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How are schools dealing with teacher shortages?
How are schools dealing with teacher shortages?
News 16th Jul 2015

Last week the Education Business Awards gave the sector a platform to showcase examples of good recruitment practice. We took the opportunity to promote the work of REC Education and the REC Audited Education quality mark.


With new government figures revealing that teacher vacancies have leapt by a third in a year, developing effective resourcing and recruitment strategies is an absolute priority in the education sector.  

Feedback from school representatives at the ceremony included positive recognition for the role that supply teacher agencies play in providing schools with qualified and effectively vetted teachers, often at very short notice. The key is to ensure that the highest standards in safe and ethical recruitment are being met, which is where the REC Audited Education tool is providing a recognisable quality mark for schools.

The REC sponsored the School Recruitment Award as part of the high-profile ceremony. The award recognises educational establishments which have invested in their recruitment methods and processes to ensure a timely intake of teaching and support staff.

And the winner is…

Elmfield Rudolph Steiner School in the West Midlands. And well deserved it was too.

The school was hit hard by the recession but has gone through a radical transformation including the restructuring of key departments and a series of new roles being created. The school has overcome some major recruitment challenges to achieve impressive results. Applications for school places increased by 60 per cent within a year, with more applications being received in the first ten weeks of this year than in the whole of 2011/12. Staff turnover has halved and the vacancy rate has been cut by two thirds. By September 2015, pupil numbers will reach 265 – an increase of 23 per cent.

Other nominees for the award included:

  • The ‘Educate Norfolk’ campaign which aims to improve Norfolk’s reputation for education through a widespread strategy spearheaded by primary and secondary heads’ associations. Specific goals are to attract more trainee teachers, focus on retention and encourage ex-teachers to return to the profession. The campaign also seeks to attract recruits from other countries, which recently resulted in over 200 Irish graduates expressing an interest following a recruitment fair at the University of Limerick.
  • The ‘School Governor Initiative’ which is aiming to increase the number of university staff acting as school governors. Following a hugely successful partnership with The University of Manchester, the organisation’s governor network has grown from 50 to over 250 school governor volunteers. This collaboration has ensured that local schools have access to skilled governors – ultimately driving up school standards. 

The winner and nominees of this award are great examples of how good recruitment can deliver tangible results. As part of our Good Recruitment Campaign, we’re looking forward to reaching out to more schools to help them improve the ways they bring in and retain talent, resulting in enhanced reputation and ultimately a better education for UK school children.

See the full list of Education Business Award winners here.  

Tom Hadley
Tom Hadley - Director of Policy & Professional Services

Tom Hadley is Director of Policy and Professional Services at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). His role focuses on lobbying key Government and EU officials on a range of labour market issues and highlighting REC initiatives to promote industry standards, including enforcement of a Code of Professional Practice, audit schemes and the Diversity Pledge. Previous roles include six years at the CBI, working at recruitment and economic development consultancy MBA Training Research & Development, a traineeship within the European Commission and working for the in-house legal department of the French multi-national Vivendi.

View More articles by Tom Hadley >

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