- Questions on Notice No 6243
- Assembly59 Parliament First Session
- Asked: 14 October 2021
Question on Notice
Mr Hodgett to ask the Minister for Education — With reference to the Department of Education and Training tender document (19/20-032) and the supply of casual relief teachers:
(1) Why was the said tender not advertised as recruitment and employment services to ensure employment agencies were notified of its existence.
(2) Will future tenders inclusive of the provision of casual relief teachers be advertised as recruitment and employment services.
(3) Why were existing service providers not notified that such a tender existed.
(4) Will the Minister allow for local service providers who were not informed of this tender to be added to the panel.
(5) Why are local schools in regional areas unable to directly work with a local employment service provider when it is time critical for schools to access casual relief teachers.
(6) How many regionally based service providers are listed on the panel to provide services on the above mentioned tender.
(7) How many regionally based service providers are being subcontracted to deliver services under this tender.
(8) What service providers are delivering services to the following regions: Barwon South West, Gippsland, Grampians, Hume and Loddon Mallee.
(9) Have any surveys or feedback been received from schools with respect to the efficacy and success of the tender in the Barwon South West, Gippsland, Grampians, Hume and Loddon Mallee regions; if so is this information publicly available.
(10) Have any improvements been made to the supply of casual relief teachers under this tender; if so, what improvements and what evidence is available to support this.
(11) Given the Government's vaccination mandate of teachers, can the Minister guarantee there are adequate numbers of casual relief teachers to support each school community and region.
- Answered: 23 November 2021
I am informed as follows:
(1) The Supply of Casual Relief Teachers (CRTs) to Victorian Government Schools tender was open on Buying for Victoria, the Victorian Government tender system from 26 March to 15 May 2020 with 19 tender submissions received.
The tender was published by the Department under the “education and training services” code based on the nature of the service, as schools are buying education services rather than a recruitment or employment service.
The tendering team considered “education and training services” as the appropriate code, which was supported by the level of the responses that the Department received. If there was an issue with the coding, then limited or no responses would have been received.
(2) The Department will review the code for future tenders for the provision of CRTs, in consultation with the industry, to ensure broad awareness in the market.
(3) This was an open public tender, which provides all suppliers with the opportunity to respond. Prior to releasing the Request for Tender, the Department published an Advance Tender Notice on Buying for Victoria and informed multiple stakeholders including schools, representative associations, and the Australian Education Union. Government agencies are not required to contact suppliers by email and no longer advertise tenders in newspapers.
(4) The Department will actively monitor the delivery of the service and may decide to refresh the Panel if it is deemed necessary.
(5) The Panel was established to reduce administrative burden, ensure the quality of CRTs that schools are using and improve the access that regional schools have to CRTs. By using the panel, schools no longer need to run a separate procurement process or sign separate agreements with agencies.
If a panel supplier is unable to provide a CRT when required, use of an alternative arrangement is permitted under the panel rules of use to meet a school’s immediate need. This includes using a non-panel supplier.
(6) There is one provider that is based regionally, Professional Teaching Solutions in Warrnambool, however all 11 providers service regional areas with every regional area having three or more options.
Agencies contractually committed to expand their nominated service areas within agreed timelines ranging from 4-6 week to 12-18 months. The Department is monitoring their progress.
(7) The panel terms and conditions do not permit providers to subcontract without the consent of the school council requesting the service. The Department is not aware of any regionally based providers that are subcontracted to panel providers.
(8) The following is a list of providers in each of the areas listed in the question:
Anzuk Education Services; Emergency Teacher Agency; Randstad; Staffing Organisation Services; The Teaching Initiative; Tradewind.
Wimmera South West Area (incl. Grampians):
Professional Teaching Solutions; Randstad; Slade Group/Interchange Bench; Staffing Organisation Services ; The Teaching Initiative; Top Notch Teaching Agency Pty Ltd.
Inner and Outer Gippsland Areas:
Randstad; Slade Group/Interchange Bench; The Teaching Initiative; Top Notch Teaching; Agency Pty Ltd; Tradewind; Anzuk Education Services.
Loddon and Mallee Areas:
Anzuk Education Services; Free Agency; Randstad; Staffing Organisation Services; The Teaching Initiative; Randstad; Slade Group/Interchange Bench; Top Notch Teaching Agency Pty Ltd.
Ovens Murray Area and Goulburn Area (Hume):
Free Agency; Randstad; Slade Group/Interchange Bench; Standby Staff Services; Top Notch Teaching Agency Pty Ltd; Tradewind.
(9) The Department receives feedback from schools across the state. Schools and CRT agencies are reporting that demand for CRTs is strong and supply is impacted by the closure of international borders. The Department is monitoring the situation and working to maintain adequate supply of CRTs.
(10) The Department monitors the performance of agencies and reserves the right to refresh the panel by removing non-performing and/or adding new agencies who meet the minimum standards.
The Panel was established to reduce administrative burden, ensure the quality of CRTs that schools are using and improve the access that regional schools have to CRTs.
(11) The Department’s survey of vaccination information as at Monday 18 October 2021, when the vaccination requirement commenced in schools, indicated that workforce resourcing issues are unlikely to emerge.
The Hon James Merlino MP
Minister for Education
Minister for Mental Health
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers