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The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the professional body for recruiters in the UK, is launching a new quality standard for recruitment within the education sector today.
REC Audited Education is a new audit scheme run by the REC to provide quality assurance of recruitment agencies that supply teaching and non-teaching staff to schools, academies and education providers across England and Wales.
The new scheme replaces the Quality Mark, which the REC managed on behalf of the Department for Education from its inception in 2002 to its conclusion last month.
REC chief executive Kevin Green says, “When a school turns to a recruitment agency to help them find staff to work with children and young people, they have to be confident that all the appropriate checks have taken place. The aim of our scheme is to give headteachers peace of mind that they are working with an accredited supplier who adheres to the very highest standards. To achieve REC Audited Education status and display the badge, recruitment agencies will have to prove they are not just compliant with all necessary legislation and regulations but that they operate the very best practice.”
When developing the scheme the REC gathered input and advice from leading unions, local authorities, education organisations, and individual schools and academies to ensure the scheme addressed the issues of most importance to them.
General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), Brian Lightman, commented, “Schools and colleges take the quality of support staff very seriously and it is important that they can rest assured that they are making safe recruitment decisions in sourcing supply staff. That is why the Association of School and College Leaders supports the REC’s work on compliance in this area.”
General secretary of Voice, the union for educational professionals, Deborah Lawson says “Supply teachers need to know that the agency they are using is serious about compliance. We welcome the work of the REC in raising standards in the sector.”
The REC is also updating its existing audit scheme to help recruiters in all sectors demonstrate their professional and high standards to clients. The process now includes an online diagnostic tool, as well as face-to-face meetings with the auditor for staff throughout the business. To achieve REC Audited or REC Audited Education status, agencies must prove they are both fully compliant and operate best practice in areas such as customer service, staff training and development and diversity.