Major Award “Icing on the cake” for north west women entrepreneurs

January 18, 2016


“It’s the best 10th birthday present we could ever have had”

Entrepreneurs Jane Scott and Claire Gibson have celebrated their 10th birthday in business by scooping first prize in the North West Business, Women in Business Award 2010.

And the dynamic duo, who run the expanding Key Stage Teacher Supply agency from offices in Blackburn, Chorley and Lancaster, are confident the accolade will reinforce client confidence in the company’s child-safeguarding procedures.

Key Stage Teacher Supply, which beat off competition from more than 100 other entries from around the region to win the award, were the first local education teacher supply agency to be awarded the Quality Mark under the auspices of the DCSF (Department of Children, Schools and Families) and its own governing body, the REC (Recruitment Employment Confederation), that sets the standards for good recruitment practice and service.

“We are very keen in this context to be seen as a model organisation and we believe that the award clearly reinforces our diligence in ensuring the best practices in the interest of safeguarding children,” said 47-year-old Claire from Rossendale.

At any one time we have more than 250 teachers and support staff working in schools and nurseries throughout the North West and the award will further enhance the confidence both the supply staff and the schools have in us as a supply agency.

Jane, aged 43, from Croston, near Leyland, added: “We are so proud to have obtained this award – it is very much the icing on the cake for 10 years of hard work by our team and ourselves in our mission to provide schools with the best quality education provision. We are quite passionate about meeting the needs of our customers”.

Key Stage Teacher Supply, which has a dedicated team of 10 and three directors, submitted its application for the award on the recommendation of Elaine Simons, of EJS Marketing of Salford, who provides mentoring and consulting to the company under the North West Development Agency’s Winning Pitch scheme.

“This award – which we really did not expect to win – was just about the best 10th birthday present we could have had,” she added.

“As a company birthdays figure very prominently in our ethos. We like to keep in close contact with all our teachers and support staff and we have always sent each of them a handwritten card on their birthdays.”

Claire and Jane, who had previously worked together for a major, national recruitment company, made the decision to start the supply agency “in a conversation over dinner” and in its 10 years it has gone from strength to strength.

The first office in Blackburn was followed by a second in Chorley and then a third in Lancaster. They are now planning to open a fourth.

The company now works with more than 300 schools in its catchment area and its current year turnover is expected to exceed £4M.

“Our ultimate aim is to make Key Stage Teacher Supply the first choice for schools, nurseries and supply staff throughout the North West,” added Jane.

Claire is also a director of CGA (Claire Gibson & Associates), a recruitment agency that occupies the same offices in Preston New Road, Blackburn as Key Stage. Teacher Supply.