Concerns have been growing on the education recruitment crisis, with last week’s news about head teacher shortages and the lengths schools have to go to find the best teachers which can literally mean travelling half way around the world to Australia. As specialists in permanent, quality teacher recruitment we understand how important getting the right teaching staff is. However the latest news tells a worrying story about the amount of money schools are spending on supply staff.
Today Labour released figures that show how schools spend £1.3bn per year on recruiting supply teachers, which is £59K on average per school, and that these figures are set to rise due to the growing problems schools face with recruiting and retaining teachers.
Labour explains how ‘half of all schools had unfilled positions at the start of this year and are being forced to turn to unqualified staff, temporary supply teachers, non-specialists, and larger class sizes to try to plug the gaps’ due to the way the government have ‘talked down the profession’. However the Department of Education say ‘It is completely misleading to suggest there are chronic shortages of teachers or that a record number of teachers have 'quit' the profession - our increased spending on supply teachers simply reflects our increased total spending in response to rising pupil numbers.’
Christian Blower, Head of the NUT (National Union of Teachers), explained how this money being spent by schools on supply staff could be put to better use: ‘This is all money which should be spent on increasing the supply of qualified teachers.’
Do you think schools are overspending on supply staff? Do you think using too many supply staff is harmful to student’s education? Share your experiences with us on social media.