Cover supervisors being misused by some schools

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Teachers at the recent annual conference of the teachers’ union, NASUWT, have called for more controls to ensure that unqualified cover supervisors do not take the place of qualified teachers, a trend which has been observed with some concern by teaching recruiters.

“Unfortunately, since the cover supervisor role was created, we have seen some schools openly use these support staff as a way of covering sickness and other absence instead of using qualified supply teachers,” said Adam Shulman managing Director of Simply Education.  "This is often as a result of budget restraints and increasing pressure to save money and while everyone is sympathetic to the view that the public sector has to reduce spending, this surely cannot be at the expense of our childrens’ education – and ultimately therefore, our country’s economy.”

The recent conference was told of instances where some cover supervisors were taking classes full time.

Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT said:  “Support staff are valuable members of the education team and do an excellent job – but they are not trained or paid to be teachers.”

“Cover supervisors and teaching assistants are talented and committed people,” adds Shulman, “but teaching is a profession taking years of training.  Using unqualified staff instead of teachers really undermines their professional standing.”

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