A BBC analysis has revealed that schools across the country spent approximately £800m on supply staff over the course of 2015, in order to cover job vacancies and staff absences.

The results were only marginally less that the amount spent on supply staff the previous year – equating to an average spend of £168 per child.

The British capital alone spent a staggering £212m on additional staff under difficult circumstances.

Britain’s South West was found to have spent the least amount of money on supply teachers – although the South West’s spend still equated to an average of £136 per child.

Defending the statistics, a Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “Supply teachers provide a valuable role for schools, and schools themselves are best placed to make staffing decisions to reflect their individual needs,”

”It is up to head teachers and governors to decide who is required for the job and this includes how best to cover absences.”

“The number and quality of teachers is at a record high, with over 1,000 more graduates training to teach secondary subjects now than a year ago. The overall teacher vacancy rate is 0.3 per cent and has remained around or below 1 per cent for the past 15 years.”

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