A Better Deal for Supply Teachers Campaign

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supply teachers, it has also spotlighted the growing casualisation of work and the situation for supply teachers, who often have no choice but to obtain work via different supply agencies, leaving them vulnerable to the vagaries of precarious, intermittent and insecure employment.

The NASUWT believes all groups - local authorities, MATs, school clusters, individual schools, school leaders and supply teachers - have a vested interest in doing something different in relation to the procurement of supply teachers following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NASUWT therefore advocates for a mechanism to be established that directly employs supply teachers, in order to manage the demand for supply teachers effectively, deliver better value when procuring supply teachers, and secure improvements to supply teachers’ pay and other entitlements at work.

The NASUWT is asking you to join us in our campaign by sending an online letter to your MP. Edit the template letter we've drafted below to send via the Union's Contact Your MP service - find your MP by entering your postcode below.

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Some starter text


As a member in your constituency, I currently work as a supply teacher. I know that you will recognise that supply teachers are a valuable resource to schools, assisting them in maintaining high standards of education for all children and young people.

Like all staff, supply teachers are able to work to the best of their ability when they are valued and not subjected to exploitative employment arrangements.

I am sure you will agree that supply teaching is a highly demanding, highly challenging and highly rewarding job and that supply teachers deserve to be properly valued, recognised and rewarded.

It is clear that the market in agency workers in education is big business. The amount spent by academy schools for the period 2018/19 was in excess of £199 million.1 Over two fifths (43%) of this was spent sourcing supply teachers from employment agencies. This represents in excess of £86.3 million.

Schools in your constituency are charged up to a 40% commission fee, which goes direct to the agency. This equates nationally to over £170 million for local authority-maintained schools and over £34.5 million for academies. This is evidence of a broken labour market that is letting teachers down, costing more to taxpayers and failing our children.

I hope that you will agree that bringing such practices to an end and ensuring that all teachers, including supply teachers, are valued and recognised for the vitally important work they do on behalf of children and young people must be a priority.

I would be grateful if you would confirm that you will use your best endeavours to ask the Government to improve the situation for supply teachers, including the establishment of mechanisms for direct employment through local authorities, schools and academy trusts.

Yours sincerely