ATL and NUT respond to missed opportunity of supply taskforce report

Two of Wales’ largest teaching unions have criticised the Welsh Government’s supply taskforce as a missed opportunity for the profession in Wales. ATL Cymru and NUT Cymru say that the recommendations proposed in the report do not move the sector forward and will be viewed will disappointment by supply teachers and schools who thought the original children’s committee report offered a significant step forward.

NUT Secretary, David Evans, said:

“The recommendations do little, if anything, to move this process forward. The significant problems with the supply sector have not been addressed, no tangible action has been announced and no clear direction has emerged. This is a serious missed opportunity which will leave many professionals feeling their faith in the process has been misguided.

“NUT Cymru warmly welcomed the original children’s committee report and the establishment of the supply taskforce. We stood ready to work with it. To suggest the findings are underwhelming is an understatement. At a time where it is more important than ever to resolve the ongoing concerns with the supply sector in Wales this report is hugely disheartening.

“Assurances around cooperation and input were not met and many have felt alienated by the process. Instead of a genuine social partnership we have seen representatives of the profession isolated with the exception of one brief initial meeting. It is a real shame that greater dialogue was not pursued and as a result we have ended up with a report that will simply not find support from the education sector.”

Responding to the recommendations of the Taskforce, Rachel Curley Acting Director of ATL Cymru, said:

“Supply teachers across Wales will be very disappointed with the recommendations of the Taskforce. They believed it would provide answers but in fact they are being asked to wait another 18 months before any new model is even proposed.

“This is a missed opportunity. If Welsh government is serious about enhancing the professionalism of the education workforce, and delivering quality education for children and young people, they cannot continue to ignore the needs of supply teachers.”

Notes to Editor:

Report of the Ministerial Supply Model Taskforce

A Supply Model Taskforce was established last year to consider and recommend future delivery options for supply teaching in Wales. Amongst other issues it was asked to ensure a fair, consistent and transparent pay system for supply teachers and provide a structured approach for supply teachers to access professional development.

The Taskforce has proposed a further 18 month timetable for Welsh government to bring forward alternative delivery models. We appear to be no further on from the recommendations made by the Children, Young People and Education Committee in its Inquiry into supply teaching published in December 2015.