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Welsh government announces new supply teacher funding

06/11/2017 Joanna

The Welsh government has announced a new £2.7 million project designed to fund supply teachers in 15 local authority areas.

Education secretary Kirsty Williams has unveiled details of the plan, which will help pay for supply teacher arrangements in 86 schools. It will focus on the appointment of 50 teachers who will work across these schools to cover absences, as well as aiding wider school improvement and pupil learning outcomes.

The pilot scheme will run through the remainder of this financial year and the next one, having been put in place in response to recommendations from the Supply Model Taskforce report that was published this year. Among its tasks will be to ensure there is sufficient cover for teaching Welsh medium education. 

Ms Williams remarked: "Supply teachers form a significant and important part of our teaching workforce. It is vital that they are an informed part of our system, so they are ready and able to support our national mission of education reform."

She added: "I am committed to ensuring that teachers who work flexibly in this way are well equipped, appropriately rewarded and integrated into the teaching profession."

Ms Williams said she hopes this new system will be an improvement on the existing arrangements for supply teachers. She said it could play a key role in ensuring that newly-qualified supply teachers can be nurtured, well-rewarded and "integrated" as they develop their careers in the profession, as well as helping to ensure that there is sufficient cover to prevent lessons not being cancelled due to absences. 

The Welsh government said it also wants to use any savings that can be found from school supply budgets to be re-invested in order to create more capacity in the system to sustainably meet supply teacher needs. This will involve creating greater collaboration and coordination. 

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