According the to DfE, schools are on average being charged a 31% commission by recruitment agencies when engaging their supply teachers. Couple this with the £800+ million being spent every year on supply through agencies and it starts painting a picture of why it is one of the key factors draining school budgets.

It is clear that the combination of challenging economic climate and developing recruitment crisis presents serious financial challenges and uncertainty for schools. More than ever, they are now beginning to question why they have always seen the use of expensive recruitment agencies with their supply teacher agency fees as an accepted cost?

Of course, Agencies don’t just place a strain on school budgets: Research has shown that schools experience a myriad of roadblocks and unnecessary difficulties by outsourcing to agencies. There is now a solution where schools have:

  • Freedom to choose the right supply teachers for their schools
  • The ability to be able to create direct relationships with their supply teachers
  • Reassurance to know that all teachers have had the right safeguarding checks and have been interviewed
  • Transparency to know that the rate being paid is all going to the teacher and not an agency


So what are progressive schools doing about this?

They are taking a proactive approach to stop the leeching of their supply budgets by using simple technology to remove the middleman. This shift is seeing them save their school budgets 90% on recruitment fees, whilst giving them total control over the quality of supply teachers selected for their schools, all from the convenience of their phone.


How is this so?

Much like the decline of the travel agent, technology has replaced traditional distribution channels, radically reducing costs and improving choice and control. It is the era of automation and the fall of the middleman – and this innovation has finally arrived to the education sector.

The TeacherIn app is driving this change in education. Over 1,100 schools and 40,000 supply teachers already use it every day and so rather than having to wait for agencies to scan their databases and find supply teachers (who may or may not be entirely relevant for the current position), schools can manage the process themselves in a matter of seconds.


“There are no daily commissions or finders fees, meaning we can engage teachers for longer term supply without the concern of paying huge amounts. I estimate our schools will save thousands this year.”

Stephanie Bass, Business Manager – Bridge Multi-Academy Trust


The technology provides schools direct access to a bank of pre-vetted, local supply teachers, all of whom have been safeguard checked and interviewed, in the same way the traditional agencies do.

In just a few clicks, schools can automatically send out job requests from the app to their chosen teachers and receive confirmation of a booking in seconds. All of this (including automated reporting) can be done on the go, reducing the impact of the process on a school’s busy schedule and without the need for costly agencies.

The benefits for schools are huge for a number of reasons. Allowing schools to have choice and total control over the quality of teacher has a direct impact on student outcomes, and can help set their school apart from others. There’s also a huge impact on full time staff recruitment costs as TeacherIn doesn’t charge a penny to transition a supply teacher to full time. This can save a school tens of thousands of pounds a year, on top of the large savings already seen by cutting out daily agency fees for supply.


Proven model a beacon of light in a dark time

The landscape has been looking bleak for a while, with countless news reports continuously publishing shocking figures on school spend, the recruitment crisis and teacher shortages, and schools often have found themselves in a very difficult position.

It was perhaps inevitable that innovative new solutions would be developed to tackle these challenges and to place schools firmly back in control of their supply teacher recruitment.

Fortunately, school leaders are now presented with a list of new companies in this space to choose from and selecting the correct supplier paramount; they need to be secure that they are buying robust technology from a trusted and knowledgeable expert who understands their needs.

TeacherIn is a proven model and market leader in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

The Company launched in the UK in September 2016 and won the highly coveted BETT Innovator of the Year Award. With a growing number of schools and thousands of registered supply teachers in the UK, why not explore how you can take back control of your supply arrangements, save money and ensure that your supply teachers are paid fairly?


Cut out the supply teacher agency fees!
Try TeacherIn for free to see the benefits it will bring to your school

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Peter Carpenter, CEO TeacherIn
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Article originally posted in the InnovatED magazine