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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Response to trade union campaign to end use of agencies in education sector

Press releases

Today, TES reported that two trade unions in the education sector, NEU and NASUWT, are calling for an end to the use of supply agencies by schools. Instead, they suggest that supply teachers should be directly employed by schools and academies.

In response, REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry said:

“Agencies supply a service to schools and support for teachers that cannot be replicated by in-house provision. They have very robust compliance systems in place to protect children, have decades of experience placing great teachers where they are needed, and only charge for necessary costs. Suggesting that every individual school or local authority could deliver this same level of service, when they are already stretched to full capacity, is frankly ludicrous.

“We want to work with the unions to make sure their members feel properly supported by agencies. If NEU and NASUWT want to improve the situation for supply teachers, they should work with us at this difficult time – rather than engaging in empty rhetoric. This kind of campaign is damaging to schools, supply teachers and ultimately children, who will be facing slap-dash cover rather than the qualified teaching we all want.”


In addition, the REC has sent letters to the heads of both trade unions and to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson. You can read both of these letters below.

Letter to NEU and NASUWT

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Letter to Gavin Williamson on the role of supply agencies

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For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2192 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.