How to recruit a fabulous teacher
If your child has ever been to a Perform class, you'll know that all our teachers are brilliant - enthusiastic, energetic and extremely professional. Not only are they talented performers in their own right, they are also totally passionate about helping childen develop the skills which they have in abundance.
"How do you find these people?"
Parents often ask me how I find our teachers. Well, as with all good things, there's a lot of work that goes into recruiting and training a Perform Teacher to get them ready for class.
Firstly, we ask applicants to submit a CV and a self-tape introducing themselves and singing a song. The Head of our Education department, Perform For Schools, watches every submission and decides who to invite for an audition workshop. I audition everyone myself, along with our in-house choreographer Aled Rees. We ask to see a prepared drama game and teach a dance routine which they need to demonstrate. Perform Teachers have to be what's known as triple threats meaning that they're able to sing, dance and act.
Training and references
Successful candidates are then invited to our Two Day Training Programme. During this process, we apply for their Enhanced DBS certificate and their work and character references are checked. It's important to note that we are rigorous about these pre-employment checks and nobody joins Perform without these being completed. This may feel like stating the obvious but not all providers do this and, in fact, we are unique at Perform to have such stringent measures in place. I wouldn't expect my children to go to school and be taught by teachers who were not DBS checked or recruited to the highest standards and I don't see Perform as any different.
The final stage of induction is that each teacher must observe two Perform classes in action. Then, once teachers are fully vetted, trained and onboarded, it’s time for them to start. At their first class they are supervised by one of my Area Partner team to ensure that they feel supported and able to meet the high standards we require.
It's time for them to start...
My Area Partner team visit classes to evaluate them once each term (they’re a bit like our in-house version of Ofsted). The evaluations are a great way of not only celebrating excellence in our classes but also to identify any improvements needed. We run weekly Refining Training on all sorts of topics such as teaching drama to children with SEN. These sessions are led by our specialist teachers. We also run staff Paediatric First Aid Training several times each year to ensure that our teachers are equipped to deal with medical situations should they arise.
My favourite sessions are our Termly Training where 250 of us meet at the start of each term to sing, dance and act through the scripts for our termly shows.
The inevitability of hiring such talented performers is that they may get acting work and leave us for a while but our structure and seamless training means that, if a teacher leaves to go into a West End show, we will have another excellent teacher ready to jump in and deliver the same curriculum and content.
At Perform, we take our recruiting, training and continued development of our teachers very seriously and it shows. I have an incredible team and I couldn’t be prouder of them!