SUPPLY teachers are being exploited by their employers, denied pay and pensions equal to that of their full-time colleagues and subjected to poorer working conditions, education union NASUWT has revealed.
According to the union’s latest report, published today, two out of three supply teachers felt they were not being paid salaries reflecting their levels of expertise.
Many more were unaware of the agency workers’ directive, which entitles supply teachers to the same pay and conditions as their contracted colleagues after 12 weeks in one workplace.
The figures were introduced at the union’s annual conference, after official data released in December exposed a worrying reliance on supply staff by headteachers across the country.
General secretary Chris Keates told the Star: “What we are finding is that more and more supply teachers are being forced to sign up with agencies to get any work at all.
“The agencies in many cases are exploiting supply teachers so that they’re selling their services at quite high levels to schools, but a small proportion of the money goes back to the supply teacher.”
In Ms Keates’s view a complete review of agencies and pay rates for supply teachers needs to be considered urgently by the Conservative government.
The union found that 70 per cent of supply teachers accepted to work for agencies because this seemed to be the only route to find work.
The same survey also showed that half of supply teachers believed that they were being used to cover lessons involving more difficult pupils, while 61 per cent had had no access to training.
A supply teacher in England commented that she had to find a part-time job in a shop because “supply work is never guaranteed and I do need to earn during the holidays to be able to afford food as well as paying bills.”