‘Exploited’ supply teachers could lose £200 a month

Fears that supply staff will quit the profession as they miss out on thousands of pounds a year

Thousands of supply teachers could lose out on more than £200 a month because of changes to tax relief rules that research shows could worsen the teacher recruitment crisis.

Schools could also be made to pay more for vital supply staff as a result of the move.

One union leader labelled the changes as “nothing short of scandalous”, describing them as “a blow” to an already exploited part of the workforce.

Many supply teachers have seen a cut in their take-home pay this month following the government’s decision to axe tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses. Teachers affected are those who are employed by an agency that pays via a separate umbrella company that looks after its payroll.

Hundreds of these staff could turn down jobs in schools in more remote areas, push for more pay or even leave the profession altogether, new research suggests.

Campaigners say these teachers could lose £3,252 a year now that the perk – which gave them greater flexibility to take work far away from their home – has gone.

Also, new research from the FCSA, a trade association for professional employment services, shows that 30 per cent of supply teachers questioned would consider an alternative job in light of the tax changes.

The survey, of more than 430 supply teachers, also reveals that half of the respondents would be more selective when choosing where to accept placements.

The organisation says that it believes just under half of supply teachers have historically received tax relief on their legitimately incurred travel and subsistence expenses.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said that the changes to tax relief were “nothing short of scandalous” and “another blow for a group of teachers who are already exploited and undervalued”.

TES Global, parent company of TES, owns three supply agencies: Vision for Education, ABC Teachers and Smart Teachers

This is an edited article from the 6 May edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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