HC Deb 22 May 2003 vol 405 cc999-1000W
13. Kevin Brennan

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the use of temporary contracts for teachers. [115009]

Mr. Miliband

All schools make use of temporary contracts for teachers. These are mainly used as occasional cover for teachers who are absent on sick leave. Temporary contracts also give schools greater flexibility to respond to local circumstances in meeting their staffing needs. The number of occasional teachers has fallen for the second year in succession, by 2,600 to 14,900. The wider picture shows substantial overall progress in terms of growing teacher numbers and falling vacancies.