King Charles head teacher Heather Taylor answers questions posed by the West Briton about SupplyNet and the Falmouth school.
HEATHER TAYLOR answered questions from the West Briton through her lawyer this week.
On why the school increased its spend on supply staff from £11,935 in 2008-09 to £40,103 in 2009-10, Mrs Taylor said:
"The school was inspected in September 2009. As is the pattern in schools nationally, the school invested in training and development of its staff to address the issues presented by the inspection.
"A teacher was on maternity leave.
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"A member of staff was absent for several months due to ill health.
"The school was supporting a trainee teacher through the Graduate Teacher Programme and the supporting teacher required non-contact time and time to attend meetings.
"The school had three newly qualified teachers who required the statutory 10 per cent non-contact time during their induction period.
"None of the new teachers to the school were appointed through SupplyNet and the maternity cover was not appointed through SupplyNet.
"SupplyNet only provided short-term emergency cover to the school and did not enter into any long-term contracts or charge a recruitment fee."
On why the school decided to use only one agency during that period, Mrs Taylor said:
"The school did not only use one agency during this period. The school business manager had delegated responsibility for managing supply.
"The school business manager was requested by the governing body to carry out a best value exercise with regard to supply agencies.
"The school business manager considered three agencies; SupplyNet, a local agency and a national agency and completed a best value exercise.
"In the light of the school business manager's findings, the governing body made the decision to use SupplyNet as a preferred provider, not a sole provider, as it had the best rating on the criteria used to judge best value. The head teacher was not party to these decisions.
"In addition, the school had a small list of supply teachers that were well known to the school. These teachers were paid directly through Cornwall Council.
On why Cornwall Council's financial year accounts (2009-10) shows a payment for more than £223,000 to SupplyNet, Mrs Taylor said:
"Just 27 per cent of the £223,000 payment to Supplynet by Cornwall Council in 2009-10 was for the education sector of its business.
"SupplyNet served around 20 schools and private nursery schools in Cornwall and employed around 100 temporary staff.
"As the company was relatively new, the profit margin at the time was very low. The net profit was just over £6,000 from the whole of the education sector of the business between 2009 and 2010.
"SupplyNet closed the education sector of its business in December 2010. This resulted in two Cornish people being made redundant and a significant number of local Cornish suppliers losing trade."