Colin Hopkins - Diocesan Director of Education
Lichfield DBE has been working with Academicis for some five years in sourcing Headteachers and Principals for our maintained schools and academies The consultancy support received has covered recruiting new leaders to all phases (primary, middle and secondary schools), including academies in the diocesan MAT and in other church-led academy trusts within the Diocese. There has been a 100% success rate in making appointments, some of which have been in very challenging circumstances or in areas/contexts where recruitment is exceptionally difficult.
As the recruitment of heads becomes more challenging across the whole system, the proactive approach provided by Academicis has resulted in strong and credible fields of candidates, who can therefore provide governors (and trustees/directors) with real choice.
Academicis has provided a highly professional and first rate service customised to schools' needs. The company can manage the whole recruitment process, including drafting recruitment literature, advertising, organizing the selection process, shortlisting and interviews, and obtaining references (and providing constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates).
Academicis' staff are a pleasure to work with, and are unfailingly courteous and responsive to schools'/trusts' needs. The company has a very strong understanding of the distinctive character of Church of England schools, including our specific leadership requirements.
We have enjoyed working with Richard Lucas (MD) and his team on a range of headships over the last few years, and I would be very happy to recommend Academicis to you.
Fr Alan Thompson - Vicar of St Mark & St Saviour Saltley
St Saviour's Church of England Primary School is viewed as outstanding by OFSTED. We are located in one of Europe's most economically challenging areas. After 18 years of devoted service our previous head teacher retired.
Given the above, appointing a new HT we realised would not be easy. We did not however fully understand how difficult this task would be without professional help.
We engaged Academicis after failing to appoint, following several attempts. The service we received was outstanding without exception. Every stage of the process was meticulously managed. Nothing was too much trouble, and areas that we had not considered covered by them. Whilst we acknowledge that this was indeed a team effort, Rob, and Richard, were particularly conversant and supportive.
We would have no hesitation in commissioning Academicis again for a similar appoint.
Rev Tim Novis - Chair of Governors at Carwarden House School
As Governors in a special educational school for children with moderate learning difficulties, we felt particularly flummoxed when our 'irreplaceable' Headteacher told us he was leaving. Such a specialised realm in education meant we knew we were up against some very tough odds in finding anyone as remotely brilliant who would be able to ensure the momentum we had helped to create as Governors, and who could keep our vision and strategy at the forefront of our school's development plan. But Academics reassured us from the start and delivered on every promise made. Early contact with Richard was brilliant. His energy and enthusiasm for our school was authentic. He was able to develop a plan for us that suited our budget and our timeline. Leading up to shortlisting, we were presented with a package of excellent candidates, and on the day of the interviews Robert was a professional and calming presence who assured we did all that was necessary as Governors who don't have to hire a new Headteacher everyday! I recommend Academics most highly, and feel particularly fortunate that they provided us the depth of support that they did in what could have been a profoundly difficult process. With Academicis, the process was quick, efficient and seamless, and we feel sure we have hired just the right Headteacher to lead our much-loved school.
Sumerjit Ram - Director of Education, Children and Young People Services - MacIntyre Charity
We have repeatability used the services of Academicis with successful appointments being made each and every time. The quality of candidates has been constantly high and the service professional and bespoke – this has led to us appointing outstanding leaders. Careful attention has been given to our needs, with Academicis offering flexibility and additional resources as and when required. We have been extremely impressed and would not hesitate to use Academicis when recruiting to other senior leadership roles in the future.
Victoria De Naeyer – Director of Governance at Samuel Ward Academy Trust - December 2016
Having worked with Academicis on several senior leadership recruitments across the trust, I have no hesitation in recommending Rich Lucas and Academicis. They have taken the time to understand the aims and values of the trust, as well as the specific requirements for each role. They have provided intelligent insight and guidance, and highly professional and organised support to recruitment days. Their proactive approach has enabled them to consistently field strong candidates. Above all, their staff are helpful and professional at all times, making them a joy to work with.
Simon Ezequiel - Chair of the Governing Body of Clore Shalom School - November 2016
Now that the dust has settled a little, I wanted to write to you to formally thank you and your team for all of the assistance that you gave us. Your support was invaluable and your whole team was professional, courteous and helpful throughout the process - always available and ever ready to help. Things would have been very different without you and I'm not sure that the outcome would have been as successful.
As you know, we had already been through three rounds before we engaged your services. We had historically found it difficult to attract applicants (possibly due to our status as a VS/Faith School but more likely due to our lack of reach within the potential pool) but your pro-active approach changed all of that - you identified candidates that we would never have found, several of whom didn't even know that they wanted to move until you encouraged them to come and visit us. We ended up with more applicants for the final round than we had seen for all of the previous rounds combined and the strength of the individual applicants gave us a hard time at the shortlisting meeting.
Whilst your ability to find strong applicants was impressive, even more so was your ability to find applicants that understood, appreciated and were able to support our ethos. As a faith school, our ethos is of particular importantance to us and you not only understood this, but were able to use this as an advantage when sourcing candidates.
I have to admit that I was hesitant when we first spoke - I wasn't sure that your "run-to-fill" approach would work and there were doubts about the value-for-money in your proposal. Having seen the impact that you and your team made to our process I am happy to say that I'm a convert. Your proposition offers the ability to remove the administrative burden, whilst also identifying and nurturing potential candidates, right through to the application stage.
I hope that I'm never in the same position again (attempting to recruit a Headteacher, in the middle of a national recruitment crisis) but if I am, you will certainly be the first person that I call.
I enjoyed working you and would welcome the opportunity to do so again.
With sincere gratitude
Chair of Governors, Vale View Primary School
I am very pleased to be able to provide a testimonial for the Academicis. As Chair of Governors the appointment of a new Headteacher is a daunting task and something myself or the Governing body had never done before. Appointing teachers and attracting suitable candidates has become increasing more difficult and even more so for Headteachers. Rather than advertise the position and sit back and wait for a suitable candidate to find us we decided to be more proactive in our recruitment process.
At all points throughout the process the team at Academicis kept me fully informed of progress and responded to my enquiries immediately. I appreciated the instant feedback from prospective candidates after they visited the school and that you supported the shortlisting and organised and ran the whole interview day. Furthermore, you provided expert guidance and support throughout this process.
Both Sarah and Grace were always only a telephone call away as was the managing director, Richard Lucas. I appreciated the understanding and flexibility that Richard showed in arranging meetings to suit my busy work schedule from early morning breakfast meetings to late evening calls to discuss progress, ideas or offer support.
This personal touch enabled him to fully understand our brief and the needs and ethos of our school and ultimately led to a perfect match and first time appointment of our new Headteacher.
I highly recommend the services of Academicis to other schools recruiting a Headteacher in the future.
Chair of Governors, Cedars Manor School, April 2016
Following our previous unsuccessful attempts to appoint a Headteacher we were very pleased to appoint Academicis to assist us with our recruitment exercise. Academicis provided us with a fresh approach in carrying out the selection and recruitment process and we were able to appoint a new Headteacher on our first attempt using their services. The team were excellent in working towards meeting tight timescales and supporting the Governor during the recruitment process. Academicis also arranged for the Governors to receive additional support from an independent adviser who is a National Leader on Governance and their input was very much appreciated during the interview process. I would very much recommend commissioning Academicis if you have experienced difficulties with attracting suitably experienced candidates to apply for senior positions.
Chair of Governors, Walsall Blue Coat CofE Academy
I have great admiration for the excellent way in which ACADEMICIS sourced a number of applicants for the post of a Substantive Principal at Walsall Blue Coat CofE Academy. The Governors and Sponsors were extremely impressed with the quality and number of applicants and at the final interviews were very happy to be able to appoint with absolute unanimous decision a Substantive Principal. Our thanks to Richard Lucas who was an invaluable advisor during this process.
Chair of Governors, Pirton and Hexton Primary Schools
I wanted to say thank you for all the help, support and advice from both Richard Lucas and Grace Rowley throughout the process of recruiting our new Executive Headteacher. We're really pleased with the outcome and it would have been impossible to have done it without Academicis, so thank you! I would not hesitate to recommend Academicis.
Headteacher, Northolt High School
I am pleased to be able to provide a positive testimonial for Academicis. We were able to appoint a very good Deputy Headteacher with the right skills set for the school. The Academicis team were attentive to the specific requests of the school and supported in the selection, interviewing and appointment process. They were willing to act on feedback and work in genuine partnership to ensure that the needs of the school were met. The follow up was very good and helpful after the appointment had been made.
Director, South Northants C of E Multi Academy Trust, December 2015.
We were very grateful for the support provided by Academicis in the recruitment of our replacement Executive Headteacher for Culworth and Boddington Primary Academies. Richard and his team were very knowledgeable and able to guide us through the process providing valuable insight into the recruitment market for senior educational positions which has changed in recent years. I would recommend Academicis if your organisation has similar recruitment requirements.
Chair of Governors, Daiglen Preparatory School
We have been delighted with the service by Academicis in helping appoint our new Headteacher. Academicis produced a very strong shortlist of candidates, and were very pro-active over the short listing exercise, interview's and decision making process. Academicis are a very responsive organisation and you can always get through to who you want, including the Managing Director, Richard Lucas. We would not hesitate to recommend them.
Chair of Governors, Featherby Infant and Junior Schools
I am pleased to be able to provide a reference for Academicis who provided an excellent service in our recent search of an Executive Headteacher for Featherby Infant and Junior School in Gillingham, Kent.
At all times during the process they were professional and very efficient. All the time scales were met, they were attentive and managed to secure a first time appointment. Academicis is headed up by Richard Lucas, Managing Director, who responded to all queries immediately and throughout the process was thoroughly proficient. The recruitment and interview process was managed entirely by Richard and his team. I would have no hesitation in recommending Richard and Academicis.
Headteacher, Copthall School
Academicis were instrumental in us achieving our goal of appointing the 'right' senior leader for our school. I was impressed with how colleagues at Academicis quickly and effectively came to an understanding of the school's current and future needs. The team quickly and efficiently produced high quality candidate information, working with us on assembling a strong field of candidates and an effective recruitment process. Academicis's, knowledgeable, and efficient team offered good advice, quick communication and a great service prior to, during and after the recruitment process. I have no hesitation in recommending Academicis to other schools.
Chair of Trustees Whittlesea Learning Trust
I am writing to thank you and your team for all of the hard work you put in to find us both an excellent interim Executive Headteacher and now a great permanent replacement.
Last summer we went through two rounds of advertising for a new Executive Headteacher and on both occasions failed to make an appointment. We found ourselves in October with no Headteacher in place for the impending spring term and no real idea what to do differently to attract better candidates. You managed to find us excellent candidates to be an interim Headteacher and we had someone signed up with a couple of weeks of you coming on-board. This was an amazing turn-around.
You guided us through the appointment of the substantive post, and although we re-advertised it is clear that the difference this time was your direct approach to the candidates. Your persistence in keeping in touch with prospective candidates and pushing them to apply really paid off when we hit some unexpected external issues. We were able to respond and overcome these problems in time and ended up with a good shortlist. We have now appointed a fantastic new Executive Headteacher and everyone is very excited about September and beyond.
We had some issues along the way but the recruitment process proved robust to them all. The fact that we had one person dealing with both interim and substantive appointments was great. Having professional but friendly advice on call, pretty much at any time of day, was hugely reassuring.
It has been a very long and difficult year for us. Our failure to find an Executive Headteacher was causing uncertainty and fear among staff and governors alike. In hindsight we might well have avoided all of that and saved some time, effort and money too, had we involved you sooner.