ASCL comment on call to ex-teachers

16/12/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on government plans to boost teacher supply capacity by asking ex-teachers to join supply agencies.
 
Commenting on government plans to boost teacher supply capacity by asking ex-teachers to join supply agencies, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“The government is right to identify staff shortages as a critical issue for schools as we head into a very uncertain time in which the Omicron variant of Covid-19 is likely to further drive up levels of teacher absence. Put simply, schools cannot operate without teachers.
 
“We support anything which may help to address this problem and we hope that the government’s call to ex-teachers to join supply agencies improves a situation in which many schools have been experiencing problems in obtaining supply cover because of the high level of demand.
 
“However, this is all coming very late in the day for a situation which is already critical and has been so for some time, and the initiative will need to be well publicised, promoted and supported in order to have any degree of success.
 
“It is also important to emphasise that even then it is very unlikely to be enough to solve a problem at such a scale as this, and the government does need to do much more in terms of supporting control measures, such as testing and ventilation, in order to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.”