According to the statistics from a recent presentation by CCS (Crown Commercial Services), schools spent £1.2 billion on supply teachers in 2014-15, compared to £918 million in 2011-12. In order to control the rising cost of supply teachers, CCS is working with the Department for Education (DfE) to develop a new commercial agreement for the provision of supply teachers in the public education sector.
Needless to say, this will have a big impact on the recruitment companies that cater to the education sector. Here are the key facts regarding CCS’s agreement that C-suite executives and managers in the recruitment sector need to be aware of:
1. Purpose: According to Baljinder Kuller from SupplyRegister, “Back in the early nineties, schools could go to the local education authority and request cover from their own run pool. … This situation worked while the local authorities had £500 million of the available spend, however agencies now have three quarters of the market.” The primary purpose of CCS’s action is to rein in the rising costs of procuring teachers and ensure compliance, introduce transparency and establish a standard code of conduct for agencies.
2. Rising costs: According to the figures from DfE, the expenditure on supply teachers continues to rise, reaching £1.24 billion in 2015; 70% of that – £869 million – was paid to recruitment agencies. This rose to 77% in 2016. In addition to this, there have been instances of schools paying high amounts to recruitment agencies in the form of ‘finder’s fees’ and other associated costs.
3. Teacher shortages likely to continue: CCS says that the pressure on budgets may lead to schools hiring fewer permanent staff while many teachers prefer to work as supply teachers. Taking into account these facts, there are no indications that the demand may stabilise or decline anytime soon. According to REC: “With only four subjects managing to meet recruitment targets from the supply teacher model for 2016 to 2017, and with the number of pupils set to increase, schools will need to plan for the challenge of recruiting enough teachers.”
4. Better ROI for schools: CCS and DfE strongly feel that the schools are not getting a good deal from the recruitment companies. Local authorities do not operate supply ‘pools’ as widely as before, forcing schools to rely on recruitment agencies. In addition to this, CCS found that schools do not use effective sourcing platforms, while agencies in the market deploy a wide range of practices and charging structures. CCS wants to help schools get the best deals from agencies.
5. Trusted pool of suppliers: In order to resolve the key issues that schools face, CCS and DfE are working together to create a list of ‘trusted suppliers.’ Agencies that join this list will have to go through CCS’s tendering process and will become a part of the trusted ‘supply teachers agencies’ directory after final approval. It is expected that agencies in this list will follow a standard code of conduct and offer their services to schools at set prices. Needless to say, agencies that are able to be a part of the ‘trusted suppliers’ network have an opportunity of consolidating their position in this market.
To learn more about the topic, please check out the CCS page on Supply Teachers, which contains links to their PowerPoint presentation. If you would like to discuss these issues or associated finance & accounts and payroll provision, with our recruitment industry expert, please call Kunal Shah on 0758 4651087or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.