Teacher shortage ‘costing millions in supply staff’

The BBC is reporting warnings from teaching unions that teacher shortages are costing schools hundreds of millions of pounds in temporary supply staff.

The National Union of Teachers says schools in England spent £733m last year on supply teacher agencies.

The teachers’ union argues that the difficulty in recruiting teachers means schools are forced to use their budgets on supply staff – and that these temporary staff are not receiving the same pay and benefits as full-time teachers.

“Supply teacher agencies are making millions while supply teachers’ pay continues to plummet,” said NUT leader Christine Blower.

“This is money which should be used for children’s education, not going towards boosting the profits of private companies.”

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation rejected the NUT claims as unfair and said schools with vacancies “rely on their recruitment partners to bring in quality teachers, often at very short notice”.

“Agencies charge a daily rate for temporary contracts and the majority of this will go directly to the teacher. It is up to schools, agencies and teachers to negotiate pay rates and this can vary according to location and other factors such as how much experience the teacher has,” said head of policy Kate Shoesmith.

She said agencies “typically take between 15-30% cent of the fee”.

Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Heads are increasingly forced to rely on supply agencies because they can’t find permanent staff in time. 

“This creates real problems with continuity and coherence, particularly important with vulnerable children. It is also expensive at a time of increasing budget pressures…”

More at: Teacher shortage ‘costing millions in supply staff’

 

This is an interesting angle of the recruitment issue that we haven’t heard before but I’m trying to understand the logic of why schools can’t recruit enough teachers but are able to bring them in as supply teachers.

Are the people working as supply teachers specifically choosing that route in preference to a permanent job and, if so, why when, as Christine Blower suggests, this results in lower pay and benefits? And why are schools using supply teachers if, again as suggested, this costs more because of the mark up that goes to the agencies?

If schools have vacancies and supply teachers are filling the gaps, why aren’t the supply teachers taking up the permanent vacancies?

Anyone out there able to point out what I am missing here?

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Schools have no choice on thus & DfE ought to be looking into why so many now regard supply teaching as their best option

  2. Snorrarcisco

    SchoolsImprove remove the pressure, appraisal system, progression ideas and insane targets and the supply staff may return as as teachers

  3. In 2012, Radio Five Live investigated an agency employing 24,000 temporary workers including supply teachers.  The agency was registered off-shore and wasn’t paying NI contributions for its temps.  This reduced the cost to those employing the temps including schools using the agency but threw up problems including taxpayers’ having to foot the bill for the lost millions in NI contributions.

    http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2012/11/supply-teachers-paid-by-offshore-firm-taxpayers-may-foot-bill-for-the-lost-millions-in-unpaid-employers-ni-contributions/

  4. LauraCornish511

    SchoolsImprove don’t give current teachers a 68% pay cut and expect them to first not notice and then stay

  5. Mktadvice4schls

    SchoolsImprove schools need to be more strategic about staffing – with #teacherrecruitmentcrisis will always cost £££ to hire short term

  6. MyAuntyDoodoo

    SchoolsImprove Teachers want to do supply because they have bern forced out or just had enough, esp experienced teachers 1/2

  7. MyAuntyDoodoo

    SchoolsImprove With pay freezes, supply is actually a competitive salary for some teachers. Personally, I think this will get worse.

  8. MyAuntyDoodoo

    SchoolsImprove Recently had interview with academy chain. Awful. Teachers put straight on capability if they aren’t getting results

  9. FNTBD

    justinpgdr g56g NickyMorgan01 Last yr 50,000 teachers left profession. Wasted B.Eds & PGCEs wasted potential and children loose Education

  10. FNTBD

    justinpgdr g56g NickyMorgan01 Last yr 50,000 teachers left profession. Wasted B.Eds & PGCEs wasted potential and children loose Education

  11. VictoriaJaquiss

    I know of many people who walked out of stressful, time-consuming jobs and who went on supply, not usually immediately, from which you can walk away at the end of the school day.

  12. Leigh

    Many teachers would like part time positions but job shares seem to be non existent and now PPA opportunities seem to have dried up. To be a good, never mind outstanding, full time teacher isn’t compatible with a family life or good mental health. Alternative to supply teaching is LSA, SNSA, TA type role- less money but, if in the right school, satisfaction and time with family / friends in the evening and weekends.

  13. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove A glimpse of the future though, schools run by private enterprise for profit. All part of Gove’s plan, Morgan just a puppet.

  14. acet2001

    SchoolsImprove A glimpse of the future though, schools run by private enterprise for profit. All part of Gove’s plan, Morgan just a puppet.

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