The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has called on schools and local education authorities to back the government’s Quality Mark initiative for supply teacher agencies.
The call follows today’s publication of a government-commissioned report showing that only 11% of schools take the Quality Mark into account when recruiting supply teachers.
Tom Hadley, director of external relations at the REC, said: “Schools must be more discerning about the agencies that they use and must do everything possible to ensure that staff have been effectively vetted and that the highest standards of recruitment practice are being adhered to.”
The Quality Mark initiative includes an in-depth audit of agencies and is a key means of demonstrating compliance with current regulations and good practice, according to Hadley.
“Clearly more needs to be done to raise awareness of the scheme and recent measures have already led to a substantial increase in the number of agencies and schools enquiring about the Quality Mark,” he said.
By using agencies that have been granted the Quality Mark, schools know that they are being supplied with high-quality supply staff who have been correctly vetted.
The Quality Mark sets 20 minimum standards covering areas such as performance monitoring, effective vetting and reference checking, continual professional development and the provision of accurate and timely information to schools.
The REC said it is committed to working with the government to ensure that the Quality Mark scheme is made a key component of recruitment procedures.