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Supply teachers confident about jobs market despite public sector cuts

Supply teachers confident about jobs market despite public sector cuts

&middot        Surge in number of teachers favouring higher wages over longer contracts

&middot        Drop in probationary periods

Supply teachers are starting the new school year increasingly confident about the jobs market despite public sector spending cuts, reveals new research by giant group plc, the contractor services provider.

The research from giant group shows that only 5% of supply teachers spent 90 days or more without work over the last academic year, compared to 8% the previous year.

According to giant group, schools are expected to make greater use of temporary staff while they continue to keep tight control of permanent head count.

Matthew Brown, Managing Director or giant group, comments: “As we go into the new school year, supply teachers are increasingly feeling that they may actually benefit from the squeeze on education budgets.”

“While staffing costs continue to be scrutinised closely, schools are finding it more economical to use supply teachers to help deal with unexpected demands on the teaching staff. It also allows them to keep their fixed costs under control.”

The survey conducted by giant group also found that despite the pressure on education budgets, just 11% of supply teachers forecast that their earnings will fall over the next twelve months, down from 15% of those surveyed the same time last year.

More supply teachers expect their earnings to remain the same or increase over the next twelve months than last year – 88% this year compared to 83% the previous year. This may be because they feel that the demand for supply teachers has picked up and there will be fewer slow periods.

According to giant group, just 8% of supply teachers reported that they had to work through a probationary period this year, compared to 15% last year. Schools are imposing fewer conditions on their supply staff because they are more reliant on their services.

In a further sign of supply teachers’ confidence, there has been an increase in the percentage of supply teachers who would prefer higher hourly pay to a longer term contract. In the second quarter of 2011, 46% of teachers said that they were looking for higher hourly pay – a 6% increase on the previous year.

Matthew Brown says: “Supply teachers are increasingly confident of their employment prospects despite public sector cutbacks. They are happy to choose higher wages over longer contracts, because they feel confident that they will quickly find new posts.”

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