Council spends £1.4m on temporary teachers
Schools in Shropshire and mid Wales spend more than £2.3 million on temporary teachers in 12 months, it has been revealed.
Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that Telford & Wrekin Council spent £1.36 million on supply teachers during the 2015/6 financial year.
Shropshire Council spent £299,963 over the same period, while Powys County Council spent £666,750.
The figure applies only to schools run by the authoritis, and not to academies which manage their own finances.
Telford & Wrekin Council used a total of 36 different agencies and organisations to recruit the teachers.
The largest amount of money was spent with Tara Professional Recruitment, which received £408,424 from the authority.
The next biggest recipient was Protocol Education Ltd, which received £270,274.
The council spent £164,650 with Teacher Active Ltd, and £172,138 with ABC Teachers Ltd.
Monarch Education charged the authority £111,607 for supplying it with school staff.
ITN Education Mark was paid £82,984 by the council, and Hays Specialist Recruitment received £35,678.
The council also spent £1,190 with Staffordshire County Council and £160 with Worcestershire County Council.
Telford & Wrekin Council is responsible for maintaining 60 schools across the borough, while Powys has a total of 101.
Chris Kowalik, spokesman for Telford & Wrekin Council, said supply teachers were used to provide cover for a variety of different types of absences.
This could include staff who were off sick, or who were attending training courses.
Mr Kowalik added that supply teachers were also brought in to provide temporary cover while a permanent member of staff was being recruited to fill a vacancy.
"We would like to keep spending on supply teachers down to a minimum through stable and permanent staffing," he said.
"We also need to ensure that, when there is an absence of a teacher or teachers, children continue to be taught.
"Sometimes this is only possible through the use of supply staff."
At Shropshire Council, all the teachers were sourced through Protocol Education which provides a managed supply teaching service for the authority. The teachers are employed directly by the council.
The National Union of Teachers said there was a "crisis of teacher recruitment and retention."