As a new school year commences, CEDoW schools are well placed to meet the growing demand for the engagement of casual staff through an innovative app — Tap for Teacher — seamlessly connecting schools and staff.
Tap for Teacher has been implemented in response to the need for an improved way to manage school and casual relief staff communication and arrangements.
For schools, it can be challenging to find casual staff - especially at short notice. The app — accessible on a desktop computer or smartphone — has reduced the need for school personnel to make time-consuming, early morning calls to replace staff.
St John’s, Dapto Middle Leader, Jeff De Battista, said “Tap for Teacher has saved so much time. I’ve often had to make over 40 phone calls of a morning to arrange replacement staff.” In just a few 'taps', CEDoW schools can now see who is available from their preferred contacts and book approved staff.
The app has an in-built calendar, making it easier for staff to provide their availability so that schools can only see - and invite - available staff to work. If none of a school’s regular staff are free, schools then have access to a ‘back-up team’ feature, providing access to a broader group of casual staff in their local area.
Ss Peter and Paul, Kiama Assistant Principal, Lindsay Burns, said Tap for Teacher has been an effective casual management booking system, as it has increased administration efficiency while decreasing workload.
“The app has enabled our administrators to quickly source casual replacement. It's been excellent in two-way communication allowing staff to nominate their availability for work, to only be contacted when they're free,” he said.
"From the ‘teacher dashboard’ feature, our administrators can quickly see available staff. They can even organise multiple casuals for multiple days.”
Stella Maris, Shellharbour Senior School Support Officer, Claudia Stacey, said she uses the app daily. “Tap for Teacher is a simple and efficient way to book single or multiple staff - there is no longer wasted calls.”
The app is proving to be beneficial for schools and relief staff alike, with our casual staff saying goodbye to receiving unnecessary wake-up calls!
Teacher, Karen Bourgeois, said the app is an excellent tool. “I can respond to invitations immediately, with confirmation returned quickly. The calendar is easy to use showing simply how my week, or month, is shaping up. It’s also handy that I can be notified of duties or special events through the ‘reminder' feature.”
While teacher, Casey Shipley, said she loves the app’s flexibility. “I’m able to allocate the days I'm available in advance and keep my professional information current. In turn, schools can easily see my availability and book me in advance. On the days I’m unavailable, I’m not disturbed having to explain my unavailability."
Team Leader for Recruitment and Payroll, Bernadette Lazarovski, said the Recruitment Team have been working collaboratively with schools for two years in development. “We have a growing number of casual staff, therefore the app has become a significant application and one we’re continuing to improve to provide a successful experience for users," she said.
"This will include integrating our payroll system with the app as a means for payment of casual staff, and ultimately for the recording of leave in Employee Self Service (ESS).”
Recruitment Officer, Yvonne Sweet (pictured), has been overseeing the initiative and visiting schools to support them with the change. “The app went ‘live’ in all primary schools during Term 2 in 2018, with several hundred casual staff registered. This was then extended for use during Term 4, 2018 in some of our secondary schools for the engagement of casual school support officers,” she said.
Tap for Teacher has been designed by Teachers On Net, a leading Australian private education job site, used by CEDoW for vacant position advertising. The Director of Teachers On Net, Petrah Harslett, said “The app is the culmination of all we’ve learnt through extensive consultations, gathering a ‘wish-list’ for the perfect solution.
"Our partnership with the Australian Secondary Principals Association, and the endorsement by the Australian Primary Principals Association, gives further opportunity to hear the needs of schools directly from the education sector.”
CEDoW Head of Human Resource Services, Carolyn Hadley, said the app has been well received and acknowledged the implementation as a great credit to the professional energy of the Recruitment Team, the willing engagement of school staff and significant technical support from Teachers On Net in getting the project to fruition.
For further information on Tap for Teacher, please contact CEDoW Recruitment Officer, Yvonne Sweet, at: firstname.lastname@example.org