31% supply teachers cite workload in permanent posts as top reason for switch, according to poll

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9th July 2019 15:09 - Education

31% supply teachers cite workload in permanent posts as top reason for switch: A survey has found that the main reason why teachers left permanent posts in favour of supply teaching was because of workloads.

The annual National Education Union (NEU) supply teacher survey said that while it is widely assumed that teachers move into supply to fit a teaching role around their personal circumstances, the survey found that for almost a third (31%) the main factor was due to the workload in permanent teaching posts, the same findings as in 2018.

Other reasons given included, "it fits in with my home life circumstances/family" (17%)and for 13% it was due to them being unable to find a permanent teaching post.

The survey asked 1,450 respondents about a range of issues including pay and their experiences in school - as well as how they get their employment.

How supply teachers get work

It found that 82% of supply teachers said they get most of their employment through using an agency, up from 81% in 2018.

Just 13% say they directly source supply teaching through schools. This has changed dramatically over the past nine years. In 2010, 39% sourced their work in this way, while just five years ago in 2014, 25% did and 15% in 2018.

Supply teacher pay

When it comes to pay, the survey found that pay is falling. Nine percent of respondents said they were paid £150 or more - the same percentage as in last year's results. Those paid between £125 and 149 fell from 30% to 26%. Teachers who received £100-£124 per day fell one percentage point from 41% to 40%, while supply teachers paid less than £100 went up to 14% from 11% in 2018. Ten percent of those polled were unable to narrow it down to just one option because of rates of pay differing between teaching supply posts - this was up from 8% last year.

Low income in supply teaching had compelled 56% to take on other work alongside teaching. Seventeen percent (17%) said that they claim/claimed benefits and two percent said they use/used food banks. A number of others said they are reliant on their savings, or are in debt. 

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