We are delighted to announce that 4myschools have for the 12th year regained the independently vetted and awarded Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) Audited in Education Gold Recruitment Standard, with a compliance score of 100%.
The REC Gold Education Recruitment Standard certifies that 4myschools policies and procedures fully comply with all legal requirements; and has robust background screening and safeguarding to DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education standards.
REC Audited in Education determines what information must be provided to a school and candidate for every Job assignment. It ensures the contracts and assignment confirmations between the school and candidate all comply with the law, and that there is documented evidence to support this.
Gaining this Gold Education Recruitment award gives peace of mind to all and acknowledges the dedication and professionalism that 4myschools staff deliver, in ensuring these stringent standards of compliance and best practice are met daily.
By regaining this highest level of recruitment certification 4myschools reputation is reaffirmed as one of the lowest risk and best education recruiters in the education sector. 4myschools is 1 of only 5 agencies across East Anglia who hold the Gold Education Recruitment certification.
Why is it important to use an education recruitment that holds REC Audited in Education certification, and not just an agency that pays for REC Corporate Membership?
A little background first.
Until 2012 the DfE sponsored the audit of teaching supply agencies to help ensure standards were met for the safeguarding of children, then called The Quality Mark.
Most professional supply teacher agencies were pleased to comply with the audit obligations. Although challenging to ensure every teacher file met the required compliance standards it simply made sense on every level to make sure the agency complied with the Quality Mark requirements.
The downside of the Quality Mark at that time was that only teachers with QTS were audited. Many support staff like TA’s and Cover Supervisors along with Instructors’ files were not audited which was a risk.
The DfE Quality Mark was carried out on DfE’s behalf by the REC, however, after many years it was determined that the recruitment industry itself should be managing its own compliance and that the department would no longer sponsor the audit process.
The REC and APSCO picked up the need to continue with this essential compliance standard and now undertake education audits for supply teacher agencies auditing all candidates working in schools, now called the REC Audited in Education Gold Standard and APSCO Compliance+.
The audit is more demanding with a wider scope and is more expensive. It requires a significant commitment of time and money to get through the audit successfully and can take weeks if not months to achieve the Gold Education Recruitment Standard.
Agencies need to review all policies, documentation, procedures, adverts, and management of personal data to check all is in compliance with legal requirements in addition to providing evidence to support compliance.
The DfE are now sponsoring the Supply Teachers and Temporary Staff in Educational Establishments via the Crown Commerical Services (CCS) framework, saving schools money and ensuring standards are met for schools and candidates. Holding either REC Audited in Education, APSCO Compliance+ or SiR is a pass-fail requirement to become a CCS supplier. 4myschools are one of only 106 agencies across the UK that were awarded a place on the current DfE sponsored CCS framework.
What is the difference between REC Corporate Membership and Audited in Education Gold Standard?
All REC corporate members complete an online compliance test to remain as members. The REC Audited in Education Gold Standard goes much further by scrutinizing compliance and best working practices giving assurance for teachers, support staff and schools.
Audited in Education Gold Standard involves a two-day in-person review of all working practices from the moment a candidate engages with an agency to when they are placed and how they are continually supported.
For schools, the audit covers the same principle with a detailed review of all legal and safeguarding requirements from initial interaction to placement.
The agency staff are interviewed at length, with structured questions asked to ensure the agency fully understand employment law in recruitment and best practice in the education sector. This ensures that schools and candidates are speaking with experts and are not exposed to risk.
So why would Audited in Education matter to a school or candidate?
For schools, it gives added security that when there is an Ofsted inspection or if there is a safeguarding complaint all legal and safeguarding requirements will have been covered and that the agency has all the procedures in place to support the school and candidate. Schools know that a REC Gold Education certified agency is accountable to the REC and DfE, opposed to simply a business owner.
For a teacher, LSA, TA or Cover Supervisor they know they are working with an agency that values best practice and that all legal requirements have been checked by an independent trade body.
Advertising of supply teaching Jobs is another area that the external auditors will assess to ensure that candidates are treated fairly and in line with advertising laws, no fake or ghost jobs are allowed. Teachers and support staff can be sure that if they apply to a supply teacher or teaching assistant job that it is legitimate.
Protection of candidate information is also scrutinized, teachers, teaching assistants and SEN candidates can feel assured that even though the agency holds an ICO certificate an auditor has certified that the agency has all the correct policies and is following them.
Schools and candidates know that when they deal with a REC Audited in Education recruitment agency that holds the Gold Education Recruitment standard they will be treated professionally and that all the required information is provided without having to ask for it.
The bottom line is that certification to the REC Audited Gold Education Recruitment Standard provides reassurance for schools, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, and the agency itself.
So why don’t all education recruitment agencies hold the Gold Education Recruitment standard? Hopefully the above gives a clue.