Headteachers and governors who are employing agency staff on lower wages are to blame for the reduction in local authority pools of supply teachers, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Wales said today.
Speaking to a motion on agency worker regulations at the Wales Trades Union Congress (WTUC) in Llandudno, NASUWT Cymru National Executive Member Hopkin Thomas laid the blame for the growth in the use of supply teachers agencies rather than local authority supply pools firmly at the door of headteachers and governors.
NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates said:
“This motion being debated highlights the disturbing practice of headteachers and governors increasingly using employment agencies to provide teachers and support staff at lower rates than their school colleagues.
“All teachers, regardless of the nature of their contract should be rewarded appropriately and fairly for their expertise and the vital work they do in educating our children. Employing teachers at cut-price rates is not only short-changing teachers, it is short-changing pupils. The Welsh Government must work with local authorities to reopen their supply pools.”
NASUWT National Executive Member Hopkin Thomas told delegates:
“Some agencies do seek to exploit the teachers and the support staff on their books. Agencies should take their share of blame and it is right that they are condemned for the way in which they operate.
“It would also be easy to blame the local authorities for abandoning their supply pools and leaving supply teacher and support staff at the mercy of rogue agencies. They too, must take their share of the blame. Many have been too eager to abandon their supply pools.
“However, this is not where the real blame lies. The blame rests with those schools, those governors and headteachers who use the agencies, not to seek to secure the best teachers, but to employ teachers ‘on-the-cheap’.
“This is where the blame and the shame lies.”
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