Teacher illness cost some counties over £2 million
A teaching union says that doesn’t even include the substantial fees charged by supply agencies.
A total of 16,827 sickness days were taken by school teachers across Wiltshire in the last academic year.
That’s the equivalent of 418 days lost PER WEEK throughout the school terms.
Bringing in a supply teacher to cover classes costs an average daily rate of £124, adding up to a bill of more than £2 million for some authorities.
But that doesn’t include what the National Education Union describes as ‘substantial’ agency fees of up to £100 per day.
Andrew Morris, assistant general secretary of the NEU, said:
“Supply agencies cream off millions of pounds every year from schools, charging them substantial fees while paying supply teachers appallingly.
“The DfE is actively supporting agencies when it could be adopting a Northern Ireland model, where a Government-backed scheme puts schools and supply teachers in direct contact, saving schools money and paying teachers more.”
A survey by the union has found 81% of supply teachers get their work through agencies.
The Department for Education estimates this costs schools up to £75 million a year nationally.
A DfE spokeswoman said:
“We have launched a national deal to support schools with getting value for money when hiring agency supply teachers and other temporary staff.
“The deal includes a list of preferred suppliers who are open about the rates they charge, and also help schools to avoid finders fees.”