One third of supply requests left unmet

22nd March 2013 at 00:00
Around 36 per cent of requests for cover are not being met in East Lothian primaries, with a similar situation reflected nationally, says report

More than a third of requests for supply staff are going unmet in Scottish schools, according to a council report.

Around 36 per cent of requests for supply cover are not being met in East Lothian primaries, with a similar situation reflected nationally, says a report that went before the council's education committee this month.

Securing cover in secondary schools is also difficult, it states.

The authority plans to "boost" supply teacher numbers by offering teachers on part-time contracts the opportunity to join the supply list.

At present, 225 staff are on the list but only 72 are active, the report states. Many of them refuse to provide cover on certain days, travel certain distances or accept short-term placements.

Short-term supply teachers' pay was halved in the last teachers' agreement, two years ago.

Most heads were struggling to find supply cover for most subjects, said Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland.

"Reducing supply cover wages to their current levels was both terribly short-sighted and hugely damaging to the standing of the profession," he said. "We are now reaping what was sown."

The supply shortage was "a growing problem", said Greg Dempster, general secretary of the primary heads' and deputes' union, AHDS.

An improved pay deal for short-term supply teachers could come out of the continuing pay and conditions talks taking place at the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers. Thus far, however, this is understood to have been one of the main sticking points.

emma.seith@tess.co.uk.

Original headline: One third of requests for supply teachers left unmet

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now