THE bill for supply teachers in Scotland has topped £81 million, prompting calls for the Scottish Government to review its deal on teacher pay.

Figures from 30 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities show £81.5m was spent on supply teachers in 2016/17.

The data, obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, shows Glasgow City Council had the highest supply teacher bill at £16.6m, followed by North Lanarkshire at £11.5m.

Shetland Islands had the smallest supply teacher cost of those responding at £312,861, while West L othian and Nor th Ayrshire did not provide figures.

Last year data from 27 out of 32 councils showed a supply teacher cost of £66.1m in 2015/16.

The Lib Dems also revealed 795 teaching posts were vacant when pupils returned to school after the summer holidays this year. Party education spokesman Tavish Scott said: “Local authorities are spending more than £220,000 a day on supply teachers.

This money could be better invested in ensuring schools have enough permanent staff in the first place. “Children’s education is better when they have consistency in the classroom.

The lack of a permanent teacher over a prolonged period can be a h i nd r a nc e t o t hei r education.” He added: “This sizeable bill for supply teachers shows it is time we gave the teaching profession a well-overdue boost.”

Mr Scott called for “McCrone Two”, a new independent review of the profession in Scotland.