DfE appoints PR and digital agencies to boost teaching vacancies hub

The Department for Education (DfE) is planning a year-long comms programme to raise awareness and increase uptake of its free teaching-jobs search and listings service.

DfE aims to boost its Teaching Vacancies jobs site with PR agency Four Communications
DfE aims to boost its Teaching Vacancies jobs site with PR agency Four Communications

DfE has appointed integrated agency Four Communications to deliver PR support while digital agency M-is will drive activity as part of a campaign to boost its Teaching Vacancies hub.

The goal is that all schools will use the Teaching Vacancies service, which launched nationally in April, and stop paying recruitment advertising fees – which currently amount to £50m-£75m a year, according to research from PwC.

Almost 60 per cent of state schools now use Teaching Vacancies, and the target for Four Communications is to boost the number of schools signed up, as well as increasing awareness among job-seeking teachers.

The Teaching Vacancies brand was created by Havas, which last year devised DfE’s latest recruitment campaign with PR by Kindred, aiming to attract more people into the teaching profession by tapping into the emotional rewards of changing children's lives.

The new 12-month agency contract with Four, which began last month, involves driving media relations, supporting content creation and stakeholder engagement, and managing an advocacy programme.

PR activity will include amplifying the voices of advocates of the service – including schools that have made significant savings by using the Teaching Vacancies site – using media outreach and social media.

The comms programme will also work with influencers in the education space to reach teachers and schools, as well as encouraging stakeholders to promote Teaching Vacancies in their networks and help build it as a national service.

Content development of leaflets, email templates and slides will allow DfE’s regional leaders to communicate with schools about the service, while media relations is expected to cover the development of stories for national, trade and regional media.

A DfE spokesperson said: "Teaching Vacancies has delivered above and beyond expectations to date – almost 60 per cent of schools have advertised a vacancy and the next step is to raise awareness of the service and drive more jobseekers and schools to the site.

"We want excellent teachers for every child. We want to change the way that schools recruit staff and help them to cut costs. The money saved can then be spent elsewhere on anything from school trips to new technology in the classroom.

"To drive even greater uptake of the service, we have chosen to appoint two new agencies – Four Communications and M-is, [which] will join Havas, Wavemaker, and Manning Gottlieb OMD. Together, this expert mix of agencies will deliver a multidiscipline campaign to ensure Teaching Vacancies is the job-search and listings service of choice for every school and teacher across England."


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