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‘Exploitative practices’: has supply teaching reached an all-time low?

Schools are struggling to afford the rising cost of supply teachers – who say their pay and conditions have never been worse. Jamie Stinson and Will Hazell report

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Schools in the grip of a recruitment crisis are facing spiralling agency costs. But many supply teachers say their work has never been less secure or worse paid, despite the unprecedented demand for their services.

A Tes investigation has uncovered a wide range of practices that union leaders, headteachers and teachers say are suppressing wages and at the same time inflicting even higher costs on cash-strapped schools.

These include unpaid “trial days”, moving staff into different roles before their employment rights kick in and moving the best teachers around schools like “chess pieces”.

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