Calls for urgent action to boost teacher numbers to be debated in Senedd
Supply Teachers' Pay (Wales)
Supply Teacher - Chelmsford
Labour ministers will be urged to take action to avoid any further crisis in education during a debate in the Senedd on today (Oct 20).
Welsh Conservative members, who have tabled the debate, will be putting pressure on the Labour administration to act urgently to help bolster the number of teachers across the country and give schools better support.
On Labour’s watch, education attainment in Wales has stagnated with GCSE results prior to the pandemic being at the same level as 2007, and nearly 10% of teaching vacancies went unfilled in North and West Wales over the last 10 years – double that of South and Mid Wales.
And only last week, we revealed schools across Wales are spending millions of pounds on supply teachers, to plug Labour’s teacher crisis.
Today’s motion calls for the Welsh Government to implement the Welsh Conservatives’ plan for boosting teacher recruitment, which includes:
- Setting targets to deliver 5,000 teachers across Wales in the next five years.
- Refunding tuition fees for those who go on to work as teachers for at least five years in Welsh schools.
- Establishing a Welsh education advisory service to improve access to employment opportunities and establish more pathways into teaching.
- Guaranteeing all newly qualified teachers with at least one year of employment in a Welsh school or college.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Education, Laura Anne Jones MS, said:
“Teacher numbers have dramatically dropped – some 4,000 since 2011 – under successive Labour governments in Cardiff Bay, which in turn hampers our nation’s ability to give youngsters a first-class education.
“Our young people and teachers have been let down by complacent Labour ministers who have admitted to taking their eye off the ball with schools struggling from chronic underfunding, teacher shortages and a lack of support.
“Schools are losing out on £50 million a year having to fund supply teachers due to the shortage, and this Labour government is under funding our young people by £1,000 per student. They deserve better.
“Welsh teachers and other school staff need a package of support to help them recover from the pandemic, and teacher numbers need to increase to reduce workloads and ease the burden so our pupils can receive a first-class catch-up programme.”