The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has voiced its concerns surrounding the recent tender process to become a National Tutoring Programme (NTP) Tuition Partner.
Introduced to support teachers and schools affected by the pandemic, the NTP government scheme recently encouraged tenders for tuition partners – businesses that have the resources to support the scheme over the coming months.
According to the trade body, though, the lack of clarity and transparency in the eligibility criteria and awarding of the tender has led to significant confusion from education staffing companies. As Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo explained, as the process was not run as a normal government tender, many recruitment businesses have been left with no clear routes to query decisions:
“Our members are extremely disappointed that so few of them, if any, were successful in their application to become an NTP Tuition Partner. Education staffing companies have an abundance of competent candidates, ready to work and eager to support disadvantaged pupils whose education was adversely affected by COVID-19 and school closures. Those candidates, accompanied by our members’ national and regional expertise, make it difficult to understand why they were not selected, and the lack of routes to dispute the process is only exacerbating the situation.”
“APSCo has written to representatives from the NTP seeking further clarity and transparency on the selection process and criteria as well as details of the feedback and disputes process for applicants wishing to query and appeal the decision.”