With possible plans to open schools in the summer as part of a ‘catch up plan’ revealed, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has warned that the Government and Department for Education (DfE) will need to work closely with supply teacher recruiters to ensure enough agency workers are available to support the scheme.
Commenting on this news, Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo, said:
“While the plans to run summer schools to help children catch up on lost learning time is certainly a welcome move, the success of this will be reliant on the availability of supply teachers. As we’ve learnt over the course of the last year, agency workers have a critical role to play in keeping schools open in these uncertain times. As specialist supply teacher staffing companies have the candidate that schools need, it is vital that the two parties work together to deliver a summer school programme.
“APSCo is already working with the DfE to develop a clear picture of where supply teachers are able to work and which staffing businesses have access to the resources to support the re-opening of schools. It is our view that this collaboration will need to continue to deliver summer teaching schedules in order to supplement permanent resources and fill gaps where sickness or other circumstances create staff shortages.”
Katy Rees, Chair of APSCo’s Education Sector Group and Managing Director of recruitment firm, Smile Education, added:
“Supply teachers have had an incredibly tough time during the pandemic. The delayed clarity to furloughing these professionals during the second lockdown left many in difficult financial circumstances. We’ve had teachers on the phone in tears as a result of the uncertainty and many have had no choice but to find alternative sources of income. The potential drain of supply professionals from the education sector will certainly impact the delivery of summer schools and we hope that the Government and the DfE work with specialist supply teacher recruiters to engage individuals as early as possible.”
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