YKB Education: Students First, Education Always.

“The cost of educational recruitment is obscene and quite frankly, ridiculous and wrong!”

One of the quotes during my frustrated rant to a friend in London, at the end of another school year, in July 2016. I had just finished my second year as a School Principal and the recruitment costs associated with trying to find the right staff for the school were quite simply, shocking, disgraceful and I would argue ethically dubious. I do not use these words lightly. If one extrapolates this to all schools, then think about what we could do with that money if we could place it directly into teaching and learning, the picture is clear.

My friend simply replied, “So what are you going to do about it?”

This reply caught me by surprise and the rant came to a sudden halt. I often ask my staff and students to think about a solution to any problem they identify. Karma?! What could I do? I was just one more exasperated headteacher. As the conversation continued, my friend stated he could set up a simple website to allow schools to post job openings for free and maybe this will help schools lower their costs. If one compares this to various educational recruitment services that charges schools up to 2000GBP per job advert, it seemed like a no brainer. I stated I would be happy to fund a start-up website and he nodded.

We said our farewells and life continued. I returned to my job for the new school year and thought nothing of the conversation but continued to be infuriated by the costs that we were paying for hiring staff. Then suddenly in November 2016, I received a message that linked to a website: www.ykbeducation.com. It was a first proposal, however, it looked perfect. After a few tweaks, the website launched in December. An educational website that lets schools post their job openings for free – finally!

Four years on, over 1000 jobs have been posted and 250+ schools have used YKB Education. The vast majority use the ‘free to post’ option with some opting for a featured option (for 250GBP) that allows the job advert to go to the top of the search and is promoted via a weekly newsletter for a month, as well as on social media. This latter feature has allowed the website to cover its operational costs. A point to note is that YKB does not keep data as to how many schools were successful via this route nor do we keep data on how many teachers are applying for positions. YKB also ran a virtual recruitment fair in 2016, 2017 and 2020. YKB has served its initial purpose and the YKB team are proud of our achievements thus far, especially given every team member has a full-time job!

More recently, the YKB Team has decided to launch new features and two in particular, after listening to feedback from educators across the world:

  • Bespoke Recruitment Service: Launched in October 2020, YKB Education now offers a recruitment service for schools tuned to their needs and requirements, at a very affordable price. YKB can search for 1, 2, 3 or more teachers for schools. YKB will place the advert, filter, interview, conduct reference and police checks. It is much more than simply a job advert and costs considerably less than a job advert placed elsewhere.
  • Teacher Database: Coming soon, and by the end of 2020, a teacher database will be launched. Teachers can complete their profiles, upload a CV and show their availability to interested schools. Additionally, they may share resources, discuss schools and other matters in YKB forums. YKB will actively help teachers find the right schools.

A full list of YKB services and the team involved in this project, can be found HERE.

“YKB will always allow schools to post their job openings for free.  We like to think of ourselves as an ethical educational website with a true moral purpose.  We hope that ultimately students will benefit from reduced recruitment costs.”  

The above has always been our purpose (About YKB) and has not changed.

It has been extremely satisfying to hear many positive messages. Schools have often stated how pleased they are with the savings they have made as a direct result of YKB Education. One school principal mentioned that she was able to order many more resources for the school as a result. Teachers have stated that they have enjoyed the easy to use interface. YKB Education wishes to thank all of its supporters who have played an active role in making YKB a reality (list HERE). The YKB team comprises of teachers, school leaders and as such, any positive impact on teaching and learning, is very pleasing.

We hope the new features will be a welcome addition. We also hope that schools will continue to make much-needed savings as a result of YKB. Our team is committed to our vision.

Please leave comments, questions and suggestions below.

YKB Links:

Website: www.ykbeducation.com

Twitter: @YKBEducation

LinkedIn: @YKBEducation

Facebook: @YKBEducation

Instagram: @YKBEducation

International Teaching: Decisions, Decisions…

It is natural to feel anxious, even extreme anxiety when looking to work internationally. This can be the first time looking for a position abroad or even the fifth. After all, what do we really know about these schools and places? The online world only goes so far, inspection reports often give a snapshot at that particular inspection date, accreditation bodies are the same and leaders at schools no doubt paint a rosy picture.

This post proposes that there are simply three key factors to consider:

  1. Finances: Does it make sense for you on a financial level? What will your ‘take-home’ pay be? Take into consideration cost of living (various websites can help with this), benefit package (e.g. housing, flights home, insurance etc) and not just the salary. Does the currency of payment fluctuate with respect to your ‘home’ currency?
  2. School: Look at inspection reports, reviews online, speak with teachers and triangulate all that information to make an informed decision about whether you would ‘fit’ in that school.
  3. Location: What are your hobbies and will you be able to pursue them? Or pick up new ones? Is it safe? And if not, how secure will you be? Travel options, things to do, weather and safety are all considerations to be taken into account.

Finally, one strong, and probably the most important tip is to communicate with existing staff at the school. This will allow for a true opinion of the school, finances and location. Open (and quality?) schools would share all staff email addresses. Some would be selective but be very wary of the schools that do not share any. Why not? What is there to hide?

Communicating with staff currently at the school will give you a lot of information about the school, location and finances; The 3 key factors!

If anybody hits all three, please share!

Happy hunting!

Yasir Patel