Why Use First Call Teachers?

Why Use First Call Teachers?
As the recruitment process of well trained, good quality teaching staff can be time consuming and expensive recently many more schools and other education providers in the North East have been choosing to use specialist agencies such as First Call Teachers to help them fill vacant posts, especially if they are for a short or fixed term.  As the use of agency staff means all relevant background and qualification checks have already been completed it is an ideal way get teachers into the classroom when they are really needed.

Making sure that a school has adequate staff to keep the school running smoothly is a problem many head teachers face regularly so using an agency such as First Call Teachers is an excellent way to cover absences at short notice but still ensure that they get staff with the skill and expertise required for the role, with many established staff already on their books they are constantly recruiting new candidates for the many varied roles they fill within schools across the North East.

At First Call Teachers they understand how important it is to maintain high teaching standards across the board and to meet legal child protection and safety standards, so to ensure that any staff that they provide will always be totally qualified for the job role required every candidate is carefully considered and fully background checked before they are even put forward for a job role. With staff available from a range of teaching backgrounds including primary, secondary and SEN at First Call Teachers they aim to match each individual role to someone with the perfect skill set for the job.

With a wide range of available teaching jobs North East based agency First Call Teachers is the perfect way to find short or long term work within education. With roles available for fully qualified primary, secondary and SEN teachers and teaching assistants as well as early years and administration vacancies there is always a demand for high quality and qualified staff at short notice within schools and many available posts will be filled using agencies such as First Call due to the convenience of the service that they offer.

Agency teaching is the perfect way for any recent graduate or anyone returning to teaching after a break to gain valuable experience to add to their CV and to gain confidence within the class room, it is also a really good choice for anyone who requires flexibility around their working hours for any reason.  At First Call Teachers they recognise this and aim to offer every person that they sign on to their books all the individual help and support they need to get their career going in the direction they want it to take.

With so many different forms of media available to advertise employment vacancies nowadays many people are finding hard to find the staff they need to fill roles quickly because their adverts aren’t always seen, this along with the time needed to read applications undertake interviews and back ground checks recruiting and retaining staff can be expensive and time consuming, by using an agency employees and employers are able to take advantage of their existing relationships with potential employers and recruiters, expert knowledge of advertising posts and ongoing recruitment process to find really good teaching staff that are available at short notice.

By working with First Call Teachers not only will you have the advantage of working with an ethical, progressive supply agency who put ‘Quality Education’ at the centre of everything we do! You’ll also have exclusive access to a range or partnership services at a discounted and often fully subsidised cost including; Early Years Dance Classes and CPD from LP Dance in Education, Crafty Spanish classes and after school club solutions, and ArtVenturers after school club and creative days to name but a few!

First Call Teachers are specialists in offering teaching jobs, they supply teachers and support staff, who are highly motivated and a day to day, long term or permanent job in a school. For further information, call them today on 0191 280 5849 or visit their website to review their current vacancies and teaching jobs in and across the North East.

UK FTSE Moves Ahead in London Trading

UK FTSE Moves Ahead in London Trading
The FTSE 100 index of leading shares was up by a meagre eight points at 7,126.44. There was little corporate news to move share prices, though Reckitt Benckiser led the fallers and was down 2% after reporting flat first quarter sales.


Miners were represented among the major winners – who included Rio Tinto, Marks and Spencer, Ashtead Group, BHP Billiton, and Glencore. Meanwhile, other fallers included Burberry, United Utilities, Centrica and Severn Trent.

The pound was unchanged against the dollar at $1.284. Against the euro the pound was down 0.08% at 1.1948 euros.

Biggest Fall in UK Retail Sales in Seven Years

Biggest Fall in UK Retail Sales in Seven Years
UK retail sales posted their biggest quarterly fall in seven years in March, as the prices of everyday goods continued to climb. Sales were down 1.4% on the preceding quarter, and down 1.8% compared with February 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In the quarter, sales volumes fell in all types of shop except those selling textiles, clothing and footwear. But the total amount spent was still higher than a year ago.

Kate Davies, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “This is the first time we’ve seen a quarterly decline since 2013, and it seems to be a consequence of price increases across a whole range of sectors.” The ONS said average store prices had increased by 3.3% on the year, the highest growth since March 2012.

The largest contribution came from petrol stations, where prices were up by some 16.4% on the year.

Keith Richardson, managing director of retail at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said that after record growth in 2016, the retail sector was slowing down.

“These figures suggest that the clouds are now gathering over British consumers,” he said. “Rising food and petrol prices, together with slowing real wage rises, appear to be finally prompting shoppers to tighten their belts, while the value of the pound continues to put pressure on retailers’ costs.”

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said the trend appeared to have continued into the second quarter.

“The latest IHS survey data showed the amount of cash that households had available to spend fell in April to the greatest extent for two and a half years,” he added. “Spending was supported by households eating further into their savings and taking on more debt [which] is clearly unsustainable in the long run”.

There were some bright spots in the ONS figures, with textiles, clothing and footwear sales increasing by 6.5% year-on-year in the quarter. Online sales also continued to rise, climbing 19.5% in the 12 months to March and up 0.5% compared with February 2017.

Looking to Replace your Old Gas Boiler?

Looking to Replace your Old Gas Boiler?
If you have an old or inefficient gas boiler you may find that getting a new combi boiler installed has more advantages than you may first think, along with providing you and your family with reliable heating and hot water you will also find you use up to 30% less energy, helping you to save money and reduce the impact that your home has on the environment.

A New Heating Boiler
Having a combi boiler installed in your home is a really worthwhile investment if you are looking for ways to add value to your property or just looking for ways to reduce your costs in the future, not only will you find having a brand new boiler requires less energy to run it will also be able to maintain a far even temperature within your home far more efficiently, reducing the need for your to keep turning up the thermostat.

If you are considering getting a new boiler you might want to take a look at the excellent range of combi boilers that they have at Arktek Heating, with some of the latest and most energy efficient models of boilers available on the market on offer and a wide choice of models to choose from you can be certain that they will be able to help you find a boiler that is really well suited to your property. With a friendly and knowledgeable team of fully trained professional plumbing engineers at Arktek Heating they are real experts in gas boiler replacements so will be able to offer you all the help and advice that you require to make sure that you get the boiler that is most suited to you and your family’s needs, and with all boilers being provided by carefully selected manufacturers you can be sure that no matter what boiler you choose it will be made to the highest possible quality.

At Arktek Heating they aim to make sure that every customer is left totally happy with the service they have received, so make sure that you are well informed and completely happy at every stage, starting from when you receive your first free of charge consultation right up until your boiler reaches the end of its life, with a twenty four hour call out service and a range of warranties ranging from 2-10 years you can be certain that if you ever do have any problems they will be on hand to help.

Having a new combi boiler installed can save you hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills and may actually cost your far less that you think, at Arktek Heating it is possible to get a brand new combi boiler fully installed for around £1630 which is a very small cost when you think how much money you will save in the future and how much more comfortable your home will be with reliable heating, plus you will have the advantage of having reliable hot water and heat exactly when you need it and many other modern features that are available on many models.

With every boiler fitted to meet all safety requirements and every job carried out with the minimum of disruption to your home you can be sure that At Arktek heating they will do everything they can to make sure that the job runs smoothly and with excellent customer reviews, impressive aftercare services and upfront easy to understand pricing policy, why not take advantage of their free of charge no obligation quote and make an appointment for them to visit your home and see how much they could help you reduce the amount of energy you use

For further information about the range of replacement gas boilers available or the landlord emergency repair and maintenance services, please call 0191 516 6911 or visit the Arktek Heating Services website. We will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Nearly Half of Firms had a Cyber Attack or Breach

Nearly Half of Firms had a Cyber Attack or Breach
Nearly half (46%) of British businesses discovered at least one cyber security breach or attack in the past year, a government survey has indicated. That proportion rose to two-thirds among medium and large companies.

Most often, these breaches involved fraudulent emails being sent to staff or security issues relating to viruses, spyware or malware.

The survey was completed by 1,500 UK businesses and included 30 in-depth interviews.

The government said a “sizeable proportion” of the businesses still did not have “basic protections” in place.

While many had enacted rudimentary technical controls, only one-third had a formal policy covering cyber security risks.

Less than a third (29%) had assigned a specific board member to be responsible for cyber security.

General Election 2017: May says it Strengthens Brexit Hand

General Election 2017: May says it Strengthens Brexit Hand
A snap general election will help the UK make a success of Brexit and provide long-term certainty, Theresa May says. Defending her decision to seek a poll on 8 June, the prime minister told the BBC she had “reluctantly” changed her mind on the issue in recent weeks. Asking the public to trust her, she said a new mandate would give her the “strongest hand” in talks and make it hard for people to “frustrate” EU exit.

The move is set to be authorised by MPs in the House of Commons later. The early poll is expected to secure the two-thirds Commons majority it requires to go ahead following Mrs May’s surprise announcement on Tuesday.

The next general election had been expected in 2020, but the Fixed Term Parliaments Act allows for one to be held earlier if two-thirds of MPs back the move. The SNP has signalled its MPs will abstain in the vote on Wednesday afternoon and Labour and the Liberal Democrats, while accusing Mrs May of political opportunism, have welcomed the prospect of an early election.

Mrs May, who has repeatedly said since becoming PM in July that she would not hold an early election, told BBC Radio 4’s Today that “no politician wanted to hold an election for the sake of it” and there were risks involved in doing so. But she insisted that she trusted the British public “and I am asking them to put their trust in me”.

She said she believed, more than ever, that “strong leadership” was required to secure a successful outcome to the two-year process of leaving the EU and taking the UK in a new direction afterwards, both at home and abroad.

“I genuinely came to this decision reluctantly having looked at the circumstances and having looked ahead at the process of negotiation. I want this country to be able to play the strongest hand possible in those negotiations and be in a position to get the best possible deal. That is in our long-term interest. That is what this is about.”

The election would not be a re-run of last year’s referendum, she argued, saying there could be no “turning back” on that decision but if she was elected, it would be a vote of confidence in her government’s central goals of gaining “control” of the UK’s laws, borders and money.

She also ruled out taking part in TV debates with Jeremy Corbyn and her other political opponents, saying she believed elections were all about “getting out and about and meeting voters” and, in her words, “knocking on doors”.

Chancellor: RBS Stake May be Sold at a Loss

Chancellor: RBS Stake May be Sold at a Loss
The chancellor has admitted for the first time that the government is prepared to sell its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) at a loss. The Treasury bailed out the bank by buying a 72% stake for £45bn, at 502p a share, at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Shares in the loss-making lender are now trading at less than half that price at 223p.

Philip Hammond told MPs on Tuesday: “We have to live in the real world.” He added: “Our policy remains to return the bank to private hands as soon as we can achieve fair value for the shares, recognising that fair value could well be below what the previous government paid for them. We have to live in the real world and make decisions on the future of our holding in RBS in the best interests of taxpayers.”

Mr Hammond has previously said the government did not expect to offload its stake in RBS until after 2020.

He added: “We are making real progress in realising our holdings in the banking sector. We continue the programme sale of our shareholding in Lloyds, which is now down from 43% to less than 2%, and just last month we sold £12bn worth of Bradford & Bingley mortgages in a highly competitive process.”

It is understood that the Treasury will only start to sell its shares in RBS when “legacy” issues have been resolved.

Those issues include a potentially huge fine by the US Department of Justice, which is pursuing the bank over the sale of mortgage-backed securities before the financial crisis.

In February, RBS posted its ninth consecutive annual loss, with much of the £7bn accounted for by setting aside £5.9bn for fines and legal costs. The bank has racked up losses of more than £50bn since the government bailout.

Chief executive Ross McEwan said in Feburary he expected RBS to return to profit by the end of 2018. When one-off charges were stripped out, the core business of the bank was making money, he added.

The European Commission is examining government proposals that aim to spare RBS from being forced to sell off the Williams & Glyn branch network.

UK Jobless Rate Remains at 4.7%

UK Jobless Rate Remains at 4.7%
The UK unemployment rate has remained at 4.7% as inflation starts to wipe out wage growth, official figures show. The number of people unemployed fell by 45,000 to 1.56 million in the three months to February, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average weekly earnings including bonuses increased by 2.3%, the same as in the year to January.

On Tuesday, figures showed inflation was running at 2.3%, above the Bank of England’s 2% target.

The ONS said in a statement: “Average weekly earnings for employees increased by 2.3% including bonuses and by 2.2% excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.  “However, adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings grew by 0.2% including bonuses and by 0.1% excluding bonuses, over the year, the slowest rate of growth since 2014.”

The number of people in work continued to increase – up by 39,000 on the latest quarter to 31.8 million, giving an employment rate of 74.6%, the joint highest since records began in 1971.

Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said: “This is yet another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before. More people are finding full-time jobs and average wages have grown yet again, meaning more families have the security of a regular wage.”

However, Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “Households are being caught in a perfect storm of rising inflation and slowing labour income growth.”

Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser at professional services firm PwC, said: “With inflation expected to pick up further over the course of this year, this squeeze on consumer purchasing power is likely to intensify. “Both the employment and wage figures therefore point to a slowdown in consumer spending, which is already apparent from the retail sales data for the early months of this year.”

The unemployment rate is at its highest in the North East region at 6.4% and at its lowest in the South East at 3.4%.

Sterling rose slightly against the dollar after the figures were released and hit a 12-day high versus the euro.

Thousands Have Disability Vehicles Taken Away

Thousands Have Disability Vehicles Taken Away
More than 50,000 disabled people have had specially adapted vehicles taken away since changes to disability benefits in 2013. The Motability scheme entitles disabled people to lease a specially adapted new car, scooter or powered wheelchair using part of their benefit. But the charity says that 51,000 people, 45% of claimants have had vehicles taken away since 2013.

The government says there are more people on the scheme now than in 2010. Changes to the assessment process came in five years ago when personal independence payments (PIPs) were launched to replace the disability living allowance (DLA).

Of the 51,000 taken off, more than 3,000 people have since rejoined the scheme after the original decision to refuse them PIP was overturned. To qualify for the higher level of the mobility component of PIP, which is needed to get a Motability vehicle, a person must be unable to walk unaided for 20 metres, compared with the previous distance of 50 metres under DLA.

The charity Muscular Dystrophy UK said 900 cars are now being taken away every week, as more people are rejected for PIP.

Campaigners, including the Conservative MP Peter Bone, are now demanding changes to the Motability programme, so that vehicles are not taken away before claimants have had a chance to appeal against a decision.

Mr Bone said: “You need it for mobility purposes and maybe you use it for work, but because you lose your PIP award you lose the car at the same time. You appeal against the PIP award and ultimately the tribunal awards you back the PIP, but you’ve already lost the car and maybe your job because of it.”

Labour MP and former work and pensions minister Angela Eagle added: “What’s happening in the worst cases is, from being mobile and being able to get out and about in a car, that’s been removed and this may mean people have had their ability to live their life at taken away, and some of them are left housebound.”

Sam Adams, 41 had her Motability vehicle taken away from her in June last year after being reassessed for PIPs. Ms Adams, who has multiple sclerosis, says the assessor did not see her walk.

“How she came to that conclusion, when she’s not seen me walk, she’s not seen me walk up and down stairs – all she did was tickle my hand with a feather. What conclusions she was coming to from tickling my hand with a feather, I’ll never know.” she said.

In previous assessments the 41-year-old, who originally qualified for a vehicle in 2014, said she had been asked to walk up stairs and physically show how mobile she was. She has now overturned this decision through the tribunal process and been awarded the higher rate of mobility, qualifying her for a Motability vehicle, which she expects to get by the end of April. In the meantime, she has been using a car her brother bought to take her children to school, as well as running errands with her mother, who is in her 80s.

Ms Adams, from Chesterfield, said: “If my brother hadn’t bought me one I’d have been stuffed, because I can’t get anywhere without a car. Without a car I honestly could have got depression, not going out – it would drive me up the wall”.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that since PIPs were introduced, more than 160,000 people have had their original rejection overturned at mandatory reconsideration or at appeal. Some 65% of decisions are now overturned at tribunal in the claimant’s favour, according to the latest Ministry of Justice statistics.

Nic Bungay, director of campaigns, care and information at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “Each of the 51,000 vehicles being taken away is a story about a disabled person’s independence being compromised. This is having a devastating effect on quality of life. The fact that two-thirds of people who contest their PIP award win their case shows that the system isn’t working and is in urgent need of reform.”

The DWP says a fraction of PIP decisions are overturned, while those taken off the Motability scheme are eligible for £2,000 of support.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “The reality is that, since PIP was introduced in 2013, more than two million decisions have been made; of these just 7% have been appealed and 3% have been overturned. “But we constantly review our processes, to make sure they are working in the best way possible”. She said there are now 70,000 more people on the Motability scheme compared with 2010.

Stansted Airport Announces New Terminal

Stansted Airport Announces New £130m Arrivals Terminal
A new £130m arrivals terminal is to be built at London Stansted Airport. The 34,000 sq m (365,972 sq ft), three-level building has been designed by architects Pascall+Watson and will be built next to the current terminal. The site will include larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas, Stansted’s owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said in a statement. Work is expected to take up to three years to complete, and will begin in late 2018.

The departures building will be reconfigured to provide more space at check-in and in security. The increased size of the immigration area in the arrivals terminal was “purely down to the size of the building” rather than as a result of possible future changes to the immigration procedure, an airport spokesman said.

The new building was granted planning permission by Uttlesford District Council.

The airport’s Chief Executive Andrew Cowan said the site would “transform our infrastructure and facilities to give our passengers the best possible experience”.

“Stansted is a national asset and our investment will continue to boost competition and support economic growth, jobs and international connectivity for London and the East of England,” he said. “At a time when airport capacity in the country is at a premium, Stansted is playing a vital role in supporting both the regional and national economy. This project will strengthen our ability to do this by enabling us to make the most efficient use of our single runway.”

Construction of the new building will take place away from the existing terminal to minimise disruption to passengers, MAG said. Once the site is complete, Stansted will be the only airport in the UK operating dedicated arrivals and departures terminals.