The Spring Budget held little new hope for many Welsh schools, who face making redundancies and cutting courses to meet their newly slashed budgets. Yet many schools could halve their costs in areas like recruitment instead by overhauling inefficient practices and subscribing, for example, to an annual fixed-cost advertising licence.
Paul Howells, ex-teacher and CEO of the education job board, Eteach.com comments:
“If all the schools signed up to this, we could directly save millions in taxpayer pounds nationally per year. Schools need to invest time now, not money, into improving their practices. There are ways to reach a much wider pool of teachers but spend less: an annual job board advertising subscription which includes leadership roles can free up tens of thousands of pounds.
“If schools’ own recruitment adverts reached far enough and their application process was straightforward, they would be able to attract and recruit those same teachers that recruitment consultants are able to. There is no magic cave of maths teachers; the agencies are fishing from the same pond as the schools – they are just using a better hook. Schools need to embrace the reach of Search Engine Optimised job boards, personalised communication and social recruiting. A specialised job board has a niche reach, giving your advert global yet targeted eyes-on.”
Welsh schools often cite recruitment as one of their biggest costs, both for sourcing permanent teachers and covering unfilled roles. 20% of teaching vacancies remain unfilled annually, costing the UK over £800 million in supply teacher cover.
When a vacancy goes unfilled by an advert, referrals or job board, Welsh schools resort to recruitment agencies, who are able to fill those permanent vacancies – at a cost of £41 million every year in Wales.
“Over 7,500 schools already take advantage of our annual advertising licence and allocate that budget to teaching and learning instead.”