New TPA Research: Schools spent £293 million on supply teachers

February 24, 2011 8:32 AM

Includes a breakdown of spending for every English secondary school


We today reveal that secondary schools in England spent £293 million on supply teachers in 2009-10.  The findings come as part of the first detailed analysis of spending data released by the Department for Education in January 2011.

The percentage of pupils on free school meals is a common measure of deprivation and is often used by the Government to target spending.  This brand new analysis suggests that there is already a 'pupil premium'; schools with over 30 per cent of students on free school meals received an income of over 26 per cent more per pupil.

Click here to read the full report


The key findings of this research are:

  • £293 million was spent on supply teachers in the financial year 2009-10 in non-academy secondary schools (over £100,000 per school)

  • Schools in deprived areas use supply teachers far more frequently. Schools with over 30 per cent of students on free school meals spent an average of over £140,000 each on supply teachers. This suggests that the pupils who need stable teaching the most do not get it

  • There is already a “pupil premium”. Schools with over 30 per cent of students on free school meals received an income of over 26 per cent more per pupil

  • There is little apparent correlation between pupil funding and academic achievement

  • Many areas that have low attainment are those with the highest funding per pupil

  • The data confirms that higher deprivation leads to lower academic achievement


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Many parents are very concerned when they see their children being taught by a series of different supply teachers, rather than enjoying a stable learning environment with a regular teacher.  At the same time, we have just seen a decade in which Britain has spent more and more on education but slid down international league tables for performance.  Taxpayers deserve to get better value and this report provides new evidence that suggests the key to improving schools isn’t just throwing more money at them, but improving how they are managed.  Headteachers need to be given more power to run their schools and should be accountable to parents, not bureaucrats in Whitehall."

Simon Cook, author of the report, said:

"This new information on school budgets offers an invaluable insight into how our education system is functioning.  It is clear that schools in more deprived areas are getting a substantial premium in terms of funding, but most aren’t able to overcome the challenges of working with more deprived children and deliver better results.  It is really important that more information like this is released so that we can have a real, informed debate about how we can make public services work."

Includes a breakdown of spending for every English secondary school


We today reveal that secondary schools in England spent £293 million on supply teachers in 2009-10.  The findings come as part of the first detailed analysis of spending data released by the Department for Education in January 2011.

The percentage of pupils on free school meals is a common measure of deprivation and is often used by the Government to target spending.  This brand new analysis suggests that there is already a 'pupil premium'; schools with over 30 per cent of students on free school meals received an income of over 26 per cent more per pupil.

Click here to read the full report


The key findings of this research are:

  • £293 million was spent on supply teachers in the financial year 2009-10 in non-academy secondary schools (over £100,000 per school)

  • Schools in deprived areas use supply teachers far more frequently. Schools with over 30 per cent of students on free school meals spent an average of over £140,000 each on supply teachers. This suggests that the pupils who need stable teaching the most do not get it

  • There is already a “pupil premium”. Schools with over 30 per cent of students on free school meals received an income of over 26 per cent more per pupil

  • There is little apparent correlation between pupil funding and academic achievement

  • Many areas that have low attainment are those with the highest funding per pupil

  • The data confirms that higher deprivation leads to lower academic achievement


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Many parents are very concerned when they see their children being taught by a series of different supply teachers, rather than enjoying a stable learning environment with a regular teacher.  At the same time, we have just seen a decade in which Britain has spent more and more on education but slid down international league tables for performance.  Taxpayers deserve to get better value and this report provides new evidence that suggests the key to improving schools isn’t just throwing more money at them, but improving how they are managed.  Headteachers need to be given more power to run their schools and should be accountable to parents, not bureaucrats in Whitehall."

Simon Cook, author of the report, said:

"This new information on school budgets offers an invaluable insight into how our education system is functioning.  It is clear that schools in more deprived areas are getting a substantial premium in terms of funding, but most aren’t able to overcome the challenges of working with more deprived children and deliver better results.  It is really important that more information like this is released so that we can have a real, informed debate about how we can make public services work."

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