Education secretary cracks down on ‘excessive’ agency fees for schools

Recruiters will have to review their business strategy and the fees they charge in light of a crackdown on agencies that charge schools in England “excessive” fees to find and hire staff.

The BBC reports the crackdown by education secretary Damian Hinds includes measures for:

  • a free website to advertise full and part-time teacher vacancies
  • an official list of agencies that do not charge extra fees if supply staff are made permanent after 12 weeks
  • agencies on this list to be required to set out the fees they charge on top of supply staff wages

Commenting on what these new measures will mean for recruitment agencies, Dr Sybille Steiner, partner solicitor at law firm Irwin Mitchell, told Recruiter the implications for recruiters are wide. 

“The demand for recruiters in the education industry may significantly decrease due to the free advertising website, which schools are able to use. 

“Furthermore, agencies need to be prepared to justify the fees they are charging for the provision of school staff. This means that recruiters will need to carry out a review of their fees in order to ensure they are as cost-effective as possible.”

According to Helen Murphie, partner at law firm Royds Withy King, the measures mean agencies will also need to review their business strategies.

“Whilst much will depend on the quality and efficiency of the free website advertising school vacancies, the measures are likely to mean that education recruitment specialists will have to review their business strategies, which may lead to redundancies in the future as the marketplace changes and become even more competitive.”

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