NEW figures show six high schools around Huddersfield spent more than £200,000 on supply teachers last year.
Ministers this week released the spending details for every school in Kirklees.
The information indicates that six high schools ran up large bills for substitute teachers in 2009/10.
The figures show:
Shelley College spent £222,616 on supply teachers
Castle Hall in Mirfield paid out £289,151
Whitcliffe Mount in Cleckheaton spent £207,722
St John Fisher in Dewsbury paid out £258,092
Moor End Technology College spent £219,316
Spen Valley Sports College paid out £265,207
Nether Hall Learning Campus had the lowest figure, paying out just £60,093 for supply teachers in 2009/10.
Other schools which paid out less than £100,000 include Holmfirth High, Heckmondwike Grammar and Mirfield Free Grammar.
A Kirklees Council spokesman said yesterday that schools were trying to reduce their supply teaching bill.
“Expenditure on teachers provided by the council’s supply service has been decreasing across Kirklees,” he said.
“This shows that strategies adopted by the council and schools are working and that schools are making great efforts to minimise staff absence due to sickness.
“Schools are actively working to ensure that staff training is organised so that fewer supply teachers are needed.
“Schools also take out insurance to cover the cost of supply teachers who may be required for unplanned staff absence.”
The figures, which were released on Wednesday by the Department of Education, also show a wide difference in spending in other categories. Newsome High paid out £174,156 in “other staff costs” to workers who are not classed as teachers, dinner ladies or administrators.
Most other high schools in Kirklees spent well below £100,000 in that category.
The council spokesman explained the difference.
“Newsome High is funded for two Resourced Provision Units and is a hub school for School Sports Partnership arrangements,” he said.
“These activities result in a greater need for support staff roles.”
The information also shows that Heckmondwike Grammar spend £2.86m on its premises in 2009/10 while Mirfield Free Grammar invested £1.7m.
No other school in Kirklees spent more than £600,000 in this category last year.
But the council spokesman said these were one-off improvements.
He said: “Figures for Mirfield Free Grammar and Heckmondwike Grammar are higher because these schools received additional grant funding from the Learning and Skills Council to expand their premises so they could take more post-16 students.
“This cost is showing in the year in question and subsequent years will see them return to more average levels now that the expansions have happened”.