Free website for teaching jobs to be piloted in the North East to help schools save money

A free website for schools to advertise teacher vacancies is expected to be launched nationally this year. Pic: David Davies/PA.
A free website for schools to advertise teacher vacancies is expected to be launched nationally this year. Pic: David Davies/PA.

A free website for schools to advertise teacher vacancies is expected to be launched nationally this year, the Department for Education has confirmed.

Advertising jobs costs schools in England up to £75million a year, and the move will help schools to keep costs down, it said.

There will also be a list of supply agencies that do not charge schools high finder's fees if they want to take a teacher on permanently.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that the measures will help schools "bear down on costs so they can invest more on their frontline".

But school leaders warned that while any move to help reduce costs is welcome, action is needed to deal with an "ongoing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention".

The free vacancy service, first announced by the DfE in March 2016, will be piloted in the North East and Cambridgeshire, with the aim of rolling it out to the rest of the country by the end of the year, the department said.

As well as full-time jobs it will include part-time and job share vacancies.

The DfE added that supply agencies on its new list of preferred suppliers will have to set out how much they are charging on top of wages for workers, and this will help reduce the cost to schools of recruiting supply teachers through agencies.

Mr Hinds said: "Great schools are made by great teachers, so I want to reduce teacher workload to make it a more fulfilling profession and help schools bear down on costs so they can invest more on their frontline.

"Every pound that's spent on excessive agency fees, or on advertising jobs, is a pound that I want to help schools spend on what really matters: Making sure every child, whatever their background, is inspired to learn and to reach their potential.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Schools have to spend significant sums of money on supply agencies and on advertising vacancies so anything which helps to reduce these costs will be welcome."

He added: "However, these measures need to be part of a wider strategy to address the critical challenges facing schools.

"The costs associated with recruiting supply teachers and advertising vacancies are driven upwards by the fact that schools have to constantly plug gaps because of the ongoing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention."