The secretary of state has announced the launch of a new website that will allow schools to post their teaching vacancies for free. This will include both part-time roles and job shares, as well as full-time teaching posts.
The vacancies website will initially be launched in Cambridgeshire and the North East with a view to rolling it out nationally by the end of the year.
The new website is part of the government's plans to "clampdown on agencies charging schools 'excessive' fees to recruit staff and advertise vacancies".
While NAHT is pleased to see the Department for Education (DfE) beginning to tackle this issue, its proposals don't go as far as our call for a cap on the fees that supply agencies can charge, as there is in the NHS, although this voluntary approach is a step in the right direction for the time being.
The secretary of state also confirmed that government will launch a new nationwide deal for head teachers from September 2018 – developed with Crown Commercial Service – to provide a list of supply agencies that do not charge fees when making supply staff permanent after 12 weeks.
The preferred suppliers on the list will be required to set out clearly how much they are charging on top of the wages for staff. This will make it easier for schools to avoid being charged excessive fees and reduce the cost burden on schools of recruiting supply teachers through agencies.
In response to the announcements, NAHT has made it clear that while these new measures are sensible, they cannot hope to solve the root cause of the recruitment and financial crises facing schools. School budgets are at breaking point. Any moves to bring costs down are both welcome and essential, but it is still vital that the overall budget goes up. The Treasury must release more money for schools without further delay.
Read the full announcement from the secretary of state.
First published 05 June 2018