Hundreds of former teachers sign up to return to work

Following calls from the Education Secretary for former teachers to temporarily return to the profession, data shows that 485 former teachers have signed up with agencies, and a further 100 Teach First alumni have also expressed interest in supporting the workforce.

This is to support schools in covering staff absences caused by Covid-19.

Given the size of the sample, the actual number of ex-teachers who have signed up is likely to be much larger.

Supply agencies are reporting that the levels of interest they are receiving represent a marked increase in the levels they would otherwise have expected in a normal year.

Overall levels of teacher absence are relatively stable compared to the end of last term, however the proportion of staff absent due to COVID-19 is higher than normal as a result of the Omicron variant and is expected to remain a challenge throughout the first weeks of term.

Once teachers have signed up with an agency and have completed necessary checks they are able to return to the classroom as soon as an opportunity arises that fits their subject specialism and local need.

The government continues to work closely with the sector to make sure every possible route is being used to keep schools equipped with the teaching staff they need to maintain face-to-face education.


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