Department for Education
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New online recruitment service could save schools £30m a year

Faster, more efficient and easier for schools to find permanent staff in England


A new online recruitment website could reduce the national cost of advertising for school teacher and support staff posts by almost two-thirds, Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said yesterday.


52 local authorities, representing over 8,000 schools, and 32 academies have already signed up to the new Schools Recruitment Service that was launched yesterday – offering schools a faster, more efficient and standardised application system to recruit all permanent leadership, teaching, and support staff.


It aims to save up to £30 million annually if all schools in England sign up – with huge savings in time; administration; and the cost of re-advertising posts in national and local media because recruits are better matched to jobs.


Currently it is estimated that schools spend at least £46.7 million annually on advertising and filling 100,000 teaching vacancies and a further 50,000 non-teaching positions such as administrative staff and school catering staff in England.


At the moment there is no uniform approach to filling vacancies – with different schools and local authorities having different application forms and processes which slow down the recruitment process and increase costs.


The Service is launched today in Hurlingham and Chelsea Secondary School in Hammersmith and Fulham – one of the first areas in England to adopt it. Ministers eventually want all local authorities to choose to sign up.


Schools Minister Vernon Coaker said:


“This is a watershed in how schools recruit staff. Too often recruiting staff takes up far too much time and is a costly, long-winded process. This harnesses innovative online technology to make it a painless, speedy and more cost efficient exercise. Recruitment is not rocket science – it is about matching jobseekers, with the right skills, to the right jobs. This will give schools everything they need to do the job.”


The system uses the latest applicant tracking technology to save schools time and money on their administrative processes. It allows schools and local authorities to upload their job vacancies, whilst candidates can create a personal account to apply for jobs online.


Through a single screen, a local authority will be able to view a summary of all recruitment activity of their schools to give them an provide information to the local authority about the recruitment taking place in their area and may help identify skill shortages and other recruitment patterns.


Candidates can submit their job preferences for potential vacancies and receive job alerts for relevant roles that match their criteria – building up a ‘talent pool’, where schools and local authorities can choose to contact suitable candidates directly and invite them to apply for a position.


This will better match candidates and cut down the costs of advertising and re-advertising posts, whilst giving schools a greater understanding of the market and which media source is attracting the most candidates.


Schools or local authorities that do choose to advertise externally will have access to discounted advertising rates with key media through the Schools Recruitment Service. The Service also provides media information to help them evaluate the success of their campaigns to better target future advertising.


Local authorities and schools are now being trained to use the systems over the autumn – and ministers expect that it will build momentum rapidly in building up vacancies and recruits over the coming weeks.


Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) said:


“The TDA is pleased to support the Schools Recruitment Service, which will provide the kind of modern, customised online application service that schools and prospective teachers expect. The Service complements the support that the TDA provides to those who choose teaching as a career, and the help with induction and professional development that we offer during their subsequent careers as teachers.”


Steve Munby, National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services said:


"The Schools Recruitment Service will be an important service for schools and local authorities, helping them to recruit the very best leaders. It will also benefit individuals seeking new leadership positions by helping them to flexibly manage their applications to get the very best outcome."


Councillor Sarah Gore, Hammersmith & Fulham Council's Acting Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said:


"This new way to recruit staff will deliver efficiency gains and will save time. It will allow our teachers to focus on the most important aspect of their work, namely providing a first-class education for pupils and students in schools across the borough."


Editor's Notes
This press notice relates to 'England'

1. The Schools Recruitment service is launched at:


2. The School Recruitment Service's benefits are:


• The opportunity to streamline the application and administrative process leading to time savings for those school staff involved in recruitment
• The opportunity to standardise transferable job descriptions leading to time savings when preparing vacancies to advertise
• Intelligence around candidate behaviour and attraction leading to better targeting of individuals or groups (talent pooling) and reduction in advertising spend
• Improved candidate experience leading to higher number of completed applications
• Better matching of candidates to jobs leading to less need to re-advertise posts
• Intelligence on effective media routes leading to better targeted advertising spend
• Cash savings on paper, postage and printing
• Maintain links with other data gathering initiatives leading to a clearer departmental view of the school workforce
• Use of data from previous recruitment campaigns leading to possible reduction in amount of money spent on media advertising
• Improved reputation of recruitment in education sector leading to a positive effect on people moving into education or considering it as a career, to be measured by candidate feedback.


3. The Service covers all leadership, teaching and support posts within schools (excluding supply staff). These include jobs such as headteachers, deputy heads, business managers, teachers, classroom assistants, learning mentors, librarians, technicians, secretaries, receptionists, administrators, caretakers, cleaners, catering staff, lunchbreak supervisors, extended schools co-ordinators, school chaplains and school counsellors.


4. The cost of using the Service for individual schools is based on headcount - we expect a typical secondary school would expect to pay around £250 per year to use the Service.


5. Tribal Group Plc was appointed the contractor to administer the Service in May 2009 following a European-wide competitive tendering exercise. Tribal Group offers a range of consulting, support and delivery services focused on improving the delivery of public services. They work in partnership with a wide range of organisations across the public sector, including schools, colleges and universities; the NHS and primary care trusts; local authorities and housing associations; central government departments and government agencies; and third sector organisations. They also operate internationally and have worked in over 60 countries in the last five years.


6. The Service has been developed in consultation with local authorities and schools throughout England that have been involved for the duration of the project. The Department and Tribal have run joint sessions where participants from schools and local authorities helped to shape the Schools Recruitment Service to meet the needs of the wider educational sector before it went live on 21 September.


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