Spending on supply teachers rises to £1.3 billion

Local authority maintained schools spend greater share of budget on supply teachers than academies, according to figures published today

Will Hazell

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Schools in England spent £1.3 billion on supply teachers in 2015-16, according to new government figures published by the government.

The figure represents a 4 per cent increase on 2014-15, when schools spent £1.24 billion, according to Department for Education figures contained in a presentation from June.

Nick Gibb, the minister for school standards, published today's figures in response to a parliamentary question from Anna Turley, the Labour MP for Redcar.

They also show that local authority schools spend more on supply teachers as a proportion of their budget than academies.

According to his response, in 2015-16 maintained schools in England spent 3.26 per cent of their total expenditure on supply teachers, compared with 2.28 per cent in academies.

Taken together, this equates to just under £1.3 billion, or £58,699 on average, per school, although the amounts will vary widely.

The spending covers directly-employed supply teachers, agency supply teachers and supply teacher insurance.

Ms Turley also asked for the proportion of schools’ budgets spent on supply teachers in the North East and in her own constituency.

In both cases, maintained schools also spent more on supply teachers than academies. In the North East, it accounted for 3.18 per cent of total spend in maintained schools, compared to 2.52 per cent in academies.

In Redcar and Cleveland, maintained schools spent 3.43 per cent of their budgets on supply teachers, compared to 3.05 per cent in the local academy schools.

The figures come as the government is planning to create a framework of approved supply staff agencies in a bid to reduce costs to schools. A tender is due to be published in January.

*Tes is part of Tes Global, whose businesses include three teacher supply agencies.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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