New term, same recruitment challenges

09 Sep 2016



With the new school year upon us, teacher recruitment will remain a major priority for all parties concerned with education. The 350+ education recruitment agencies within REC membership continue to ensure that schools have access to high-quality teachers at short notice.

Here are some of the key issues recruiters and schools should keep in mind as we start the new term.


One of the major reasons an education agency will join the REC is to prove to schools and teachers that they uphold the high professional and ethical standards we expect of all members.

As well as meeting their legal obligations under all relevant regulations, members of the REC must comply with our Code of Professional Practice, and must pass a compliance test to enter and remain in membership. We are the only trade body in the UK which asks this as a pre-requisite of membership.

Our Code covers issues such as:

Conducting checks to ensure the suitability of teachers being placed into schools Transparency regarding fees and charges before any services are provided Honesty and professionalism in all dealings with teachers and schools

For schools, ensuring that your recruitment partners have signed up to the REC Code ensures that you are working with businesses that understand the importance of compliance.

REC Audited Education

A number of our education members go further in demonstrating compliance by undertaking the REC Audited Education accreditation. This means that they have been assessed against REC standards, industry legislation and requirements specific to the education sector.

This initiative builds on the previous Quality Mark scheme which the REC managed on behalf of the Department for Education for over ten years, and provides schools with a recognised kite-mark when selecting an education agency.


The REC Code is enforced through the REC Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure, which enables the REC to investigate complaints against members from both schools and supply teachers.

Any complaints that are not resolved by the REC are referred to the Professional Standards Committee, which is made up of industry peers as well as representatives from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). Complaints may be made via our online complaint form.

Best practice – the Good Recruitment Campaign

The shortage of teachers in subjects such as physics, maths and chemistry is likely to become more widespread. Schools will need to plan for this challenge and look outside of the normal recruitment channels. Supply teachers will become increasingly important as schools seek staff to cover absences and vacancies.

Good practice in recruitment procedures will continue to evolve. The REC is keen to actively involve schools and education providers in its wide-ranging Good Recruitment Campaign which is aimed at employers across a range of sectors. We want to facilitate ongoing exchanges of good practice and to develop new approaches to recruitment challenges.

Find out more about the Good Recruitment Campaign here.

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