Supply teacher use up by 26 per cent


There has been a dramatic increase in the use of supply teachers by secondary schools after a slump in teacher training applicants in 2011.

Figures show that secondaries hired 10,166 supply staff a week during the spring term 2013 compared to 8,067 during the same period in 2012 – a rise of 26 per cent.

Across all schools, 41,000 supply teachers worked each week during the spring term 2013 – up 10 per cent from 37,200 in the same term in 2012.

Furthermore, the average number of supply teachers working each week in 2013 is higher than at any point in the past five years. 

The figures come from Randstad Education’s Supply Teacher Tracker and the specialist recruiter has put the rise down to the post-election slump in teacher training applicants.

In 2011, the number of graduates applying for teacher training courses fell by 9.3 per cent, with some subjects suffering falls of up to 40 per cent in the number of applicants. It is thought the impact of this will be felt this year and in 2014. 

When broken down further, the figures show a large increase in the number of supply support staff being hired, with 2,935 a week being taken on this year compared to 1,893 last year.

Meanwhile, the number of qualified supply teachers being taken on each week by secondary schools has increased to 7,231 from 6,174.

The Supply Teacher Tracker said: “Funding restrictions have left many schools unable to hire more costly newly qualified or qualified teachers and they have had to bolster classrooms and ease the pressure on existing staff by drafting in more non-qualified teaching assistants.”

In terms of regions, London showed the biggest increase in supply teacher use, with a 41 per cent rise to 8,260 teachers working each week during spring 2013. The North West recorded a 21 per cent rise to 5,300, while Yorkshire and Humber is up 11 per cent to 3,850.


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