Education chiefs have admitted they do not know what impact Chancellor George Osborne’s new travel and subsistence (T&S) law changes will have on supply teachers amid a growing retention crisis in schools.

New research from trade body PRISM has revealed that supply teachers engaged as contractors are set to suffer a real terms pay cut of more than £3,250 a year, equivalent to £62.56 each week.

The contractor clampdown could be devastating for schools, the trade body warns, as they will be forced to face up to “an unmanageable burden with huge cost implications”. The plans to axe travel relief will hit tens of thousands of teachers and 1.6 million flexible workers in April 2016.

PRISM asked the Department for Education to clarify the situation regarding agency teachers, but it responded by saying that it had not yet carried out an impact assessment for HMRC’s proposals for T&S changes.

The not-for-profit organisation has now warned education bosses that they must take the threat to recruitment seriously, considering that a record 49,120 teachers left the profession during the 12 months to November 2014.

PRISM CEO Crawford Temple said: “It is a wait and see approach when the most obvious consequence of these changes is that fewer supply teachers will be willing to travel for less pay with no job security and no access to the same sick, holiday and pension rights as regular teachers.”

He added: “It will produce an unmanageable burden with huge cost implications for schools who rely on these temporary staff when they are short-staffed or lose staff.”

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