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Any advice for a new supply teacher?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by charlottesinnott, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. charlottesinnott

    charlottesinnott New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I'm coming to the end of a 12 month contract and planning on doing supply from September. Because my timetable is mostly year 11 I've had a lot of free lessons this term and have been used for cover regularly. I notice a total change in pupil's attitudes towards me, even the ones I've now got to know when they know they have a cover lesson. I'd also like to know a bit more about these umbrella companies as the posts on here about them are very negative, but when I was signing up to agencies last year they were selling them as a great thing.


    • Does anyone have any tips on behaviour management for supply teachers?
    • What are the negatives of umbrella companies?
    thanks :)
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Whether you can manage the behaviour on supply will depend a lot on the school. if a school has good systems in place to support you then your job will be easier. You will get to know the schools you like working in and the ones to avoid.

    As far as managing a class, you have to confront the stereotype of supply teachers and if you show the class that you expect them to do their best and to learn and that you are a hard worker yourself, you will be amazed on how many times the classes will complete the work set and to a high standard.

    I can recommend a book to you called Taking Care of behaviour by Paul Dix. It has many useful hints and is applicable to both primary and secondary. You can get it off Amazon and it is a good investment and has a section devoted to supply teachers although all the book is interesting and useful.

    There is another book which I have recently read called Craft of the Classroom and though not specifically for supply there is a lot of useful information you can apply to supply work.

    As for umbrella companies, the negative thing against them is unless you are earning a large sum of money you will be worse off since you py more taxes. For most people PAYE is best.
  3. tcoll123

    tcoll123 New commenter

    Agencies sell UCs to you as a good thing because they save them a lot of money. An umbrella company effectively sets up a limited company in your name and pays you through it, meaning you have to pay not only your own National Insurance contributions but the Employer's National Insurance contributions as well (and pension contributions if you choose not to opt out of it, too).

    The selling point is that they provide a way of easily claiming tax relief on certain expenses such as those for travel. However the legality of claiming such expenses is not black and white - and the government is attempting to crack down on this method. You should know that it is ultimately you who is responsible for your tax affairs and if you are found to have claimed for something you shouldn't have it is you who is responsible (even if an agency consultant or UC might have encouraged you to do it!).

    You may well be better off being paid through the agency's PAYE - though they certainly won't like it if you ask!
  4. tcoll123

    tcoll123 New commenter

    I should say that paying your Employer's NI contributions effectively doubles your NI bill.

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