The Government appears on course to slash staff recruitment advertising costs for schools. It will preview the new online Schools Recruitment Service at the Bett 2009 educational technology show at Olympia, London, in January.
The three partners who will run the service are expected to be announced at the end of January. A shortlist of more that 10 tenders has already been drawn up, and it is thought that the organisation that has dominated school recruitment in recent years, The Times Educational Supplement, is not on that list.
If successful, the service looks set to make major savings for schools. And schools and local authorities appear to be ready for a move away from expensive commercial outfits to a tailored not-for-profit scheme. Hundreds of them have already expressed an interest. Early adopters for the service, which will be free for the first six months, can sign up on its website (address below).
In his welcome message on the Schools Recruitment Service's website, Schools minister Jim Knight says: "The provision of an outstanding workforce is a crucial factor in delivering a world class education system for our children. With around 150,000 teaching vacancies per year in English schools, this represents a mammoth challenge for local authorities and schools. The new Schools Recruitment Service can provide them with invaluable support in this area, enabling them to recruit both teaching and support staff more effectively and efficiently while making savings on time, resources and money."
Applicant tracking is a key feature of the new service. This allows local authorities and schools to: improve their market knowledge of teacher recruitment; track the candidate from application to appointment stage; post vacancies, book and formulate advertisements; filter, track and respond to applications; evaluate the success of recruitment campaigns.
The DCSF highlights its benefits to users as:
- Improved schools recruitment processes both now and for the future
- Savings to schools and local authorities on time, resources and money
- Improved market intelligence, better targeted advertising
- Better matching of candidates to jobs
- Better service for applicants - efficient, user-friendly and standardised
- Sustainability - the online service will significantly reduce paper usage.
Responses it has recorded in discussions with potential users include:
"Best thing to hit schools from the Department in years" ... Birmingham
"It's a good idea and definitely the sort of thing we need" ... Southend
"Very interested in the service" ... Lancashire
"I wish I were the decision maker because I'd sign up now" ... Warwickshire
The three successful partners who will run the Schools Recruitment Service will get a contract worth £12 million over four years. Schools are thought to spend more that £25 million every year on their recruitment advertising.
Schools Recruitment Servicewww.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/schoolsjobs/
Schools Recruitment Service leafletwww.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schoolsjobs/downloads/adopterleaflet.pdf
Bett stand in National Hall, Olympia
BETT seminar, 12 noon, Thursday January 15
DCSF Programme Director Paul Howard presents the E-ffective Schools Recruitment seminar, describing how the service will use the latest technologies
Full details of original tender at: