New recruitment measures look to save academies millions per year

The Department for Education has launched two new measures aimed at tackling the growing teacher recruitment crisis within the UK.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced this week that he will launch a clampdown on agencies charging schools “excessive” fees to recruit staff and advertise vacancies.

He has also announced a free website to advertise vacancies for free.

Schools and academies across the UK are burdened with additional costs as they try to fill teaching gaps with supply staff. This is often an expensive process, with schools paying out agency fees in a bid to support their students.

Other agencies charge schools costly finder’s fees if a head teacher decides he or she wants to give a supply staff worker a permanent role.

The free website will also go some way in streamlining recruitment costs for academies, as official figures show that schools currently spend up to £75 million a year advertising vacancies.

Among other measures, the DfE will also provide a list of supply agencies that do not charge fees when making supply staff permanent after 12 weeks.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Great schools are made by great teachers, so I want to reduce teacher workload to make it a more fulfilling profession and help schools bear down on costs so they can invest more on their frontline.

“Every pound that’s spent on excessive agency fees, or on advertising jobs, is a pound that I want to help schools spend on what really matters: making sure every child, whatever their background, is inspired to learn and to reach their potential.

“We have the most talented generation of teachers yet, and there are record numbers working in our schools. These measures will help us to build on this, making it easier for headteachers to recruit the staff they need and ensuring teaching continues to be an attractive, rewarding profession.”

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