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Schools under pressure over recruitment

Tom Hadley

Ninety-eight per cent of recruitment businesses typically receive less than two hours’ notice from a school in need of a teacher that same day, according to a survey of specialist recruiters by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). Three-quarters (77 per cent) of agencies say finding teachers quickly is the main reason schools use them to fill temporary placements. Contributor Tom Hadley Director of policy – REC

Schools are also under pressure to find teachers with the right skills. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of the recruitment agencies polled say the priority for schools coming to them for permanent hires is to find quality teachers with specific skills.

Teacher retention is a challenge, with statistics from the Department for Education showing that 26 per cent of teachers that started in 2013 were not in post three years later – the lowest figure since records began in 1996. The REC survey shows three quarters (76 per cent) of agencies have persuaded a candidate to remain in the teaching profession in the last year.

The survey of 50 education specialist recruitment businesses also shows: Nine in ten (92 per cent) recruitment agencies say their consultants first get in the office between 6am-8am in order to meet demand.

Three quarters (74 per cent) of recruiters are able to supply a teacher at least 90 per cent of the time, despite the short notice. The majority (84 per cent) of recruitment agencies provide CPD opportunities for teachers registered with them.

REC director of policy Tom Hadley says:

“Our members tell us that they are often under immense pressure to find high quality teachers at great speed. That is why schools rely on the vital role of recruitment agencies to bring in fully vetted, qualified teaching staff at short notice.

“When a teacher can’t be in the classroom for any reason, pupils can’t just be passed off to existing teachers or teaching assistants in the place of a fully qualified teacher– they need dedicated resource. We all understand the cost pressures on schools but these costs must be put in context and weighed against the cost of employing more permanent staff or having in house recruitment banks replicate the work of specialised agencies in sourcing, and placing suitably skilled substitute teachers”.

“Ensuring that the right calibre of teacher is in place isn’t something that can be compromised which is why majority of them use specialist agencies for advice and support.”

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