Proposed changes to supply teaching in Wales have been set out in an independent report published today (Thurs 2nd Feb).
The Welsh Government established the Ministerial Supply Model Taskforce in June 2016 to consider issues around supply teachers. They considered the complexities and variations in how supply teachers are employed.
Their report offers a range of recommendations, including considering cost efficiencies, highlighting safeguarding responsibilities, accurate data collection, proposals for pay and conditions, and supporting newly qualified teachers and professional learning opportunities.
- Improving the data collected on supply teachers so it is more accurate.
- Undertake a full cost analysis to measure the true cost of supply teaching.
- Consider the terms and conditions of supply teachers as part of broader proposals to devolve teachers’ pay and conditions to Wales.
- Raise awareness with employers to the responsibilities placed upon them in relation to safeguarding and update workforce guidance.
- Consider regulating the quality of commercial supply agencies by introducing a set of accredited minimum quality standards that all commercial agencies providing teachers to maintained schools should meet.
The Welsh Government has accepted the majority of the report’s recommendations. However, further detailed policy and legal work will be carried out to establish whether all of the recommendations can be delivered, including the recommendations around quality standards and regional collaborative working.
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said:
“Supply teachers are an important part of the teacher workforce and I want to make sure they have the opportunity for professional development and are able to support our wider education reforms.
“As the report concludes, there is clear room for improvement in the way we currently employ, manage and support the delivery of supply teachers. While I accept the report’s recommendations at this time, some of them raise complex legal issues which we will need to look into further. We will now begin this process, working closely with councils, schools, the teaching workforce, unions and others.
“Any changes must fit with our national mission to raise standards and extend opportunities for all our young people.”