Staff Absence Teachers and Support Staff Insurance Supply Schemes from September 2020

The two Insurance Supply Schemes are designed to provide a level of financial support towards the cost of hiring replacement staff to cover staff absence. The Scheme operates on a mutual pooled basis by collecting premiums from schools and making payments to those schools that have staff absences at a predetermined rate.   

The Scheme runs for the academic year from September to August, and the numbers of schools and values for the Schools participating in the Scheme for 2019/2 shown below, together with the applications to join the Scheme for 20/21:


The balances held by the Scheme have reduced significantly over the past 4 years due to payments made being in excess of the charges collected.While we know that the Schemes are highly valued by the membership,  it is not possible to retain the respective Schemes in the current form at the benefit levels currently paid. 

In reviewing the rates paid by our Teachers Scheme in respect of absence, it is evident that the daily rate paid of £192.59 is higher than the agency rate paid by Schools in order to bring in supply cover (typically £160-£165 per day). While it is up to individual schools to cover absences in the most appropriate and cost effective manner for them, it does seem anomalous that the benefit paid could potentially result in a school making a profit from a claim to the scheme.  It would therefore seem appropriate to reduce the level of benefit paid to a level at which it provides the equivalent cost of proving agency cover. 


MPS1 should be used as the basis of the calculation of the payment rate for the Teacher Scheme when it recommences in September 2020, this will result in a daily figure benefit of £162.76, and the equivalent hourly rate of £25.04, using the standard 6.5 hour day and 32.5 hour week. 

No additional payments will be made for senior staff absences as the Scheme does not charge any additional premium according to the seniority of staff, given the current financial pressures it is not appropriate to make additional payments on this basis. 

The maternity benefits  detailed within the scheme will recommence with effect from 1 September 2020., as it is appreciated this was a major concern for Schools. 

Longer term, it is considered that a wider review on the future of both the Teachers and Support Staff Schemes is considered appropriate, including the structure of its charges and benefits. This should include a review of the maternity benefit, which is included in the Northumberland Scheme as part of the standard charge, but is often subject to an additional premium in commercial and other LA’s Schemes.

Anyone interested in participating in this is asked to contact Bruce Parvin via 

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