Socialist Worker

Profits from the teacher shortage

Issue No. 1787

£679,000-that's how much Trish Seabourne, the boss of TimePlan, pocketed last year. TimePlan is the firm which employed Amy Gehring, the supply teacher at the centre of a court case over sex with pupils.

Private firms are making vast profits from teacher shortages and local management of schools (LMS). LMS is the Tory policy continued by New Labour under which schools are responsible for their own budget and hiring their own staff.

Before it was introduced, local education authorities employed a regular pool of supply teachers, properly paid, checked and qualified, who would be sent to cover staff absences in local schools. That has gone, and under LMS private agencies have moved in to supply staff. While most supply teachers are excellent at their jobs, private agencies are concerned about making money, not providing good education.

TimePlan boss Trish Seabourne says profit margins in the 'industry' are 20 percent. That adds up to some £120 million a year of public money being creamed off from education budgets into the pockets of the fat cats who head these firms Seaborne herself pocketed £454,000 last year, with another £225,000 paid into her pension plan on top.

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Sat 16 Feb 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1787
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