As one of the agencies contacted for your article on supply teaching, I must take issue with how your survey was conducted.
If asked, I would have confirmed that since opening in 1989 we have always abided by Department for Education guidelines; always cleared every teacher through List 99 (via the DFE); have arranged our own police checks through local authorities; have checked two written professional references and interviewed every teacher. We ask for photographs, identification and verify teaching certificates.
As a direct result of your article, we are now having to recontact all our clients to reassure them about our code of conduct and quality assurance, as you did present a picture of sharp practice and ignorance among agencies.
I feel the reporting was slanted heavily towards what is happening in London and oblivious of the very real efforts made by companies such as ours. We are acutely aware that it is up to us to set and maintain the highest professional standards, simply because we are now having to regulate ourselves. We urge the DFE to introduce enforceable guidelines, and suggest that agencies such as ours should be at the forefront of discussions about setting the criteria for these guidelines.
Director Quality First Supply Teachers Charter House
Lord Montgomery Way Portsmouth