One former head teacher’s struggle to secure classroom-ready staff for his school has led to the launch of Moxi, a specialist education recruitment and training company, which is set to revolutionise the way the sector sources talent. 

Moxi offers a nationwide service to fill schools’ recruitment needs at all levels, from support staff and teaching assistants to classroom teachers and senior management leadership professionals. It also specialises in supplying qualified professionals to support special educational needs. 


Founder, James Lowe has over 16 years’ experience in the education sector. Having been headteacher at specialist independent school EdStart for 9 years, James now owns and runs EdStart, whilst also sitting at the helm of Grolife, a group of organisations all designed to support the education sector.

With EdStart schools spanning five sites across Greater Manchester recruiting quality teams was proving harder and harder.  Frustration and disillusionment with both the process and the quality of candidates finally prompted James to launch Moxi, bringing his hard-earned expertise to shake up education recruitment.

Moxi matches schools with candidates who are well trained and primed to hit the ground running in a range of education settings, so they are ready to serve the varying needs of pupils.  Like James, the whole Moxi team has worked at the coalface of education, meaning they understand the sector’s unique challenges.

James said: ‘’Over the years in my various management roles in schools, I’ve faced the situation of either having no support when short staffed or accepting support that is very much below par. This isn’t fair on the pupils, whose education suffers, or the existing staff who are already working incredibly hard to ensure every child receives the education and pastoral care they deserve. I’m passionate about helping schools to source the teams they need so they that they can continue to do the great job they do despite the challenges they face.”

For schools struggling to recruit, the latest Department for Education (DfE) figures will come as no surprise: there has been an 8 per cent fall in the number of people entering initial teacher training.  What’s more, only 82 per cent of secondary teachers needed for England in the 2021 -2022 academic year have been recruited.**

Moxi’s answer is to harness, and – importantly – train, talent from both inside and outside of the sector. As part of its recruitment service, Moxi offers a unique training provision which benefits schools seeking high-quality candidates as well as people looking for a role in the education sector who are keen to build their employability skills and boost their confidence. 

James said: ‘’We called the business Moxi, taking inspiration from the word ‘moxie’ which means confidence and determination. From my years at the frontline in schools, I know that skills can be taught, but natural energy and attitude are everything. That’s why we’re excited to help unlock the potential of people from outside the sector, or those just starting out in their career, who can bring invaluable transferable skills to a rewarding profession.

‘’From recent graduates who hadn’t considered teaching as a career option, to people returning to work after a career break, and even former professional sports people, there’s a wealth of talent just waiting to be accessed. We’re seeing lots of students, who are about to graduate in subjects like geography, sports science or sociology.  They’re not sure what to do with their degrees, and you can see that lightbulb moment when they realise teaching could be for them.  Our training course opens this door, it’s free to candidates and sets them up to feel confident and ready for an exciting new challenge.’’  UNIQUE TRAINING FOR CLASSROOM-READY CANDIDATES

Thanks to its close partnership with EdStart specialist schools, Moxi offers the unique opportunity for candidates to be trained at its own education facilities.  With a range of training available, its free, entry level course is already proving popular. Knowing that job seekers need flexibility to fit around their current work, study or job-hunting commitments, the course quickly readies them for success.  Totalling two weeks’ training, this very flexible course includes three days’ face-to-face learning in the ‘live’ EdStart educational setting, guided by a learning mentor. This is followed by online training, with modules that can be completed to fit around the candidate’s own timetable. From managing behaviours to working with additional needs, the training offers candidates a real competitive edge.

Further courses available through Moxi include teacher training with affiliated universities, the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’ and to access part and fully funded training.


Stuart Howarth, 31 years old, enjoyed a successful career in rugby, playing in the Super League over 100 times, including for his hometown team Wigan Warriors. Ready for a change in direction, he has now built a rewarding career as a teacher at EdStart. He said: 

“Moving into EdStart gave me all the training and support I could have wished for in pivoting my career. It meant the world to me that the team recognised the value in my transferable skills as a sportsman.  Through the launch of Moxi, the team behind EdStart is now able to open doors for many more people, supporting them through the next steps in their career.  This will make a huge difference to lots of people’s professional woes. I, for one, am grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for science and make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable students.’’


James added: ‘’You can spot a Moxi candidate a mile off.  They’re calm, confident and classroom ready. They’re professional, well presented and fully prepared. It’s a win-win formula: schools can feel confident they’ll get the resource they need with Moxi supporting their recruitment, pupils are given the education and care they deserve, and candidates have a positive experience in education, helping attract and retain much-needed talent in the sector.’’ 

Talent is across all the UK, but actual job opportunities are still far and few between, especially for those in poorer areas

Joe Crossley, CEO of Qube Learning, a national training and recruitment solutions provider, works to increase the employment prospects for those furthest down the socioeconomic ladder, and who may traditionally fall through the cracks of the UK’s employment and education system. He says: “As upward social mobility appears harder than ever for many members of society, we are unfortunately still seeing the quality of an individual’s education vary depending on the social class that they are born into. More often than not, the higher the family income, the better the educational opportunities.”

As a country who prides itself on diversity, our geographical equality remains biased, and education and professional poverty is a daily reality for many people. Although the space between the classes is vast, an increasing number of organisations are beginning to seek out the wide and diverse range of talents on offer from every sector within society. However, this is still not enough, as unemployment rates in some localities remains high and sees several demographic groups unable to secure work.


Joe continues: “With two educational Kick Start Centres in Bradford and Bolton, we have seen first-hand what professional deficiency looks like. We work closely with residents to help them gain basic skills, training them and then placing them in an occupation of interest. For academic year 2019/2020, we saw 116 people embark on Traineeships with 80% of those achieving, and for the 2020/21 academic year we enrolled 196 Trainees with 90% completing. We intend to keep growing this provision year on year, with the aim being to see many more people find a viable path to a safe and secure future. We see the desire for people to survive and care for themselves and their families; these are talented individuals who have often gone unseen or are stuck in habitual employment cycles in sectors not for them. We hope to inspire change with our hands-on approach and programmes like Traineeships, which provide a comprehensive package of employability support.


A core objective of the government’s recent Levelling Up White Paper report is to release the potential of every person and region within the UK, which closely aligns with our own company ethos. The report muses that through successful programmes like Apprenticeships and Traineeships, there is a real chance to improve the social mobility of poorer areas – predicted skills increase, economic boost, improved transport, and more factors, will see regional locations transformed into cultural hubs and drive up the number of professional vacancies.


According to the report, by 2030 the number of people successfully completing high quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high quality skills training annually, bolstered by a further 80,000 people annually completing courses in the lowest skilled areas. As a provider who aims to see fairer recruitment and skills development options available to everyone, this prediction is music to our ears. It’s an encouraging paper to read with a lot of promise and we remain optimistic that the government’s wheels are now in motion, escalating a rapid movement of equality across industries and education.


I see people from all corners of the UK overcoming challenges and reaping their rewards; we want all demographics to succeed and that should be the outlook for all those who play a part in recruiting. Many businesses are missing out on a huge pool of talent by sticking to their conventional social class when recruiting. No matter where in the country, it’s about developing all talents, and looking at vocational and creative skills rather than just academic status.”

Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) recruitment and training solutions provider, that works with hundreds of Employers across the country, delivering a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of Students. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship or Traineeship can bring, then speak with our experts at Qube Learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities a Traineeship or Apprenticeship bring, speak with the experts at Qube Learning. Email: Telephone:  01235 833838. Website:

Education vacancies hit two-year high while applications tumble



Education vacancies hit a two-year high at the end of last year, while application numbers fell. That’s according to recent research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).


The data, provided by the world’s largest network of job boards, Broadbean Technology, revealed that the number of education vacancies posted in the UK hit a two year high in the final quarter of 2021 as the sector continues to face a skills shortage following a difficult two years. Greater London recorded by far the highest number of jobs (55,000+), followed by the West Midlands (almost 8,000) and Greater Manchester in third (just over 7,000). West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire both featured in the top ten for vacancy numbers.


According to the statistics, while job numbers rose, the number of applications per vacancy steadily declined throughout the year. Perth and Kinross reported the highest number of average applications per vacancy, closely followed by Middlesbrough and Antrim in third. Renfrewshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh made it a Scotland treble in the top ten.


Despite the decline in application numbers across the education sector, there was a marked fall of around 10% in the average permanent salary for teaching professionals from July 2021 onwards, perhaps linked to the pay freeze of 2021.


Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented:


“The challenges for education institutions and those staffing firms that support the sector are significant. The pandemic has hit teaching professionals hard and many have simply exited the profession through a combination of health concerns, stress and the initial impact of vaccine requirements in schools. Add to this the lack of financial incentives that can be used to attract professionals in the sector and it’s no wonder that schools, colleges and academies are all struggling to recruit.”


“While we’ve seen government marketing campaigns to encourage more people into teaching, there’s a more immediate need to address this dearth of resources. APSCo has highlighted a number of methods to help alleviate the skills shortages in the UK, which includes greater flexibility in Apprenticeship Levy usage to support the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda, as well as the introduction of a work visa for self-employed highly skilled contractors.”