National standards to regulate supply teacher agencies are urgently needed in order to stem the exploitation of staff and the cost to the taxpayer, the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, heard today in Manchester.


Supply teachers are being exposed to a raft of exploitative employment practices, including denial of entitlements on pay, pensions and working conditions. Many have also told the NASUWT that they have been forced to sign up to umbrella companies which allow agencies to dodge their tax and national insurance liabilities.


Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:


“The NASUWT has long had serious concerns about the employment practices of some supply agencies, including the exploitative and unfair treatment that many are subjecting supply teachers to regarding their pay and working conditions.


“There are also serious questions about the fees agencies are charging schools and whether these represent the true cost of supplying temporary staff. The increasing costs being levied on schools are not as a result of agencies paying supply teachers a premium or even paying them fairly.


“The Government’s failure to regulate employment agencies and umbrella companies is allowing unscrupulous providers to profiteer from children’s education.


“The NASUWT will be continuing to campaign for national standards to be introduced to regulate supply agencies so that schools, teachers and the taxpayer get a fair deal.”



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