SUPPLY teachers are 'underpaid and undervalued' — with 17 per cent claiming benefits and two per cent using foodbanks.

An annual survey, carried out by the National Education Union (NEU), showed the majority of supply teachers had reported lower levels of pay compared with the previous year.

Nationally, the number of teachers paid less than £100 per day has increased from 11 per cent to 14 per cent.

Forty per cent of supply teacher members said they were paid between £100 and £124 per day, down from 41 per cent last year.

Peter Shreeve, joint local secretary for the NEU, said: "The Island's local authority used to run 'supply pools' but these direct arrangements between supply teachers and schools collapsed some time ago, creating a vacuum and a free market system, which does not help staff or schools.

"Supply teachers endure low pay, few benefits and little support. There is no sick pay, little continuing professional development and, at best, a poor pension scheme."

A daily rate of £100 would result in a supply teacher earning £4,000 less than a newly qualified teacher in a full-time post.

Mr Shreeve said many teachers switched to supply teaching because of the excessive workload faced by those in permanent posts, while others did so because they could not find a permanent role.

He said: "We know many teachers try and ease their workload, often because of the desire to have more quality family time and go part-time. However, they usually soon discover that their workload does not substantially decrease.

"The supply teacher situation is becoming ever more unfair, with experienced teachers not only underpaid but undervalued."

Of the survey respondents, 56 per cent said low pay and low incomes had compelled them to take on other work, with 17 per cent saying they claimed benefits and two per cent saying they used foodbanks.

The annual survey, carried out between May and June, received 1,450 responses.