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Supply teachers on standby for September school return in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:38 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 11 August 2020

More pupils will be returning to school from September. Picture: IPSWICH ACADEMY

More pupils will be returning to school from September. Picture: IPSWICH ACADEMY

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Supply teacher agencies in Suffolk are making preparations for an increase in demand at the start of the new school year, education leaders have said.

Suffolk County Council assistant director for education and learning, Adrian Orr, said agencies were ready to provide supply teachers from the start of term where needed. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNILSuffolk County Council assistant director for education and learning, Adrian Orr, said agencies were ready to provide supply teachers from the start of term where needed. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNIL

Suffolk County Council said that traditionally supply teachers were not needed much at the beginning of the autumn term in September, but usually saw an uptake in work later into the autumn and winter as flu bugs and illnesses started to affect workforces.

But agencies have been told to expect more demand for supply teachers from the start of September this year because coronavirus may force teachers to self-isolate.

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The county council’s assistant director for education and learning, Adrian Orr, said: “The pattern for supply ordinarily is often that people who are supply teachers don’t have a huge amount of work in the autumn term but then as the flus and bugs come in it starts to pick up.

“Those agencies are on alert that the demand could be higher in the first part of the autumn term.

“We don’t provide supply teachers but we are happy to offer advice and support.

“Often it is a bigger challenge for small schools – a lot of larger schools or multi-academy trusts manage internally by moving staff around, they will have to do that in the context of their risk assessments.

“But there is some really strong planning across the sector within the constraints Covid-19 brings, the level of preparedness is very good.”


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