P-05-805 Fair Deal for Supply Teachers -

Correspondence from Petitioner to Committee, 21.05.18


Dear Petitions Committee

Thank you for your correspondence regarding our petition Fair Deal for Supply Teachers.

You asked if we could present any specific solutions to the issues raised in our petition:

In response to our request to be paid fairly we want  to be paid according to scale to STPCD i.e. according to our qualifications and experience with access to the Teachers Pension Scheme.  Kirsty Williams has told us schools are free to employ supply teachers in whatever way they wish. This is also outlined in her document “Effective management of school workforce attendance:”


1.29 If a school employs a qualified supply teacher directly, they are then considered to be the employer. It is therefore, the schools responsibility to carry out all employer functions including relevant employment checks and payment for work is made. It is advisable that schools keep a list of supply teachers who could be called upon at short notice. Relevant details (e.g. CV, DBS, EWC registration) should be on file and the school should ask for an update of this information at each appointment. It is particularly important that EWC registration is checked at each appointment as the Register is ‘real-time’ and the registration status of an individual can change at any time.  Building a relationship with these teachers over a period of time would benefit the school, pupils and the supply teachers.   


With devolved powers coming into place in September 2018 we fail to see why it will take till September 2019 at the earliest to effect any change. As previously said, a trial for 50 supply teachers that hasn't had the uptake expected has had little effect for the rest of us.

There is a centralised register in Northern Ireland that works well over there. It is run by Belfast Council, Kirsty Williams has visited Northern Ireland while ago to look at iit but felt it wouldn’t work here. We think an alternative could be we could have a similar scheme here that would work with the geographical landscape. The EWC holds all the data on qualified teachers, a central database could be set up easily following the NI model.

Ideally we would like there to be no agencies in existence as they have made huge profits whilst paying very poor wages and giving very little in return. However, realistically we understand that there may always be agencies that will fulfil the need for cheap labour. But by encouraging schools to employ direct great benefits all round will be provided.   Schools will employ familiar teachers with the skills required, teachers will become known to the school and problems with having a series of unfamiliar teachers trooping through classrooms will be avoided.

Standards will rise, behaviour will improve, teacher retention will improve as will morale.  Certainly just having a preferred supplier has driven down wages in Wales.

In the interim all agencies need to be offering free CPD that is relevant and current to keep supply teachers up to date with new initiatives.  

We would like the use of unqualified staff taking lessons to be outlawed and for every child to be taught by a qualified teacher.