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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Education

Sector groups bring together recruiters with a common interest to lobby, champion best practice, and share knowledge.


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Get the latest information affecting recruiters for early years staff and meet other REC members in this sector.

We fight your corner and champion the positive impact you have on the economy, business and people's lives. Together, we're upholding standards and compliance across the childcare sector. Our key campaigns in childcare are:

  • Procurement – the CCS and NPS Supply Teacher frameworks
  • Immigration and candidate shortages
  • DBS checks
  • Pay of teaching assistants and other support staff
  • Temp to Perm fees
  • The role of umbrellas
  • Competition from online apps

Benefits of joining:

  • Stay informed on the latest issues affecting the sector
  • Prepare for legislation changes
  • Stay up to date on procurement frameworks
  • Guidance for supply teachers
  • Advice to help you develop your business

Supply Teacher 'call to arms' toolkit

7th January 2022

As part of the DfE’s campaign to encourage supply teachers back into schools they have produced a toolkit to assist suppliers and agencies. This toolkit contains digital assets that you can use across your communications channels to help promote the government’s call to action on supply teaching. These include digital banners in different formats for use on your website or emails and images for social media activity. All use the DfE’s Get Into Teaching branding.

The DfE have also included a downloadable version of their FAQs that you can both publish or share with potential sign ups to help them understand the process.

If you have any feedback on the toolkit, please let us know so we can pass relevant feedback on to the DfE.

The Department for Education's call for retired teachers to return to schools to help with staffing shortages

23rd December 2021

The REC has received the below message from the DfE:

You’ll be that aware the Education Minister has called for ex-teachers to return to the classroom to support schools and colleges to manage staff absence in the New Year. We’d like to thank you for the valuable role you are playing in enabling ex-teachers to be ready to join the temporary workforce from January. We wanted to share the updates below, and hope you find this useful. We will continue to provide updates over the coming weeks.

FAQs

Please find a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document here.

Safeguarding protocols

DBS checks, along with other pre-employment checks are important safeguarding measures. Currently, 80% of Enhanced DBS checks are issued within the 14-day service target and over 30% are issued within 1 day. The Department for Education will continue to engage with the Disclosure and Barring service to monitor timescales to ensure they can react as appropriate to any spikes in demand.

Case Studies

We plan to evolve our marketing campaign as we move into the new year. To this end, we’d be grateful if you could nominate ex-teachers that have returned to the profession (as a result of this campaign) who would be happy to feature in case studies. We believe that the ‘teachers voice’ could be particularly compelling, and we’re keen to harness that moving forwards.

CPD for supply teachers

 We wanted to make you aware of the resources available through Oak National Academy that might support the recruitment and then effectiveness of colleagues who might return to the classroom in the coming weeks. Please also feel free to pass this onto existing supply teachers.

Oak National Academy has over 40,000 free and easy to access lessons and resources for 4-16 year olds across a wide range of subjects. All of the lessons have been created by teachers for teachers and cover just about everything a supply teacher might be asked to cover. Oak’s own data shows that over 40% of teachers already use Oak National Academy to support them with cover lessons. We hope that these resources will be able to make a contribution in situations including where:

  • A potential new recruit does have the time to cover lessons but may be worried about the additional time required to plan and resource lessons from scratch. 
  • A potential new recruit might be confident in their subject but worried about covering lessons beyond their subject specialism. 
  • A potential new recruit might feel ‘rusty’ and want support with them, particularly during those first few lessons. 

Please find a document attached with more information on how to use Oak. If supply teachers need any further support Oak National Academy will be hosting a dedicated webinar in the New Year. Please sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear when these webinars are live. In the meantime supply teachers can take at a look at the planning page on our website and our help and support centre.

The impact of this campaign

The Department is very keen to understand the impact of campaigns such as this one. We would be grateful if you could record the number of ex-teachers that indicate that their decision to return to the classroom was related to this drive. We will be in touch early in January with further details about this.

 

22nd December 2021

The REC has been liaising with the Department for Education (DfE) since this call to action was announced. We have set the out issues that supply agencies will face when it comes to meeting their statutory obligations (particularly in relation to obtaining suitable references, DBS checks and delays with processing certificates) and framework requirements for CCS suppliers. 

DfE have confirmed that they are currently preparing guidance for agencies on all of the issues raised. We will update members as soon as this guidance has been released.

In the meantime and on the point of DBS checking, they have confirmed the following to REC:

DfE has had reassurance from the DBS that there are currently no delays and checks are taking up to 14 days, often quicker, where there is no criminal information disclosed.

We have confirmed with the DBS that the e-bulk result gives one of the following messages:

•           The check is clear

•           Await sight of the paper certificate

The requirement placed on schools and colleges is that they obtain written notification that the relevant checks, which includes the DBS check have been carried out and if there is any criminal disclosure information this is notified to the school.

So, in cases where the first ‘clear’ result is given then it is safe to proceed with placement of the individual based on that information.

Update for the Education Sector/REC Audited Education audit holders - Joint Employment Models

2nd December 2021

It’s almost two years since the emergence of COVID 19, and the two year anniversary of Brexit is also getting close. These have been tough times for recruiters and the education sector has shown real resilience in supporting schools, supplying staff through this very challenging period.

In managing challenges, we know that recruiters are adept at responding to the changes to the market, to legislation, safeguarding requirements etc. in what is often a fast paced sector.  As ever, the REC is here to provide support and guidance to REC members and to help with questions and advice on not only running a compliant recruitment business but also about driving high standards.

REC Audited and REC Audited Education are important tools for REC members, providing a health check and assessment that confirms not only that minimum standards are being met, but also best practice policies and procedures are in place. Recently, we’ve become aware of a different type of supply model which is likely to pose difficulties for Audit holders and also agencies who are suppliers on the CCS Supply Teacher Framework.  For agencies that supply into sectors other than education, there could also be an impact on other frameworks.

Joint employment

Under this type of supply model, the recruiter enters into an agreement with another party and between them they provide a joint employment contract to workers and who are supplied to the recruiter’s clients.

REC Audited and REC Audited Education

The REC audit can only be awarded to the Audit applicant and the award will only be made if the applicant can demonstrate that they fulfill all of the REC Audited audit criteria. The audit includes an assessment of contracts and policies and other documents and also an onsite visit, including interviews of staff and file sampling.

Having assessed this joint employment arrangement, we have concluded that as we can only award the audit where the full audit of the business providing the recruitment services has been carried out, we are unable to award an audit to existing audit holders seeking renewal or new applicants where they are providing recruitment services in conjunction with another business which has not been audited.  It is important that the integrity of the audit is upheld and that it is only awarded where we can evidence that the recruitment services are being delivered in line with the audit criteria – this is of the upmost importance to end user clients , audit holders and others who rely on the Audited badge.

CCS Supply Teacher Framework

Many REC Audited Education audit holders are also suppliers on the CCS Supply Teacher framework. As an Accredited Body for the framework, we have raised this matter with CCS and they have advised that a joint employment model, is not within the scope of the Supply Teacher Framework.

As all suppliers will have had to demonstrate that they met the required specifications to be awarded a place on the framework initially. It is therefore vital that suppliers take advice regarding any changes to their supply models to ensure that they continue to meet the framework terms for supply.

Employment Agency Standards inspectorate

The REC works closely with Employment Agency Standards inspectorate (EAS) which is part of the government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the body that is responsible for enforcing the relevant recruitment industry legislation.

We have raised this issue with them and can confirm that EAS is currently reviewing the model in light of specific provisions in the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. As soon as we have any further information, we will provide an update. 

Support for REC members

If you have any questions about joint employment or the REC Audit, please do get in touch with the REC and we can provide guidance and support to ensure that you remain compliant.

Joint employment queries: legal.services@rec.uk.com

Audit queries: compliance@rec.uk.com


Update for REC Audited Education/CCS suppliers

17 September 2021

Following the Home Office decision to retain virtual right to work checks until April 2022, the REC would like to clarify the position for REC Audited Education holders and CCS suppliers in terms of interviewing and seeing original documents.  Please note that this update replaces all previous updates around this issue.

  • Both REC Audited Education holders and CCS suppliers must carry out face to face interviews but this can be done either virtually or in person
  • CCS have confirmed that, in light of the Home Office decision to extend the ability to carry out right to work checks virtually until 5 April 2022, other worker documentation can also continue to be checked virtually until this time.  CCS confirmed this by way of an update to all suppliers on 17 September 2021
  • This is an interim relaxation to the framework terms and CCS reserve the right to review this approach earlier than 5 April 2022 should they receive any new government guidance or any information that impacts safeguarding
  • If you hold REC Audited Education (and are not on the CCS framework), REC can confirm that the same position applies and worker documentation can continue to be checked virtually until further notice by REC
  • REC is keen to pursue virtual checks as the way forward and is pleased with this outcome for both REC Audited Education holders and CCS suppliers.  We will continue to push to make this a permanent change

Update for REC Audited Education/CCS suppliers

It’s almost two years since the emergence of COVID 19, and the two year anniversary of Brexit is also getting close. These have been tough times for recruiters and the education sector has shown real resilience in supporting schools, supplying staff through this very challenging period.

In managing challenges, we know that recruiters are adept at responding to the changes to the market, to legislation, safeguarding requirements etc. in what is often a fast paced sector.  As ever, the REC is here to provide support and guidance to REC members and to help with questions and advice on not only running a compliant recruitment business but also about driving high standards.

REC Audited and REC Audited Education are important tools for REC members, providing a health check and assessment that confirms not only that minimum standards are being met, but also best practice policies and procedures are in place. Recently, we’ve become aware of a different type of supply model which is likely to pose difficulties for Audit holders and also agencies who are suppliers on the CCS Supply Teacher Framework.  For agencies that supply into sectors other than education, there could also be an impact on other frameworks.

Joint employment

Under this type of supply model, the recruiter enters into an agreement with another party and between them they provide a joint employment contract to workers and who are supplied to the recruiter’s clients.

REC Audited and REC Audited Education

The REC audit can only be awarded to the Audit applicant and the award will only be made if the applicant can demonstrate that they fulfill all of the REC Audited audit criteria. The audit includes an assessment of contracts and policies and other documents and also an onsite visit, including interviews of staff and file sampling.

Having assessed this joint employment arrangement, we have concluded that as we can only award the audit where the full audit of the business providing the recruitment services has been carried out, we are unable to award an audit to existing audit holders seeking renewal or new applicants where they are providing recruitment services in conjunction with another business which has not been audited.  It is important that the integrity of the audit is upheld and that it is only awarded where we can evidence that the recruitment services are being delivered in line with the audit criteria – this is of the upmost importance to end user clients , audit holders and others who rely on the Audited badge.

CCS Supply Teacher Framework

Many REC Audited Education audit holders are also suppliers on the CCS Supply Teacher framework. As an Accredited Body for the framework, we have raised this matter with CCS and they have advised that a joint employment model, is not within the scope of the Supply Teacher Framework.

As all suppliers will have had to demonstrate that they met the required specifications to be awarded a place on the framework initially. It is therefore vital that suppliers take advice regarding any changes to their supply models to ensure that they continue to meet the framework terms for supply.

Employment Agency Standards inspectorate

The REC works closely with Employment Agency Standards inspectorate (EAS) which is part of the government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the body that is responsible for enforcing the relevant recruitment industry legislation.

We have raised this issue with them and can confirm that EAS is currently reviewing the model in light of specific provisions in the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. As soon as we have any further information, we will provide an update. 

Support for REC members

If you have any questions about joint employment or the REC Audit, please do get in touch with the REC and we can provide guidance and support to ensure that you remain compliant.

Joint employment queries: legal.services@rec.uk.com

Audit queries: compliance@rec.uk.com


Putting Pupils First

With the summer holidays in full swing and planning for the next academic year well underway, it is important to ensure schools are well informed in how to best recruit new permanent and temporary staff ahead of the new term. To assist with this, the REC has updated our guidance document “Putting Pupils First” for the upcoming academic year. Putting Pupils first was originally published in 2014 and has now been updated to include information on all the relevant legislative and compliance changes that have taken place in the intervening years. This document is designed for you to share with your clients to highlight the importance of good recruitment in schools, and to inform them of how being a part of the REC and REC Audited for Education drives best practice and high standards in the sector.  The guide is free to download, and can prove a useful tool to demonstrate your company’s value to your client schools.

 


Changes for REC Audited Education holders/CCS education framework suppliers

There have been some changes to the way interviews and document checking should be conducted for REC Audited Education holders and suppliers of Crown Commercial Service (CCS) supply teacher framework.

Previously, REC Audited Education required you to carry out face to face in person interviews with candidates. With effect from 30 July 2021, face to face interviews must still be carried out, but they can be done either in person or by video. Following dialogue with CCS, this change will also apply to those who supply to the CCS supply teacher framework.

CCS have also changed the way original documents should be verified stating that "..... retained copies must be dated and properly validated by electronic means or otherwise". This allows for a digital record noting when an original document is scanned into the system.  Again, this change is effective from 30 July 2021.

As you are aware, temporary adjustments to right to work checks are due to end on 31 August 2021.  This means that with effect from 1 September 2021 you will need to see original documents when carrying out a right to work check.  In light of the change to interview requirements above,  this means that you should have a brief in person meeting with a candidate to see and copy all relevant original documents such as, right to work documents, proof of address documents and qualification certificates (unless the candidate wishes to send these to you).  You should then have a longer, more detailed interview to check their suitability, which can be done by video. This applies to both REC Audited Education holders and those who supply to the CCS supply teacher framework.


New Early Career Teachers standards coming into force in September

What is changing?

From September 2021, statutory induction for new teachers will change as part of the Early Career Framework (ECF) reforms. Subject to parliamentary procedure, all early career teachers in England undergoing statutory induction will be entitled to 2 years of high-quality professional development support based on the ECF. Previously, the induction period was one year.

For an over view of the changes coming into force see: Early career framework reforms: overview.

Can supply teachers count time on ‘short’ assignments towards the 2 year induction period?

While supply teachers can work for short periods without having completed the induction, the time worked on that basis will not count towards induction.

See 2.13 of the statutory guidance: Induction for early career teachers (England)

Can supply teachers count time on ‘long’ assignments towards the 2 year induction period?

It is possible for supply teachers to count time on longer assignments towards their 2 year induction period but guidance states that the assignment would have to be at least one for term in length.

2.32 The minimum period that can be counted towards completion of the induction period (for both full-time and part-time ECTs) is continuous employment equivalent to one term (based on an institution that operates three terms in a school year). This applies to both permanent and long-term supply teaching posts.

It also reflects the need for each ECT to work in a stable environment and receive a supported and pre-planned induction programme. In addition, it is important that the ECT is in post long enough to be able to receive sufficient monitoring and feedback and prepare for a fair and reasonable assessment of their performance. It would be very difficult to do this against all of the Teachers’ Standards over a period of less than one term.

Any assignments that are shorter than one full term will not count towards induction. And short term assignments which are subsequently extended and end up lasting one full term might go towards it, depending on the circumstances. An induction programme will have to be put in place by the school as soon as the term begins and if the teacher only finds out, say 4 or 5 weeks into term that they will be there for the full term it might be too late depending on the schools resources etc.

The management of the induction will be down to the individual school and the guidance details how it will work in practice, see 3.14 ECTs completing induction in more than one institution simultaneously.

Proof of Qualifications for Overseas Teachers

Following queries around checking the qualification status of teachers who have qualified overseas post-Brexit, the Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA) have published the Country Evidence Table. The TRA created this table to help QTS applicants know what evidence they would need for their application, but the DfE have confirmed to the REC that this is the most useful reference for agencies requiring evidence of qualifications for overseas teaching applicants. The Country Evidence Table contains a list of countries, and what evidence would need to be provided by candidates from those countries to demonstrate they have qualified. The list is not exhaustive, but does cover most of Europe, as well as USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This table will be updated on a regular basis and we have updated our Recruitment, Selection and Vetting Policy to include details of the reference table.

Barred list update

Following the REC's letter to the Department for Education (DfE) on their decision to remove access for employment businesses to TP Online for barred list checks, the REC has spoken with the DfE regarding these changes and their impact on the industry.

During the conversation, the DfE made it clear that it is not possible to delay the implementation of these changes and therefore from 1st April agencies will no longer be able to access the sole barred list checks. This is because the contract with Capita to provide this service expired on 31st March, and could not be extended beyond this date.

What this means for agencies providing supply teachers to schools is that they will only be able to supply existing candidates for whom they have a full and valid enhanced DBS with barred list check already. Under the old system, an agency would have been able to place a candidate whose DBS was pending by doing a sole barred list check on that candidate. There will no longer be a mechanism in place for an agency to do this. New candidates who register with an agency will only be able to be placed in schools once an enhanced DBS with barred list check has been completed.

There is also no mechanism for a school to do the barred list check for the supply teacher on an agency's behalf as schools will only be able to access the check for their own employees, which agency workers are not.

The DfE have stated that the change to barred list access is based on the legal requirements set out in the School Staffing Regulations and Independent School Standards Regulations, which apply directly to schools. These regulations do not provide any statutory obligations on agencies to conduct stand-alone barred list checks.

Given the short notice at which these changes are being implemented, the DfE is keen to gather information on the impact this will have in the education recruitment sector. If you are able to provide data to the REC about how these changes will impact your ability to provide candidates at short notice and are happy for this to be shared with the DfE, then please email patrick.milnes@rec.uk.com to provide any relevant data.

Removal of access to TP Online

On 19 March, the Department for Education sent out a letter informing agencies that their ability to access TP online, and perform a barred list check was being removed. Following this decision, the REC has written to the DfE asking them to reconsider and reverse their decision on this to ensure agencies can continue to supply teachers to school safely and efficiently.

Given the short timeframe between the initial letter, and the proposed implementation date of 31st March, the REC has urged the DfE to respond to our letter urgently to ensure agencies are not left in a difficult position. Read the letter.

Update to the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

Under the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme workers that have been asked to self isolate, that are on a low income, unable to work from home and who will lose income as a result (of having to self isolate) may be entitled to a payment of £500 from their local authority.

When the scheme was first introduced one of the conditions for claiming the £500 support payment was that the individual must have been advised to self isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

The REC has been advised by BEIS that a change has been introduced to the scheme and individuals who are eligible can now claim the £500 where their employer has advised them to isolate.

Where individuals have been asked to self isolate by the school they are currently working in, the school should provide the individual’s personal details to NHS Test and Trace to allow them to provide the individual with an NHS Test and Trace Account ID, which will allow them to apply for the support payment from their Local Authority.

To support this, the Department for Health and Social Care has launched the Self-Isolation Service Hub (020 3743 6715), a phone line open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm, allowing a school to provide contact details of those individuals who have been asked to self isolate.

The process is as follows:

  1. The school learns of a positive test for an individual within the school
  2. A staff member at the school should speak with the person(s) who have received a positive test and note their NHS Test and Trace Account Number
  3. The school determines which staff should self-isolate and informs the individuals.
  4. The school should collate the contact details of these individuals
  5. A staff member at the school contacts the self-isolation hub on 020 3743 6715 and provides the hub with
    1. The NHS Test and Trace Account ID of the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
    2. The contact details of the individuals who have been asked to self-isolate
  6. NHS Test and Trace will then contact the individuals to formally advise them of their need to self isolate and provide them with an NHS Test and Trace Account ID
  7. Individuals who are not able to work from home and who are not being paid may claim for a self isolation payment through their local authority.

BEIS have confirmed that the procedure applies to ‘anyone on assignment in a school environment’, i.e. it includes supply teachers.

Workers that are eligible for the scheme will receive the payment on top of any other benefits or SSP that they currently receive - in line with the eligibility criteria.

 The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.

Coronavirus guidance and support

We understand it is a very challenging time for the sector, and that members have some questions around what Covid-19 means for you. As well as our Coronavirus Hub, with a wealth of general guidance and support. We have also developed an Education Sector Specific FAQ document

We are aware that NASUWT has written to several members about Statutory Sick Pay for supply teachers. Please download our suggested template response (it opens as a word doc).

Union-led campaign against education agencies

Following our initial response to the campaign by the NEU and NASUWT regarding the use of agencies in the education sector, we have produced this letter for agencies to send to their clients directly.

We urge members to send this letter to your clients, to reiterate the important role that agencies play in the education sector, and to highlight the issues with the proposed changes in the unions’ campaign.

Post-Brexit suitability check

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, there have been changes as to how agencies should conduct a suitability check for a teacher arriving from Europe, including changes to what documentation an agency is required to view. For information on what has changed, and the new guidance please view this helpsheet.

    

Join the Education sector group

If you’re interested in joining the REC Education sector group, contact your REC account manager at info@rec.uk.com or 020 7009 2100