Former teacher Helen Thomson has been awarded the title Entrepreneur 2017 in the Kent Business Awards for a new initiative which she has established to address the problem of schools expending disproportionate amounts on supply agency fees. Supply Teachers Direct is a portal which allows schools to contact and recruit teachers directly and thereby avoid huge agency fees.
Helen explains “I worked as a supply teacher several years ago when my children were young and recently considered returning part-time, however when I realised that the agency would take a cut of around a third of my salary, while also charging an extra top-up fee to schools I realised that there had to be a better way.”
She founded Supply Teachers Direct in July 2015 but due to teething problems with the site not launched until August 2016. There are now 170 teachers registered and it is being used by an ever- increasing number of schools across seven districts in Kent.
Helen continues, “It been hugely encouraging to win the award and very satisfying to establish a system which ensures that teachers receive their full pay entitlement and schools make savings.”