tate schools in England have paid recruitment agencies more than £8 billion in fees since 2010, Labour has said.
It came as Sir Keir Starmer’s party promised that its plan to address growing concerns over the retention and recruitment of teachers would save taxpayers billions of pounds.
Labour has said it would introduce a new retention payment when teachers complete the two-year early career framework in order to tackle new teachers leaving the job.
It also pledged to reinstate the requirement for new teachers to have or to be working towards qualified teacher status, amid a raft of proposals designed to keep staff in the profession.
Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson, who submitted parliamentary questions on agency fees, said £1.98 billion was spent on fees by local authority-maintained schools between April 2017 and March 2022.
Around £4.5 billion was spent between 2010 and 2017, with academies and academy trusts also spending £1.75 billion on fees between 2016 and 2021.
A good retention plan is the best recruitment plan
She accused the Conservatives of overseeing a “perfect storm” in teaching.
Sir Keir will later this week set out the party’s plans on schools and education.
Ms Phillipson said it will only be possible to have “rising standards in our classrooms if we get a grip on the perfect storm in our teaching profession, which is seeing an exodus of experienced teachers and costing taxpayers over the odds to fill vacancies”.
“Only Labour has the vision to re-establish teaching as a profession that is respected and valued as a skilled job which delivers for our country,” she said.
“A good retention plan is the best recruitment plan. That is why Labour’s measures to keep teachers in our classrooms will deliver world-class teachers in every classroom and reduce the costly payments to recruitment agencies clobbering taxpayers.”