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Education recruitment standard needs DfES

A leading educational recruitment company has said that whilst the proposed introduction of a new standard for education recruitment firms next year is welcome, it needs DfES support to have the best chance of being successful.

Darryl Mydat, managing director of TLTP Education (The London Teaching Pool) was speaking after the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) confirmed that it will launch its standard for education recruitment firms, & lsquo;Compliance ’, in early 2014.

The new standard has been developed after consultations with APSCo’s Education Sector Group members and external stakeholders including the National Association of Head teachers, the Association of School & College Leaders and the National Association of School Business Managers.

“We welcome any initiative that increases standards and improves safeguarding in teacher recruitment,” explains Mydat. “However we really need the DfES on board and re-engaged to give it the teeth and the credibility to ensure that it promotes only the most reputable recruitment agencies.”

This, says Mydat, is unlikely after the DfE's decision to discontinue its own Quality Mark earlier this year. The high standards set by the Quality Mark, says Mydat, helped schools choose agencies with the highest standards of recruitment practice and safeguarding of children.

The Quality Mark, which was developed as a joint initiative by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and the Department for Education (DfE) set minimum standards for agencies and local authorities. These standards reached areas such as the way they recruit and interview supply teachers the way they check and manage their performance and the way they stay at the forefront of changes in the teaching sector.

“We commend those that have worked hard to put together this new standard,” continues Mydat. “However, self-regulation and the requirement for agencies to voluntarily sign up to the standard probably won’t deliver the rigour that the industry needs at this time, particularly with so much recruitment now being passed directly to schools. We would welcome a return to some form of statutory standard, with Government-backing, so that schools can be completely clear about the quality of the recruitment agencies with which they are dealing.”

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