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Councils ban on teacher recruitment agencies wont deliver

Council’s ban on teacher recruitment agencies won’t deliver best value for tax payers

Staff at a London borough urgently trying to recruit staff to help teach people English have been told they are not allowed to use specialist recruitment agencies on grounds of cost, even though, as one specialist recruiter argues, the decision is likely to cost the tax payer more in the long run.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of the London Borough of Newham, which has the lowest white population in the UK, is looking for ways to achieve greater levels of community integration and cohesion. Part of this mission is helping non-English speakers to learn the language.

However, says specialist education recruitment company, TLTP Education, Newham’s ban on the use of recruitment agencies on cost grounds is counter productive.

“Staff at Newham are desperate to recruit qualified people to teach English as a second language mainly to adults. There is a drive on this within the council and the authority has already withdrawn or scaled back translation services to help save money,” explains Darryl Mydat, Managing Director of TLTP Education.

 “But they have placed the recruitment task into the hands of staff who aren’t specialists, who have other things to do, who don’t have ready access to the best qualified candidates and who are unlikely to deliver value for money. I think they see agencies and assume it’s a cost saving but don’t stop to consider that agencies not only provide the candidates, agencies also cover off the staffing costs that the authority would otherwise have to manage: salary, employer’s national insurance contributions, sick pay, pension contributions, HR costs and payroll.”

Newham has a population of about 300,000 people. It is one of the UK's most ethnically diverse places and the white British population stands at 16.7%, the lowest in the UK.

“Our message is that the most efficient way of delivering on this objective is not to just cut something that superficially looks like a cost but to explore more closely what route is likely to deliver best value for the tax payer as well as providing the qualified teaching staff you need.”


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