Grantham Journal column: Supply teachers are the answer to crisis

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Reading news about education can be frightening at the moment, especially, if like me, you are a parent with a school aged child.

First of all, schools are facing unprecedented budget cuts. According to www.schoolcuts.org.uk, 93 per cent of schools across the UK face average spending cuts of £338 per primary pupil and £436 per secondary pupil. In Lincolnshire, some schools have had to cut their budgets by up to 25 per cent, which as you can imagine, has put immense stress on our local schools as they try to save money and still provide a good education for our children.

It would be bad enough if the budget cuts were the only problem, but we also have to face the teacher recruitment crisis. Not enough people are training to be teachers and at the same time, nearly 10 per cent of those currently teaching are leaving teaching each year, with those in the first five years of teaching being the most likely to leave the profession.

Regularly working in excess of 60+ hours a week, changes to the curriculum, excessive paper work and budget cuts are contributing factors that affect the mental health of our local teachers and their work-life balance, leading ultimately to burnout and them leaving the profession.

So it seems we have a perfect storm of schools not having enough money and also not being able to recruit or retain staff. My child still has several more years of school ahead of them and if I took all the news at face value, I’d be scared too. But there is a solution to the problem, for schools and teachers in Lincolnshire at least.

The answer is to use the teachers that have left the profession by employing them as supply teachers.

My wife Mel and I set up Travail Education in 2011. We are dedicated to helping schools to provide quality education in Lincolnshire. We are able to provide Grantham schools with rejuvenated and motivated teachers that want to be in the classroom and who enjoy teaching.

Many of our teachers have said that working with us has helped them to regain their love of teaching and the much needed work/life balance.

Supply teachers focus on one thing only: providing quality lessons to their classes. Yes, things are tough in education at the moment, but if we work together, we can ensure that our children get the quality education they deserve.