Teacher vacancy website trial to start ‘in the next month or so’

The government’s planned teacher vacancy website has taken “much longer than it should have” to develop and is still being built, the academies minister has admitted, though a pilot is likely to go ahead this summer.

Lord Agnew told school business managers at ASCL’s business leaders conference in Nottingham on Thursday that the site is “being built as we speak” and may be trialled in a small pool of schools “in the next month or so”.

Ministers first promised to create a jobs portal to allow schools to advertise vacancies for free in 2016, and renewed the pledge in last year’s Conservative election manifesto. Last month, the Department for Education told Schools Week the roll-out would begin this spring.

Agnew said the tool is “very much still in the machine room being built”.

“I can’t remember when we’re hoping to pilot it. I think we may be piloting it in the next month or so with a small pool of schools just to make sure it works. It’s probably taken much longer than it should have done, but then any of these big IT projects tend to.”

The £984,000 contract for running the pilot was awarded to digital specialists DXW in February, but there has been no report on their progress.

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