Monday, 27 May 2013

Wrecsam Plaid Cymru Councillor questions increasing costs of agency staff in schools.

Press Release. Datganiad i’r Wasg.

Plaid Cymru Councillor for Gwersyllt West, Arfon Jones has called for an explanation into the costs of agency staff to cover shortfalls in schools. Figures obtained by Councillor Jones shows that agency costs for all schools in Wrecsam County Borough in 2009/10 was £331,260 which by 2011/12 had increased to £414,487. The biggest increase however was in the last 12 months where the costs had jumped by 24% to over half a million pounds a year (£513,003)

Councillor Jones said, 
“Whilst I understand the need for agency staff to cover for absences we need to be satisfied that this extra cost is justified and well spent. In a period when pay for public sector staff has been frozen for a number of years and with low inflation we need an explanation as to why agency costs have increased by 54% over 4 years which have been years of austerity and recession.”
Councillor Jones went on to say, 
“I will be asking for a report from officers to be brought to the Education, Safeguarding and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee so members can scrutinise the increases and also compare costs with other local authorities in Wales. I would also call on the teaching Unions to contribute to this debate on the escalating cost of agency staff.”  


Anonymous said...

What about the times when they use Level 4 TA's to cover classes? Teacher absences are far wider spread that just agency costs.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Fully aware that the figures may not tell the whole story, I did ask more in depth questions but the LEA were unable to answer and suggested I spoke to individual schools. This is why I want the whole subject properly scrutinised and hopefully the Unions will contribute to that debate we know they have valuable information/data.