Schools in the North East shelled out over £150m last year to cover costs for supply teachers, new figures from the BBC show.
The news comes amid concerns of the increasingly difficult recruitment and retention of teachers.
County Durham is the local authority area with the largest total spend in 2015, amounting to over £9m, followed by Northumberland with over £5.5m.
|Total Spend||Spend Rate (per pupil)|
|Redcar & Cleveland||2,535,576.05||200.96|
The region was below the national average, with London schools spending the most collectively – the equivalent of £260 per pupil.
Nationally, schools spent around £821m which means around £168 on average was spent on each child to hire extra staff. However, the figures are lower by £18m than in 2014.
SCHOOLS NorthEast Director Mike Parker told The Chronicle that while the region fell below the national average on supply spend, there was a significant need to recruit permanent teachers in certain part of the region in core subjects:
“We did a survey earlier this year which revealed that nine out of 10 headteachers were having difficulty recruiting teachers and nearly three-quarters expected the next year to be more difficult.”
As a response to overarching concerns amongst school leaders, SCHOOLS NorthEast launched the region’s most cost-effective recruitment portal – Jobs in Schools | North East. Since its launch in January, the portal has brought schools more than double the average number of candidates.