It was great to meet so many of you at the Academies Show in London’s Olympia and hear your news and views about the pros and cons of running, or working in, an academy. Eteach CEO Paul Howells gave a talk on the importance of schools building their online brand and meanwhile, protesters dressed up as cigar touting Fat Cats outside the venue.
The challenges of running an academy came up frequently amongst visitors to the Eteach stand, as well as the benefits. Of the challenges, how academies are funded was the hot topic. For some of you, having direct control over the school budget and how to spend it is a huge benefit – but for others it’s an unwelcome additional responsibility that you’re not trained for.
Although over 1500 schools are now academies, benefiting from greater financial freedom, flexibility in curriculum delivery and increased autonomy, not everyone is convinced that the initiative makes sense. In the lead up to the Show, ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “The academies show will be the education equivalent of the Ideal Homes Exhibition, presenting an idealised view of education and the chance of fat profits for those selling the vision.”
Paul’s presentation started with some statistics about school recruitment:
- 99% of jobseekers research their next employer online
- 92% of candidates find their jobs online.
This means that schools need to build their ‘employer brand’. He asked the audience what their school website says to their future employees – and gave some tips on improving it with the help of the Eteach team of recruitment experts! The key steps are:
- Create a career site that is built for users and search engines
- Ensure your career site is intuitive and easy to navigate
- Connect with your audience; be proactive, not reactive about recruitment.
Are academies about profits, rather than education? And does your school have an ‘employer brand’?