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Advice for NQT starting on supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by meganpounder55, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. meganpounder55

    meganpounder55 New commenter

    I am looking for some advice on supply teaching.
    A bit of background about myself. I finished university and taught school swimming alongside private swimming lessons and club swimming sessions for over a year. In September 2019 I went travelling to Central and South America for 4 months and just returned back to the UK.
    I am hoping to find a position to teach in September 2020 but in the meantime would like to go into supply work to get used to being back in school, getting used to the curriculum again, any policy changes etc. since finishing university before being thrown into teaching in September completely out of the loop and out of practice.
    I am looking on advice for the best supply agencies for NQT's, if anybody has any advice on agencies to avoid and why, all through the North West of England area please.

    Any help would be so much appreciated!!
    Thank you so much in advance!
  2. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Hi there

    First of all, if that is your real name then can I suggest you change it asap?

    Hope you enjoyed your adventures around Central and S America. I'm a tad confused by your background - did you train to become a teacher at university and if so primary or secondary and what subject? Was the swimming teaching due to being qualified to teach swimming rather than because you were a teacher?

    We are not allowed to name agencies on here but one of the NW based posters (there are a few) may be able to message you ('conversations'). Alternative strategies would be to contact local schools and see whether they use particular agencies. If you are looking in the same area you trained in, it might also be worth contacting people from your training cohort who may have suggestions (or know of upcoming jobs!)
  3. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That's quite an odd thing to do tbh.
    Schools wont want to state which agencies they use because the contact may be a covert inroad from another agency.
    And if you're going to contact a school to ask about agencies, why be so circuitous when you might as well just ask them directly about work?
    In effect your suggestion reads this way-
    Contact a school at which you are interested in working and ask them to name the person who is not part of their school who will take a large part of your money which the school is paying in order for you to work with the person to whom you are talking.

    OP just write up a nice CV and send it to a bunch of schools with a covering letter offering the background info you give us in your post. Not only might you get some supply work, you will also alert to your Sept availability.
    Remember-everybody loves an NQT.
  4. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Well to be honest @sbkrobson, I've never done it but it is a standard strategy suggested on here and passed it on as such! Apologies if that wasn't clear.
  5. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    P.S. I forgot to say before but check agencies pay via PAYE
  6. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    As someone's mentioned above you don't mention having QTS or QTLS in order to teach in the UK which you will need if you want to be paid at Teacher Rate rather than Cover Supervisor Rate in schools. Teaching swimming is not the same as teaching in a mainstream classroom and so you would need experience in a classroom.

    Depending on the KS you wish to teach, be prepared for potentially poor behaviour and brush up on your classroom management knowledge as things have got significantly worse in this respect over the past year in my experience of supply teaching over the past 3 years.

    You will need a current Child Workforce DBS before you can set foot in any type of school. This is sometimes paid for by the agency, although not always, and they will expect you to pay the fee (around £48) back via working for them. You'll need to be on the Update Service (£13 a year) so schools can access your criminal record at any time.

    Supply teachers are rarely treated as colleagues by other permanent teachers (and far less so by kids), apart from during longer-term assignments. After all you are here one minute and gone the next.

    If you are looking at Primary teaching you would be far better off as a Teaching Assistant who can directly observe and work with another qualified teacher, to learn the ropes. TAs are present at Secondary but seemingly fewer of them but I imagine you could try this and mailshot local schools to save them money.

    Finally supply is currently extremely scarce and it is no promise that you will find a lot of work to get experience from. If you read comments on the Supply Teaching thread you'll see that most of us have had a handful of days' work since September. Schools are using new inexperienced graduates on very low pay, or sharing a bank of zero-hours contracted Cover Supervisors instead. Good luck either way.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. PatiencePeace

    PatiencePeace New commenter

    So being a qualified teacher is disadvantageous to finding work?
  8. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    Rule 1: Don't let the Bug&ers get you down.
    Rule 2: Be flexible
    Rule 3: accept that supply are lower then low in any school system
    Rule 4: Accept that you will be verbally abused by students
    Rule 5: Never trust anyone, especially the agencies
    Rule 6: Have cheap pens and pencils ready for those with no pens excuse
    Rule 7: It is the money that we get paid that counts.
    donrickles and agathamorse like this.

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