Interview With Education Managing Consultant Jimmy Callagher

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the experience of an education and SEND Managing Consultant for primary schools in the North West.
  • How Jimmy utilises his skills to tackle challenges in the education and SEND sector.
  • How to find and apply for the best Education and SEND jobs.

In our blog series, ‘Interview with a Recruiter,’ we catch up with recruiters at Spencer Clarke Group to gather insights into the recruitment landscape within their specialism.

This time we caught up with Jimmy Callagher, Managing Consultant of the primary education team at Spencer Clarke Group. Jimmy specialises in primary schools recruitment and recruits Teachers and Teaching Assistants across the Fylde Coast and Preston.

Having worked as a Teacher himself, Jimmy understands first hand what it’s like to work in the education sector and the challenges affecting the industry. Four years ago, Jimmy moved out of teaching and into teaching recruitment and hasn't looked back since.

Since joining Spencer Clarke Group 12 months ago, Jimmy has been helping primary schools find the perfect member of staff to support their pupils as well as finding teaching staff their dream role.

Jimmy, tell us about yourself

I am married to my beautiful wife Hannah, and together we have two amazing children (three including Mabel the Dog). My son Henry is 2 and my daughter Lily is 9 months old, and they all keep me on my toes!

I love playing golf (I’ll admit quite poorly), and just being outdoors. I also love settling down to watch a good TV series - I am always open to suggestions. I have been at Spencer Clarke Group for just over one year and I am loving every day.


How did you end up in the world of recruitment?

I originally trained as a Teacher as I come from a family of trained Teachers. I originally taught PE in secondary schools across Preston and I also worked in Sefton for a year. I loved teaching but at the time there weren't any PE jobs or enough availability to secure something permanent.

I then worked for a year in a surveying company within the construction industry. I joined an education recruitment agency and worked there for two and a half years before making the move to Spencer Clarke Group in 2023.


What does your role entail at Spencer Clarke Group?

My role mostly consists of recruiting and placing Teachers and Teaching Assistants into schools across the Fylde Coast and Preston. The other part of my job is managing the primary team. I am really fortunate to have a superb team of recruitment consultants Joseph Chanter and Jolie Moon. They both work incredibly hard placing staff across other areas of the North West.


Who do you work with?

I work with schools across the Fylde Coast, Kirkham, Warton, and Preston. I tend to liaise with either the Business Manager, Headteacher or Deputy Headteachers and we definitely see great value in these communications.

In terms of candidates, I work with Teachers and Teaching Assistants to help them find their dream role and ideally help them to secure long-term or permanent contracts. 


Can you give us an insight into how the education and SEND sector works?

The education sector is an amazing sector to work in as the people that we support do amazing work educating the next generation. The staff we place in schools work first-hand with pupils either supporting whole classes, smaller groups or working on a 1:1 basis. We specialise in finding people to support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).


What is the best thing about being a recruiter in the education sector?

The best thing about recruiting in the education sector is placing people in a rewarding career! It’s great to see candidates thrive and make a positive impact.


What are the current challenges in the education job market?

The current challenges in the education job market are issues with budgeting and retention. Many schools are facing increased staffing costs without the growth in budgets to accommodate this. 

Sadly, a lot of people are leaving work within the education sector to pursue other careers. This is a real challenge within the industry and makes it difficult to retain the best teaching staff.

How does Spencer Clarke Group help overcome these challenges?

At Spencer Clarke Group, we do what we can to offer value for money, ensuring that the staff member is paid well and therefore aren’t looking elsewhere for work. We recruit all year round so that whenever a job opportunity or vacancy arises in a school, we will have someone available to step-in.


What action or decision have you taken that you are most proud of?

Tough question, I don’t tend to feel self-proud, but I am probably the most proud when my advice and support helps one of my team to grow their business and succeed.


What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in the education and SEND sector?

Do it! The education sector is a great work environment. It can be so rewarding with great working hours, great holidays and great pay. If you are on the fence, give us a call and we can try to arrange some taster days for you. At Spencer Clarke Group, we listen to your concerns and provide the best advice and support possible.


What advice would you give to someone in education looking to move up the ladder?

Be proactive, the people who I see go up the ladder the quickest are the most proactive educators. The staff who have lesson plans for all eventualities are more prepared and likely to succeed and develop their career.

A key piece of wisdom, particularly beneficial for Early Career Teachers, is to ‘listen and take on advice’ – It is easy to think you may know best but the person offering support is likely the one to promote you so take on what they say and be humble enough to know they may currently know more than you.


What does the future hold for you at Spencer Clarke Group?

We are building something really special here at Spencer Clarke Group and I hope to be an integral part of it. I aim to build a primary education team who can support schools all over the UK.

Recruit teaching staff

As a specialist education recruitment agency, we support mainstream and SEND schools with their temporary, permanent and temp-perm staffing needs. 

We currently work with hundreds of schools and have exclusive access to some of the best Teachers and Teaching Assistants in the North West.

If you’re struggling to fill a teaching vacancy, why not get in touch with one of our team to see how we can help?

Discover more insights from Jimmy and the benefits to working through an education and teaching agency or check out our interview with senior education and SEND consultant Denni-Marie Bassett

Teaching jobs

If you’re searching for your next teaching job, why not take a look at the latest teaching vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available.

Discover our latest interviews with various teaching professionals including an early career teacher, teaching assistant and newly qualified teaching assistant.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way. 

We operate in two sectors:

Private Sector

Public Sector 

In eleven specialisms:

Accountancy & Finance

Education & SEND

Construction, Trades & Labour

Healthcare, Social Care & Nursing


Corporate Functions & Business Support

HR & Workforce Development

IT & Digital

Property & Asset Management  

Planning, Development & Regeneration 

Highways, Infrastructure & Engineering

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