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Smart Teachers

| October 13, 2010 | 78 Comments

“Smart Teachers strives to bring the sort of service school teachers crave, but can’t find anywhere else. Because we remain privately owned, we don’t face the pressures of our big, corporate competitors to charge exorbitant fees. We negotiate the highest pay rates for our teachers and support staff and charge schools less than other agencies.

…Quite simply, we want to be memorable. With absolute expertise to put the right people in front of the right class; this is our sole focus.”

~Smart Teachers Website

Smart Teachers, 6.3 out of 10 based on 79 ratings
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Rating: 6.3/10 (79 votes cast)

Comments (78)

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  1. Melanie Jane Bankes Mortimer says:
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    Excellent service, really friendly, probing questions so you felt they knew you. Really persistent on your behalf, a really good go-between, particularly Dan Stewart.

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    Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
  2. Yemi says:
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    I have worked with Smart Teachers for over two years and it has been a positive and a pleasant experience. My Consultant Dan was very supportive and friendly. He was terribly polite and was always helpful. I will recommend this agency to others as I was not short of work when I was with them. Compared to other agencies that I worked with in the past, Smart Teachers is far superior. Well done for the good work and keep it up.

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    Rating: -5 (from 7 votes)
  3. Aa says:
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    If I could give NO star’s 1 would. I have been with this horrible agency for nearly 5 Months ! Guess what? 1 haven’t even been cleared to Work!! Ive wasted so much time and money on this gency to no avail . It is WRONG what they are doing. All these True reviewers showing what the London smart Teachers agency really is- need to not sit back! What they are doing is wrong !!!!!!
    The consultants who are lying and stalling applications for NO valid or FAIR reason need to be fired. People who have been treated wrong by this agency what are you doing…? Send a complaint to the office or to your local mp. People are wasting valuable time and money on this corrupt agency it is n o t right what they are doing.

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    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
  4. Angela says:
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    As a graduate teacher I signed up with smart via seek. I received a phone call shortly after asking for location preferences and what my subject area was. Everything seemed great, the person I spoke with was friendly but after that first phone call, everything went downhill. I received daily emails with job opportunities, none of which matched my subject area or if they did, they were for schools that were well beyond the travel distance I had specified I was willing to travel. I’m a biology teacher and was receiving emails for chemistry and physics roles and the only biology jobs were ones that were more than 3 hours away. As a graduate teacher I was also getting emails for principal positions and head of department roles, positions I was not qualified for. Eventually I got sick of not getting relevant jobs emailed and so cancelled my subscription. This was done quickly by the staff but nobody ever queried me as to why I was opting out of emails. I feel that if they were interested in good customer service they would have asked for feedback. Either way, they were unhelpful in my pursuit for a teaching job and would not recommend. Hopefully others have had more luck

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    Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
  5. Naomi Mollenhauer says:
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    I’ve worked through Smart Teachers on and off for two years and have nothing but positive words to say-they have been ever eager to find me jobs that suit me and give me what I’m looking for. I felt like they took the time to get to know me and they genuinely want me to have a good experience teaching here. They have supported me through the entire process of moving to the UK from Australia, finding work and then continue that support once I’m working with regular follow-up calls. I would highly recommend this agency to anyone looking to work as a teacher in the UK. I have been lucky to have had longer term contracts at schools that SMART found for me, and although I would have liked a higher pay rate (wouldn’t we all), I don’t feel I have been unfairly treated as they have delivered above and beyond what I expected of an agency. My agent has been fabulous: all my paperwork was processed quickly and they were able to send me in the right direction as far as getting visas etc. organised. From my original contact with them in Australia, through to signing paperwork in the office in London and then working with them all parts of the process have been smooth and made me feel like I was a valued part of their organisation. Proudly a ‘Smartie’!!

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    Rating: -6 (from 6 votes)
  6. Ebrahim says:
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    I have worked with Smart Teachers for over 2 years now. They are very professional, helping and friendly. My consultant Skye is amazing and is always very helpful.

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    Rating: -4 (from 6 votes)
  7. Kim says:
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    Signed up with Smart Teachers in NZ before coming over to the UK. They were nothing but helpful and I had an interview before arriving in the country. Before the interview they gave me lots of supply work and were always helping me with schools I liked.

    They landed me an amazing job and throughly enjoying my time here. Elyse Rea has helped me throughout my time here in the UK and she has been amazing. I would recommend her to anyone and am very thankful for all the work she has done for not only me, but my partner as well.

    I would recommend this company to anyone.

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    Rating: -6 (from 12 votes)
  8. Ch says:
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    I’ve been working with Smart for almost four years now. They’re a reliable agency, very friendly, personable and helpful.
    They seek to send me to good schools but, speaking of London, this is not always easy!
    I should say they pay a fair rate – some agencies will pay more but for me a good, long-standing and reliable working relationship is more important than a few pounds’ difference.
    As they work with a huge number of schools, there’s loads of work available if you’re qualified and get good feedback from the schools.
    When I signed up with Smart, I was amazed at how quickly my application got sorted and how much help I got from my consultant. (I can’t thank you enough, Dereck.)
    Also, what I really appreciated was that early on, they suggested I should also try teaching in primary schools, which worked out really well.
    Recommended agency!

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    Rating: -8 (from 10 votes)
  9. Emilie Beck says:
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    Very professional and helpful staff. They helped me relocate from Canada and figure out all the paperwork so that I was able to start working in the job they found for me on the day I arrived.

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    Rating: -5 (from 9 votes)
  10. Anonymous says:
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    Have enjoyed working with SMART. All staff have been helpful and professional. My consultant Jess has been fantastic. She has been really helpful and honest which is great. Overall I am very happy that I joined this agency and would definatly recommend them.

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    Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
  11. Yasmin Alexiou says:
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    I’ve recently signed with Smart Teachers and cannot express how happy I am with my decision. The office is easy to find, staff polite, helpful and overall.

    The initial sign up with other agencies was far more laborious and stressful than Smart and they were able to place me (quickly) in a wonderful school offering a great pay for the location.

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    Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
  12. Hannah says:
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    Working with smart has been fantastic they always found me work on the days I was available. My consultant Darrel worked hard to find me a long term position and always kept me updated on opportunities. All the staff are helpful and friendly from the beginning.

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    Rating: -2 (from 4 votes)
  13. Anon says:

    Smart teachers is the best service I have ever been to. They are very reliable and honest. Have a really high quality of schools and they are really fast with their communication. Definitely recommend smart teachers to all my friends!

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    Rating: -4 (from 6 votes)
  14. Sarah says:
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    Wow, Smart Teachers has made my life in London so much easier. I have had my fair share of bad experiences with agencies, and Smart Teachers have truly changed my opinion of agencies altogether! Smart found me my dream job after going for a paid trial. I knew what I was getting before I accepted anything and was never pressured to say yes. Living away from your home country isn’t always easy, but Smart Teachers have definitely been there every step of the way.

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    Rating: 0 (from 10 votes)
  15. Chantel says:
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    This service is by far the best service we have ever used! Their communication is fantastic and reliable and fast! They are honest and always easy to talk to :) their rates are very reasonable and they have such a high quality of schools. The best part is they really listen to what you need!

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    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
  16. Samantha says:
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    Upon getting in touch with SMART I was immediately contacted with how to proceed with securing work in London. My consultant was brilliant. She was consistent, thorough and very speedy with the process and within a few weeks we had together secured a position that I was happy with. Overall a great experience and one of the best agencies I have been with based in the UK. I would highly recommend this agency for the future.

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  17. Katrina says:
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    I worked with Smart Teachers for a little under a year. They helped with my move from Australia to London, the visas and paperwork was made simple with the assistance from the company and especially my consultant, Kim.

    I was guaranteed 5 days a week work which I was never let down with. The schools were generally close and easy to get to and the feedback of my days at the varying schools was always taken into consideration for future bookings. When I decided to find a full time position they helped organise paid trial days in suitable schools and assisted with the contract details. I am now happily signed with my school and my consultant still checks in regularly to ensure everything is still going well.

    All in all, they are a well run agency who really care for the teachers that work for them.

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    Rating: -2 (from 8 votes)
  18. Estefania Larios says:
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    I cannot say but good and positive things about smart teachers. They’ve been amazingly great. They always made sure I had plenty of work and sent me to lovely schools. Thanks to them I found a permanent job. I have to say thanks to all of them but especially to Clio, my contact person at smart, who cared about me and made sure I had the best service ever!! Thanks a lot!!

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    Rating: -3 (from 9 votes)
  19. Anna says:
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    Enthusiastic and proactive.

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    Rating: -3 (from 9 votes)
  20. Carolyn says:
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    I have had full-time supply work this past school year for a maternity cover so I can’t rate the amount of work and quality of schools fairly since I’ve only been at 1 wonderful school. But I can speak for the personability, honesty and overall service. Smart has been great to me. They communicate often and really care about finding you the best position. I would highly recommend them to people trying to find teaching work from overseas.

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    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
  21. Kate says:
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    Since I joined Smart teachers, I have been working non-stop. They are very friendly and they know how to listen to your needs.
    They all do a great job, but I worked mostly with Amy and I have to say she’s absolutely amazing !

    Thank you Smart teachers !

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  22. Adam Glover says:
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    SMART teachers have been amazingly supportive of my wife and I, as we have gone through a rather major setback with my health.

    They have been in effort above and beyond what is required of them. And managed to get us both jobs within 3 weeks of us being here!

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    Rating: 0 (from 4 votes)
  23. Brad says:
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    Wow, what a joke of an agency!.

    It is obvious that the previous reviews on here to mine were written by Smart themselves because why else would anyone in their right mind actually work with this bunch of money grubbing charlatans.

    The only good thing about they was that they helped me with joining an Umbrella company, and that was probably only because it benefited them, and not me. They really pushed me to join an Umbrella company which was really annoying.

    Their rate of pay, 125 a day, was absolutely pathetic. They did get me a bit of work but it was always at terrible schools that were nowhere near where I lived. I was also lied to by one of their consultants, Derek, who told me that they did not have much secondary work and pressured me to take a day teaching a year 4 class. As I am a high school teacher and have no experience teaching primary the day was a bit of a disaster for me. However I as still criticised by the agency for deferring to the Teachers assistants, when they were the ones who actually knew the children. It really annoyed me that this consultant Derek knew that I had no experience teaching primary but happily sent me there anyway so he could get his commission. I was also constantly bombarded with calls from their consultants pressuring me to take long term roles at their schools, often just after I had walked out of the school gate, “Oh we’ve got a great position going”, “It’s a lovely school”. I will never forget one time after work when one of their consultants, Ben, called me and when I declined this role he said “are you sure Brad”, when I asked for 140 pounds a day, his reply was “no, can’t do it”. This was one of the things that annoyed me the most about Smart Teachers, being inundated with phone calls from their consultants to take longer term roles or roles which required marking, and they still had the audacity to offer their same pitiful, disgusting pay rate of 125 a day. Eventually I just decided to switch my phone off after I finished work so that way I wouldn’t have to deal with these charlatans.
    When I questioned Derek about their low pay rate his response was that was what schools liked about Smart, that they didn’t charge too much. This leads me to believe that Smart dealt with schools that were more cost conscious rather than quality conscious.

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    Rating: +2 (from 20 votes)
  24. Matt says:
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    I started my UK teaching journey back in early 2015, I was keen to do some travelling and teach in London. I had just completed my graduate year and thought to get in touch with Smart as my friends had a good experience with them.
    I was quite nervous about making the move over by myself but my consultant Davie was amazing!He helped me with everything I needed to know (best areas to live, places to avoid and all the best bits of london). I just wanted to come over and do some supply work first as I wasnt ready to commit to a long term job just yet. Davie put me on their guaranteed work scheme which was a great way to settle into things. I had some friends who were with other agencies getting 5 pounds extra a day then i was but they said the quality of schools was quite bad and the distance took ages! I found that the schools i went to were all pretty great and the distances definitely manageable.
    I ended up teaching supply for most of the year and really loved it, Davie acted as a great support to me and cant thank him enough! Even when he wasnt around I found all the other consultants really helpful.
    I would highly recommend Smart Teachers to anyone looking to make the move over to the UK! Thanks guys

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    Rating: -1 (from 9 votes)
  25. Elliot says:
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    I first worked for Smart in Australia, where they found me a great job as a graduate teacher and were very helpful! They found me a full-time permanent job without any fuss or hassle at a quality school local to me.
    I went on to work for Smart when I moved to the UK and they offered me a tonne of jobs, as there is a shortage of teachers in London. They found me a good job and negotiated me a higher rate of pay. They were very helpful in this regard as it was a difficult school and I wanted compensation for this fact. I changed jobs and they were able to find me a heap of work for the next school year.
    They are a big agency with a lot of pull and if you work hard for them and the schools they put you in then you will be looked after by Smart. I would recommend them to anyone, with the only advice I give; be selective about choosing a school in the UK because you don’t have to settle.

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    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
  26. Angie says:
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    Had a good experience with SMART. They have provided me with work everyday that I have been available and were able to find me long term supply work when I arrived which resulted in me getting a permanent job at the school. When I had a bad experience at the school (not their fault, just unlucky with what class I got) they looked after me so well when I went back to supply making sure I always got lovely schools. My consultant is amazing and I cannot recommend the agency enough. The only downside is the amount they pay.

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    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  27. Gulzar Malji says:
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    I had a bad experience with them the laat time so I was hesitant to go back to them. So glad I did.

    They found me lots of work and local to me. Davie is amazing, he listens, is friendly and cares about you. They also have some great schools.

    I know they have some bad reviews but take it with a pinch of salt as they are good good good.

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  28. Daniel says:
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    Registered with the Sydney office. Sarah was my consulant. Offered flexibility in willing to accept positions in 3 states in Australia. After inital consultantion wasted mine and my references time by collecting the same information equivalent to NSW BOS or TQI in the ACT.
    Months later all I recieved were some computer generated job spam from Smart teachers and no feedback after the initial and only consultation.
    I would not recommend the Sydney office. As I’m going to the UK next month I also would be reluctant to use them there because of their Sydney branch.

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    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
  29. Anonymous says:
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    At first, they may seem like the world’s friendliest agency, but they are, in fact, not. If I could give this agency minus stars – I would.
    The amount of work that Smart is able to provide is good, but there rate of pay, and the attitude of their staff is absolutely despicable.
    Smart Teachers pressure you to take on jobs, that you may not be comfortable with (I.e., not your preferred year group, or a journey that’s too far). They also make you feel like the world is going to end if you reject one of their bookings.
    The consultants at Smart behave like playground bullies, which is ironic given that they are called Smart Teachers.
    I cannot stress this enough: do not work with this agency! There are much better agencies out there.

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    Rating: +9 (from 15 votes)
  30. Bluey says:
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    The incompetence of this agency actually blows my mind. Bullies and blatantly incompetent.
    The only positive reviews here must have been written by agents themselves.

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    Rating: +4 (from 10 votes)
  31. Sarah says:
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    Smart teachers are the most professional agency out there. They never cut corners and are always honest.

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    Rating: -2 (from 6 votes)
  32. Leah says:
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    Smart Teachers has been the best agency that I have worked with. I have been using them for supply work for almost a year now and normally work 5 days a week.
    I am lucky enough to have a fantastic consultant who has always listened to me and helped me secure a fantastic job teaching year one this January!!!

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    Rating: 0 (from 6 votes)
  33. Anonymous says:
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    Dishonest, Poor communication standards (Nil), Will not talk to Graduate Teachers.

    I wouldn’t waste my time talking to this company if their Brisbane Australia office is a reflection of their overall level of service.

    Do not send your CV to them. I find their overall inability to talk to people astounding. I get more response talking to schools directly and getting to know schools yourself.

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    Rating: +6 (from 10 votes)
  34. Maddy says:
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    Smart has been an excellent company to work for. They made my transition from NZ to London easy and did a lot of the paperwork for me. My consultant Jason has been fantastic and has always given me very honest information about the schools I would work at. They are a small company so they get to know you as a person and try to place you in schools that are right for you. Although they don’t pay as highly as some other agencies – Smart started me on 125 pounds a day where as companies like Vibe offer 140 pounds per day – you can guarantee they will listen to you and try to place you at schools and in areas that you want to work in. They want to do what they can to keep you working for them so they will listen and they will try to keep you happy. I think they are a great agency to begin working with when you first arrive in London. Sometimes you will get different consultants calling you up – especially first thing in the morning to lock you into different jobs. If it is someone you haven’t worked with before, don’t be too trusting that they’ll place you in a nice school. I did do one day of supply at a school I really didn’t feel safe or comfortable at – and that was because I had some random consultant placing me there – and didn’t know me or what kind of schools I like to work at. I was totally out of my comfort zone. So make sure you are strong and honest and speak up if you don’t like a particular school or don’t feel safe working in a particular area. You are well within your rights to ask for certain schools and areas and avoid ones that you don’t like. Some agencies will make you feel like you are being picky but better to be safe in my opinion. I would highly recommend this agency because I personally have had an excellent experience working with them. Having a great consultant helps – so perhaps if you don’t feel your consultant is being as honest and as helpful as you like – ask for another one. Other agencies like Vibe have you working with a few different consultants so it doesn’t matter as much. But at Smart it can make all the difference if you get a good consultant. You need consultants that take you seriously if you have a complaint and actually listen to your feedback and try their best to send you to school that you want to work at. Don’t accept any schools that take you more than 45 minutes to get to. Sometimes smart sent me to schools that took an hour and a half to get to which was a bit dumb! But they actually should try their best to send you to schools that take no more than an hour. All the best and yes give this agency a go! Their consultants are actual teachers that know about the teaching industry – some agencies use people that haven’t set foot in a school since they left high school – and they are totally out of touch. Not Smart – they have a more relevant hands on approach :)

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    Rating: 0 (from 8 votes)
  35. Cherie says:
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    I cannot rate Smart Teachers highly enough. I am an Early Years teacher from New Zealand and Rosie has been just AMAZING at getting my profile ready and answering all my millions of questions regarding working in the UK. My consultant Skye in London has been equally fantastic with lots of communication. I wanted a permanent job to go over to and Skye and her team organised FIVE skype interviews offering this. I was in a lucky position to be able to choose a school that I felt was right for me and I am so thankful for Smart Teachers for providing me with options. They are organised, honest and efficient and I really think they are the best agency in London.

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    Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
  36. Define: Keyboard Warrior says:
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    Terrible. Rude, uneducated staff who treat teachers as if they are mentally insufficient. No grace in contact. Keyboard warriors without the guts to engage in a phone call. Give them a miss…much better companies out there who might actually be able to find you work.

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    Rating: +10 (from 26 votes)
  37. Christie says:
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    I have been really happy with Smart teachers. Right from the beginning they were up front and honest about what to expect from working in London and what Smart teachers have to offer.
    I found the process of moving to and working in London really smooth with the help of smart teachers.
    I was told that as a primary teacher I would have no trouble getting supply work in London and I have only had one day with out work since I arrived! And most of the time I have had work booked in advance. Which is lovely.
    Everyone that I’ve talked to at Smart has been open and friendly and my agent in particular has been really supportive.
    Joining Smart was a great decision for me and has made the big move from Australia to London easy and comfortable.
    Thanks Smart!!!

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    Rating: 0 (from 12 votes)
  38. Najma says:
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    This agency is good with being friendly,easy to contact any of the staffs. The overall service I feel disappointed. I expected this agency would find me a permanent position as a Teacher’s vacancy in a primary school and find me lots of schools for me. However this agency found one permanent vacancy for me in a private sector in a Nursery which again made me feel disappointed. overall service I expected more the school quality could do better, as there are schools in inner London (Newham) which are quite difficult to teach in.

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    Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
  39. Kate says:
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    I have been with smart teachers for the last 3 months. Moving to London from Australia can be a stressful experience at first, however, smart teachers have made my overall experience enjoyable and stress-free. My consultant, dan, is absolutely amazing ! He has provided me with work every day and always made sure I was satisfied with work placements. Furthermore, dan is very considerate of my conditions of work and location, he has strived to find me the perfect job! I will be recommending smart teachers to all my fellow teachers seeking work in London!

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    Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
  40. Charlene says:
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    I started with Smart Teachers in April 2014 and my consultant Elyse has been brilliant the whole way through. I made it clear that I wanted a MFL position and she has looked for these roles as well as offering supply roles in the meantime. I have worked in many excellent schools, most easy to get to with very accurate directions. As well as having Elyse as a consultant I have been given brilliant work from consultants such as Marguerite,Amy, James and Sindy.I have found all consultants in this agency to be professional and friendly. They are respectful of your time and feedback and I met some other supply teachers that have been happy with their service. I have only experienced one problem with a school and Elyse supported well in this situation.

    I have and will continue to recommend Smart Teachers as I have worked with several agencies and I have found this one to be the best.
    Thank you for all your support and professionalism.

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    Rating: +3 (from 11 votes)
  41. Kellie says:
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    I have signed up with several teaching agencies in London but have only worked through smart (for the past 2 years). I cannot conment on the amount of daily supply work available as I have always been in long term placements (2-3+ terms). When things went pear shaped at my first school Elyse was very supportive and quickly found me an outstanding school closer to home.

    Smart run regular training sessions on a range of topics including Ofsted, phonics etc which I found very helpful when i first started teaching in the UK.

    One of the best things about Smart teachers is that you get assigned to one consultant only. Its nice not getting calls from random people from the same agency constantly and having to explain things over and over.

    2 thunbs up :)

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    Rating: +2 (from 8 votes)
  42. Michelle says:
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    Very poor service

    I have been registered with this agency for a couple of years and got my initial employment through them, a job which was not easy to fill for them but which I took as I was really in need of the work having recently arrived in Australia. When it came to wanting to move on they were initially helpful and sent me for one interview which went very well. The school requested references. However they just churned out the old out of date ones from my initial registration. I got no further feedback and when I probed them for feedback and questioned whether updated references had been sought and received they said yes. However my previous principal reported that there had been no contact from Smart. When I inquired about other positions they had advertised on their site by email they did not respond. I am a maths and science teacher with an excellent work record and they had quite a few of these jobs advertised on their site.
    I tried emailing several different agents within the Queensland office but also no response. I then sent a central inquiry email to the head office to check if there was some kind of problem with my profile as no agents were answering queries and also no response. Terrible service all round. I decided to register another agency and within a matter of weeks was offered an excellent job in an exceptional school in the exact area I was seeking. I am very happy with my outcome but this was nothing to do with Smart. I would like other people to know that there are other agencies out there who will have a completely professional approach.

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    Rating: +10 (from 16 votes)
  43. ANOKNEEMOUSE says:
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    Only put stars in because I had to.

    A fully qualified Maths specialist with over 6 years teaching experience including supply blocks and Primary, plus middle management…and not so SMART people called me in for interview just to tell me they can’t get me cleared because I’m an English person with an ethnic background-but if I bleached my skin and looked Australian, well…

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    Rating: +6 (from 14 votes)
  44. Maddie says:
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    I was a teacher with smart from October 2013 – July 2014.

    I was very happy at first, my consultant Ben seemed really friendly and helpful. I had heaps of supply work with the ultimate aim being a jan – July temp job. I was supported through tough behaviour situations and several chaotic days.

    I was then sent to interviews for temp jobs. I went for 5 interviews and was never given much feedback other than my lack of experience which I found frustrating because it was something I couldn’t help!! I was reliable, always tried my best and stuck with it though.

    I then was given a job on my final interview. Yr 3 and I was so excited. The deputy made it clear to me that it would be hard work because the school had to improve and rapidly. Looking back I was very naive as I accepted and didn’t really ask any questions.
    Things were ok to begin with because the management were so nice to me. I should note that I did not receive much communication from smart after starting at my school.
    Things were going well until April when the whole management team suddenly resigned. A new management team was then put in (who I might add had a much more aggressive approach) there was a staff restructure (3/4 of the staff were made redundant). I was horrified and expressed my concerns and upset to smart and in particular my consultant. Nothing was ever done. I did not hear from my consultant at all, only when I rang upset about the situation.

    I was working long nights and weekends to keep up with the demands of the new management team and was getting treated and spoken to appallingly in return. I was also told that really I should have NQT time but the school was not prepared to pay for it (they paid for others “phase leader time” and everything else, you name it).

    About early May I asked Ben if there are any other jobs available because I was very unhappy. I was told that it would be best to stay in the job until July because otherwise the school won’t give me a good reference. Basically I was told there was nothing that could be done.

    I could go on forever about the chaos that happened at school between May and July. I was really miserable but felt trapped because being so new in my career I was very aware of the importance of references. Looking back, I do believe it was a form of blackmail and that my concerns should have been taken seriously.

    There was one particular incident I want to mention though. There was a strike day and my school was closing. Last strike under the old management I was paid to come in as I was a full time member of staff. In July, I was told by the Headteacher not to come in (very abruptly). I was very upset and this tipped me over the edge. I asked ben at smart to please try and call the school or something. My concerns were not heard. I was offered a supply day but why on earth would I have done a supply day when I was a full time teacher at my school with so much work.

    I was also especially upset with the fact that I stayed in this horrible situation for so long and ended up with a mediocre and generic reference from the school. I had a meeting with Sindy at smart about how disappointed I was with that considering this was supposed to be the reason I stayed at the school. She assured me that she would write me a reference including as much detail as possible. I was then later told, it wouldn’t be happening and would be best for the new agencies to contact her directly. Another letdown.

    I am now working through a different agency (vibe who are fab and check on me every day. I have also had experiences with the fabulous people at redbox) and am very happy at my new school. I can now see and confirm the enormous level of work I was expected to do at my old school, and the negative way I was treated and spoken to.

    I just refuse to think there was no other option that for me to be this unhappy for so long especially when several people at smart were aware of how unhappy I was. Very poor customer service.

    Sorry that this post is so long winded but to all those reading this out there what I would say trust yourself, particularly me if you are very obliging and a “yes person”. If something isn’t right, don’t put up with it.

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    Rating: +11 (from 19 votes)
  45. Anonymous says:
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    Smart Teachers –absolutely unprofessional group of „undergraduate students…“

    Registration process – taking such a long time. When I was calling this agent for the first time they tried to persuade me that I need to have all document ready before I can be invited to their office (even though I told them on phone that I already have all relevant documents ready and can come immediately). Very unprofessional on phone. When I told them that I already have valid CRB/DBS from different agent (also updated via Updated Service) that they directly asked if that CRB/DBS is cleared and without any charges… Of course I told them otherwise I don´t call you…

    References – process took them 2 – 3 weeks just to checked them, they werent able to cleared me for work for at least another 3 weeks. I provided references promptly (name of schools and name of directors, tel. number). After that during that time for clearance they asked me at three times again and again to call school and got references for them, because school doesn´t want to provide references. I was working there for different agencies and school doesn´t provide references to third party (to other agency). Later on I could also heard from my reference headteacher that „Smart agent“ called her and was quite rude to her on phone. (blaming her that she is slow with references and they can not work. When she told him that she had to wait for his respond for three days (just to resend her link where arror message appeared), he told her that she is slow and he can not work…)

    Finding job – as I was interested to work as a TA at primary school they werent able to offer me suitable position or almost 2 months, actually I have not work with them yet. If I call them they I can usually hear „at the moment we don´t have, but when we have we will contact you…“ Often they are offering unsuitable roles (mostly secondary special schools with support of children with severe disabilities for absolutely underpaid daily rate…)

    Generally agents on phone are very arrogant and pushing you to make a quick decision immediately. In one occasion when agent called me around 6 pm and when I asked more details about school he was not able to answer clearly questions about school (location, kind of support role,… etc. ) What he knew was that he wants to know my answer yes/no immediately. Of course the role was extremely underpaid as well. When I asked about postcode at least to see where the school is located he told me that he is not offering me this role any more (role was actually TA role but siting and supervision at exams).

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    Rating: +5 (from 15 votes)
  46. Peter Latimer says:
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    To begin with, I found this agency quite friendly and honest, however, once they placed me into a terrible school, they immediately took a bad turn. The particular agent that placed me would not return emails, failed to provide me with relevant information and due to their inaction, cost me over £100 which they said they would refund. From the moment they said this however, they have been uncontactable. I would recommend any agency over this one.

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  47. Richard Barnes says:
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    They tried really hard to get me a job before I left NZ but with no luck. I did get several interviews however. I too somehow never seemed to qualify for the guarantee scheme but I had three good long term placements when I first arrived. I now use them to focus on supply and for that I have had no problems with lots of work. You do need to be flexible. I’m willing to work at all primary levels and basically anywhere in London. Very friendly staff as well esp Ben and Sadie

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  48. Lisa says:
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    Smart teachers was very helpful and my consultant was fabulous. I don’t know about the other consultants but mine was always calling me and setting me up with my preferred schools. I was also signed up with 2 other agencies so between all of them I worked every single day. After just 3 months my favourite school took me on for a long-term position. Now they are paying to take me off of the agency and are offering me a contract. My advice to teachers considering working in the UK is to not be scared by the negative reviews from sites like this one. Most of them are from crappy teachers that did not try. If you are a good teacher and you willing to try your best you will get enough work and the agencies will help you. Living abroad is an amazing experience!

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    Rating: +4 (from 18 votes)
  49. Catherine says:
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    Upon arrival and during our time in the U.K, Smart Teachers have been completely professional and very helpful in finding the best possibilities for work in and around London.
    Smart Teachers are extremely supportive and positive and are there for you to talk to about how the work is going. There are no hidden agendas but just pure honesty and dedication. After only two days of arriving to the U.K I was offered a long term contract, including a great daily rate of pay!
    There are huge opportunities for longer-term placements in schools or you can choose to do day-to-day supply, whichever one suits you and Smart Teachers are excellent at finding jobs to suit you.
    My assigned representative, Elyse has been very honest, organised and very thorough in dealing with any questions and advice that myself (or my non-teacher partner) may have needed.
    I am very grateful that I was recommended to sign up with Smart Teachers! I highly recommend Smart Teachers to any teacher or teaching assistant looking for long-term or daily supply work! They cannot be faulted!

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    Rating: +2 (from 16 votes)
  50. Sash says:
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    I am a UK based teacher so have not had to ‘rely’ on SMART to come up with work but I have found my experience with them to be a frustrating one and am glad I have been able to use other agencies.

    The work they have come up with has been sporadic and from some staff, you feel a pressure to accept work that is not suitable, for one reason or another.

    Their rate of pay is lower than all the other agencies I am with and to make matters worse, I have been regularly underpaid on the rate that I was told I would be paid. This was not rectified despite reminders. Communication from their head office in London is poor. Emails go unanswered.

    Lastly, I would say that I feel I have a better relationship with other agencies who come across as being more genuine, as opposed to the falseness that I have come to expect from SMART.

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    Rating: +9 (from 13 votes)
  51. Jane says:
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    I had lots of interviews with various agencies before leaving Australia and decided to go with Smart Teachers due to their personability and ease with sorting out all my paperwork. My consultant Sarah was great, she was in contact with me well before I arrived and had work set up for me as soon as i was ready to start. For 8 months I did daily supply and was fully booked most weeks. At the beginning of Term 1 supply work was a bit slow but that is to be expected at that time of year and Sarah and her colleagues were upfront about that. It soon picked up after about the second week of school starting. Looking at some of the comments I’ve seen on here about weak teachers not getting work, I saw first hand a terrible supply teacher working at a school the same day as me who couldn’t control his class and lost it in front of the kids. I can see why those types of teachers would not be booked again as this particular one was unprofessional and quite frankly, embarrassing. The other supply teachers who I saw again and again were those who seemed to have a good attitude, were flexible and were able to engage their class even though they were only there for the day. Smart also scored me a long term position and supported me throughout. It wasn’t like they put me in the role and forgot about me, Sarah and Ben who i think worked with the school kept in touch and even came out to the school to visit. I had a really good experience with Smart and don’t really have a bad word to say about them.

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  52. GC says:
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    I have really enjoyed working with Smart Teachers, they have an honest, open and understanding approach which as an NQT I found comforting. I have constantly been offered work and almost always have been prebooked, in most cases a week in advance.
    Dan my consultant is brilliant, he actually takes time to get to know you and match you with schools that suit you. You definitely don’t feel like just a number or a ‘payday’ as I frequently did with other agencies.
    They also offered the best rate of pay in comparison to other agencies I approached.
    I would absolutely recommend Smart.

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    Rating: +1 (from 9 votes)
  53. Anon says:
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    I have worked for Smart for two years and have found them brilliant in terms of finding day-to-day work and in their approachability. They have always found schools in boroughs near me and know which schools I love going back to. My main contacts at the agency have been Helen (you’ll be missed!) and Dan – they have both been fantastic – really helpful, reliable, understanding, thoughtful and highly efficient.

    I was sorry to read about some of the negative experiences of other teachers, but my experience has been positive and I genuinely can’t fault them.

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  54. Anonymus says:
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    I worked for Smart Teachers for 2 years. I was not given lot of work, but when I got something it was usually for 3+ days.
    They usually gave me min. 12 hours notice, so I did not have to rush in the morning.
    I was sent out to some interviews but one of the schools was not even interested in me from the beginning, as no one came in the classroom when I was teaching my demo lesson.
    It happened once that I was sent to a school and when I got there Smart called me and cancelled my day (1 hour after I was given the job). I was only promised to be reimbursed for my travel cost but I have never been given that money either. Luckily, my other agency called as they had a late booking.

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  55. Matt C says:
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    I have been working for SMART teachers for the entirety of 2012 doing daily supply and I can’t speak highly enough of them. Every day I wanted work I got it. Even in the so called tough periods (first and last weeks of term). Dan the consultant is an absolute star and is willing to go above and beyond to help, as are all staff within the office. They are highly professional, provide great communication and are always willing to answer any questions. They help with the basics, setting bank account up, police checks, NI that are needed to live/work in the UK etc.

    The transition from Australian school systems to the UK can be difficult. From my first point of contact in Australia (local offices) handling all the paperwork with ease, running seminars in school holidays in Australia to familiarize Aussie teachers with the UK school system. It really impressed me.

    I signed up with a couple of agencies for when I hit the ground in London in case there was no work, however SMART were just so professional and efficient I had no need for the other agencies. Speaking to other supply teachers I encountered around London, the rate of pay that SMART offered was really competitive and much higher than the majority of other agencies.

    You need to be flexible being a supply teacher. I am willing to travel reasonable distances and the amount of jobs I was given reflected that. After working a few months, I had some regular schools that asked for me back and even managed to score some longer term PPA roles. All thanks to SMART teachers. They take the stress out of education employment in the UK.

    SMART Teachers, absolute ripping teaching agency. Get on board.

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  56. DM says:
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    I have always lived and worked in the UK and started supply teaching after teaching full time for 5 years. Smart Teachers was recommended by a colleague at my last permanent school, as well as the school office staff. I was concerned about work when I resigned because supply teaching was going to be my only source of income.
    However, since registering with Smart Teachers (which was a very straight forward and efficient process), I have had continuous calls for work. Schools have requested me at the agency when they need cover. I also have a regular PPA cover booking at a very nice school, which began as 2 days per week in September. This will be increased to 4 days per week after the Christmas break.
    Smart Teachers have been fantastic with pre-bookings, giving me at least a days notice for cover required. I have only had 2 morning calls to attend a school, 1 of which was at the school I provide PPA cover to.
    The staff have been very understanding of the distance I am willing to travel to work and are able to banter whilst maintaining their professionalism.
    Many teaching staff I have spoken to have heard good things about Smart Teachers, and I do not have a bad word to say about them!
    In my view, Smart Teachers are definitely one of the best teaching agencies in London.

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  57. francis says:
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    Terrible agency, dishonest, rude, arrogant only interested in if you are Aussie (I am one!) and if your face fits. Have treated my Canadian and Welsh friend appalingly. Don’t ever go with these cowboys – a joke!

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    Rating: +8 (from 14 votes)
  58. Rew says:
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    Absolutely rubbish agency had so many problems with them before I even started. Not honest and they harped on about about being different from other agencies and made out that they were somewhat better. I think reading this some of the comments are laughable – you can’t come on here and say it’s the teachers fault because they are weak. All teachers I have come across and hard working and honest and doing supply on a day to day basis is hard anyway. I have been teaching for 14 years in inner city Birmingham and London and am currently taking a break from full time team teaching. I am now working with Trust Education and they have been absolutely brilliant. I have nearly every day with them and all the schools have been really good. I would advise never to work for SMART as they just not nice and not good!!!!!!

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    Rating: +7 (from 17 votes)
  59. Laura says:
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    I can’t thank SMART Teachers enough. They made me feel valued even before I landed in London. Within 24 hours of landing, I had everything organised & a bank account (all with SMARTS friendly help).
    I signed up with 1 agency – SMART and this was the best thing as they could see I was going to be loyal to them & available for their schools when they called. I had work every day through them & even picked up a Saturday tutoring gig with a school becuase of them too. So working 6 days a week.

    I see all the other comments on this site and I know where you have gone wrong. Simply signing up with too many agencies. You start saying you are not available to work too often and then good agencies stop calling you or only offer you 1-2 days a week.

    SMART is a fantastic agency who really looks after good teachers.

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  60. Cjs says:
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    I signed up with another agency before arriving in uk and after 3 weeks of no work was recommend smart teachers. I got a few days of day to day relief teaching maybe 3 days in 3 weeks – but in all honestly I wasn’t ringing them each morning. In September I was given a full time post. This worked much better for me, I had guarenteed days and good pay. I must admit throughout the post I was continuously told ‘this is a good school’ by the agency however I knew full well it was not a good school. One day I had had enough of the school, I rung my agent and she found me a new job starting the following week.
    Smart teachers was perfect for me, as I only stayed in London 2 years. I had 3 different schools with them each lasting 2 full terms.
    I just had to remember that they were working for the school too.
    Would recommend this teaching agency

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  61. anonymous says:
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    I took a permanent post through SMART teachers at the start of my teaching career. Being new to teaching I should not have agreed to the post that they put me in- teaching two different Alevel subjects…but I needed money and thought the experience would be good. When I started having problems with the school the agency hung me out to dry. They wanted nothing to do with me once the problems with the school started. I felt ill prepared and should have been better advised.

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  62. Anonomous says:
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    DO NOT JOIN THIS AGENCY,

    I actually get work not like the other reviews I have read, Only because I have a strong CV and I’m well liked by the schools I have been apart of. I assure you that this company is built on dishonesty, it is disgusting how manipulative and greedy one can be.

    The situation:

    If you are a skilled teacher with lots to offer, they will offer you work to receive praises from particular schools to enhance the BRAND. You will still be underpaid, still will need to be more proactive because most likely, SMART will do something not in your favour and you will be the one to clean it up. If you are a weaker teacher with less experience and naive, they will underpay you, lie to you, your resume will be sitting around cyber space until a school has an interest in you, by then, they will tell you that they got you a job interview (a lie) and whether the school is fond of you,it makes no difference because they would of sent another of their applicants to apply for the job, therefore for the least amount of work on their half, they are able to receive the most profit.

    My consultant was condescending, constantly not telling the truth and was a very uncomfortable person to communicate with.

    Only after I was thorough with them, then were they more likely to be effective.

    Try career teachers, they are a lot better, fun, offer work. Im not for career teachers, but I worked for them and they are great!

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    Rating: +4 (from 14 votes)
  63. Anonymous says:
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    Smart is all talk and no action. As others have posted, they really talk up how much work they can give you before you leave your country. Then you get minimal work. Also, after a registered it took them months to get their act together and give me work. There was a brief period where I did get work as they called me out of the blue for ‘guaranteed supply’. Half way through my contract they couldn’t promise me anymore work and I was cut off. It was very hard to make a living whilst I was there.

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  64. Ebee says:
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    I found Smart Teachers to be honest, reliable, respectful and professional right from the start Having ventured from NZ I signed myself up with a few Agencies but my consultant in NZ gave me great confidence and lots of information, a great UK consultant and then from the very first day loads of work, Some schools weren’t as great as others, but then some were amazing, and I had travelled for the experience so thats just what I had been told and imagined it would be like. I think they are amazing

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  65. Anonymous says:
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    Smart are very good at marketing themselves and their customer service is good. They don’t really care about the candidate as long as you take a position and they get their commission. I was promised heaps of work after my contract finished, but no work materialised.

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  66. Ivanka S. says:
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    I have never been treated so well by an agency. I came over with Career Teachers based on empty promises. I didn’t realize that I could sign up with more than one agency until I had already been here for two months (and only worked 9 days with Career Teachers).
    I have only been with Smart Teachers for three weeks or so, and in that time have worked more with them than I had with Career in three months.
    Dan (my agent) was AMAZING. He is very personable, and did his best to get me great schools. If you perform well, you’ll get more work (because schools want you back). The schools I was sent to with Smart were far better schools. Signing up with Smart was the “smartest” thing I’ve done since coming to London. 😉
    Thanks Smart Teachers!

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    Rating: +1 (from 7 votes)
  67. Ben says:
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    I am a UK teacher and arrived in London in October 2010. I started supply teaching From November 9th 2010 to where Smart Teachers have only provided me with 2 days of work to date.

    Lots of promises on registration, which resulted to be untrue!

    Don’t waste your time, as they’re quite poor!

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  68. albertdog says:
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    After registration, nothing.

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  69. Anonymous says:
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    I applied to Smart teachers and was approved for supply teaching. Prior to arrival in the UK, I was promised a guarenteed number of supply teaching days per week. I was also promised that I would not be travelling too far from the location of my home.
    Having my initial meeting with Smart teachers in London I discovered the contract that I was promised was untrue. I found it increadibly difficult staying in hostels while trying to find a flat, the agency did not help with accommodations. I was also mislead about pay. I was told I would be paid 168 pounds per day (this amount included the 20% deduction). Instead, I would be paid 122 pounds per day. This amount is not acceptable due to the high living and travelling costs, especially with not a guarenteed contract.
    I would not reccomend anyone to sign up with this agency due to their misleading schemes.

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    Rating: +2 (from 10 votes)
  70. D says:
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    I went to London on the same “guaranteed belief” as everyone else. Clearly I am not the only one who got screwed through Smart Teachers (I definitely was NOT calling them “smart” towards the end of my time in the UK).

    I was in there office 2 or 3 times a week consistently having to look over their shoulders in order for any of my paperwork to be completed. When that finally happened, which was months after I had sent the original documents, they promised that work would start to pick up. IT NEVER DID!! I was forced to find a job in a restaurant in order to survive.

    I would strongly discourage anyone to submit any information to Smart Teachers, none of their staff are competent and you will end up only frustrated and broke!

    Good Luck

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  71. Anonymous says:
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    They made my transition from Canada to the UK simple by helping me with everything but accommodation.

    I had on average 4 days of work a week, but at different schools located far from my home. After supplying daily for 3 months they found me a full time position at a good school close to my home.

    When I was doing day to day supply work, the quality of schools varied greatly.

    My agent is amazing, super easy to talk to and seems sincere and hard working with my best interests at heart.

    Overall, I am very happy with SMART Teachers, even if the pay does not compare to some of the other agencies.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
  72. M says:
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    Would NOT recommend, I wasted my time signing up with this one :(

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  73. nm says:
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    I decided to move to London to teach after hearing and talking to a lady from smart teachers at a career fair. The way she spoke of it made it unbelievably romantic to me and I was sold so off to London I went.

    Upon arrival I was promised SOOOO many things that never came true such as the guaranteed supply, between four and five days a week FOR SURE and blah blah. In the first two months I was here they found me 4 whole days of work, 2 days in which I was only covering a TA (half the rate of pay as teaching.) My agent suggested I start to find work in other agencies which I was more than willing to do because I was real fed up with hearing lie after lie from them. I caught them in many lies. Before coming to london I asked about the guaranteed supply list and what I had to do to get on it, they told me that they don’t put ANYONE on the list until they arrive in the UK and teach for at least a month than they would consider. Turns out ALOT of people were on that list before coming over and when I confronted them they just beat around the bush.

    they are not clear on any of the paper work, I have been here 5 months and STILL haven’t received my CRB, OTC number or anything else. nothing but a mess of confusion. In all, I hated working there and I was SOOO glad to leave.

    I switched to tradewinds and they are FANTASTIC!!!!! I recommend Tradewinds to anyone coming over to teach, they are honest and lay everything on the table no matter what it is. They have fantastic schools to teach at and so many teaching opportunities. They make you feel very important.

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    Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
  74. Anonymous says:
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    Smart has great communication and marketing abilities, but I was quite disappointed when I arrived in the UK and realized that there was very little work and their pre-arrival promise of “lots of work” never came true. I ended up having to apply with other agencies and have not worked very much with Smart. On the other hand, I have heard that those who are on the “guaranteed supply” list do get work so if you do join Smart, make sure you get on that list. I definitely feel like they go to that list first and then turn to their other teachers only when they need them

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 4 votes)
  75. Anonymous says:
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    This agency is very good with being personable, they are very friendly and seem to be very willing to help. Overall service, I feel is very decent, but they could work on getting more work for people, as I know some teachers have not gotten much work compared to others. The school quality could also be better, as there are many inner city schools, which can be at times quite difficult to teach in. I definitely recommend working with more than one agency however if wanting to teach in London especially.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: -2 (from 2 votes)
  76. Anonymous says:
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    Like many others, I came over to the UK from Canada with the hopes of obtaining a valuable experience working in schools throughout London. Smart Teachers was the first and only agency I signed up with, therefore, I made my loyalty to their company known, and joined their “guaranteed supply scheme”. I was told I would be guaranteed any available work, and that the best time to arrive in London would be the end of September. I arrived in mid-October just to be safe, was able to get settled in 2 weeks, and began working for Smart mid-way through the first week of November.

    As a qualified secondary teacher, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of secondary supply work available through Smart (I can count on one hand how many high schools I’ve supplied for, and only one was a good experience). However, they did provide me with daily supply work for a variety of primary schools, as I was on the guaranteed scheme, and consistently called them each and every morning to ensure I would be working.

    In terms of the pay, I believe it is higher than most agencies, so that is definitely a positive thing.

    However, I have been one of the lucky ones; I know many people who have not been so fortunate as to have worked as many times for this agency as I have. I do work everyday, but again, I am on the guaranteed supply list, and would not recommend working with any agency that doesn’t guarantee you work, for what ever the reasons.

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    Rating: -1 (from 3 votes)
  77. Anonymous says:
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    I came overseas from Canada with Smart Teachers with the expectation of daily supply work. From the start, they promised lots of daily bookings (especially after the half-term break in October) and a potential spot on their “guaranteed scheme” – they guarantee “x” amount of bookings per term. Even with my eagerness to sign on this guaranteed contract, they fed me with false security by telling me things like “the guaranteed scheme is just there for security purposes; we’ll have way more work than teachers by October,” whereby shoving my desire to join the scheme under the rug. I should have been more persistent and bold, but unfortunately, I believed them.
     
    When the end of September and the entire month of October passed, I started to panic – I was given 2.5 days of work with Smart! After calling my consultant, she advised me to join other agencies and when asked about the guaranteed scheme again, she said it was too late to be put on it. After joining a couple more agencies, I was working 5 days per week (thank goodness!). With Smart, however, the number of bookings they’ve given me (for September, October, November AND December) can be counted on one hand.
     
    On the plus side, their rate of pay is higher than average and the schools I’ve been sent to haven’t been too bad. Sadly, these are the only good things that I can say about this agency.

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    Rating: +1 (from 5 votes)
  78. Anonymous says:
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    “Smart Teachers” is not in the business of honesty. I travelled across the ocean expecting plenty of work, and instead was not even met with enough daily supply to pay the bills.
    When I was given supply work, it was with the wrong age level, and at schools more than an hour away from my house.
    I would not recommend anyone signing up with this company, unless you have a clear full-time position at one school in hand before your flight leaves.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: +1 (from 11 votes)

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