John Dunn re-elected as Chair of REC Education
John Dunn from Randstad Education (formerly Select Education) has been re-elected as Chair of the REC Education Sector Group for a second three-year term.
John has served the REC Education sector group for more than three years in which time he has seen the group grow to become the third largest REC sector with 251 members.
Under his leadership, the sector group has grown in influence with key stakeholders such as representatives from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and Comensura attending its meetings to advise members on issues relevant to them.
The group is also consulted by the Migration Advisory Committee which advises the Government on immigration and the Criminal Record Bureau/Vetting and Barring Scheme on Safeguarding Issues.
John said of his re-appointment: The education sector group needs to adapt to new and exacting conditions in the market. We face a period of public spending austerity ahead and the development of school federation will be encouraged by Government as a way of saving money by enhancing schools purchasing power.
These new market conditions will require that we become more aggressive but at the same time to continue promoting the positive things we have to offer education.
Education sector recruiters should take complaints against staff seriously
Members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederations Education sector group were told they should err on the side of caution when presented with allegations of misconduct carried out by a member of staff they have placed.
The warning came at the REC Education sector groups general meeting on October 22 attended by more than 50 members.
Lorraine Laryea, the RECs Solicitor and Commercial Advisor updated the group on the latest developments on the Independent Safeguarding Authoritys (ISA) Vetting and Barring Scheme aimed at ensuring adults who are unsuitable from working with children and vulnerable adults are never able to do so. The first phase of the scheme came into force on October 12th and sees recruiters who place candidates into certain positions eligible for new criminal penalties if they fail to comply with their duty to refer information to the ISA when safeguarding issues arise.
Members of the group expressed their concern that it was very easy for complaints of misconduct to be levelled against staff, such as supply teachers, in schools and other education establishments.
John Dunn said: We just cannot take risks and if we do hear of someone who has made an allegation again someone, we have an obligation to flag this up and as a responsible sector of recruitment, we have to err on the side of caution every time. This is now the law and I think it is pretty clear that this is what we have to do.
He told the meeting that membership of the sector group had risen sharply this year from 143 to 251 with 61 new members joining since June.
Addressing the meeting was also Phil Elks from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) who spoke about the growing number of tutors now working on the Governments One-to-one Tuition Programme to help children who are not making the requisite progress at school. One of the benefits he said was that it was a very flexible way for a tutor all of whom are trained or qualified teachers to work. REC Education members were given information on how to provide tutors onto the scheme.
John Dunn said: The DCSF are interested in how REC Education members can work within the scheme and provide excellent tutors, a good sign that the government is starting to take the flexibility and the value we bring to education seriously.
Perception of nannies needs to improve, says REC Childcare
The Recruitment and Employment Confederations Childcare sector group has welcomed a new report from the Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC) which provides the first comprehensive profile of Englands nanny workforce.
However, the group is alarmed to discover that only 14 per cent of nannies surveyed thought the profession was held in sufficient regard by the general public while another 41 per cent believed parents gave the profession the recognition it deserves.
Commenting on the report, Judith Ivers, Chair of REC Childcare, said: This is the most comprehensive report in the market and some of the findings paint an accurate picture. We are concerned that the sample used for the survey is extremely limited. According to the survey findings the respondents represent only 30 per cent of the total number of nannies. Moreover, our group estimates that the nanny workforce could be as high at 45,000.
In recent years we have seen a drive for professionalising the nanny workforce and we are delighted to see that 82 per cent of nannies surveyed had an early learning and childcare-related qualification, and that 11 per cent were currently studying for a qualification. We would stress however that we believe these figures relate only to those nannies that work through an agency.
There are nannies who work independently and, if their experiences were heard, the survey would paint a rather different image. Our members have seen an increase in the number of nannies who want to have professional qualifications and we call on the Government to make more funds available to nannies who want to get qualified.
We are also concerned that the industry is still not perceived to be professional and so we are committed to promoting good practice in the industry and the professionalism of the workforce. We will continue to lobby both the Government and Opposition to ensure the profession does get the recognition it deserves.
Judith added: We believe this cannot be achieved without an immediate change in the current Ofsted registration policies to ensure that an Ofsted approved nanny is a safe, competent and fully validated child-carer. Nannies will only be seen as professionals when registration with Ofsted is compulsory, and when the Ofsted hallmark truly represents the quality assurance that our society needs.