All candidates complete our customised application form which has been prepared in accordance with Safer Recruitment Guidelines. Our application form has been specifically designed to elicit the information we need to ensure the candidates we appoint will be successful in an overseas school. We also ask questions to ensure that candidates will accept the position as offered.
Following application suitable candidates must undergo an observed lesson, which is a pre-requisite to attending an Assessment Day. The Assessment Day includes an Information Session, a Panel Interview and Written Tasks with plenty of opportunities for candidates to have their questions answered. We expect that when candidates leave us they will be fully informed and in a position, if successful, to accept a post with any of our partner schools.
The Observed Lesson
“It is very difficult to predict how good a teacher will be without observing them in a classroom; paper qualifications and personal characteristics tell us very little. Gender, race, teaching experience, and undergraduate university attended, advanced degrees, teacher certification and tenure explain less than 8% of teacher quality.” (The Sutton Trust, Improving the impact of teachers on pupil achievement in the UK – interim findings, September 2011)
At Belvedere Schools we truly understand the importance of seeing our applicants teach. All candidates are observed in either their current school, in a placement school or in a Belvedere Partner School using the Belvedere Lesson Observation Pro forma. If the lesson is observed in the candidate’s’ ‘home-school’ we are able to look at a number of additional factors, such as quality of classroom displays, organisation and management, marking and feedback to pupils, relationships with colleagues and ongoing planning (evidencing differentiation). We can speak with pupils who will; sometimes be the teacher’s strongest advocate! In addition we will also be able to meet with any referees who are located at the ‘home-school’.
The Assessment Day
Only those teachers considered at least good or outstanding are able to proceed with our recruitment process. They must of course, also meet the qualification requirements for your location, have at least the minimum necessary experience as determined by law or advised by you and the personal attributes to be invited to interview.
We therefore expect that all our applicants brought to interview will have the opportunity to be successful. When a large number of posts are required to be filled we will invite approximately one third more candidates than the posts available. We find that our clients are exceptionally satisfied with the large number of potential teachers that we present to them and often have difficult choices to make due to the high calibre of our applicants.
Our interview process typically takes at least three hours face-to face. We usually conduct a morning and afternoon session at our light and spacious offices, sometimes extending these over several days for larger schools. This will be our second meeting with the applicant, having already seen them teach. On this occasion they will receive a short presentation about location and lifestyle, be given some specific information about your school, including a question and answer session, feedback to us on their previously observed lesson, answer our panel’s questions and complete written tasks.
We will invite between four and five candidates to each session, as we have found that observing interactions, and relationships between candidates is very useful. Our interview panel is made up of at least three people and may include a representative from your school, if you wish. We ask applicants to consent to sharing their information with other successful candidates. We have found that if successful applicants are able to meet and communicate with each other prior to taking up their positions, then the sense of ‘team’ begins very early on with strong positive relationships developing even before the teachers join you.
The Written Tasks
We will devise a series of written tasks which can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. These tasks allow us to ensure that our applicants are competent and fluent with written English and not reliant on word processing or spell checking devices. We may provide a data analyses task or ask the candidate to write a letter and/or set a budgeting exercise. We may also ask our teachers to ‘mark’ a piece of pupil work and look for best practice in terms of providing positive praise and next step marking to pupils.
We recognise that the model of spoken English which our teachers provide will often be the most significant and may be the only model of English for the children. We expect the highest standards of grammatically correct and sufficiently formal spoken English from our teachers. Any applicants whose accent or dialect is not considered ‘English’ or could inhibit a pupil’s understanding is unable to be considered.
Interview questions can be tailor made to your requirements but will generally be designed to elicit a candidate’s personal attributes, National Curriculum Knowledge, an understanding of special educational needs, subject knowledge and curricular strengths and specialisms. The interview will always include a Safeguarding Question designed to ensure all staff appreciate the duty of care that is required for children in all our schools. Whilst the interview questions are set candidates are given sufficient time to discuss their own opinions and contribute to dialogue and debate any issues.
Making an offer
As part of our service, upon advice from our client, we make the verbal offers to candidates who have been successful. We expect that candidates will accept the offer and be aware at this stage of salary expectations. We suggest to Schools that they provide a written summary of terms and conditions to teachers and request that this be signed and scanned back to the School whilst formal contracts, which we appreciate may take time, are being drawn up.
We are happy to help with the distribution and return of formal contracts as required by the host country. We can advise on salary and benefits packages for new or expanding schools. We offer assistance with the processing of documents and the attesting of qualifications etc., which are required for the processing of work permits and visas, thus ensuring that your teachers arrive with all the necessary documentation.
Pre-departure Assistance and Induction
We promise that we will continue to assist the staff we have recruited for you until their departure from the UK. If required we can book their outbound flights, which can be particularly useful if a large number of teachers have been recruited and you wish them to arrive together. We will put all successful staff in touch with each other and depending upon the number of staff that we have recruited can organise a formal induction or training days before their departure from the UK. Should you have any other pre-departure requirements we are happy to manage these.
Our recruitment fees
We know we offer highly competitive rates for an exceptional service; in line with ‘high-street’ agencies who often do no more than handle CV’s. We offer a range of services from a full ‘founding’ team of staff to providing single teachers for a specialised post to providing teachers from our bank of registered and approved applicants. Our fee will depend upon factors such as the number of teachers provided (a reducing scale for large requests), whether these teachers are supplied from our bank of ‘registered’ teachers or through a personalised recruitment campaign, which will include advertising costs. We set our fees in local currency and generally request a deposit upon engagement, then a payment once the written offer (not formal contract) is acknowledged and a final payment when the teacher commences his or her employment.