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Supply teachers choose academies

Private schools and comprehensives alike are shunned as survey reveals that cover staff also prefer long contracts to high hourly rate

Nearly nine out of 10 supply teachers say they prefer to work in academies or city technology colleges to private schools or any other secondary.

The survey showed that 86 per cent of supply teachers prefer to work in new academies.

The research, undertaken by recruitment consultants Giant Group, also showed that only 6.4 per cent of supply teachers would opt for a private school as their next placement.

Just 3.7 per cent of supply teachers would want their next placement to be in a comprehensive.

Bristol Brunel Academy principal Armando Di Finizio said he was surprised by the survey figures, but put it down to the personal approach taken by academies.

"We have our own HR people, rather than them being employed through the local authority, which I imagine give us a more personal approach," he said.

"But academies are also new, there is a focus on behaviour and curriculum, and there is this drive to succeed in academies at the moment. All eyes are on us and I guess supply teachers respond to that."

Giant Group managing director Matthew Brown said the results showed that there were "significant" attractions to working in academies that are not just about money.

Mr Brown said: "It's surprising that so few supply teachers would prefer their next placement to be at a private school given the potential for higher pay in the private sector."

"Performance pay and a bigger emphasis on challenging the 'norm' through practical and specialist education methods, are major motivating factors for contract teachers when deciding the type of school for their next placement."

The news is a timely boost to the Government's commitment towards its flagship schools. Academies have been painted in an unfavourable light recently, following the suspension of 30 pupils in a single day after riots at the Oasis Academy in Southampton last November, and the resignation of Peter Noble, chief executive of the Richard Rose Academy in Cumbria, following parent protests.

The survey of 255 supply teachers also showed that nearly seven out of 10 would prefer to be handed long-term contracts, rather than a higher "per hour" rate.

According to the report, 67 per cent of supply teachers would like to be kept on for longer periods.

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