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100th DCSF Quality Mark awarded by REC

100th DCSF Quality Mark awarded by REC

A significant milestone in the pursuit of safe, ethical recruitment in schools has been reached with the award of the 100th Department of Children, Schools and Families Quality Mark (QM) to a specialist recruitment agency.

The landmark award of the QM, administered on behalf of the DCSF by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), has been granted to Vision for Education, an agency set up in February last year which specialises in placing supply teachers, teaching assistants and cover supervisors. .

In that time, its network of offices, which started with one in Middlesbrough, has expanded to branches in Manchester, Peterborough, Sheffield and Scunthorpe. Vision for Education added another dimension to its activities when it opened an office in Australia in January this year.

Most of its consultants have more than five years experience each in education recruitment after working for larger companies within the sector.

Managing director, Julie Shaw, explained: We set up because we thought then and still do now- that schools and teachers were not getting the quality of service or value for money they deserved and our current structure reflects this belief. As well as value for money, we also concentrate on marketing our stringent vetting procedures to schools.

Attaining the Quality Mark is fantastic for us because we are still a young company but it will add to our credibility as increasing numbers of schools recognise what it stands for.

Julie added: Having the Quality Mark will also add to the positivity of our consultants when they visit schools. It will be a real boost for them to be able to speak to schools and tell them how quickly we have gained this accolade which is testimony to our thorough procedures for clearing teachers.

Above all, she said: Being the 100th recruitment agency to win the Quality Mark makes you realise you are in a small but select group of agencies committed to quality and safe recruitment of teachers.

Supply teachers make an increasingly important contribution to the efficient running of schools. To this end, the Quality Mark, launched in July 2002 as a joint initiative between the DCSF and the REC, sets 19 minimum standards for agencies and local education authorities to reach in areas such as the recruitment and selection of supply teachers, continual performance monitoring and making sure legal obligations are observed.

By using agencies that hold the Quality Mark, schools have the reassurance that they are being supplied with high quality supply staff who have been correctly vetted.

Kevin Green, the RECs Chief Executive, said: The core purpose of the REC is setting the highest standards in good practice within the industry, particularly in sectors such as education, where safe, ethical recruitment is of paramount importance.

Having 100 agencies now operating at such a high level is a tremendous achievement and it is remarkable that Vision for Education has excelled in reaching this standard within such a short timeframe.
Vernon Coaker, Minister of State for Schools and Learners, said: The Quality Mark raises the standard of supply teaching by ensuring that supply teachers are recruited properly and managed to allow them to give their best to schools. This contributes towards our commitment to deliver a world class workforce for children."

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