A teacher-run, teaching recruitment agency based in Wiltshire is helping parents and carers return to work through providing flexible work plans that allow them to juggle working and family life.
Apple A Day Supply was set up in 2013 to work with primary schools across the Wiltshire and Bath region to tackle concerns surrounding the quality of the local supply teacher services, while also helping parents and carers who want to return to the work place. “Juggling life as a new parent can be extremely challenging – I know, I do it!” explained Gemma Hector, owner of Apple A Day.
“Running a business with a three-year-old is a balancing act. Supply teachers and TAs aren’t people who cannot get ‘real jobs’, they are skilled professionals looking for a work/life balance. They are relocators and NQTs (newly qualified teachers) sussing out the local education sector before they choose where to work. They are new mums and dads needing the flexibility temp work offers to meet the demands of family life. And they are new parents who see the benefits of working in education with a young family so choose to re-train to work in education.”
Among the new parents who Apple A Day has helped is Becky, a new mum who was also looking for a flexibly return to teaching.
“As a first-time mum, returning to work was a daunting prospect, especially as my son was still only eight months old. However, working for an agency with a great support network really helped. I was able to go into the office prior to returning and discuss my requirements and possible days I would be available, which really made me feel I had control over my workload and that I could balance work with spending time with my son.
“Once I was back, I was getting two to four days’ work a week, which was great for my work/ life balance. Although morning calls happened, the staff in the office tried to arrange pre-booked work whenever possible so that I was able to organise childcare for my son and ensure he was ready for the day.
“I have found that my only challenge to returning to work has been childcare and what happens when my family is unable to support last minute due to illness and also when my son has been ill. However, when this occurred, the agency was understanding and were able to find alternative cover for my placements so that I was able to focus on being a mum.”
Apple A Day Supply also supports those looking to become Teaching Assistants, as well as TAs training towards becoming a teacher.