Supply teachers facing continued exploitation

Supply teachers are facing ongoing exploitation and poor treatment, the NASUWT’s latest annual survey has found.

40% said they were not made aware of the children they were teaching who had special educational needs (SEN) or behavioural problems, and over a quarter said they were not informed about schools’ behaviour management policies.

On pay, over two thirds said the agency they most recently worked for operates a ceiling on the level of pay for teachers. Just 12% said the level of pay they receive per day has increased in the last 12 months. One in five supply teachers said they are frequently offered work below their qualification level as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor, of which 83% said this is at a lower rate of pay than they would receive as a teacher employed permanently in a school.

Nearly one in five said they have been asked by an agency to undertake a ‘free trial’ at a school prior to undertaking paid supply work. Significant numbers of supply teachers report financial hardship as a result of the driving down of their pay levels, with 23% having to increase their use of credit and 19% having to take a second job. The NASUWT will be using the results of the survey to inform and strengthen its ongoing work with governments, agencies and schools to secure a better deal for supply teachers.

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