Coronavirus: Supply teachers fear loss of income

Supply teachers say they may be forced to work even if they have underlying health conditions

Henry Hepburn

Coronavirus: Supply teachers fear not being paid

A group of supply teachers in Scotland has written an open letter expressing concerns that the coronavirus outbreak could result in them facing a long period without any income.

They fear that they will be forced to work even if they have underlying health conditions or are pregnant.

In the letter, signed anonymously by 60 supply teachers from across Scotland, deputy first minister and education secretary John Swinney is asked to take "urgent" measures to protect supply teachers.

Coronavirus: Teachers call for clarity over closures

Coronavirus statement: 12 takeaways from John Swinney statement

Coronavirus and exams: Exams cancelled in Scotland

The letter states: "We are deeply concerned by the lack of information in terms of sick pay and special leave for supply teachers during the shutdown.

"Many of us do not have written contracts of employment, some will not qualify for sick pay under normal [Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers] arrangements and some daily part-time supply staff will not even qualify for statutory sick pay. We understand that arrangements for supply staff have been left to individual local authorities and that decisions may not be made until next week."

The letter adds: "We are professionals who care deeply about our learners and who want to help in this crisis. Many of us will continue to work in schools in the coming weeks alongside our permanent colleagues.

"However, the current situation will force some supply staff to continue to work or face an extended period without pay even if they have underlying health conditions or are unwell. This contradicts government and NHS guidance and risks spreading the virus from school to school."

The letter urges the Scottish government and local authorities body Cosla to "make urgent, national arrangements for all supply teachers".

The Scottish government has been contacted for comment.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

Latest stories