Director of School Relations David Cope has reported another successful Search London Spring Fair, this late March. In attendance were 140 candidates and 56 recruiters representing 34 schools. Significantly the largest of Search Associates’ (SEARCH) late-season job fairs, Search London Spring saw its usual wide variety of schools from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S. Over 200 international teaching positions were on the table.
So far, the UK office has been notified of nearly 30 positions filled. They expect the number to rise in the coming weeks. One recruiter’s comment was typical of the positive assessment by recruiters: “The quality of the candidates was markedly improved over past years, in my experience.” Another wrote similarly that he was “surprised at the overall quality of the candidates at this time of the year.”
Search London Spring was held again at Hilton London Paddington, where the meeting room layout, the proximity to Paddington Station—and its fast trains to and from Heathrow airport—and the general friendliness and helpfulness of the staff make it ideal for a fair of this size. And Paddington, one of London’s liveliest and most cosmopolitan areas, always seems an appropriate place for such an international event. One candidate simply said, “The hotel was wonderful.”
Each year, Search London Spring is proud to welcome sponsors and offer presentations that greatly benefit participants. After his successful participation in last year’s fair, Nicholas McKie, a professional leadership and life coach and good friend of SEARCH, returned to the delight of the London team. Nicholas’s services were made good use of throughout the weekend by a steady stream of people, a good number of recruiters as well as many candidates experiencing their first job fair. Also well received was an informal presentation by SEARCH Executive Assistant Roger Platt on the benefits of APLi for schools. The active involvement of two sponsors, financial advisor Nigel Nonkovic and insurance expert Nick Chilver, added great value to the event. Both gentlemen share a special interest in working with international schools and teachers.
A new feature of this year’s fair was a valuable recruiter workshop on Safer Recruitment and Safeguarding, and participants were grateful to Diane Riley of Letovo School in Moscow for leading this.
A warm welcome was also given to Sara Furness of United World Schools, SEARCH’s partner charity that does really wonderful work creating educational opportunity for many thousands of children where it simply didn’t exist before, in some of the poorest regions of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Nepal. The organization is growing rapidly, and this success is partly due to the support and involvement of its “partner schools” – please see http://www.unitedworldschools.org/who-we-are/partner-schools/. Sara was able to talk directly to recruiters about these partnership opportunities and stimulated a great deal of interest.
There always seems to be a relaxed, supportive, and friendly feeling about the London Spring Fair, and this year was no exception. With a large team on hand, Search UK was able to offer a high level of personal attention to candidates and recruiters alike throughout the weekend. Senior Associate Bill Turner and his wife Alison were there to help—as they did last year—along with a larger than usual UK office team: Rebecca Steadman, Rosie Eacott, Roger Platt, and Peter and Janelle Smyth. The whole team, along with many candidates and recruiters, felt honored to salute publicly special guests Harry Deelman and his Search Associates partner Margaret Deelman as the founders of Search Associates in the UK and of the London Spring fair! At the fair’s end, many participants expressed their appreciation. One candidate wrote,
I want to thank you and everyone on the [SEARCH] team for such a wonderful fair. This was an incredible experience for me, and the amount of support I received from all of the staff was just amazing. They really helped me in knowing my way around, my preparation, and my decision-making, and it was just so inspiring to talk with each of them.