Teacher Booker have been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s Supply Teachers and Temporary Staffing Framework. Here’s what that means for supply teachers and support staff, school leaders, MATs and Local Authorities.
What is the Framework for?
The CCS Framework is not simply a commercial vehicle for companies to provide supply teachers to schools. It is a multi-faceted agreement between the Crown Commercial Service, which is a procurement organisation associated with central Government, and selected companies which provide services that support supply teacher provision. Schools, MATs, LAs and other organisations can use the Framework to find pre-approved companies that can help them hire supply teachers and support staff.
In general, Frameworks are designed to make buying goods and services easier for public sector organisations. There are lots of regulations that need to be followed when making purchasing decisions in the public sector, and Frameworks enable organisations to engage suppliers under pre-agreed terms that a) are compliant with procurement regulations, b) mean that the customer can be assured of the the supplier’s quality, and c) ensure that the supplier is providing good value. Frameworks bring together the purchasing power of many institutions, meaning better prices and service for customers.
What went into creating the agreement?
The agreement is based around companies (‘suppliers’) signing up to a set of rules — financial and operational — that are established during extensive discussions between school, MAT and LA leaders, companies providing services, the CCS and other stakeholders. The overall aim is to achieve the best value for schools, the best pay and conditions for teachers, and provide a structured route for schools to find supply staff.
Only a small number of suppliers are awarded a place on the Framework, driving competition and ensuring suppliers make their best-value offering in their bid to be a part of the Framework. For example, only five suppliers have been appointed to Lot 4, the new Education Technology Platform lot which has not featured on previous education sector Frameworks.
The Framework is like a ‘shop window’, for schools, MATs and LAs to identify suppliers who might be able to service their requirements. All the suppliers on the Framework have been pre-vetted by the CCS and are bound by the operational and financial terms of the agreement. This makes it easier for schools, MATs and LAs to shortlist suppliers who are approved to operate in the sector by a trusted third party, rather than having to evaluate suppliers and negotiate terms themselves, from scratch.
The different ‘Lots’
There are four ‘Lots’ on this Framework, one for each category of service relating to the provision of supply staff. Lot 1 is for the direct provision of supply staff, for example via an agency. There are around 120 agencies appointed to this Lot.
Lots 2.1; 2.2 & 3 are for traditional Neutral and Master Vendor services, typically where schools outsource all their recruitment to a single company who then subcontracts the work of filling each vacancy. Only a handful of companies are appointed to this Lot.
Lot 4 is a new category for the education sector, although similar categories of service exist already in the NHS for temporary staff provision via technology platforms. It’s for ‘Education Technology Platforms’ — these are software services that enable schools, MATs and LAs to build pools of temporary staff — and access others’ pools of staff — via a technology platform. Technology platforms are predominantly internet-based services and offer a lower cost service due to the lower overheads involved and the ability to facilitate temporary staff hiring at high scale.
The inclusion of Lot 4 on this Framework is a result of new demand — customers and stakeholders across the country saying they wanted such a lot — and supply — there now being providers able to fulfil these requirements, where there weren’t before. We are delighted to be appointed as a provider on this Lot, and to be the only provider awarded to Government-approved, technology-driven supply teacher and school temporary staffing Framework agreements in both Scotland and England.
What the CCS Supply Teacher Framework means for your as a supply teacher, support worker, school, MAT or LA representative
For supply teachers looking for a new way of working, there is now an approved, compliant way for local schools, MATs or the LA to engage you for work opportunities directly. For schools, there is a new way of connecting with your local supply workforce for short and long term supply vacancies. And for MATs and LAs, there is now a high scale way of recruiting, managing, deploying and paying a local temporary workforce to ensure your schools are never left short staffed.
There really has never been a better time to check out the new temporary staffing solutions on offer. Get in touch with our expert team below to explore the support available that will help your school, MAT, LA or other organisation grow and succeed in this mission-critical space.
Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2020/21, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.04bn – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.