Discover how our Supply Teachers and Temporary Staff framework has enabled Tower Hamlets Education Partnership to help their member schools make considerable savings in our latest case study

Published 25 August 2021

Last updated 25 August 2021

The requirement

Tower Hamlets Education Partnership (THEP) was established by school leaders to deliver high quality school improvement to all primary, secondary and special educational needs (SEN) schools in  Tower Hamlets.

Schools in Tower Hamlets wanted to review the way they sourced temporary workers, and were looking to develop a solution that provided value for money and quality, whilst ensuring compliance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

Tower Hamlets Education Partnership (THE Partnership), the school improvement organisation that almost all local schools are members of, took the lead in identifying and implementing a solution on behalf of their member schools.    

The solution

Through initial consultations with Reed and THE Partnership’s key stakeholders, it was identified a managed service solution would meet the key objectives of the schools. The next step for THE Partnership was to decide on the most suitable route to market for their managed service. Through a collaborative partnership between ourselves and Reed, THE Partnership was able to identify that lot 2 of the Supply Teachers and Temporary Staff framework would be the most suitable solution for their schools requirements. 

Reed held sessions with school business manager and head teacher groups to understand their needs and create a steering group. This group was instrumental to the successful implementation of the service, collectively making decisions on things like pay rates and supply chain. 

Brendan Crossan, THE Partnership Operations Director said:

Gavin and David were very responsive to engaging with stakeholders and explaining how a managed service works and its benefits, as well as what Reed would bring in terms of experience and expertise. Service implementation was well planned and involved extensive client consultation.

Hasib Hikmat, School Business Manager (SBM) and SBM Forum Co-ordinator added: 

Reed undertook several consultations, including presentations and Q&A sessions. Their approach was all about building trusting relationships with no hard sell, which worked.

This approach enabled THE Partnership and Reed to work together proactively to ensure an effective managed service provision. As the master vendor Reed worked to understand each school’s needs, helping them to effectively match the right candidates to the right roles.

As part of the consultation process with schools, it was agreed to name the managed service Tower Hamlets Education Recruitment Services (THERS) to give it a brand identity. THERS is now widely discussed and promoted across all Tower Hamlets schools. It is also becoming recognised in the candidate community, which has helped attract teachers and support staff to the borough.

Reed also worked with THE Partnership to identify suitable supply chain members who could meet the schools’ high standards and ensure candidate availability. As a result of successfully placing a large number of candidates in early years and nursery settings, Reed identified the need to further strengthen the supply chain in this area to keep ahead of demand and maintain high quality. This resulted in a collective focus for recruitment with the existing supply chain and the addition of two new suppliers.

Reed also supported THE Partnership’s member schools with technology so they can book candidates online, as well as view factors like compliance. Reed invited school staff to join user group meetings to provide feedback on this technology. Feedback from front office staff that used the system less regularly was that they found it difficult to identify which temporary workers were in school on a given day, so they could verify staff as they arrived. Taking this feedback on board, Reed developed solutions, including access to all compliant candidate packs in order of newest to oldest and a more visible audit pack. 

These solutions were quickly adopted and received positive feedback for streamlining the process. 

The result

The managed service provision was successfully implemented in September 2020 and THERS is now used by 30 schools across Tower Hamlets. The service is on target to save schools over £150,000 in the first year, which equates to a 9% saving. Savings are expected to reach up to £250,000 in the next academic year.

The managed service is providing a consistent and efficient service, whilst ensuring quality, value for money and compliance. The schools using THERS are receiving consistent, pre-negotiated terms and conditions and pricing, including free transfer to permanent after 12 weeks (with 4 weeks’ notice).

Hasib Hikmat commented:

The service makes it easier to fill long term vacancies and there is less bureaucracy, more positive relationships and better value for money.

Let us add power to your procurement

Our Supply Teachers and Temporary Staff in Educational Establishments framework is supported by the Department for Education. 

To find out how we can support your temporary staff needs: