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Why we chose OHC&AT?

The chance to be a part of a large specialist education provider and the desire to make a difference is what attracts people to join OHC&AT.

We offer employment in a wide range of teaching and non-teaching roles and many of these offer you the chance to progress your training and advance your career.

To give you an insight into the numerous valued jobs and careers at OHC&AT, we’ve asked some of our team to explain what makes working here so special and what they get out of working for us.

Christina – Lecturer at Orchard Hill College
I started at Orchard Hill College as a Learning Support Assistant in 2015 with a background in retail management with little experience of working with students with special needs. Throughout my probation period, I had a thorough induction and training package which allowed me to learn and develop new skills to support students with a range of disabilities. Four years later, I am now a lecturer and have completed my Diploma in Education and Training, which is a Level 5 Diploma in Education and a recognised teaching qualification for the post-16 sector. I was able to complete this course whilst working at Orchard Hill College and continually improving my practice with the support of my course leaders and management which was brilliant. This is definitely a route I would recommend to any aspiring teacher!

Nicole – Senior Teaching Aide at Orchard Hill College
When I started at Orchard Hill College I was offered a range of training which I found really useful. The Teaching Assistant course I was offered was so interesting that I did the advanced level in my own time to learn more. All the staff are very friendly and welcoming, people are always willing to help. Higher management are always approachable if you have a query and the Head of Centre at VPC is very thorough in her job.

I would recommend Orchard Hill College as a place to work and I wish I knew about the college when I was 18 not 25!

Fiona – Marketing and Communications Manager
I joined OHCAT in September 2021 as a Marketing and Communications Manager. I had worked for over 10 years at a mainstream school in the same role and was excited to join the marketing team which supports the schools and colleges in the Trust.

Despite joining in the middle of Covid, I was really impressed with the Induction programme; on my first day there was an online session with presentations by senior members of staff giving an overview of the ethos of the Trust, plus practical sessions on HR and Safeguarding. My Line Manager organised role-specific training for me over the next few weeks and I was taken to visit the academies I would be working with by a member of the Leadership Team. I quickly felt part of the team and was encouraged to jump straight in to the work without ever feeling overwhelmed.

One of the best things about working for OHCAT is the clear articulation of the Trust values; put simply, that these children, who overcome considerable barriers just to be in their classrooms every day, deserve the very best we can provide for them. This vision runs through the Trust and I have met so many dedicated professionals in head office and the schools who are committed to ensuring we meet the needs of every one of the young people educated in the Trust.

Chiara – Deputy Principal at The Skills Hub
I am Deputy Principal at The Skills Hub, I was working at the school as a teacher when the School joined OHC&AT. Since joining the Trust, I have always found the Executive Leadership Team to be extremely supportive and welcoming, they are very approachable and support staff without judgement, no question is too small. OHC&AT have also supported me with gaining work permits and visas.

There are lots of opportunities for progression and I have never felt limited in my job, from starting as a supply teacher, I am now Deputy Principal and have become a Governor at another OHC&AT school. Networking and sharing good practice are really encouraged and I have enjoyed building links with other colleagues across the Trust. I have always felt valued in my role and have had a wonderful experience working for OHC&AT.

Tom – Maths Teacher at St Philip’s School

I started working at Orchard Hill College as a Learning Support Assistant. When I joined, I didn’t have much experience of working with young people with SEND. At the College there are excellent training opportunities available to support you to progress. I completed my Diploma in Education and Training (DET) and Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills status (QTLS) and became a Lecturer.

After eight years with the College I gained position as a Maths Teacher at St Philip’s School. Through working in different organisations that make up OHC&AT I have been able to experience teaching in different environments and different cohorts of students. There is a supportive network across OHC&AT and staff readily share good practice. My transition moving from the College to St Philip’s School was smooth and I felt well supported. I really enjoy working at St Philip’s School there is a great atmosphere, and everyone wants to do their best to help the students achieve.

Lucy – Art Therapist at Brantridge School

I have been the Art Therapist at Brantridge School since September 2021 and I really like how all the staff are so committed to caring for the students here.

Having worked in other settings previously where I was the only therapist, I really enjoy working within a multidisciplinary team. It means that there are opportunities for interdisciplinary working and provides more perspectives on how we might best support a child. I have also been encouraged to try new ideas and ways of working that I wanted to implement, for example providing reflective spaces for teaching and support staff, which is now part of my role which I really enjoy.

 

As a community of learners, families and colleagues OHC&AT believes that by working collaboratively, with energy and ambition we can always effect positive change. No limit is placed on what is possible and everyone has the ability to be the very best they can be.

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