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The Shires is committed to safer recruitment and all candidates will have to complete an enhanced DBS check prior to appointment and undertake regular safeguarding training.
Working at The Shires
Working at The Shires is challenging, but very rewarding. All the staff whatever their role get involved with the students’ lives. Although the staff team is large, there is a family atmosphere, and everyone’s efforts are directed to one end. The students are at the heart of what everyone does, whether the job role is in HR, or in a front line role on the care or teaching teams.
Most staff work regular hours from Monday to Friday, but care and ancillary staff work according to a rota. Care staff work 14 hours per day in a two on- two off pattern, because this suits the students better as it means the same person helps them get up in the morning, goes to school with them and gets them ready for bed at night.
School operates for 51 weeks a year, again because this suits the students’ needs best, which means some teaching staff work a 46 week year and take their holidays whenever they want to.
Staff training is given a high priority. In addition to ensuring that all staff are enrolled on the relevant NVQ or equivalent courses, the Shires provides a wealth of other training opportunities including first aid, administration of specific medication, NAS courses, as well as entirely optional courses such as reiki. The therapist team provides ongoing staff training on a day to day basis as well as formal group training sessions in specific techniques or areas of interest.
All staff receive thorough induction training which includes communication, food hygiene, MAPA (physical intervention), and health and safety as well as basic or advanced care principles and record keeping.
Staff are supported to attend off site training where this will help them to support the students better, such as TEACCH, PECS as well as other relevant professional qualifications relating to autism.
The Staff Team
The staff team is made up of care staff, teaching staff, admin staff and the ancillary team of cleaners, cooks and handyman. The office staff work either in the main office or in the admin offices on the top floor. The core staff team is supported by a team of specialists who provide therapeutic support to students and on site help, support and training to staff.
The care staff are split into 3 teams- blue and yellow (days) and the night team. Each team reports to one of the three team managers. A number of day staff work in rotation on nights and vice versa, which benefits the students as each team knows how the others work. The care team managers all report to the Registered Manager, who in turn reports to the Director of Care and Education.
The teaching staff team report to the Teaching Team Manager who in turn reports to the Director of Care and Education which means that there is good communication between school and home and much shared training and work between the two settings, which helps bring a great measure of consistency for the students.