Please can anyone help - We currently use supply agenceies to cover staff shortages in school due to illness. We can depending on how long staff are off for book and use the same supply staff person for a length of time. On occasion we have advertised for permanent staff whilst they have been on supply, they have applied for the job and then been successful.

This then occurs a fee and handover period to release the supply staff from the agency as they say that they introduced them to us in the first place which I understand but not sure I agree fully. My thinking is that even though the supply staff have been working with us, they may have seen the job advertised and applied for it anyway, hope that makes sense? Do you think we should this would be a reasonable way to negotiate a cheaper fee and/or earlier handover.

The handover period is 5 months and if we want to take the staff member earlier than 5 months the fee is approx £2500.

It's a tricky one because 3 of our new staff from supply haven't signed or received a contract from the agency and we haven't signed any terms and condiitons but they state because we use their staff we abide by their terms.

I just wondered if anyone else has had a similar situation to this and whether you can suggest anything as seems harsh saying they can't start for 5 months and our school budget has been cut so can't spend £7500 on releasng them from the agency,

Thanks for reading,





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  • Hi,

    I guess it will all come down to your terms and conditions with the agency but I would have thought that, logically, if the agency staff are applying for different jobs than the one the agency supplied them for, then there shoudn't be a fee to you.

    So, if the agency supplies you with a member of staff for a temporary English teaching position, and you then hire that person for that job on a permenent basis, you would owe the agency a fee. However, If that agency staff member applies for a permanent Maths teaching position, without going through the agency, I wouldn't have though you should owe a fee. Because yes, the agency introduced you to them, but you haven't asked them to apply for the position, they've done it themselves, which, as you say, they might have done regardless of whether they had been sent to you by the agency for a different role.

    This is only my opinion on how I think it ought to work though, as I said, you'll have to have a good look through your t&cs with the agency.

    In terms of a way around it, i'm not sure. With regards to not signing the t&cs- ideally they should have got you to sign them, but even if not, if you've seen a copy of them and you're still working with the agency then I would say you have decided to agree with the t&cs, otherwise you wouldn't be using that agency.

    Good luck,



  • Hi Lisa, 

    I would suggest that you re-neogiate with the agency telling them you want a twelve week temp to perm with no fee at the end or similar.  If they are not prepared to offer this there are hundreds of agencies that will.

    Regards Louise

    • I have to agree with you there Lisa. A relationship with an agency needs to work to the benefit of all. From the agencies perspective, if you're happy with the relationship you'll stick with them and continue to purchase the services of their supply teachers. If not, there must be others that you can work with on better terms.

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