Recruiting Teachers in 2021: Everything You Need to Know


Following the recent announcement of the UK’s third national lockdown, many headteachers and principals are concerned about the future of their schools. From school closures and Covid testing to regulatory changes in hiring international teaching staff from overseas, the Prospero team of former teaching professionals have provided a guide for heads and educators below.

FAQ: Answers to Important Questions for Schools in 2021

How Can Teachers Continue to Provide Lessons During the Lockdown?

With the majority of classrooms transitioning once again to online learning, Prospero Teaching are offering a free remote teaching course for all those working in education. The course covers:

  • How to create a safe environment when delivering lessons online
  • Managing information sharing 
  • Safeguarding students in your care and minimising risks
  • Appropriate alternatives to video conferencing
  • Support and resources for online education.

The BBC is significantly expanding its educational output to support teachers, parents and students during the lockdown. In addition to its daily BBC Live Lessons and BBC Bitesize programming, CBBC will begin broadcasting three hours of primary schools education every weekday. To supplement the curriculum, BBC Two will also show two hours’ GCSE content for secondary pupils every day, across subjects including English, Science, History, Art and Drama. Popular programmes such as Celebrity Supply Teacher and Horrible Histories will continue.

Other resources for teaching professionals include:

  • Twinkl – Free primary and secondary planning and assessment materials 
  • Oak National Academy – 10,000 free lesson planning resources, templates and guides 
  • Teacher Toolkit – A wide range of webinars from former teaching professionals
  • TES – Home learning resources from Early Years to A Levels 

How Can I Arrange Covid Testing for My School?

Although schools have been shut down since 5th January 2021 and are likely to remain closed into the Spring, many schools will remain open for the following students:

  • Children with SEN (Special Educational Needs)
  • Children of key workers
  • Vulnerable children and young adults
  • Pupils who may ‘have difficulty engaging with remote education at home’ including those from disadvantaged backgrounds or living in a place where they do not have quiet space to study or cannot access their own personal computer
  • Looked-after children and those ‘on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services’.

The above exceptions could mean that around 2million children and teenagers – and the required number of teachers and support assistants – will continue to attend schools over the coming months. For these establishments, Prospero Teaching are providing Covid Testers.

With children aged 11-18 being eight times more likely than adults to spread the coronavirus, and more than 1 in 50 Secondary school pupils currently known to be carrying the disease, regular testing will be vital to the continuity of education for SEN and vulnerable pupils, and to reducing the overall prevalence of the virus to help schools reopen to all students.  

Although a commitment has been made to deploy Army and service personnel to help carry out the tests, the numbers of available armed forces put forward would provide one to every two of Britain’s 3,400 Secondary schools, meaning an urgent need to recruit dedicated Covid testers.

Prospero Teaching are recruiting and providing free training to Covid Testers across the country. The lateral flow tests can give results in as little as 20 minutes, helping educators to identify cases as early as possible, and dramatically reducing the volume of pupils needing to isolate.

Fully-trained by Prospero and immediately available, our Covid Testers will be ready to help your school start pupil testing this term and going forward throughout the pandemic.

Need Covid Testers for your school? Get in touch.

How Can Schools Recruit International Teachers After Brexit?

Despite any travel restrictions or the closure of visa application centres, heads can find and employ staff from overseas to continue student learning wherever possible.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, the UK Government is helping to schools in England to recruit international teaching staff. Starting as soon as January 2021, heads and principals can find and employ qualified and experienced candidates from countries in the Europe, the US and around the world.

The Department for Education (DfE) International teacher Recruitment Programme provides teachers for the following subjects, at no recruitment cost:

  • Maths
  • Science
  • Computer Science
  • Modern Foreign Languages (MFL).

Find out more about the DfE International Teacher Recruitment Programme

How Can Teachers Keep Vulnerable Pupils Safe?

Safeguarding has never been more vital than during the pandemic, when thousands of vulnerable children will miss out on the valuable support offered by their schools in addition to education. 

Many schools are working in close partnership with their local government and council branches including Social Workers and Children’s Homes to ensure holistic support for the most vulnerable children. Since the pandemic, Local Authorities have generated additional resources to promote health and education for all children during lockdown, with particular support provided to looked-after children and their carers. Many libraries have already set up a range of online services including daily homework help sessions for children of all ages, free resource downloads and reading and coding clubs for young people missing out on extracurricular activities. 

Prospero Teaching offer free, CPD-accredited safeguarding courses to help teachers and teaching assistants continue to support young people who are remote learning. The courses provide comprehensive training including:

  • Health and safety policies and procedures
  • Case reviews into child abuse or neglect
  • Initiatives in place to support vulnerable children
  • Responsibilities of staff who work with children.

The Prospero team are former qualified teaching professionals with first-hand experience of a wide range of problems and challenges in the education sector. You can reach out to your Prospero account manager at any time with any query, and we will be happy to help.

How Can Schools Protect Shielding, Vulnerable or Concerned Teaching Staff?

Whilst the majority of educators will be delivering lessons online, some teaching professionals will be called in to support vulnerable children and those with SEN needs who must attend in-person. With a recent report revealing that Covid rates among school staff in some areas are four times the corresponding local authority average – 333% higher than the average person in some locations – teaching professionals who are deemed clinically vulnerable or who live with someone in this category may have serious health and safety concerns. 

Advice from unions such as UNISON includes:

  • Enabling clinically extremely vulnerable staff to work from home (in line with the latest UK Government recommendations) and teach remotely 
  • Revisiting and improving the previous Covid-19 risk assessments in place
  • Updating risk assessments for the premises as a whole and for individual children and young people with more complex needs
  • Providing training for staff to adopt the new measures identified from the risk assessments 
  • Communicating these new measures to parents and carers
  • Implementing a system where staff can provide feedback into how well they feel the new measures are working.

Heads and principals can access the latest Government guidance here.

Recruit and Train Top Teaching Staff in 2021

Hiring for your school? Find your next qualified teacher

Continue education for SEN and vulnerable children throughout the pandemic and beyond – find out more about our fully-trained Covid Testers who are available for UK schools.