“Excessive cover for absent colleagues is just another burden on teachers. They have been expected to plug the gap as a result of the unjustifiable cap on supply teachers’ pay which generated a crisis in supply teacher provision.
Too many schools are also seeing internal cover as a way to save money at the expense of the health and wellbeing of teachers and the livelihoods of supply teachers. Covering for absent colleagues is not a good use of teachers’ time. It could and should be more usefully spent preparing high-quality lessons and supporting the ongoing learning and progress of their own pupils.
Being asked to undertake frequent cover, often at short notice, also drives up teachers’ workloads, which are already at record levels. The NASUWT will now be making no cover a key campaigning issue.
The Scottish Government and employers are now being put on notice that we expect mechanisms to be put in place to move quickly to a situation where no teacher is asked to cover, expect in an absolute emergency.”