Supporting some of the most vulnerable children in the country is an incredibly rewarding career. Whether you’re on the “frontline” or working in a “backroom” function, you know your work is directly positively impacting on a young person’s life – and potentially changing it for the better. How do Kedleston find the right people to join the organisation, and why do people choose care and education as their career? We caught up with Maria Pieroni, Kedleston’s Group Head of HR, to find out more...
It’s an exciting time at Kedleston! There’s so much going on and so many opportunities for people to begin, or further, their careers in both our schools and homes – even some brand new ones!
We’re currently preparing to open a brand new residential children’s home in Buxton, for example. Dovedale House will support a small number of vulnerable children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, who, for individual reasons, are not able to live at home. As with our other children’s homes, this will be a chance for the team to create a really nurturing, welcoming and homely home where children can thrive.
We’re also recruiting for a brand new school, Silverways in Enfield - being there right at the start is a wonderful opportunity and a chance to see, really directly, just how positive an impact you’re having on a child’s life.
Recruiting for a new service like Dovedale House is exciting too, because we build the team from scratch. We have a Registered Manager who will lead the team, and opportunities for people to step up to Deputy Manager or to Team Leader, for example, if they are already working in care. Sometimes people join us from a non-care background, and that’s fine too – we’ll support you both financially and through coaching to gain an NVQ 3 in Children and Young People’s Workforce – but qualities such as patience, resilience, empathy and commitment are what we’re looking for above all else.
Part of our ethos is also about nurturing our staff, with good induction and training and offering the chance for career progression. Where specialist knowledge is needed to support children with individual needs – such as autism, child sexual exploitation or county lines, for example – the correct training is put in place for teams to make sure they can provide the very best possible support for our young people, and they can develop their skills and careers too.
We are really active in supporting people to achieve their professional ambitions, right through from apprenticeships to Registered Manager or Headteacher through our bespoke care and educational career support pathways, training and CPD opportunities. We have an in-house Registered Manager Development Programme, which is designed and delivered by ourselves internally, to equip participants with the necessary knowledge to excel in our settings and gives them a well-rounded understanding of Ofsted, application and registration processes. Successful participants are always guaranteed an interview when posts become available and they also gain a NVQ Level 5 in Leadership & Management in Residential Childcare. In Education, there are monthly development and training sessions on different topics, all counting towards CPD.
As our schools and homes continue to evolve their support for children and young people, so do our recruitment needs. This has been shown in our recent recruitment to increasing numbers of clinical roles such as a Clinical Psychologist at High Peak School or a School Counsellor at Leaways School London. Offering that enhanced clinical support is vital to helping our young people reach their potential and overcome their difficulties.
With 13 schools and homes, we are relatively small and have no ambitions to be the biggest, and that gives us a real family feel. People have a voice within their schools or homes, and within the organisation. People have the chance to shape where they work and what they do – because we’re small it’s easier to be agile and to innovate – you’re not lost in a huge corporate machine. And it means we know our children and their families really well too.
Across the group, we are incredibly, and genuinely, focused on the young people and their families. People genuinely care, and when we recruit, that’s what we are looking for – people that care about the young people, their families and their colleagues.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.kedlestongroup.com/work-with-us/vacancies for all of the latest opportunities!