Maker Difference

A guest blog by Donna Rawling.

“I am Computing Lead at a Primary school in Greater Manchester. I am  aCAS Master Teacher, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, BCS accredited and a Barefoot Computing presenter. My passion is to encourage as many children as possible to study Computer Science and ultimately pursue a career in the Sciences. I do this through a STEM/STEAM, MakerEd approach wherever possible, with a huge emphasis on Growth Mindset and resilience. I hold daily drop-ins in the school makerspace which I have developed, it’s attended by up to 40 children, where junk modelling, knitting and Coding are all part of the lunchtime sessions”

For much of her life I’ve had a sense of what is important to me, but also very much a feel of many strands of my life, experiences and, dare I say my talents (as I perceive them) to be the raw materials of some as yet unwoven cloth or project.

My ‘lightbulb moment’ (more of the lightbulb later) came when I inherited my Mum’s button tin.

When I sadly lost my Mum 5 years ago, one of the things that I felt really strongly that I wanted to have of hers was her button tin. This tin, full of buttons of every shape, size and texture had been one of the enduring highlights of my childhood. I used to love to sift through it, wondering where each button had started life, what it had been attached to, what it had helped to hold together.

It was my Mum who had taught me to sew; to knit; to crochet. My Mum who had never lost patience in my endless stitch dropping, who casted on and off for me as this for me, in my scarf making stages, was the ‘tricky bit.’ These times of crafting still envoke fond memories of comfort, belonging, social engagement, the finished product being almost an aside.

As I began my career in Education, I keenly recognised this for need belonging in the children in my care, of finding a voice, a way to state one’s identity.

Teri-Louise – Why I became a teacher

We speak to KS1 teacher Teri-Louise, from Norbury school in Harrow, to find out more about why she became a teacher.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Louise – Why do you work in Education?

Headteacher Louise, from Norbury Primary School in Harrow, tells us more about her background and why she became an educator in the first place.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Daje – Why I work in Education

Learning support assistant Daje from Norbury Primary School in Harrow tells us more about why she became an LSA.

Our support has always been a key part of helping all types of people find work, in the UK and abroad.

It’s our approach to support which starts with a free career planning session no matter your location, experience or role, we believe that quality recruitment begins with helping and understand your unique needs.

Think you’re the perfect teacher? Think again!

Think you’re the perfect teacher? Think again!

Now don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re not perfect. No one is! Perfection is something we all strive to achieve in one way or another. Whether it’s hitting the gym to trim up for summer, learning a new hobby to expand your mind or having a big social following online, we all do something to improve ourselves every day.

But have you thought about perfection in teaching? Would you consider yourself ‘the perfect teacher’? The perfect teacher would probably get all of their student marking returned within a few days, keep a lovely and fresh-looking tidy classroom, and wouldn’t spend their entire weekend in pyjamas planning lessons and marking. Hmmmm.


Now there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need a little help sometimes. Have you noticed your struggling to engage disengaged students in your class? Or are you spending too much time focusing on those students instead of the whole class? We’ve got a free class on “Engaging the Disengaged Student” that can help you identify the best ways to go about this while keeping a balance in your classroom. Are you finding yourself worrying about lesson observations or parents evenings? Guess what? We have a free class on how to prepare for both! Do you find utilizing data difficult when predicting grades for students in your classroom? That’s okay, lots of people do – that’s why we created a free class which covers “understanding predicted grades”.


Our approach to support starts with a free career planning session, no matter your location or experience. This allows us to not only get to know your strengths but to get to know your weaknesses too. Quality recruitment begins with understanding unique needs and helping people when possible. We value feedback from our schools greatly, it’s a tool we use to identify when a teacher might need a little extra help upskilling in something. Happy teacher > happy school.

Continued Professional Development

We help our teachers by running Continued Professional Development classes. Our CPD is an ongoing program which covers all sorts of gains. We’ve got 26 events coming up over the next term. There’s something for every teacher, in every sector.

How can Special Education be more rewarding?

How can Special Education be more rewarding?

Teaching Special Education has become more and more popular in recent years, teachers from a mainstream background are making the switch to Special Education as it becomes ever more prevalent in their classrooms. There are lots of reasons why teachers find Special Education more appealing and rewarding.

Grow as an individual

Working with children that have different abilities gives you a much better sense of patience and compassion. As you learn about different types of special needs, you’ll begin to identify what they mean, not only on paper but in real life, too. You’ll understand why specific learning techniques don’t work with a certain individual. Every child thinks differently.

Little wins every day

Working with children with special educational needs means that you will need to support children more with different aspects of learning, for example, reading or writing, or behaviour or self-expression. As well as the academic wins that come with being a teacher, i.e. when a student completes a task set or overcomes something, there will be little wins every day with a child with special educational needs. For example, a child with Autism that resists any physical contact may approach you for a hug or to hold your hand. You’ll know the impact you’re having goes beyond academia.

Long-term wins!

Children with Special Educational Needs will reach milestones, it just might take them longer. A milestone is a milestone and should be celebrated regardless! If one of your students with behavioural issues makes a new friend, a child with cerebral palsy learns a way to communicate or a child with Aspergers is able to express how they feel easily, these are all things you should be proud. Your job is to set children up for life, and having a great attitude is key.

Better job prospects

Expanding your expert knowledge into the Special Education sector gives you greater job prospects. You’ll be able to work in different environments as your skills will be transferable. Experience with Special Education makes you diverse, which in turn gives you a much greater scope when looking for work.

Shorter days

Did you know that Special Education schools have shorter days than mainstream schools? This is down to fewer class requirements and smaller class sizes, as well as the school working towards a more flexible curriculum. Shorter days and a more lenient schedule mean one thing: teachers who work in Special Education may benefit from a more balanced life. Special Education is also a great way to have something which sits in between a part-time and a full-time job.


Engage with Quality Education

Our mantra ‘Engage with Quality Education’ and we live by this in everything that we do especially when it comes to our relationship with Schools. We have over 1,000 schools we work with and from the Heads to the Deputies to the teachers and administrators if we could not deliver quality experiences then they simply would not use us.

We know that running a school and focusing on the quality of the education you provide is key, we try to make life as easy as possible and creating long-lasting trust between us and the schools.

Some examples of where we focus:

1. Process

Communication is a two street and we have detailed processes so that those looking after the schools are always aware at each step of the recruitment process.

“The process was very well managed by my consultant who kept me informed of how the day was going throughout and ensured my schedule ran smoothly. We were delighted to be able to recruit from this process”
Simon Greiff
Deputy Headteacher
Manor High School

2. Quality matters

Whilst defining the what of Education is an age-old debate what is less debatable is that quality teaching works best. We have a proven vetting process that adapts to the need from day to day to supply to permanent positions.

“Feltham Hill Junior School has utilised Engage Education’s teachers for just over two years now. I can say that I have been very pleased with all of the supply teachers Engage have sent me. I relay any feedback to my Consultant via email or phone and they are responsive to my requests. We have a very positive professional working relationship with Engage and their staff. I can highly recommend the agency to other schools.”
Rachael Saim
Deputy Headteacher/SENCO
Feltham Hill Junior School

3. Being the expert

We have a strong programme to help support and develop our teachers with CPD being a key program alongside SEN development. For the schools, we like to eat our own lunch have also had internal development for our consultants so that they serve the schools based on their needs. This is not simply about recruitment, it is about policy change, behavioural needs and supporting the education system.

“The level of support and expertise given to us by Engage has been exceptional. They have supported us through the process offering guidance and advice. My Consultant has taken the time to really get to know our school and our requirements and is now able to match prospective teaching staff to us with skill. I would highly recommend ‘iday’ and Engage Education for an innovative approach to teacher recruitment.”
Helen Everitt
Deputy Headteacher
Oriel High School

4. Safeguarding 

Vetting, quality of performance and continuous improvement are all key factors that we focus on helping people with. This also includes who we let into our system and safeguarding is a big factor within what we check as part of our process.
“All their teachers are fully vetted and sending through these details has always been prompt, so that we can be secure in our safeguarding procedures.I have no hesitation in recommending this agency.”
Pauline Jamison
Associate Head Teacher
Stag Lane Junior School

At the end of the day, we are very aware that our role is one of support and that if we do not do it well then we will not function as a business. Education is a challenging place to be, we enjoy helping those who make a real difference.


Is imparting wisdom something we inherently do?

Albert Einstein once said: “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.’ Now, Einstein was a pretty smart guy apparently, I certainly know a lot less about thermodynamics than he does and I’m willing to bet the above quote isn’t the sort of thing he said after 5 pints and a kebab on a Saturday night…

What I think he’s trying to get at, at least, is that we should never stop learning in order to become wiser. So if that’s the case then arguably there’s no discrimination on learning, whether it’s learning a new language, how to cook, or how to juggle… by this token, learning is making you fundamentally wiser.

Which brings me to the crux of what this article is all about, as a teacher your daily life (on weekdays between the hours of 9-3:30pm at least) is made up of educating others, imparting the wisdom you, yourself, have absorbed through your own studies.

It’s easy to forget that point, between the lesson planning, classroom display decorating and coursework marking. Your job helps to influence hundreds of young minds, to shape them and mould them into wiser, more self-aware and intrinsically knowledgeable human beings.

Think back to the teachers you had at school that truly inspired you, what made them stand out? What gave him or her that special something that allows you to remember them to this day? It certainly wasn’t the coursework they gave you or the written exams, it was probably more to do with their attitude towards you and how they made you feel when you stepped into their class or answered a question.

Did they truly make you stop and think about the subject matter and did you leave each class feeling like you were a little wiser?


Rewarding our teachers: Money in the bank

We help our teachers in multiple ways:

That is a very progressive and proactive approach and that has always been a feature of our company. We have helped 99,702 teachers with work and life to find the balance they need and whilst caring and understanding certainly helps anyone feel looked after it did get us thinking about loyalty.

What is loyalty?

Wikipedia opens with this: Loyalty is devotion and faithfulness to a cause, country, group, or person. Philosophers disagree on what can be an object of loyalty as some argue that loyalty is strictly interpersonal and only another human being can be the object of loyalty.

It is an interesting debate and for our world it is slightly easier to define as we only have one cause and effect when it comes to loyalty, YOU!

We know that moving to a new country can be daunting and helping you in your life, in your career and to know it’s the right decision is only part of the puzzle. Many companies say they want you to feel part of the family, we live that with our support and process but that was not enough for us, we wanted you to feel it after you move here. So we did, this is what you get alongside everything else we already covered:

After your first term – £500 in your bank

After your second term – £250 more in your bank

After your third term (end of first year) – £250 more

Using today’s exchanges rates as a total that is:

1,120 Euro

$1,660 CAD

$1,690 AUD

Or in British terms ‘A lot of dosh for being a good sort, innit’

(Sorry about the innit, we do reward our teachers but as you can see we need your help to teach us better vernacular).

Wanna discuss coming over?