Supply teachers: Wales

Supply teachers ask for equal access to terms and conditions.


NEU Cymru, Wales’s largest education union, is calling on the Welsh Government not to differentiate between long-term supply cover and short-term supply cover and ensure that all supply teachers are paid equally irrespective of the length of time they work in a school.

Mary van den Heuvel, Senior Wales Policy Officer of the National Education Union Cymru, said:

“Our members are clear that supply teachers provide vital continuity when a teacher is absent and should be rewarded alongside their peers in terms of terms and conditions, including teachers’ pension scheme – they are working hard to teach children, often at short notice, with minimal time to prepare.

“Our members have highlighted their concerns about the attempt to create a two-tiered system of employment for supply teachers, between those who work on a so-called short-term and those who work on a longer-term basis. This undermines the professionalism of supply teachers and is unacceptable and hugely disappointing.

“We will continue to raise these critical issues with the Welsh Government.”


The text of the motion to conference on this issue was as follows: 

Motion 20.    Supply Teachers

Conference Cymru recognises the essential service provided by supply teachers to provide continuity of learning during periods of teacher absence. Conference recognises that supply teachers are qualified teachers and should be paid to National Teachers’ Pay Scales.

Conference Cymru denounces the Welsh Government’s suggestions that the role of a supply teacher is different to the role of a contracted teacher and is aware that there are moves to differentiate between long-term cover and short-term cover. Both roles bring their own challenges and hirers request experienced teachers regardless of how long the cover. Pupils benefit from being taught by a qualified and experienced teachers to support pupils’ well-being, learning and progress in all teaching roles whether short or long term.

Conference Cymru calls on NEU Cymru to protect the status of supply teachers, irrespective of whether employment via local authorities or agencies by:

1.    Engaging with the Welsh Government to protect the status, and terms and conditions of qualified teachers in line with School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document (STPC(W)D).

2.    Consistently advocating for supply teachers to have equal rights to STPC(W)D in all teaching positions.

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