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How Will The New NPS Framework Affect Supply Teachers?
In 2018, the number of fully qualified teachers in full-time positions in Wales was just shy of 24,000 with 4,500 of those actively working as supply staff. So, with just over one-fifth of all qualified teachers in Wales being provided to schools by education recruitment agencies, it could be assumed that there were no problems.
However, a recent study conducted by the NEU or National Education Union showed that more than a quarter of agency supply teachers - of which there are about 4,500 in Wales alone - are being paid less than the M1 rate of £100 a day. With half being paid less than £125 and only 9% being paid over £150 per day. A daily rate of less than £100 means that, even if the supply teacher is scheduled to work every day of the school year, they earn around £4,000 less than a newly qualified teacher in a full-time post.
In the same year, a petition was created by supply teachers calling for action over concerns of unfair pay and a lack of compliance within agencies. As a direct result of the allegations raised within this petition, in September 2019 the Welsh government brought in new legislation deemed able to abolish all previous concerns.
What is the new NPS framework?
The new framework put forward by the Welsh government and NPS, or National Procurement Service is set to see supply teachers across Wales benefit from an over 20% increase to the minimum daily rates of pay in line with the new reform. The daily rate of pay for teachers in Wales was previously set at just over £100, although this was often not adhered to. This has now risen to £127.72
How does the new NPS framework affect me?
The reform itself will make it so that schools will be required to:
- Pay supply teachers an increased daily rate of at least £127.72
- Schools and agencies will also need to provide complete transparency on how much is being paid to the teacher and how much is being paid to the agency.
- Agencies will also need to undergo stringent auditing processes to ensure that the highest level of compliance is retained at all times.
These changes also come with the opportunity for Welsh schools to utilise the expertise of over 27 education recruitment agencies who agree with the fundamental changes proposed by the NPS framework, to help find candidates for their supply teacher and teaching assistant roles.
How do I know an agency is adhering to the NPS framework?
Aside from the fact that it is now expected that all NPS accredited agencies will provide the increase in pay and transparency in compliance, agencies such as Vetro Education (NPS accredited) are dedicated to ensuring all of our schools receive the highest calibre of candidates, who are paid the correct wages and are supported in all that they do.
Prior to, and following the changes that will affect our supply teachers and teaching assistants, all registered Vetro Education candidates can still benefit from the below, alongside a guaranteed increase in daily pay rates:
- Vetro is an NPS accredited education recruitment agency and as such, have been given the accolade of having REC Gold Audited status. This accolade enables schools and education providers to be confident that they are using an accredited supplier, independently verified, putting standards at the centre of their business.
- All of our candidates are in a position to benefit from the experience and knowledge of our 4 education consultants, two of which are fully qualified teachers with almost 30 years of combined teaching experience.
- Not only are we able to aid in answering day to day queries that arise, we can also offer expert advice to newly qualified teachers on the completion of their NQT year, whilst working for an education recruitment agency.
- We also offer 24/7 assistance to all candidates to ensure they feel supported throughout the entirety of their time working with Vetro.
- At Vetro, continued career development and progression of our candidates is of paramount importance, therefore we offer a myriad of FREE training courses to all education candidates.
- Vetro also offers a FREE comprehensive guide to supply teaching including invaluable information, handy tips and tricks and a list of all of our resources.
Here at Vetro, we believe that there is no better time to be a supply teacher in Wales. With the proposed changes now in place, a substantially higher salary and the opportunity for flexible working, supply teaching is fast returning to the challenging but wholly rewarding career choice that it always has been.
So, if you've left teaching and are thinking of returning, are currently a supply teacher or teaching assistant or have recently qualified as a teacher, Vetro Education can help.