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PUPILS TO BE SENT HOME IN TEACHER CRISIS

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Pupils in the home counties and Greater Manchester will be among the worst hit by teacher shortages this autumn, wi...
Pupils in the home counties and Greater Manchester will be among the worst hit by teacher shortages this autumn, with many being sent home, placed in larger classes or taught by temporary staff, according to The Sunday Times (p7).

Hertfordshire, Tameside, and affluent parts of London and the home counties are facing a near impossible task to staff schools fully. In Hertfordshire, where high property prices are deterring staff from moving into the area, there are 261 vacancies. Several schools plan to use supply teachers or amalgamate classes.

Parents in East Sussex have been warned that some schools are likely to have to send pupils home early. The head of Oriel School, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, has told parents that unless he can recruit six teachers, the start of term for classes not due to take exams will be put back for two weeks and pupils will return on a four-day week.

Enfield is among the worst affected London boroughs with 75 vacancies.

Even in Surrey, where 300 teachers have been recruited in the past month, some schools may not be able to operate a normal week. John White, head of education personnel in the county, said: 'Quite a bit will depend on whether the people who have said they are going to turn up on the first day of September do so. There will be problems as soon as anyone goes sick. If you have used up all the known supply teachers, they are not going to cover absences'.

Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Liverpool University, said amalgamating classes was better than plugging gaps with staff who did not understand the national curriculum.

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