The Department of Education and Children is launching a new online booking system for supply teachers.
Live from the start of the summer term today (Monday), the new system will allow all Department of Education and Children schools to search for available supply teachers via a website.
It forms another step in the Government’s ongoing Digital Strategy.
Teachers will register on the site, which will display their availability and school preference. Schools can then search for the teachers they need and will see only those teachers available at the required times, in the necessary subjects and with the appropriate qualifications and experience.
When contacted by a school, the supply teacher can accept or reject the offer of work. They can also set up their profile in such a way that only those schools in which they wish to work are able to contact them through the site.
This will not only save substantial amounts of paperwork but will also deliver a measurable reduction in the amount of time schools spend searching for available supply teachers.
Timesheets will be submitted through the new service – rather than by posting paper versions – and once authorised payment will be made automatically through Government payroll.
New applicants can apply to be a supply teacher on www.jobtrain.co.uk/iomgovjobs/. Once they have been successful at interview they can register on the system, although they will not be made ‘live’ until Government’s Office of Human Resources has approved their registration. This will mean all the necessary checks will need to be made before registration is complete.
Full training will be given to all the teaching and administration staff who will use the site. There will also be a number of drop-in sessions for supply teachers, letting them see the system and try it out at first hand.
Commenting on the development, Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said:
‘This is a really positive step forward for both schools and supply teachers. Too much time at present is spent making phone calls and sending emails to check availability, or processing paper timesheets and payments. This new system will put an end to that, putting schools and supply teachers in touch with each other at the press of a button. It’s another clear indication of our commitment to new and effective online ways of working – and to cost-effective, joined up government.’
Richard Wild, Executive Director, Government Technical Services, is also pleased with the new service and its positive reception from schools and teachers.
‘It’s great to see another part of the Digital Strategy coming to life,’ he said.
‘Working with colleagues at the Department for Education and Children, and at the Office of Human Resources, I’m sure that we have developed something which is going to make a real difference in the working lives of all our supply teachers and the schools they serve.’