Over the last couple of years, Staffordshire University has built a working relationship with Reed’s education specialists. Due to this relationship, the university approached Reed as a partner for a new a project – a workbook to create an interactive interview and application experience for students.
Staffordshire University’s Lecturer of Secondary ITE, Katie Leonard, said: “Due to the ongoing pandemic, it is difficult for students to secure face-to-face interviews, and for them to succeed at video interviews, they needed some extra support to build their confidence. We needed something that was accessible and user-friendly for the blended learning approach.”
Reed has been an important, positive addition to the PGCE, supporting our students to enter the teaching profession with expert recruitment guidance.
Staffordshire University’s Lecturer of Secondary ITE
According to Katie, Reed’s education specialists, Claire Seeley and Andrea Raven-Hill, were “instrumental” in the development and creation of the work booklet.
“We met with Reed multiple times to discuss the brief and they engaged with several head teachers to gain their insight and to ensure this was shared with our students. They also produced all the content and had it designed – they conducted multiple meetings, and two separate calls with the entire student cohort.
“Andrea gave clear action points and was able to connect with national speakers. This enhanced the overall Reed interview day experience.”
Throughout the process, Claire was proactive at communicating deadlines and was extremely supportive. “Claire’s friendly, approachable manner has cultivated a strong working rapport – she also delivered a bespoke, live Q&A session as a follow-up,” Katie added.
As part of the process, Reed, the university, and local school head teachers worked together to shortlist applications. Katie quoted one local assistant head teacher’s feedback: “I'd like to stress that all candidates were brilliant, and it was really difficult to whittle it down. If this were the field of applicants for a role at our school, we'd be absolutely thrilled!”
From start to finish, the entire process took four months to complete. Since then, more than 90 associate trainees have taken part in the programme, making use of blended learning lectures, interactive support guides, and live presentations.
The workbook itself includes links to resources, and videos with expert advice from Reed’s specialists and other education experts – with all advice connecting to the Teaching Standards.
Katie told us that the videos included in the workbook were of “high quality” and demonstrated to students how they could improve their presentation and communication skills.
The trainees gained confidence, motivation and the ambition to apply for teaching vacancies early in their PGCE training year. Katie revealed that the opportunity to gain virtual interview experience has led many students to secure employment within the sector before completing the course.
“This partnership has strengthened our provision and educational professional skills programme. Reed has been an important, positive addition to the PGCE, supporting our students to enter the teaching profession with expert recruitment guidance,” Katie said.
She also announced that she would love to be able to work with Claire annually, solidifying the programme as part of the PGCE ITE course.