Teacher returning to classroom after 15 years backs campaign

A Barnsley-based recruitment agency has launched a campaign to get more teachers back in to the classroom after long career breaks.

Provide Education works with 2,200 teachers helping them to find supply teaching posts – and sometimes permanent jobs – in hundreds of schools across South and West Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

Their job candidates range from newly qualified teachers to those with many years’ experience – and about five percent on their books are teachers who have come back to the profession after a significant time away.

Provide Education now wants to attract more teachers who have had a break from the classroom, but are thinking about returning. Their campaign is being backed by a teacher who has returned to the chalkface, with their support, after 15 years away.

Suzy Badmin-Reynolds qualified as a primary teacher in 1987 and taught for ten years before taking a career break to bring up her two sons and concentrate on a property renovation and letting business which she ran with her husband, Graham.

Suzy, aged 49, decided she’d like to get back into teaching last year.

Suzy said: “It was a daunting prospect at first, but the support I was given by Provide Education was marvellous and I was surprised how quickly I got back in the swing of it. Once a teacher always a teacher I suppose.”

Suzy Badmin-Reynolds

Suzy, who lives in the Chesterfield area, has worked at numerous schools in the last year and currently works at two or three on a regular basis, covering for staff sickness and training courses.

Suzy said: “I have some assignments planned well in advance – then sometimes I get urgent requests to work. One day I got a call from the Provide team at 9.55am asking if could teach in a local school that morning and by 10.40am I was stood in front of the class taking the lesson.

“It is great to be able to get work when I can and suits me down to the ground. I am never hassled to take a job either. It is entirely up to me and my availability. I continue to work in the property market and support my teenage sons with their studies.”

Suzy’s past experience in teaching includes work at schools in Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire and British Forces schools in Germany, where her husband was stationed with the RAF. She took a complete break for teaching in 1999.

Suzy added: “I have a very nice relationship with the team at Provide Education. They are really accommodating and supportive. I would definitely recommend anyone thinking of getting back into teaching after a break to get in touch.”

Director of Provide Education Barry Simmons said: “It is safe to say Suzy was a little nervous about returning to the classroom and it was great to give her the support she needed to ease her back in to it. Suzy is now one of the most popular teachers on our books and has won several of our ‘teacher of the month awards’ based on headteacher feedback.

“We know lots of other former teachers have been away from the profession for a while. They may have been caring for family or working in another field. Whatever the reason, if they are considering returning and are a little daunted the prospect, we can help. We offer a range of support and have had some excellent results with getting talented teachers back into the job after a career break.”

Provide Education’s campaign reflects a national shortage of teachers – especially working in UK primary schools. Latest published figures show that thousands more teachers are needed to prevent a drastic shortage over the next few years. Not enough are currently being trained and recruited to meet growing demand.

Provide Education’s support package includes help with registration plus training to update them on new curriculum, technology, teaching practices and the latest safeguarding children procedures. They can help with re-building confidence through voluntary experience and shorter work opportunities – and offer moral support to get over any first day nerves.

Provide Education, based at Barugh Green, Barnsley, aims to provide an effective two-way service helping schools to fill positions quickly and safely and supporting teachers and other education sector staff to find jobs that suit them perfectly.

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