experience, qualifications and location. 

As part of our pool, you’ll be working directly with Harris academies, but to help with administrative tasks and payments we are using a managed service provider called Teacher Booker. By choosing to register, you’ll be asked to complete your registration via the Teacher Booker website, and they may also contact you regarding the vetting process for pre employment checks. 

Who should register? 

We’re interested to hear from experienced primary and secondary teachers, both qualified and unqualified. Whether you’re familiar with working for a supply agency, or leaving a permanent post and looking for more work/life balance, registering for our pool could be a great way to consider opportunities within the Federation.  

What type of work can I expect? 

Our focus is to grow a pool of teachers and support staff looking for flexible temporary work, and who can work on either a full or part-time basis with our academies. The volume of assignments released to our talent pool will be for long term cover such as Maternity (MAT) Cover, or Fixed Term Contracts with a specific start and end date, and also for casual staff in seasonal work such as exam invigilation.  

Long term assignments released to the talent pool may also lead to permanent employment within the Federation, however, for those seeking permanent opportunities, you can search our vacancies to apply for a position. All permanent posts within the Federation are advertised openly and fairly via our careers website. 

Is it safe to work in our academies? 

All Harris academies are following both government and industry guidance, and have completed the required Covid-19 risk assessments. Those accepting/working on assignments at our academies should be reassured that the necessary PPE, facilities and protocols are in place to ensure safe places of work. 

Is there a cost to join? 

No! This is a free service to join. As a member of our talent pool, you’ll work directly with our academies, which means better pay and freedom in how you work with us. 

For more information on our talent pool and how you can benefit from joining, click here.

[1] “Exploring flexible working practice in schools Literature review” p.5 (January 2019) CooperGibson Research,


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