News and Articles at Bookmark

Pioneering Connections and Empowering Careers

Introducing Bookmark Blog

Meet Bookmark, your new specialist education recruitment partner here to help you on your journey to find a job, or to help you fill a vacancy at your education establishment.

As part of the Protocol Group, we have 27 years of expertise behind us to equip us with the relevant knowledge and understanding of the education industry, meaning we know all there is to know about the jobs and candidates available.

As a full-service recruitment provider, we can help you regarding any role in the education sector, spanning the following key sectors:

  • Nursery
  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • SEN
  • Further Education
  • Higher Education

Whether you’re in search of an academic or non-academic role, we can assist you in discovering the available opportunities. And, through Bookmark, you can filter your search by education level, or even by subject, enabling you to be more specific with your job search or candidate search.

We even go beyond supplying recruiting services at Bookmark, as we also offer services in the following areas:

  • DBS Checks
    • Our partner brand, eSafeguarding, allows you to submit applications to the DBS in a swift and effortless fashion. The system favours a user-friendly style as well as a meticulous procedure, meaning we can enhance both accuracy and efficiency. From working with the DBS for over 15 years, we have gained a deep understanding of its importance and how to create an easy process for you, offering flexible and bespoke packages to suit your needs.
  • Payroll Services
    • In-house payroll management can be a heavy task, so we provide payroll services to make your life easier. Although you will be outsourcing your payroll, we like to work as an extension of your team, ensuring that your data is highly protected and secure. Our comprehensive service range is designed to cater precisely to your payroll requirements, whatever they may be.
  • Staff Management
    • At your establishment, people management is highly important, so we offer staff management services to keep your operational approach intact and ensure you have a streamlined set of processes in place. We are involved with a range of essential industry frameworks and supplier lists, including CCS, ESPO, and CPC, whilst also cultivating partnerships that hold similar values, ensuring we can provide the highest standards.

The key benefits of Bookmark

  • Education Specialists
  • Accurate, swift and precise
  • Candidate care and development
  • Building partnerships

Looking for the next opportunity in education? You’d better Bookmark it

If you’re looking to fill your vacancy with talent within the education landscape, or you’re looking to find your dream role, Bookmark can help. Sign up to the Bookmark database and get started on your journey to find the next big opportunity, whatever your goal may be.

Spotlight On: Gabby Brydges

In our series of ‘Spotlight On’, we’re excited to introduce to you the vibrant personality and invaluable team member, Gabby Brydges.  

The talent acquisition executive, Gabby, is a vital part of the team here at The Protocol Group, and her first seven months with us has been nothing short of impressive. Her commitment and dedication to the business is something we are very proud to witness every day. 

At The Protocol Group, a key part of what makes our brand so unique is the people behind it driving it to success and injecting their own individuality into the work. In this series, we like to interview different members of the team to find out more about them in order to celebrate what makes them incomparable.  

Here, we delve into the personal and professional elements of Gabby’s life to shed light on the person behind the impressive work at The Protocol Group…

1. Pet Mum

Gabby is a proud mum to two adorable Frenchies called Luna and Lola. She enjoys sharing the endless mysterious ‘tails’ of what the cheeky pups get up to on a daily basis with the office.  

2. A Recruitment Extraordinaire

With a commendable five years of experience in recruitment, Gabby is the go-to person for identifying and nurturing talent. Her commitment to the team is always noticeable and her knowledge and understanding of the sector is truly inspiring. 

3. Unforgettable Work Memories

For Gabby, one of her favourite memories since working at The Protocol Group has been a team-building summer party, where she could bond with her colleagues and in the process created some unforgettable memories to truly represent her time with The Protocol Group so far.  

4. From Crawley to Nottingham

Gabby is originally from Crawley, but decided to make the move to Nottingham several years ago and cross that southern to northern divide. Now, Gabby is happy to call Nottingham her home – especially because that means she’s been able to become a member of The Protocol Group family.  

5. What’s To Come In 2024?

Gabby is most excited about seeing how much The Protocol Group will grow in 2024. Considering 2023 was such a monumental year for the success of the company, further pushing the brand to even greater heights will be a key part of the upcoming year. 

6. Tell us a random fact…

Fun fact! Gabby’s claim to fame lies with her unexpected meet and greet with non-other than Orlando Bloom when in a small bar in Prague – let’s hope she invites him as her plus one to next year’s Christmas party! 

You can find out about more of our wonderful team here at The Protocol Group in our series of ‘Spotlight On’, exploring more about what makes our team unique across our brands eSafeguarding and our group, The Protocol Group.

National Early Years Teacher Day: Celebrating the Key Role of Teachers in Shaping Young Minds

April 17th marks National Early Years Teacher Day, a dedicated date for ensuring we make an active effort to celebrate all of the work that teachers do, also providing an opportunity for people to nominate someone for the National Early Years Teacher of the Year Awards.

As this awareness day highlights, teachers play a pivotal role in the development of children, and not just academically.

The early years of a child’s life are crucial, and teachers must create a nurturing environment for their personal growth, fostering social, emotional and physical development. This also involves ensuring that children feel safe to express themselves freely, to support the building of confidence and resilience.

With so much responsibility in a child’s life, particularly with younger children, ensuring we show our appreciation for the work and dedication teachers put in is important, especially given the challenges they face.

With high levels of stress and a risk of burnout, along with keeping up to date with the latest developments in their field and discovering teaching methods to cater to diverse learners, teachers take on a lot with their role.

The importance of National Early Years Teacher Day

Emphasising the importance of young children’s education

Early years education is crucial for children’s development, and teachers have a heavy impact on this. These early ages are when children can and should learn essential skills, such as communication, problem-solving, and different emotional and social abilities.

With the responsibility of not only a child’s academic improvement, but also their personal growth, ensuring we show our appreciation and support for Early Years Teachers is vital, as is increasing people’s understanding of the meaningful nature of their role.

Creating a community for teachers

National Early Years Teacher Day also provides a setting for community, creating a supportive network for teachers to share best practices, tips, and guidance for other teachers to adopt.

Being able to share passions about the profession and collaborate with like-minded people can foster a sense of solidarity and belonging, positively affecting the working lives of teachers and therefore children, too.

How can you show your support this National Early Years Teacher Day?

You can show your support and help teachers to feel appreciated this National Early Years Teacher Day, showing them the recognition they deserve.

Whether you’re a parent or an educator yourself, ensuring you can thank at least one Early Years Teacher is sure to make a difference. With the dedication and hard work that these teachers put into shaping the future generation, our love and support is needed.

By working together and showing our support, we can improve the lives of teachers, contributing to ensuring that every child is given the chance to succeed right from the very beginning of their education.

Are you looking for Early Years Teachers or roles?

If you’re looking to fill a vacancy for an Early Years Teacher in your organisation, or you are yourself looking for your next role as an Early Years Teacher, then here at Bookmark we can support you on this journey.

As education recruitment specialists, our expansive database and team of highly trained professionals enable us to connect you with the perfect candidate, or can lead you to your dream job.

Contact us today and we can take the next steps together.

What you Need to Know for a Role in Prison Education

Are you interested in pursuing a career within prison education? 

With a new report published by the Social Market Foundation highlighting the crucial role that education programmes play in rehabilitating offenders, this could be a rewarding new position for the right candidate. 

To help you on your journey, we’ve highlighted the important factors you should consider when looking into this role to ensure you’re fully equipped and prepared. 

Personal skills 

Prisons are highly unique work environments, with no two days being the same. 

Therefore, the right candidate must display resilience, adaptability, and confidence, as well as being a strong communicator.  

How does the role look? 

Those working within prison education roles will work in various settings, including onsite workshops, classrooms, onsite employment hubs and offices.  

Roles are typically 37 hours a week on a Monday to Friday schedule. In some cases, part-time or flexible working may be available, but you will need to discuss this at the interview stage and agree on a suitable working pattern with your line manager. 

The specific role you choose will determine how your day-to-day life will look: 


Instructors are responsible for the supervision of prisoners in the workshop, alongside mentoring, coaching, and supporting prisoners to earn industry recognised qualifications. Specifics include: 

Production instructor 

Production instructors operate within workshops that engage in two primary activities: manufacturing specific items for prisons, such as breakfast packs for inmates, or offering goods and services to external entities, such as packaging greeting cards. 

 In this role, responsibilities include: 

  • Supervising groups of prisoners within the workshop 
  • Establishing work schedules and ensuring the achievement of delivery goals 
  • Providing support and motivation to prisoners to successfully complete tasks 
  • Ensuring adherence to quality standards 

Vocational instructional officers 

Your role will involve conducting workshops where prisoners learn new vocational skills through hands-on experience. These workshops vary across different prisons and encompass a variety of vocational roles including cycle repair, vehicle maintenance, bricklaying, painting, and decorating. 

In this role, responsibilities include: 

  • Establishing work schedules and overseeing the achievement of delivery targets and quality standards 
  • Supervising prisoners during their assigned tasks 
  • Providing vocational training and assessing prisoners’ progress based on these qualifications 

Specialist production instructors 

Specialised production instructors operate in workshops that vary from one prison to another, covering specific areas such as: 

  • Engineering 
  • Horticulture 
  • Printing 
  • Textiles 
  • Waste management 
  • Woodworking 

Education, skills and work strategy and implementation 

Individuals within these roles ensure prisoners can access a range of opportunities to engage in work opportunities. Specifics include: 

Learning and skills manager 

In this position, you will oversee the implementation of the education curriculum within the prison. This involves collaborating with various departments, partner agencies, and prisoners to enhance engagement in ESW (Education, Skills, and Work) initiatives. 

Additionally, your responsibilities will include: 

  • Supervising the procurement of ESW interventions 
  • Ensuring quality assurance 
  • Promoting continuous improvement 

Head of education, skills, and work 

This role is designed for an experienced educator. 

As a member of the senior leadership team within a prison, you will play a key role in creating a learning environment, specifically targeting: 

  • Improving prisoners’ numeracy and literacy skills 
  • Increasing the number of prisoners obtaining qualifications 
  • Enhancing prisoners’ employment prospects 

This will require collaboration with various stakeholders, including the prison’s education provider, workshop leads, and local employers and organisations that hire individuals transitioning from prison. 

ID and banking administrator 

Your responsibilities will involve offering administrative assistance to assist prisoners in preparing for employment upon their release from prison. 

This includes: 

  • Facilitating the matching of prisoners with job opportunities 
  • Assisting individuals in organising the necessary documents required for employment in the community 
  • Supporting prisoners in preparing for Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL) work placements 

Neurodiversity support manager 

Your role will involve implementing a comprehensive approach throughout the prison to support the needs of neurodivergent prisoners. 

Specifically, you will: 

  • Introduce enhanced procedures to identify and address the needs of neurodivergent prisoners, which will include providing training to staff. 
  • Share pertinent information with colleagues to ensure reasonable adjustments are implemented, fostering a more supportive environment for neurodivergent individuals. 
  • Identify any additional requirements individuals may have as they prepare for release from prison. 

Additionally, you will assist in facilitating prisoners’ access to educational, skill development, and employment opportunities available within the prison. This includes offering specialist or targeted support where practical and appropriate. 

Prison employment lead 

In your role as the employment lead, you will identify prisoners who are adequately prepared both practically and mentally to assist them in applying for jobs. 

Your responsibilities will include: 

  • Sharing pertinent job opportunities with eligible individuals. 
  • Collaborating with individuals to ensure they obtain the necessary training or accreditations required for industry-specific roles. 

Industries manager 

As a prison industries manager, your role will involve ensuring the smooth operation of the prison workshops, overseeing all activities to ensure they offer meaningful work for prisoners. This includes monitoring performance and budgets, and ensuring production meets contractual obligations. 

Additionally, you will be responsible for managing, supervising, and motivating both staff and prisoners within the workshops. You will ensure that all work complies with health and safety legislation and maintains quality management standards. 

Skills and qualifications 

The skills and qualifications required depend on the specific type of prison education role you apply for. 

The types of roles include: 

  • Production instructors (band 3) 
  • Vocational instructional officers (band 4) 
  • Specialist production instructors (band 4) 
  • Learning and skills managers (band 6) 
  • Heads of education, skills, and work (band 7 or 8) 
  • ID and banking administrators (band 3) 
  • Neurodiversity support managers (band 6) 

As a minimum, all teachers within offender learning must hold a Level 3 teaching qualification alongside Level 2 Maths and English qualifications, but ideally must hold a level 5 Certificate of Education or PGCE. 

More information can be found on the HM Prison and Probate Service website

DBS checks 

To work in a prison education role in the UK, you would typically need to undergo a DBS check. This check is essential for positions that involve working with vulnerable adults or children, as it helps employers make safer recruitment decisions by identifying individuals who may be unsuitable for such roles due to prior criminal convictions or other relevant information. 

For roles within prison education, which often involve direct contact with individuals in custody, an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the barred list for working with adults would likely be required. This level of check provides a detailed background check, including any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, or warnings held on the police database. 

Additionally, specific roles within prison education may have additional requirements or checks based on the nature of the work and the population being served. It’s best to check with the employer or relevant authorities for precise details regarding DBS requirements for a particular role. 

Are you ready to pursue a career in prison education? 

A career in this field can be a really rewarding experience! If you’re interested in this line of work and would like to browse some available roles, or receive further guidance on the application process, please get in touch with the Bookmark team and we’ll be sure to help you out. 

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