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Northern Education Trust streamlines temporary staff recruitment process and makes significant savings

In this case study we explain how a multi-academy trust improved the recruitment of temporary staff and made significant cost savings by working with a managed service provider.

Northern Education Trust is a multi-academy trust with 21 academies across the North East, Yorkshire and North West. 

They were using more than 50 different agencies across their 21 sites to recruit temporary staff. As Katie Spraggon, Procurement and Contracts Manager at Northern Education Trust explained:

The trust identified its agency and supply costs as an area with many inconsistencies, and where savings could be made. We were using a number of different companies that offered variable rates to both the candidate and the trust, without the required transparency in the academy sector.

Katie wanted to reduce the number of suppliers they were using to achieve cost and time savings, as well as ensure compliance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015. She also wanted to see if technology could help them improve the recruitment process and give them access to detailed management information on their agency spend. 

The benefits of a managed service provider

Katie realised that the managed service option of the CCS Supply Teachers and Temporary Staff in Educational Establishments framework could help the trust achieve their goals. Through the framework the trust appointed Affinity Workforce Solutions (AWS).

To ensure that the trust’s aims could be achieved there was a 3 month implementation period. The service was then launched to the 21 academies in January 2020. 

During this time, AWS and the trust worked together to proactively engage with internal stakeholders, so that each academy understood how the new managed service would work and the benefits it would bring. This helped lay the foundations for success. 

The time was also used to develop the supply chain. Existing suppliers that were important to the trust were invited to join. This meant academies could continue to use suppliers they had an existing relationship with, but with the added peace of mind that workers would be supplied at pre-agreed rates.

Consistent and transparent rates

AWS created a rate card specifically for the trust, setting out the pre-agreed pay rates. This ensured consistency and transparency across all agencies in the supply chain. 

Working closely with the trust, AWS also developed an online booking and invoicing system. All hiring managers were trained to use the system. The system means the trust’s hiring managers:

  • can book temporary workers and see their bookings filled in real time by the AWS account management team or partners within the supply chain
  • no longer need to make multiple phone calls to numerous agencies to fill a single vacancy, as the system automatically cascades vacancies to the supply chain
  • have access to an end to end online solution where bookings can be made, timesheets checked and approved, and invoices created and viewed 

The system can also be set up so users can view bookings and data for their individual site, multiple sites or clusters of academies.

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