Survey finds almost half of supply teachers ‘lack work’

The Educational Institute of Scotland asked members how difficult it was for those without a permanent job.

Survey finds almost half of supply teachers ‘lack work’ Getty Images

Almost half of supply teachers have reported a lack of employment opportunities across Scotland amid the pandemic, according to a survey.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) surveyed its members on temporary contracts to gauge the scale of the difficulties currently facing those without a permanent job.

Just under 1800 teachers responded to the survey, with 44% saying there was a shortage of suitable employment opportunities during the pandemic.

Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary, said: “Supply teachers across Scotland continue to face significant challenges in securing suitable work, despite a very clear need for additional teaching staff to support young people in their remote learning.

“For some supply teachers without work, and who have been unable to access job retention payments, they are now in their sixth week with no income.

“We have heard statements from the Scottish Government that all available teachers must be deployed to support education recovery, but the findings of our survey confirm that many supply teachers still cannot find work.”

The survey found teachers were also experiencing difficulties in making ends meet due to the lack of work.

Some respondents suggested they were now leaving the profession for financial reasons in order to seek work elsewhere.

Mr Flanagan added: “More teachers are needed to support remote learning – particularly for those young people living in particularly challenging circumstances, who are significantly less likely to have engaged in remote learning during the lockdown period.

“Once more pupils return to school, additional teachers will also be required to support education recovery for our young people.”

A Cosla (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) spokesman said: “Due to the ongoing situation we find ourselves in and our continued main objective of getting the workforce in place to deliver the broad range of essential services to our communities, we have had to adapt our practices and procedures to suit.

“The bottom line however remains that councils, in line with our agreement with Scottish Government, are fully committed to the employment of newly qualified, recently qualified and those teachers on supply lists.”

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