Interview With Senior Education Consultant Denni-Marie Bassett

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • About the experience of a senior consultant in the education and SEND sector.
  • How to find and apply for the best Education and SEND jobs.

In our feature blog series, ‘Interview with a Recruiter’ we get up to date with recruiters at Spencer Clarke Group to uncover expert advice and insights to build your career and for successful hiring across the specialisms we operate in.

We recently spoke to Senior Consultant Denni-Marie Bassett who specialises in recruiting for secondary schools in the North West.

Since launching the secondary school recruitment desk, Denni has grown from strength to strength and was recently promoted to Senior Consultant. In this interview, Denni shares the importance of building relationships with clients to ensure the smoothest recruitment experience.

Denni, tell us about yourself

I joined Spencer Clarke Group in August 2023 to start the secondary school desk. I come from a heavily sales-focused background and knew I was ready for a new challenge. 

I started my first role in recruitment shortly after leaving high school and instantly loved it. 

I’m a full-time dog mum too! When I’m not at work you’ll find me at the beach or park!

How did you end up in the world of recruitment?

I left college after completing a Health and Social course but I was unsure on where to go or what to do next. I started a Business Administration apprenticeship and from that, I fell into my first recruitment role on an industrial desk.

I relocated a few years ago during Covid which left me limited to the best job opportunities. I secured a sales based job but I knew that my heart was still in the recruitment world.

What does your role entail at Spencer Clarke Group?

I started up the secondary desk providing education recruitment services across Lancashire. My desk started heavily focused around Blackpool but with great success, I’ve now branched out to East Lancashire too! I recruit anything from Teaching Assistants to senior teaching roles!

Who do you work with?

On the desk currently, we have myself and Liam Jones! Liam joined us in December 2023 and because he is a qualified Teacher he has made a really great impact on the secondary desk! Liam recruits for secondary schools across Preston, Lancaster and Southport.

We both receive great support from our manager Jamie Heath. Jamie has been in the industry a long time and has some great long standing relationships and experience. This definitely helped kickstart the secondary desk from the very beginning and set us on our path for success.

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

We have a few teams in the education division including SEND, Primary, Secondary and School Facilities. Education recruitment is a fast paced, challenging industry to be in and it is fast becoming one of the most popular sectors.

We’re quite a flexible team in terms of staff which means if the SEND team has a great candidate that would fit well on our desk we have the ability to share these candidates.

This is helpful as it means we’re never out of options for work! 

We offer a wide range of different benefits to candidates for working via Spencer Clarke Group including plenty of training opportunities e.g. Team Teach, Teaching Assistant courses, Cover Supervisor training and more.

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

It's really hard to pick one! I’ve always really enjoyed competition and the competitive nature of being a recruiter. As we know, there’s a huge shortage of Teachers so when you do find a good Teacher, the rush to find them work before anyone else definitely gets your adrenaline going!

The main thing I do enjoy is the onboarding process of getting to know candidates. We have quite a strict process in terms of the clearance of candidates which provides us with the perfect opportunity to get to know them properly as well as build great relationships. 

What are the current challenges in the education job market?

I’d definitely say the shortage of Teachers! There’s been a shortage of Teachers for a while now with great talks of them leaving the industry altogether. There are many reasons Teachers are considering leaving the profession such as there being too much pressure and expectations to take on extra responsibilities.

How does Spencer Clarke Group help overcome these challenges?

There are so many benefits to working through an education and teaching agency. At Spencer Clarke Group, we take steps to catch the new Early Career Teachers before anyone else! Our team has great contacts across the industry which gives us exclusive access to Early Career Teachers. We also attend career days to get ahead of the game!

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

Honestly, joining Jamie and the team here at Spencer Clarke Group! I had a huge decision in August, to stay comfortable where I was or take a huge career step and join Spencer Clarke Group. I knew it was the right time, and that it was the right decision for me!

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their teaching career? How can they gain valuable experience?

The best advice is, if you want to get into teaching but don’t know where to start, contact us! We can support you as a Teaching Assistant or a Cover Supervisor before going through your teaching qualifications. It’ll give you a great insight on the day to day of the role, the responsibilities and whether the demands are something you can handle.

Gaining experience can be great in a number of ways for gaining behaviour management experience and teaching techniques too!

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

Do it! If you’re at the stage where you’re considering it, it may be time to do it! You can seek advice from us on where you want to go and how we can best support you getting there. There’s great progression opportunities in schools so why settle?

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

The education division has huge potential! I’d love to expand our support to cover more areas in the secondary division which of course would mean expanding our team! Liam and I have made a great start on this desk and we’re so excited to see where it can go with the right people!

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?

If you liked this interview why not check out our interview with Management Consultant and education SEND recruitment specialist Jamie Heath for even more expert insights.

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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