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Supply teachers and IT contractors are feeling confident after new subjects added to education curriculum

by Matthew Brown - managing director of giant group

The latest analysis of our contractor database focused on the education arena and found growing levels of optimism within the sector. The addition of new subjects to the national curriculum, coupled with improvements in the UK economy, has meant supply teachers are now feeling significantly more confident than they were at the time of our last survey. So what did our results find and how has supply teacher sentiment changed over the past year?

Findings from the analysis highlighted that 91% of supply teachers expect to see an increase in earnings this year, up 10% from figures recorded in 2013. This isnt entirely surprising, after all rates were always expected to rise in line with other professional sectors; however the extent of the positivity suggests that this is prevalent across the entire education contracting arena.

Our findings also found that professionals now view a higher income as their main factor behind becoming a supply teacher. This is in contrast to sentiment recorded during the global recession when supply teachers reported higher job security as the primary reason for moving into the arena. This change in priorities suggests that the market has improved considerably during this period.

Looking specifically at improvements in sentiment in the education arena, the driving force appears to be two-fold. Firstly, and much like other areas, improvements in the market have led to increased recruitment of niche skill sets across the board. Its also down to the expansion of the national 

curriculum last year. With new subjects such as 3D printing, finance and programming being added to the syllabus there has been increased demand for many supply teachers. Permanent professionals who teach these fields arent always readily available and schools are having to take on specialists to plug the gaps left by a shortage of talent.

There has also been demand from schools for contractors outside of the education arena. The aforementioned subjects require not only niche staff, but also specialist programming. As a result, many institutions are taking on IT contractors who can embed and install these new systems in order to allow full teaching of the subject. Many teachers have cited a lack of support in teaching within these arenas with 54%reporting that their pupils know more about technology than they do. 

Moreover, a staggering 81%indicated that they hadnt had enough time to implement the changes brought about by alterations to the syllabus. Both of these statistics suggest that growing supply teacher optimism is here to stay and that there should be considerable demand for these professionals while schools struggle to meet the burden placed upon them. 

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