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Supply in independent schools

Discussion in 'Independent' started by nimmity, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Do independent schools use supply agencies in the same way as state schools?
    Would there be anything to be gained from writing directly to local schools letting them know that I am available. I am secondary physics trained with 7years experience so I appear to be a bit expensive to get much work from the agencies!
  2. LadyPsyche

    LadyPsyche New commenter

    In the last 3 independent schools in which I have worked, cover has been arranged internally; even in cases of a half term of absence, supply cover has not been used. We cover in our non-contact periods, or redistribute the work within a department.
  3. Do state schools not have cover?
  4. Snorkers

    Snorkers New commenter

    We cover everything internally. In 10 years, I can only think of one example of a supply teacher being used, and that was to cover a long-term absence.
  5. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    We only tend to get in cover for the pre-prep and then it's not when we can double up classes.
    We don't in the prep school at all, staff provvide cover in their free lessons. We covered a recent materity leave internally by staff taking on extra classes.
  6. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    Splink in response to your question, no i state schools the government introduced a rarely cover policy. Teachers shouldn't do more than about 3 hrs a year and that is only in an emergency, no teacher should cover for a planned/known absence. (e.g. a teacher might cover the 1st lesson of the day whilst a supply teacher got to the school). Most secondary schools have cover supervisors, who are not teachers who cover lessons, i.e. give out cover work and control behaviour. In primary schools often the HLTAs take the class if cover is needed.
  7. response to nimmity:
    Different private schools have different rules for engaging supply staff. I was on supply as a 'spare physics teacher' for a year & got a mix of private & state work through both agency & personal contacts.

    The private schools tended to use me better & actually let me teach. I had one stint where I covered for a Physics teacher while he was on Jury service (agency placement) and another school where I was called in to take the Physics HOD classes whenever he was on INSET (personal contact).
    In my current school (private) there is an member of staff (not a teacher) who JUST does cover. If he needs more, he works through the cover rota & if there is a real shortage (lots of trips, visits or strikes) then external people are called in - but not through an agency, I think they have a list of people they know.
    I would suggest writing to the head of academic studies in the private schools you would like to supply for, with a copy of your CV, and asking them if they need someone with your profile to help out with cover work.
  8. scotty_dog

    scotty_dog New commenter

    I have worked in independent schools for 16 years as both a teacher and a head and yes, some do use supply agencies. However, having started in supply myself this year, you will find that this is not a way to earn a reasonable salary! I would suggest you prepare a CV and covering letter and visit each school in person to try to see the HOD. If you don't manage to meet with them then a chat with the secretary/office staff will establish whether or not they have a need for staff. Personal visits are MUCH more likely to yield positive results as the presonal approach is always preferable. Good luck!

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