Commenting on a joint Wales Audit Office and Estyn report – which highlights an increasing reliance on teaching supply staff and a need to better understand the causes of teacher absence – Shadow Minister for Education Angela Burns AM, said:
“In an education system already floundering dramatically after a decade of Labour rule, this report does not make easy reading.
“The lives of teaching staff have been made almost intolerable by successive Labour ministers and it is no surprise that so many are being forced away from the classroom.
“Over-burdened with red tape, demoralised, stressed, and dealing with ever-moving goalposts, our teachers are not being allowed to do the very thing we need them to do – teach.
“It is these staff who know what’s best for our children and these staff who should be allowed to work with them freely – and permanently.
“Instead, both teachers and children are treading water in a sea of Labour mistakes and inaction that is inevitably leading to unacceptable attainment levels.”
Mrs Burns added:
“The current Labour minister must act on this report immediately and investigate the real causes behind teacher absence.
“If attendance at meetings is to blame – why? If stress is to blame – improve conditions and support staff appropriately.
“If training is to blame – careful consideration may be required – but in a system already being hit hard by Labour ministers, training days should not be carelessly cut further.”