We are getting lots of questions from schools and supply staff regarding the new NPS Framework. We pride ourselves in always being fair, honest and transparent, therefore would like to state some facts and clarify our position.
Accent on Education was successful in its bid to be on the new Supply Teacher Framework that was introduced by the National Procurement Service. We met all the criteria and are REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) Accredited. Furthermore, we recently underwent a successful audit by the Government Agencies Inspectorate who were very complimentary.
Firstly, we totally support teachers in their quest to be paid the minimum rate of M1 and will always try to achieve this. We also support the NPS mission in ensuring agencies are in line with current legislation and standards to protect teachers and schools. We were happy to accept the invitation to join the Framework, provided that all parties, including schools, were ready for the changes.
In the Summer term we met with all of our schools. The consistent feedback that they gave, was that they had not been consulted at all about the Framework and were unaware of the increased costs for supply teachers and the NPS rebate fee/mandatory Supplier Rebate that those agencies on the framework will be contractually required to pay. Schools had not budgeted for any price increases as budgets were set by April 2019. We were informed that a large price increase would be almost impossible to factor into budgets at this stage. This concerned us greatly. Joining the Framework would mean guaranteeing a rate to teachers that schools were telling us that they may not be able to always afford.
We then spoke at length with REC, seeking guidance regarding the Framework. REC informed us that they had met with the National Procurement Service who confirmed that it was not mandatory for schools to use agencies on the Framework.
Although working in line with the standards set out by the NPS, ultimately, as a small, family run business, we could not risk signing a contract for 4 years while there was such uncertainty. We therefore decided not to join the Framework in its current form.
Our aim is to achieve an outcome that is agreeable for teachers and schools alike, ensuring that we continue to follow current legislations, standards and provide all with quality assurance, something that we are confident we can continue to do, despite choosing not to be part of the NPS framework.
We have always endeavored to maintain a warm, friendly and open relationship with our teachers, teaching assistants and schools and we are very proud of these strong bonds. Equally, schools choose to use Accent, as we are reliable and honest at all times. These values will always be at the forefront of any decision that we make as a business.
If you would like to discuss this further with us, then please contact us directly and we would be more than happy to arrange a meeting.
Accent on Education Ltd
Image from https://gov.wales/national-procurement-service