§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps are being taken to provide quality supply cover in schools; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
The responsibility of the Government is to ensure that there are sufficient qualified teachers from whom LEAs can recruit. This year, total recruitment to the public sector initial teacher training institutions in Wales exceeded recruitment targets by over 17 per cent.
Our education support grant programme to assist teacher recruitment urges LEAs to encourage flexible 147W working practices, including part-time working. This should stimulate the employment of supply teachers. However, the employment and deployment of teachers is a matter for LEAs and schools. It is for them to decide how many supply teachers to appoint. They also have discretion to pay teachers on short-notice contracts at rates they consider appropriate in order to recruit and retain the teachers they need.