TeachVac is ahead of the game

Should schools be allowed to appoint staff as a result of vacancies advertised only internally; should MATs or diocese as employers be allowed to appoint staff to a new post anywhere in their organisation without an external advert? The BiS Department in Whitehall is currently carrying out a consultation on this topic entitled. CLOSED RECRUITMENT PRACTICES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR.

The consultation poses a number of questions about the process that might affect schools, but one that interested me the most was:

Under this option, the Government would ensure that all public sector employers published information on the levels of internal-only recruitment used within their organisation. This might include the number of staff brought in under internal recruitment, and the proportion of all recruitment that took place as a result of internal-only recruitment. This information would be publicly available, and would allow scrutiny and debate over the extent of internal recruitment.

If accepted, this idea would require schools to publish details of the number and percentage of internal appointments. Now TeachVac is ahead of the game here because it provides schools with a list of vacancies advertised and we could easily extend that to include whether it was an internal or external advertisement.

As with other TeachVac recruitment services, this would be free to registered schools and would require only one extra keystroke at time of entry. Posts marked internal only would not be matched with candidates in the TeachVac database but we could provide data on their numbers to help schools justify internal advertising as the best way forward.

An extreme outcome of the consultation would be for the government to require all schools to advertise all vacancies. This might prove interesting in relation to say, the School Direct salaried route if those trainees had to compete with others on alternative routes.

The cost of advertising if schools do not use TeachVac’s free service is another issue. Does the government really want to divert resources into advertising and away from teaching and learning when the school has a perfectly good candidate or must we always be seen to being open with public money? TeachVac allows both options, at no cost to schools

I well recall in an earlier age a vacancy being advertised in a Saturday newspaper because nobody other than the internal candidate would be likely to read it. Such measures are within the rule but not the spirit of open advertising.

Any rule change would apply not only to teaching posts but also to all other vacancies. Schools that hired contractors would not be affected, and the contractors could do what they wished unless their contract specified the schools would only accept staff appointed after an open recruitment competition.

It would certainly make unlikely those cases that crop up from time to time of senior staff employing their relatives. That was something, I seem to recall, worried MPs at one time about who was employed in their own offices.

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