When I took over the reins at Pertemps Education Network (PEN) in November 2019, little did I know the challenge that the next 18 months would bring.
I’ve spent many years building recruitment teams and thought I had encountered every situation possible. How wrong I was.
As a business we knew where we were, where we wanted to be and what the plan was to get us there. Initially, our aim was simple – to build on our reputation as a well-respected local education agency and provide really good support to all the education professionals we deal with.
When I joined, the shell of the excellent PEN team was in place and I was confident that with the right additions, training and support we would get where we wanted to be. Sadly, the universe had other ideas. As the saying goes, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.
We just had to be brave.
Of course, what we hadn’t accounted for was Covid. In March 2020, we were appalled to see our client schools closing their doors, and our business grinding to a halt. During the months that followed, we just had to be brave, to help schools where we could, keep the business afloat, and ensure our staff remained safe and well.
A year on, I’m incredibly thankful that pupils are back in school, and that PEN has played a part in their return. We’ve been able to provide schools with outstanding candidates who have adapted to life in post-Covid classrooms and risen to the challenge of delivering high-quality education despite the disruption. I’ve always been grateful being able to play a small part in children’s education through the service we offer and it has been hugely inspiring to see how schools have managed in the face of the pandemic.
This new term feels like another new start after a whole year of insecurity. Just as Parents Evenings have migrated online, at PEN we’re adjusting to the new ‘norm’, with some of our team working from home and others preferring to come into the office.
First and foremost, we’re committed to helping our candidates get back into schools and earn a living and to making sure that our schools have the calibre of staff they need to overcome the legacy of the last 12 months. We’re speaking to education professionals and schools every day to understand the support they need now, and offer our services as part of the solution.