The Education Secretary is calling on all schools in England to use a free service to advertise teaching vacancies – and invest the millions spent every year on recruitment back into teaching.

Launching Teaching Vacancies – a website to advertise full, part-time and job-share roles – Damian Hinds is calling on all schools to sign up to the service to cut down on up to £75 million spent every year to advertise jobs. This comes ahead of 31 May, where there is often a peak in the number of teachers who hand in their notice, if they want to switch jobs next year.

To avoid expensive charges when advertising available roles – said to cost, on average, more than £1,000 per advert with some agencies – more than 8,000 schools (38%) nationwide have already signed up to the service. It was first unveiled last year as part of the latest step taken by the Department for Education to help schools clamp down on costs. This includes every school in Cambridgeshire, where the service was first piloted.

To coincide with the full launch, Mr Hinds has told schools they should now stop using agencies that charge “excessive” fees to pay to list job adverts immediately – encouraging even more schools to switch to the new, free-of-charge service.

The announcement is the latest in a series of steps taken by the department to help schools deliver the best value for money and ensure resources can be targeted at the frontline, including:

  • The launch of price comparison site to help schools avoid overpriced energy suppliers;
  • The launch of a list of approved agencies to help schools avoid those that charge fees for making staff permanent;
  • Recommended deals that are helping schools to save money on the things they buy regularly, such as printers and photocopiers – one school in the North West has saved an estimated £40,000 on its printing costs;
  • Regional Schools Buying Hubs, piloted in the North West and South West, providing hands-on support and advice to schools on complex procurement. One school saved £75,000 across a three-year cleaning contract, while 82 schools in the South West have saved an estimated £137,000 on water;
  • A network of advisers providing practical support on how schools can use their budgets more effectively. During the pilot phase of 72 deployments, advisers identified £35 million of potential savings for schools;
  • A benchmarking website to allow schools to compare their income and expenditure with others in England.

These steps underpin the Secretary of State’s commitment to champion the teaching profession – having launched the first-ever integrated recruitment and retention strategy – and to make a strong case for education spending across Government ahead of the next spending review.