6 top tips to help you get the most from the supply teachers deal

Since the supply teachers deal was launched we’ve been talking to lots of schools and academies, providing advice and guidance. In this blog I have pulled together 6 tips to answer the questions that come up most often about the supply teachers deal and the agency selection tool.

I hope that these pointers will help you confidently source temporary workers and deal with supply agencies.

  1. How do you transfer a temporary worker to a permanent employee contract without incurring any extra costs?

So long as you give 4 weeks’ notice and the temporary worker has worked a minimum of 12 weeks then transferring them to a permanent employee contract is free of charge. That means there’s no finder’s fees to pay the agency.

Top tip: give notice to your agency supplier during week 8. This means by the end of the 12 week period you’ll be able to take the worker on permanently free of charge. But do bear in mind when calculating the 12 weeks, that mid and end of term breaks have the ‘clock’ paused.

  1. How do I check if one of my preferred agencies is on the deal?

We now have 120 suppliers who have been audited and accredited to the best practice standards in education recruitment on the deal. With national coverage you’re never too far away from a local office! There’s an A-Z list of suppliers on the framework page and using our digital agency selection tool you can quickly find all the agencies local to your school in a few simple steps. Have your DfE sign-in handy and follow this link to access the online agency selection tool.

Top tip: if you can’t find the agency you’re looking for on the agency selection tool try widening your search radius.

  1. Did you know the mark-up percentages shown on the digital agency selection tool are maximum rates?

The agency mark-up percentages you see are the maximum the agency will charge, so make sure you negotiate with suppliers to get the best rate you can.

Top tip: if a worker is being paid the same amount from two agencies, the agency with the lower mark-up percentage (that’s applied on top of the worker pay and pay-related on-costs) will always give you a lower total bill.

  1. Remember, all suppliers on the agreement are obliged to tell you that they are part of the deal and offer you CCS terms first.

If you know that a supplier is on the agreement and they haven’t offered you the standard CCS terms and conditions ask for them. If you’re unsure always ask the question.

Top tip: using the supply teachers deal doesn’t just mean better rates and cost effective supply. You will also have the peace of mind that your chosen supplier has been through robust checks and the worker you are getting has been fully vetted to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ standards. To ensure you’re getting all of these benefits, fill in the the short order form – this only needs to be done once, at the start of your agreement with the supplier. You’ll find the form on the documents section of the framework page. 

  1. Did you know that if you know a worker you want to hire and refer them to an agency the mark-up percentage they charge will be considerably lower?

If you know a worker who isn’t signed up with an agency on the agreement and you want to hire them temporarily you can do this. This is often referred to by agencies as a nominated worker. You can ask an agency to put the worker on their books. Once the worker has signed up with the agency, you then have peace of mind that their pay and background screening checks are being taken care of. And of course, after 12 weeks (and 4 weeks’ notice) you can take them on permanently without paying any extra fees if you want to do so.

Top tip: mark-up percentages for nominated workers can be up to half the amount of a worker provided by the agency. This is a cost saving tip worth keeping in mind!

  1. Don’t forget, the agreement isn’t just for teachers.

Most roles that you will need to fill in your school are covered by the deal including admin staff, cleaners, teaching assistants and more. If it’s a role in an educational establishment, it’s highly likely it will be covered.

Top tip: different roles have different mark-ups so keep an eye on the mark-up percentages when you’re looking for temporary staff. It’s also worth noting that if you change the worker’s role during their temporary assignment, the 12 week temp-to-perm clock could start again. Speak to your agency to check and forward plan if you want to change somebody’s role so you can do it free of charge at the earliest possible moment.

‘Thanks to the guidance from Tom at CCS I felt confident negotiating with an agency and was thrilled to be able to bring the fee down significantly. The original fee was £4,500 and we were able to reduce this to £1,723 – saving over 60%. This meant we could bring the employee on sooner and not lose them. We will definitely use the agency supply deal in the future when employing supply teaching staff’

Margaret Dempsey, Business Manager, Lampton School, Hounslow

We’re here to help

Our team of subject-matter experts are here to support you every step of the way. Call us on 0345 410 2222 or email info@crowncommercial.gov.uk for advice on any matter relating to the supply teachers agreement and agency selection tool.

You can also watch our short film to help you get started.

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