AMs call for supply teaching improvements

Assembly Members on the Public Accounts Committee have called on the Welsh Government to make a series of changes, to ensure pupils' learning does not suffer when they are being taught by supply teachers.

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AMs: Supply teaching monitoring and support needed

The Welsh Assembly's Public Accounts Committee has called for more information to be gathered on teachers' absence, and how children progress under supply teaching - as well as more support for school leaders and supply teachers themselves in covering absence.

No teacher walks into a class with the intention of giving a poor standard of education, but a supply teacher covering a period of absence often has to adjust at short notice to different surroundings and different learners while trying to pick up where the permanent teacher has left off.

The Committee believes it is vital that children's education should not suffer during these periods.

It is surprising then that data on absence and cover is not routinely collected to give a detailed picture of the impact this has on education standards, and we note the Welsh Government's acknowledgement that it must do more in this area.

We also want to see better support for school governors, headteachers and supply teachers in covering absence, including improved access to appropriate professional development, to maintain the standards our school children should expect.

– Darren Millar AM, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee

Call for action to improve supply teaching

Action is needed to make sure children's education does not suffer when teachers are absent, according to a committee of Assembly Members.

The Public Accounts Committee said it was "surprised at a lack of evaluation carried out when supply teachers cover absences as it makes it difficult to determine what impact that has on education standards."

Assembly Members have called for more support for, and monitoring of, supply teachers. Credit: PA

In its report published today, it has made 14 recommendations to the Welsh Government - including that more detailed information should be collected on supply lessons and there should be more support for supply staff.

The Welsh Government has said it will consider the report, and respond in due course.

Last September, reports from the education watchdog Estyn and the Wales Audit Office warned that nearly one in ten lessons in Wales were being covered by staff who were not the usual class teacher, and that children were making little progress in those lessons.


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