Fair Deal for Supply Teachers



Re: Supply Teacher Petition

Dear Mr. Rowlands,

Thank you for accepting our petition regarding our concerns about supply teaching in Wales and for the kind attention of your staff who have  been very helpful.

In her reply to you the Cabinet Secretary reminds us about her initiative for NQTs

        We remind her that 50 NQTs will make a tiny impact and doesn’t help the thousands of experienced qualified teachers who are being paid a very poor daily rate, as little as £80 a day in Swansea.  We would like the cluster project to be made more widely available to experienced teachers. We understand that the cluster project has not had the take up expected.

She has issued guidance about Agency Workers Regulations

        Supply teachers are still being offered employment on condition they sign the Swedish Derogation

Kirsty Williams published the Welsh Government’s Toolkit Guide – Code of Practice – Ethical Employment in Supply Chains to the education sector including commercial recruitment agencies. This document tells employers they should: “...be mindful of the School Teacher’s Pay and Conditions Document and should consider this document when reaching an agreement on the terms of contract and the impact on the supply teacher”

o    What does this mean? Because it is far too vague to have any impact on our pay or conditions. It does not direct schools or agencies to pay us commensurate with our skills and experience.

o    We are currently paid a poor flat rate that stays the same for years on end and we have a very poor pension scheme via agencies. Pay rates in Wales are generally much lower than in England.

Kirsty Williams  told us about Pay and   Conditions being devolved to Wales.

        By the time this is in place and hopefully things wil

        l improve, many more highly qualified teachers will have left the profession to take on alternative employment.

Kirsty Williams  reminds us about investment in HWB.

         The very small number of supply teachers who have accessed HWB shows it has a long way to go before it will impact on our practice, few schools are engaged with it as yet. We also need to have CPD with providers as we should have the same training and opportunities as permanent staff. Currently many agencies including ND charge teachers to attend CPD, so not only do they lose a day’s pay they also have to pay for the training.

New Directions are making huge profits from the public purse as the ‘Preferred Supplier’

        We met with Neil Thomas of the NPS recently and pointed out some very poor practices, such as a culture of fear imposed on teachers,  rates of pay from agencies varying between different authorities for teachers doing the same job and account managers suddenly removing teachers from schools just before AWR would take effect.

Use of unqualified staff in schools.

        As the Cabinet Secretary is aware we have made many FOIs about who is taking lessons in schools. Our replies show that a huge number of lessons are being taken by people who are not qualified teachers. Schools are able to employ anyone with an enhanced DBS to ‘supervise’ a class. Surely every child has the right to be taught by a qualified teacher and not just supervised? Cover supervisors are being paid around £55 a day to cover classes, just enough to satisfy minimum wage rules, they are also being exploited.

As you can see we have a catalogue of concerns . Ultimately, we would like the pay and conditions We hope you will consider this petition in the light of the information we have given.  

Yours sincerely

Sheila Jones

Angela Sandles

Ruth Treen

Cathy Grunis

Representatives of Fair Deal for Supply Teachers