Do you need coronavirus testing staff for your school or provision? Or are you are a staff member available for work and able to offer testing support to schools? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, Axcis can help. Read on to find out more.
COVID-19 testing staff from Axcis
At Axcis, we have many staff members on our books who are able to deliver COVID-19 tests. By taking on a member of supply staff for this role, your teachers and support staff will have more time available to work with their students. In addition to this, supply staff are flexible workers, so you need only hire them for the days/hours needed and pay for just those hours. If you’d like to speak to one of our consultants about hiring COVID-19 testing staff, why not get in touch today?
COVID-19 testing jobs with Axcis
Many schools are approaching us for help finding staff capable of delivering COVID-19 tests. Below you will find an outline of what the job involves and what skills and experience you need to be considered for a COVID-19 testing position.
As a COVID-19 tester in school, you will be responsible for:
Carrying out the regular routine preventative COVID-19 testing process daily to staff, children and young people as required.
Assisting in self-testing where applicable.
Collecting completed swabs and processing them, ensuring they are ready for collection.
Data entry reporting on test results and completed tests weekly.
Cleaning swabbing bays/testing spaces and ensuring that all areas are clean and as COVID-19 safe as possible.
Adhering to and monitoring necessary consent processes for testing to be carried out.
Proactively updating all documentation and reports each day.
Maintaining universal precautions and waste disposal in accordance with the infection control policy.
Qualifications, skills and experience for Covid-19 testing jobs:
COVID-19 Testing Training, non-essential (can be provided by Axcis Education or schools as appropriate)
A medical background would be advantageous
Safeguarding Children Training (Can be provided by Axcis Education)
Experience of administration /Data entry
Enhanced child workforce DBS on the update service, preferred (can be provided by Axcis Education)
Are you a parent or carer struggling with the stresses of home schooling? Do you need to enlist the help of a professional so that you can continue with your own work or duties? If the answer is yes, Axcis can help!
The pressures of home school
Home schooling has added a ton of pressure to many families during this latest lockdown. If you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. Hundreds of families across the country are experiencing challenges. Some let off steam with humour, others by seeking out help and support and others but simply getting by the best they can.
What are home schooling parents saying?
“Mummy is looking forward to another week of homeschooling like a hole in the head.” Katie Kirby
“There have been slammed doors and tantrums, too many lessons conducted in pyjama bottoms, and when they threaten to down tools entirely, I resort to bribes”. Nadia Cohen
“Home schooling has made me a bad mother – this is a mental health catastrphe for families”. Judith Woods
Distance learning support
If you feel your mental health slipping due to the pressures of home school, then the first, and safest option is to hire a tutor for distance learning support. At Axcis, we have a range of subject teachers, tutors and support staff who can help you. But how might this work?
How would distance learning support work?
Once you explain your child’s age and learning needs to us, we can put you in touch with a suitable tutor. This tutor can discuss the needs of your child with you and work out an appropriate learning plan. Different schools are setting work in different ways, so the approach will be tailored on an individual basis. For example, if your child has been sent a work pack by the school and asked to complete particular tasks or worksheets, the tutor could be sent a copy of this and can then use an online platform to provide live, in-person support to your child. Often, children will be much more responsive to a 3rd party tutor than they are to a family member asking them to complete work.
How would in-person tutoring work?
Alternatively, Axcis can provide you with a teacher or member of support staff who can come into your home and provide in-person support for your child. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, you will need to do a risk assessment and ensure that your environment is COVID safe. We would advise that you ask tutors to wear a face mask or shield where possible and ensure there is suitable sanitation and ventilation when tutoring. If you or your tutor are showing virus symptoms then PLEASE remember to isolate and protect those around you from potential infection.
Further places to get more information about staying safe include the government website – which has plenty of advice – we would suggest that you take a look at the below before booking a member of staff:
If you would like to have a no-obligation conversation with one of our consultants about how to proceed from here, feel free to get in touch with your local Axcis office. Details of our branches can be found here.
Are you a school in need of remote learning tutors? Or perhaps you’re a teacher or member of school support staff in need of a remote learning job? Find out what’s happening at Axcis during lockdown 3.0 and how we can help you with staff or work.
Schools – how we can help you
School leaders will be relieved to hear that despite another lockdown being imposed, Axcis Education Recruitment is still open for business. As leaders in SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) recruitment, we have the specialist knowledge and staff to help. So whether you need an in-person member of staff to come into school as usual for your key worker or SEND children, or whether you need to recruit specialist distance learning teachers/tutors, we can help!
Benefits of recruiting staff through Axcis:
There are numerous benefits to hiring a member of staff from Axcis, such as:
Flexibility – you can have as many or as few members of staff from us as you like, and for any length of time. You are not required to keep on any staff member for more days or hours than is needed, helping you to manage your budget effectively.
Speed – due to the fact that we have staff members ready to work who have already been through our rigorous compliance process, you can hire teachers or support staff as quickly as on the same day your needs arise!
Specialists – as leaders in SEND, we have many members of teaching and support staff available who understand how to work with children with a range of different needs, such as autism, SEMH, SLD, PMLD and MLD needs. So, whether you take a teacher or member of support staff from us, they should be able to hit the ground running.
Lockdown 3.0 will be a difficult time for many members of school supply staff. However, there are still opportunities to work with Axcis Education Recruitment. Many schools are still hiring staff to work on-site with keyworker and SEND children, and our business continues as usual on that side of things. Other schools are in need of people who can help with distance learning. If roles like those below are of interest to you, why not register or get in touch with your local office to find out more?
Remote learning jobs available with Axcis Education Recruitment
Distance learning tutors for a range of academic and SEND subjects, such as Maths, English, Science, Key Skills, Basic Skills, ASDAN and more
Distance learning support staff who can offer guidance and one to one support to students with specific needs. This might include children with SEMH (social, emotional and mental health needs), autism, MLD (moderate learning difficulties), SLD (severe learning difficulties) and PMLD (profound and multiple learning difficulties).
It is also worth noting that we may have other specialist SEND teaching and support roles available during lockdown. This includes some on-site roles where schools remain open to SEND and keyworker students – it all really depends on where schools have needs and which what ages and subjects. If you are interested in either going into schools to work, or providing distance learning support, it is worth registering your details with Axcis or having a conversation with a consultant from your local branch to find out how we can help you. A list of Axcis branches and their contact details can be found here. We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe, everyone!
This month, we have selected a prize that would be an excellent activity to do with your class during National Storytelling Week (30th Jan – 6th Feb). These “Retell a story cubes” help you to delve into reading comprehension in a fun and engaging way. Read on to find out more.
About the prize
These fun retell a story cubes are an ideal way to spark creative writing and discussion skills among young learners. This set of six foam cubes includes 36 different activities, including tell what might happen next, describe the main character and tell us why you liked the story. These activities are great for boosting reading and listening comprehension. The set includes an activity guide and is listed as being suitable for ages 6 years and above.
How to enter the Axcis January Giveaway
Our giveaways are always free to enter, no strings attached! We offer several entry methods so you can either take a quick peek at our Facebook page, Tweet us or sign up on our website for work and you’ll be in with a chance to win. Follow the link below and you’ll be sent to our third party giveaway page (run on there to keep things fair and square) – where you can choose your method of entry and get your name in the hat for this great prize!
2020 has been a challenging year in the education sector (just as we appreciate it has been in many other sectors, too!) We’d like to give a huge shout-out to all the parents, teachers and carers who have played their part. Whether you are a parent or carer who has juggled home-schooling with your own work or lost out on the SEND support or respite you might have usually received. Or if you are a teacher or member of school support staff who has given up valuable holiday or non-contact time for SEND and keyworker children whilst trying to figure out how to deliver virtual lessons at the same time – we thank you all. Here’s to an easier 2021. We wish you all a very Happy New Year.
Top blogs from Axcis in 2020
Below is a list of our most popular blogs from 2020. Each heading is linked to the article should you want to give it a look. And if you have any topics you’d like us to cover in 2021, why not get in touch and let us know?
It is well documented that children and adults alike can benefit from mindfulness activities. This FREE worksheet focuses on how to detect and manage stress in our bodies. Use it with your class or with individuals during one to one support sessions.
What is mindfulness?
In a nutshell, mindfulness is all about being aware and present. It’s about noticing and observing your current situation and allowing other thoughts or feelings to coexist in a non-judgmental way. Many people find that formal mindfulness meditation exercises can really help to settle the mind, reduce stress and allow us to become calmer and more rational people. However, younger children and those with additional needs may struggle to sit quietly and meditate so other exercises can sometimes be more useful.
Why is it important to teach children to self-regulate?
When children exhibit challenging behaviour, we often apply a punitive measure or sanction within an educational or home setting. However, if we punished someone for not being able to play the piano, it wouldn’t make them any more able to play it! We must teach the “how” in order to play. The same goes for emotional regulation and stress management in particular. So often, we fail to teach our children and young people strategies and techniques for managing big emotions. That’s where this worksheet comes in!
FREE mindfulness stress management worksheet
In this free downloadable worksheet from Axcis, we look at how stress feels, what causes stress and how we can use the physical sensations we experiences when stressed as an “anchor”. This in turn helps to settle the mind and bring cortisol levels back down when difficult situations arise. Children and adults can benefit equally from doing such exercises – anything that helps us to slow down and take stock when emotions run high can help us to learn to manage those situations more effectively. The trick is to practice, practice, practice! Rome wasn’t built in a day! We’d love to hear how you get on with this activity, so feel free to email us any feedback or suggestions for improvement you might have.
Axcis contractors – don’t forget to go through our end of term checklist to ensure that your work placement ends smoothly. And thank-you for all your hard work!
1 – Mark and hand all work back
Check, then double check that you have marked (where appropriate) and handed all work back to your line manager at school. It can be extremely stressful for the school or for the children concerned if you fail to return their work to them before you leave at the end of your contract. So even if you’re sure you have returned everything, have a good check through your desk/home/car just to be on the safe side.
2 – Ensure any handover paperwork is completed
It’s of paramount importance that you do a thorough handover of your work with the member of staff taking over your role. If this is not possible, talk to the HOD/HOY and give them your notes. This will ease the transition for the students from one member of staff to another. Your notes might include where they are in the syllabus but it may also involve comments about behaviours, triggers, medications etc.
3 – Return keys/door cards and any other school property
Never walk away from your assignment with a set of keys as this can cause a huge cost to the school if they have to replace their locks as a result. Text books, laptops and any other material you have been lent needs to be given back promptly as failure to do so could impede the transition for the new member of staff as well as the students concerned, as well as being a nuisance to the school (who you will want to provide you with a good reference!)
4 – Don’t forget to make a final timesheet check before you finish!
The last job you should do before you complete a contract with a school is to double-check that your timesheets are all in and up to date. You can do this via your consultant, or by checking your online timesheet portal. It’s easier to sort out missing timesheets now than it is to chase them in a few weeks time when you realise you’re missing some pay!
5 – Update your CV and availability with Axcis
Don’t forget to also let your consultant at Axcis know what your availability for your next assignment is, and send in an updated CV. That way, when the new term starts, there won’t be any delays finding your next job with Axcis!
Not working for Axcis?
If you are seeking teaching or support work in a SEND setting and are not currently registered with Axcis, why not do it today? It’s free and takes just a few minutes to register on our website – what do you have to lose?
Get your FREE Axcis wall calendar, plus find out what the 2021 term dates are in your area to add to it.
At Axcis, we have been hard at work checking what the key SEND awareness days for 2021 are and adding them to our free downloadable wall calendar. We think that you’ll agree this is our best one yet! Get yours by simply clicking on the link below and printing it – we designed it so that it easily prints on standard A4 paper.
The 2021 term dates listed below are based on London (Westminster) term dates and may not be correct for your area as they can vary between different local authorities and schools (which is why we didn’t put them in the calendar for you) – to check dates for your area, go to: https://www.gov.uk/school-term-holiday-dates
Monday 4 January – Friday 12 February 2021 Monday 22 February – Wednesday 31 March 2021
Monday 19 April – Friday 28 May 2021 Monday 7 June – Friday 23 July 2021
Wednesday 1 September – Friday 22 October 2021
Monday 1 November – Friday 17 December 2021
Do you need a job for January?
If you’re current work placement is coming to an end and you need work for January, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today? We’d love to help you find teaching or support work with special needs children near you! Or if you are a school or alternative provision in need of staff, why not mail us your requirement and we can see who we have available for you?
Graham Chatterley has kindly provided this guest post for the Axcis blog. Graham is an ex-special school leader, father, SEND consultant and trainer. In this bloghe looks at the reasons behind disruptive behaviour and how we might see this as a form of communication so that we may better understand and support our children and young people.
I wrote an article a while back that focused on the motives of aggressive/challenging behaviour. I separated behaviour into 3 different motives;
1 – Uncontrolled aggression
An action decided by the brain stem in a microsecond, triggered by fear and beyond the child’s control. What the brain chooses as a response will often result in different adult reactions.
A child that freezes, refuses to respond can often be deemed to be ignoring, rude or avoidant and so we persistently encourage them to answer.
A child the flies and hides under a desk is often deemed to be disrupting, we feel out of control and the behaviour is often met with an attempt to get them out from under the table.
A child whose brain chooses a verbal fight response can be deemed as rude or disruptive. It is easy and a natural human response to meet the verbal challenge with verbal challenge of our own.
Finally, a child that responds to that fear with physical aggression will often be met with rejection. Physical aggression towards staff and pupils is the 2nd and 3rd most common cause of exclusion.
However, if the child isn’t in control of their actions at the time is it right to treat them as if they were? Even more so, make long term decisions about that child based on dysregulated actions.
Taking any kind of punitive approach in this circumstance is unlikely to have any impact. You cannot deter a child’s brain stem. It isn’t interested in good order or learning. It is designed for one purpose and that is to keep us alive. Just because we as adults don’t view a situation as life threatening does not mean we speak for the child’s brain. We also have to be aware that if we remove any of those limited responses, we encourage another. If we keep asking that child to answer a question when they have frozen then we take their freeze response from them. If we keep trying to get them out from under the table then we take their flight from them. If we meet their verbal challenge with our own verbal challenge then we leave only one response. A physical fight response that our policy says must be met strongly, but haven’t we left the child no choice?
The popular counter for a more punitive argument is ‘What about the other 29?’ It’s a logical response and for extreme actions it isn’t about the perpetrator, it is about the victim. The punitive response may be designed to deter others, to make staff feel supported or even appeasing parents. If these things have motivated the response there may well be an argument for them being necessary, especially in instances like serious assaults. What there isn’t however is an argument they are effective at changing the behaviour.
If the action taken by the adults isn’t to benefit the needs of the young person then it won’t impact the behaviour. Temporary or even permanent exclusion may be used for those reasons but it will never improve behaviour. To change the behaviour, we must have the individual child in mind, make the child feel safer and use consequences that teach the child about the behaviour. If we offer none of this, we can’t be surprised when it doesn’t work. Opportunities to help that child to regulate were missed until the child ended up losing control.
2 – Overwhelmed aggression
We’ve all been there. We start the day a little stressed out and worried, a few things happen that we find frustrating, things that we’d normally manage are making us angry and we lose our temper over something trivial. If you see this happen with a colleague is the instinct to criticise them or check they are OK? Is the instinct the same with children?
Often however it doesn’t get to the loss of control, we will see it coming and take a break, even do an activity that regulates us and gets us back on track. We do this because we have learned to do it. Before we learned to do it, we were taught to do it.
The sooner we regulate, the easier and quicker it is to return to calm. If we hadn’t been taught to do it then we probably would have been much less successful adults. Yet many children haven’t been taught this skill, don’t recognise what is happening to them and their bodies, and don’t know how to change the outcome.
It’s easy to bemoan the fact that these things have never been taught, it’s a great opportunity for parent bashing but that changes little. The press is currently having a field day with the term ‘school ready’. Children can’t use a knife and fork, children aren’t toilet trained and their reading levels are lower than they should be. Of course these things are important, but why is there no mention of children who can’t self-soothe? Who don’t understand escalating levels of stress and who don’t know how to make themselves feel calmer and therefore are ill-equipped for the school environment? Truth is we can moan all we want but we have to teach these skills to give that child any chance at being successful and we don’t teach the skills by looking at the outcome. We teach them by looking at the journey. We must identify where the child is on the path to anger and aggression and do something to regulate them. If we do this with relentless consistency we can teach them to do it for themselves.
Schools in America led by Lori Desautels, author of ‘Connections over Compliance’ are not only teaching children how to do this but making understanding the brain part of the curriculum. Children are not only taught what is happening in their amygdala but they have a special personalised toolkit of what is needed to calm it down. If the argument is ‘what about the other 29’ in a dysregulated classroom, then the solution is not to remove the dysregulated children, it is to ensure all children are regulated.
If we ignore these feelings and wait for the behaviour we fail the child. We will have missed multiple learning opportunities. A punitive action that does not link to the feelings is completely ineffective because the child neither recognises where it comes from nor has any skills to stop it happening. I don’t know how to play the guitar. You can punish me all you want for not playing it, nothing will change unless someone teaches me how to play it.
3 – Long term survival/mask
No doubt this is the hardest one for educators and it is no surprise that ‘Persistent disruptive behaviour’ is the most common reason for exclusion. Seeing a child lose control (as with uncontrolled and overwhelmed aggression) is difficult and often outcome-related by response. A provision may decide that they can’t meet a child’s need or more specialist support is required.The idea that it’s nobody’s fault is the attitude towards the failure. However, a child who adopts a mask or persona in order to survive doesn’t often get that luxury. It will be their fault for choosing to behave in such a fashion. Disrupting lessons, answering back, refusing etc are chosen behaviours, right? They aren’t in crisis or under threat they just don’t want to do it? But take a moment to consider these scenarios;
A friend goes on a string of failed promotion
interviews and its really getting them down, what do we advise? Often it’s take
a break for a bit.
A family member goes on a string of really bad
dates and it’s affecting their mental health, what do we advise? Often it’s,
give dating a break for a bit.
You can’t seem to build a good rapport with your
personal trainer, what do you do? Often it would be to change to another
These are our adult survival strategies, often advised by others, and that’s without taking into account any traumas or additional needs. We change, we avoid, we take a break because we fear the failure, we feel overwhelmed or it is damaging to our self-esteem/confidence.
Do we allow our children this opportunity? Is avoidance an option? I’ve never been taught the guitar but I’m been punished for failing at it, why would I ever want to play the guitar?
For many children that guitar could be certain topics, social situations, unstructured time or relationships. It is perfectly logical to want to avoid them but they aren’t allowed. So finding a strategy to get removed is the next best thing. In my experience, work avoidance has little to do with not wanting to do something and everything to do with the perception of failing at it. Getting sent out or getting a consequence may pale in comparison to feeling like a failure or the fear of failure.
But what about just playing up to their mates? It’s a fair argument, it happens. The point in adolescence when what the other children think is suddenly more important than what the adult thinks is very real. So, if all of a sudden a child’s priority is what their peers think, then looking stupid in front of them is even more significant. We can now add to the failure a significant fear of rejection. Avoidance becomes even more appealing than it was before.
But what about bullies? Again, it’s a fair argument, there are those children who target others. In my experience there are many reasons for this, none of which is because they are a ‘bad kid’.
Pushing the buttons of others may well cause those children to misbehave. This could cause the disruption required, whilst also avoiding the consequence for having been the disruptor.
Believing that you can make yourself and others feel better by making others feel worse is a common belief held by many children. If social media is anything to go by some adults also believe this!
Some children have very little control in their lives outside school and look for things they can control in it. For many this may be their own behaviour but for some it may be the behaviour of others. Manipulation may be the only time they feel in control.
Fearing rejection has one simple solution. Reject first, sabotage and control the way it ends on your own terms.
To me these avoidant, attention seeking and bullying behaviours are all just survival styles. They aren’t good ones, just like letting the amygdala or the brain stem be in charge of behaviour choices isn’t helpful. To blame the child and refer to it as choosing to be naughty shows a lack of understanding and does the entire class a disservice.
If we want to
change behaviour we have to identify it’s origin first.
If behaviour origin is in the brain stem and driven by feeling unsafe, we must prioritise an environment that makes the child feel safe. Feeling safe is different to being safe.
If behaviour origin is in the emotional/limbic brain and driven by feeling overwhelmed and dysregulated, we must prioritise regulating that young person so they can learn to manage those feelings.
However, if behaviour origin is long term survival strategy chosen over time to combat consistent threats or avoiding the negative feelings that result, then we must structure our approaches to focus on safety, trust, regulation and belonging. In that order and with relentless consistency to change that young person’s belief systems.
Why would a young person who has only experienced
failure, ever forecast success?
Asking that child to make themselves vulnerable and take risks without believing they can be successful will only create a need for an adaptive survival style. If we want this behaviour to go away, we have to build from the bottom.
We can’t expect children to run, if we’ve never taught them to walk!