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Primary supply teaching guidance

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by nicolashrive29, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. nicolashrive29

    nicolashrive29 New commenter

    I am currently looking into supply teaching after only ever working on a permanent contract before (this is my 6th year of teaching).
    My main question is, does anyone have any advice on supply teaching? Should I register with multiple agencies? When does work tend to filter out or be busy? Does the whole registration process take a while? How does the DBS check work? I am looking for day to day supply in primary schools, although have any primary teachers ever been able to go into secondary schools? Thanks very much.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Most of those questions have answers in this forum, if you do a quick search.

    But generally
    Yes you need to register with several agencies
    Beginning of term tends to be less busy as staff are 'fresh' after their time away
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    In addition to searching for information on this site, there is also a "New to Supply" thread pinned at the top of this forum which answers some of the questions you raise.

    Typically, it will start to get busy now right before the half term break and will be steady up until after Easter. However, there is a huge variation in the amount of work there is depending on the area you live in.

    Yes, you can teach in secondary schools, but the pace is quicker since you are moving around rooms, classes, year groups, subjects and the students are bigger and the dynamics different. If you go to a good school you may have a pleasant day, but if you are sent to a challenging school, be prepared for anything and that is not an exaggeration.

    If you are doing supply to take a break from permanent teaching, I would also suggest that on any of your free days you look into other skills you can learn as a back up.

    Just a quick tip... regarding agencies. Make a list of the schools in your area that you would like to work at or where you can travel to. Try to make a list of say twenty. Ring the schools and ask if they can tell you which supply agencies they use and which ones they recommend. That will give you an indication of the ones you want to register with. If you have all your paperwork in order and references in order the process won't take long. The compliance procedure is what the agencies are concerned about - that you have good references that they can check and as you say a DBS. The agency can apply for a DBS on your behalf if you are able to supply the information that they require which will be proof of address and identity. They will give you a list of the documents you need. I don't know the cost but it is about £60.00. Once you have a DBS certificate, you can register for the online update service which is £13.00 per year.

    Ensure you are paid PAYE.

    You have to have your wits about you when dealing with agencies since their main motive as a business is profit and they will put that before you and any other consideration, so always keep in mind that you cannot believe everything they say.

    Ensure you are in a union.

    If you are in a school now, if you see any supply teachers in the staff room you can always chat to them about the state of supply in your area.

    After you have a quick search on this site and can't find what you are looking for, let us know and perhaps someone will know the answer.
    Lara mfl 05 and Jesmond12 like this.

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