TPA reply to REC criticisms of education spending paper

February 24, 2011 5:40 PM

“It’s very sad that the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) seem to have completely missed our point about supply teachers. As we said, we fully understand that they are a necessity to cope with disruptions such as staff on sick or maternity leave and there is absolutely no suggestion in the report that they are not committed and talented teachers. A knee-jerk defence of the industry was not necessary, and doesn't alter the fact that they cost English schools more than £290 million last year.

What our research showed was that there was a significant increase in the use of supply teachers in more deprived areas. This is a worrying trend as it suggests that these pupils tend to have more discontinuity in their teaching. We’re sure that the REC would agree with us that, however experienced the teacher is, it is better for pupils to have the same teacher every day, rather than temporary teachers.

This report does not seek to provide answers to why this trend exists but rather to challenge education experts and policy makers to investigate the reasons for these statistical findings, so that young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have the best possible start in life.”“It’s very sad that the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) seem to have completely missed our point about supply teachers. As we said, we fully understand that they are a necessity to cope with disruptions such as staff on sick or maternity leave and there is absolutely no suggestion in the report that they are not committed and talented teachers. A knee-jerk defence of the industry was not necessary, and doesn't alter the fact that they cost English schools more than £290 million last year.

What our research showed was that there was a significant increase in the use of supply teachers in more deprived areas. This is a worrying trend as it suggests that these pupils tend to have more discontinuity in their teaching. We’re sure that the REC would agree with us that, however experienced the teacher is, it is better for pupils to have the same teacher every day, rather than temporary teachers.

This report does not seek to provide answers to why this trend exists but rather to challenge education experts and policy makers to investigate the reasons for these statistical findings, so that young people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have the best possible start in life.”

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