Education: Supply Teachers - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:08 pm on 22nd February 2021.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education) 1:08 pm, 22nd February 2021

My Lords, the DfE has issued advice to schools not to lay off supply staff and to ensure that safety arrangements allow them to continue to be employed where needed. This has not prevented some schools from dispensing with supply teachers, placing additional pressure on permanent staff to cover for absent colleagues. The DfE advice is aimed equally at schools that engage staff directly and those that engage via agencies. The principle is the same—they should continue to employ and continue to pay—but there is no means of enforcement. Will the DfE now re-emphasise its advice to schools not to lay off supply staff?