The Department for Education (DfE) has told schools in England to use its free website to advertise for teachers rather than going through agencies.
It launched the Teaching Vacancies site last year and more 8,000 schools – 38% of the total – have signed up to use it. But Education Secretary Damian Hinds has told all schools to use it ahead of 31 May, where there is often a peak in the number of teachers who hand in their notice.
He said this should help to cut down on up to £75 million spent every year to advertise jobs.
The DfE said the cost of advertising a teacher position can average more than £1,000 with some agencies.
Hinds said: “With every school in the country now having access to this completely free site, I am calling on schools to ditch platforms that charge a fee. Why spend £1,000 on a service you can get for free?
“As we head into the Easter holidays, where teachers may be thinking about their next classroom move, I want to make sure school leaders are signed up to this free site – allowing them to maximise the money they have to spend in our schools.”
The site has been developed with dxw, a consultancy in the design of digital public services, which said it uses open standards and includes performance indicators to enable the DfE to make improvements.
The publishing tool matches the open source Job Posting Standard, which ensures vacancies can be found on search engines such as Google and Indeed Jobs.
It is also the first service to adopt the DfE Sign-In, an identity and access management tool to be used across all DfE services.
The announcement is the latest in a series of steps taken by the department to help schools save money using online resources.
In January it launched an energy price comparison website and it became public that it is building a digital procurement platform. It has also launched a tool providing guidance in hiring supply teachers and worked on a benchmarking website to allow schools to compare their income and expenditure with others in England.
Image by Glen Besoe, CC BY 2.0 through flickr