Responding to an announcement issued yesterday by the Department for Education that it does not intend to continue the Quality Mark scheme beyond the end of the current contract on 31st March this year, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s chief executive Kevin Green said:

“We are extremely disappointed with David Laws’ decision not to continue with the Quality Mark scheme which was praised by his predecessor as Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, as recently as last summer. This is the wrong course of action and a retrograde step and we will be making that argument to the Department very robustly.

“In light of recent headlines and the renewed focus on the vetting of all those working with children, it is vital safeguards are maintained. Recruiters who supply teachers and the schools they do business with value the Quality Mark as both a visible and government endorsed guarantee that adults entering their classrooms have been properly checked.

“Of course government budgets are under pressure, but it is short-sighted not to recognise that the Quality Mark provides a cost effective framework for enhancing safe recruitment and is an alternative to additional bureaucratic regulation within the education sector.

“We will write to David Laws and Michael Gove today to challenge this decision and we know that many agencies will want to do the same. But we also have to be realistic about the chances of Ministers having a change of heart so we have already begun to develop our own audit scheme specific to the education sector that will preserve and continue the safeguarding achievements of the Quality Mark scheme.”