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Thinking of starting supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Tabs2008, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Tabs2008

    Tabs2008 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I'm am just comming to the end of my second year of teaching, I have struggled with the workload this year with balancing working an hour away from my house, a challenging class and family commitments. I have made mistakes and I am fully aware that I can't give my best in these circumstances.
    I am looking for work closer to home but have had no luck as yet and tbh I am lacking in confidence at the moment. I am thinking of going on supply as everyone keeps telling me this will help build my confidence back up and give me a wealth of experience.
    I am however worried that I won't make enough to cover my bills as I have been told that work can be lacking.

    Can anyone offer any advice on this? Do people take second jobs to cover their bills or am I worrying for no reason? I would appreciate any advice x x
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well there are some supply teachers who do manage to get work for most days of the working school year, even if they do that is only for 39 of the 52 weeks in the year, so 13 weeks when you can't actually work and get paid.

    However most people will say they rarely work 5 days for each of those 39 weeks.

    If there really is no option, then yes you can certainly re-build confidence and gain a wealth of experience, HOWEVER if you need a regular wage coming in to pay your bills then NO, don't leave regular work for supply.
  3. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    If you've got a family, debts and/or a mortgage, you probably won't earn enough to get by (unless you have a partner whose wage will cover most of the bills).
    Also, I think you need to be pretty confident to do supply - you have to deal with the unknown every day and have lots of lessons up your sleeve, in case the lesson plans left for you go pear-shaped.
    If you don't have too many demands on your purse and you can walk into a classroom as if you have the God-given right to be obeyed - then try it! You can always change your mind.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    All excellent advice already given.

    You are being wise to consider all the implications of supply before you decide.

    The first thing to do is to sit down ( with your other half if you have one) and write out a budget. If you see it in black and white it will concentrate your mind. Know exactly how much you need to earn each week to cover your essentials. If you have a partner who earns then you may not need to depend on your earnings totally. If you have s partner, then they have to support you in the reality you may not get work every day. So, work out the amount you need. See if there are any savings you can make. If you are not travelling so far, that will result in some savings.

    Once you know the amount of money you need each week to contribute, then think about whether or not you are likely to earn that amount. Are you secondary or primary? Where in the country do you live? Are you near to a lot of different schools? Some who post on this forum tend to be busy since they live near to many schools within an easy commute. The more schools you are near, the more work there may be. If you live where there are only a handful of schools you may not be so busy.

    As a GENERAL guide only ( others make more, others less) let us say that you could earn £130 per day for day to day supply. After taxes, you would have roughly £100 in your mitts. So, how many £100s do you need each week?

    You will learn a lot on supply - it will teach you patience, determination and tact.

    It is a good way to practise teaching without the planning and marking.
  5. Tabs2008

    Tabs2008 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your advice! You have said what I was thinking already it's probably not the best move for me long term due to financial strains.

    You have definitely given me something to think about!!
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  6. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I think it also depends on your subject area as well as where you live and if you are willing to drive further to schools.

    You need to consider these points. If you are flexible you will be offered more work.

    I have found supply teaching highly enjoyable and although I have worked in some really tough schools, the experience has helped me become really confident in behaviour managing and generally as a teacher. I do day to day as well as longer term cover.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    To give you an idea of work, I left an industry role last month and within a week was registered for supply again and offered a role until the summer break. It was in a Pru with almost a 3 hour daily commute with no facilities so after 1 day I declined....it was, however, £195 a day. I have since been offered 3 similar contracts (all out of my area by some distance) in similar settings (young offenders, prison, pru etc.) and one or two in my subject but again way too far to commute. However, I have not had a single morning call for day to day cover. This was a similar pattern to the last time I did cover but I ended up doing two great long term posts, but these come with much of the responsibilities of a full time post but without the sick pay, holiday pay or pension. It may be because I told agents I would rather have notice rather than waiting by the phone at 7am (which I am doing for the first time today) and that I didnt want general cover. Might just be me but most replies imply the same thing; dont expect much day to day work and long term supply is no better than working full time in terms of workload.
  8. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I agree that day-to-day is either non-existent or pays CS rates only.

    Long-term supply seems to depend on the school in terms of workload. In my last one, 9 weeks, I haggled upwards on the grounds that I would have a lots dumped on me and when I was successful they forgot to do the dumping.:)
    There was another supply there who had managed a year with very little extra because he was supply!
    splinters likes this.

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