Supply staff 'hamper learning'

Children taught by staff who aren't their usual teachers make slower progress in lessons, according to a joint report by the school's inspectorate Estyn and the Wales Audit Office.

Children's education at risk from teacher absences

by Megan Boot

There are claims our children's education is being put at risk by an increase in teacher absence.

Reports published by the Wales Audit Office and education inspectorate Estyn found that nearly one in 10 lessons are being covered by staff who are not the usual class teacher.

From 2011 - 2012, £54 million was spent on providing supply to fill in for teachers who were off ill, out training or even attending meetings.

But organisations providing cover staff say supply teachers play an important role; while the National Union of Teachers says there are 'a variety of issues' affecting classroom teaching and teacher absence is not solely to blame.

Auditor General: 'Increasing reliance' on supply staff

The Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas, says there is an 'increasing reliance' on supply teachers in our schools.

Figures show one in 10 Welsh schoolchildren are taught by supply staff, as a report out today says children's progress is being hampered by teacher absence.

To use supply cover efficiently and effectively schools need to better understand the causes of teacher absence and to develop more effective cover arrangements.

These actions will not only save schools money but also have a positive impact on pupil attainment.

– Huw Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General for Wales

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Children taught by supply teachers 'make less progress'

A report says almost 10% of children in Welsh schools are taught by supply teachers Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Children taught by staff who aren't their usual teachers make less progress in lessons, according to a joint report by the school's inspectorate Estyn and the Wales Audit office.

The report says that supply teaching is often less effective because staff don't know enough about the needs of the pupils they teach.

It added that the pace of lessons can also be slow and expectations too low.

Authors have recommend that supply teachers gain better access to the national training programmes that are available to permanently-employed teachers

The Welsh Government says it will consider the report's recommendations and respond in due course.