1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Help I need info on supply teaching

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by RebeccaVM, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. RebeccaVM

    RebeccaVM New commenter

    Hi, I really need some help as supply seems to be my best option but I have no idea how it works. I'm currently in my NQT year and have been told today that my one year maternity leave contract wasn't going to be renewed. I'm actually very relieved as I have 3 young children and have struggled with a huge lack of support in my current primary school. I've really struggled with borderline bullying and complete unprofessionalism since Christmas. I am now looking at supply work for September. Please can anyone help me with the following, available work, pay, holidays and expectations.
    Many thanks
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Rebecca

    Definitely start with the threads Lara has posted for you.

    In short, the amount of work you may be able to get will depend a lot on the area of the country you live in. From what people post on here, it seems there is a lot of supply work in some areas, whereas nomso much in others.

    With three young children, younwill probably want to do prebooked work which means you know where you are going and when in advance instead of waiting for the phone to ring in the morning.

    You can try to contact schools directly for work, use agencies, or do both.

    There is a lotmfor you to research, so start with the threads as suggested by Lara.
  4. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Supply teaching?
    Imagine a cake. Last year the cake was a certain size, but this year it is smaller. How much smaller?
    In addition last year there was a certain number of supply teachers, but this year there are a lot more. Again, how many more?
    The result is that in many areas there is a lot less supply available and the rates of pay (in primary schools) are usually south of £100 a day.
    However, it is highly likely that you will not work every day and in addition you will not be paid for the 13 weeks holiday. In the first week back after any holiday, work is also likely to be "thin on the ground".
    In primary £100 a day for short term, or day to day supply appears to be the average.
    Longer term supply will probably be more - up to £130 a working day, but you will be expected to do ALL of the duties of a full-time permanent class teacher. Additionally, when you finish that contract you will likely have a period of time before you start another contract.
    In the last few weeks there has apparently been an increase in the amount of supply work available, but prior to that it was sparse. The near future?
    Further ahead I suspect that Academies will be seeking to bypass "expensive" supply teachers (paid £100 a day, but the agency charges approx £200 a day) and will use supply cover supervisors (paid £60 a day, and charged to schools at approx £140 or less*).
    Lots of unknowns for the future of supply teachers. Probably not a "safe" career choice at the moment, unless you live with Mum or have a partner with a decent income.

    * others may know more accurate costings of CSs.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
    AnonL likes this.
  5. RebeccaVM

    RebeccaVM New commenter

    Thank you for all the advice. I actually got an email from an agency last night saying that they have plenty of work available and speaking to teacher friends they think the supply and demand is good in our area. I live in west/ south west London suburbs, does anyone have any experience of these areas? Thanks again
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    That sounds hopeful. Don't take anything an agency says too seriously, but the say so of friends and teachers in your area should be more trustworthy.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Lara is right: don't rely on what an agency tells you. Before you start to think of contacting agencies, do some research to see how to contact schools directly so you can bypass agencies and use agencies as a last resort. You may in the end have to use an agency to get you work, but you can also keep contacting schools directly just not the ones an agency sends you to.

    I don't know many people who would work in a school for £60 per day as a CS. Who in their right mind would agree to look after up to 150 children per day and be responsible for their safety, behaviour and learning for £60 per day ( that is 30 children in a class x 5 classes per day in secondary). It would be absolute insanity.

    There is a myth that anyone can be a CS; it is not true. Anyone who is in charge of a class of 30 students some with learning difficulties and other needs, has to have a certain skill set and I think you will find that although it may not appear to be the case, some schools are very picky about who they ask back to do supply and not everyone is suited to it.

    Supply teaching has never been nor will be a secure source of income but that is its inherent in the type or work it is; people can't blame schools if there isn't enough supply work - schools don't want their teachers off unless it is an emergency or for planned days. It can be a gap filler or even a long term career for some. Everyone's needs are different: some have extra income in the form of partners or business interests.

    On another thread, a poster has written about how supply work is. It can be gruelling and there are a lot of disadvantages as well as advantages. For the OP, your children will not be small forever. Once they all get settled in primary or even in secondary you may find that you want a full time post again. Some people start supply, make enough money for their needs and are successful at it, while others leave teaching eventually or get contracted teaching posts. You are in a good position since at least you have a chance with the skills you have. There are many, many people who are still looking for work.
  8. AnonL

    AnonL New commenter

    I personally would recommend just getting out of teaching and finding a job as opposed to going down the supply route.
    I think the cake analogy is great that a previous poster made.
    This year has been OK for the past couple of weeks, but that is all. This year has been very space compared to previous years due to millions like yourself leaving full time for the supposedly cushier supply option as last year they saw loads of supply teachers around having a great time.

    The shift has gone from amazing to poor in only the space of a year regarding work available.

    All I am saying is be very careful about thinking it is lucrative and somehow an easier option. If you have money behind you, low overheads, a partner that works, live at home with your parents with limited overheads or an additional reliable source of income the by all means do supply. However, if you are not in these categories I would not recommend it.
    See this thread for a very accurate appraisal for what has happened in 2015-16 supply
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I don't think most people think supply teaching is lucrative and would realise that they are not going to make millions out of it. Even with jobs outside education two incomes are needed to buy a home and have extras.
  10. andrew07

    andrew07 Occasional commenter

    You would think that supply agencies would have a cut off point if there isn't enough work going around. If work was really that scarce, wouldn't agencies do this?
  11. AnonL

    AnonL New commenter

    I've seen the light! Perhaps I am just a **** teacher.

Share This Page