Going the extra mile for self-employed members in education and children’s services

Jayne Clark · 20 July 2021

Prospect’s Jayne Clark gives an update on what the union has recently done, and how we hope to do even more in the future, for its self-employed members in Education and Children’s Services.

The Education and Children’s Services Group of Prospect has always welcomed and supported self-employed members in the field, providing independent, impartial advice on issues such as discrimination, tax and ensuring self-employed members are treated fairly by temporary employers.

Our long-standing support for self-employed members includes negotiated deals on insurance and other financial products provided through carefully chosen partners, as well as a number of high-quality, low-cost courses, including the ever popular “Beyond Redundancy – Thinking of Becoming and Independent Consultant” programme.

In early 2021 a digital marketing campaign aimed specifically at self-employed professionals has led to a growth in the numbers of self-employed members now represented by Prospect and we are now looking at ways to extend and improve the support available.

Prospect recently published member guidance booklets on “Tax for freelancers” and “Small Claims”, both of which can be found on our website. In addition, Prospect self-employed members can get assistance with payment chasing via our Member Contact Centre.

‘Bitesize’ training

A programme of free “Bitesize” digital training events has recently been established covering topics including:

  • Setting up as an independent contractor
  • Building a website
  • How to use social media for marketing.

Members can find out more about the full range of events and register to attend here, while recordings of past events are also available.

Remote working webinars

Specifically, in the Education and Children’s Services Group we are aware of the isolation felt by many members resulting from the Covid-19 restrictions and the increased move to home-working.

In response to this we have decided to arrange a series of termly webinar and networking events for members to meet up virtually and discuss developments and concerns in the field.

The first of these events was held on 23 June, with discussion around the question “What are the biggest challenges for education professionals?”

Members from a range of employed and self-employed settings provided feedback that the session had been useful and informative stating that:

“Prospect is bespoke for education consultants…”

“Fills a niche that other education unions can’t.”

The next event will be held in the Autumn term and further details will be published in due course.

We hope you have found these developments useful and would love to hear from you to assist our thinking as we further develop our support for self-employed members.

If you have any comments on the current provision of support and training for self-employed members, or on any additional services or courses you would value, please contact [email protected]

Education and children's services

Prospect represents nearly 3,000 professionals in education, children's services, early years, commissioning and children's social care.