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Supply deserves better

We would like to respond to comments made by Gruff Hughes, general secretary of UCAC (TES Cymru, March 2). We were disappointed on behalf of our highly skilled and experienced teachers.

Our recruitment agency provides a first-class service to schools based purely on supply and demand. There is no way we can manipulate the system.

Our service helps schools in Wales to continue to function normally.

Due to budget constraints, agencies are a viable option during times of staff shortages. Five of the largest local authorities in South Wales tender their recruitment to education agencies.

Agencies do not supply pension contributions. This is because our teachers are free agents and tend to be registered with more than one agency. We do encourage teachers to have private pensions.

Most agencies operate statutory sick pay. Teachers are covered by SSP only because they do not have a contract of employment.

We pay our teaching staff at the highest end of the rates Mr Hughes quoted - and in excess.

All agencies in South Wales work closely with the education department and the General Teaching Council for Wales and would welcome the Quality Mark.

Staff go through rigorous checks before any placement.

Agencies never discriminate on any grounds. It is simply the right person for the right job.

Kevin E Moyes and Mark Mitchell, Directors, Education Staffing Solutions, Cardiff

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