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Want to get into supply teaching. Any tips?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Rhys21, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Hello,

    I have recently graduated from University, where I studied Primary Education. Instead of pursuing a more permanent role in a school, I would like to get into supply teaching. However, I have no knowledge of how to achieve this.

    Any advice on how to get into supply teaching, the best agencies to contact, and any other tips or help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Your best first stage would be to contact schools directly, but more likely agencies will find you work. Avoid Umbrella payment systems.
  3. tcoll123

    tcoll123 New commenter

    As a newly qualified teacher you are able to do day-to-day supply work or supply placements of no longer than 1 month. Placements of more than one month must count towards your NQT induction. You are able to do this for up to five years after you have completed your training.

    You could approach schools directly for work. Most supply work is found with agencies - usually if a school won't employ you directly they will point you in the direction of an agency they use to source supply teachers. The agency acts as a middle man between you and the school, and will be the ones to ring you up early in the morning to ask if you will cover an illness absence. The school pays the agency a fee for you, of which the agency takes a cut. Many, less scrupulous, agencies will attempt to pay you as little as they can get away with because this means a higher profit - be very careful of this. You should make sure you have this in writing in advance of starting the work. And if you think it is too low, negotiate higher.

    After you have contacted schools directly, I recommend ringing individual agencies to ask if they have work - they'll usually say yes and invite you to go and register with them.

    See here community.tes.co.uk/.../717328.aspx for some more practical advice, and these forums are a great place for questions!
  4. As other's have said - find a reputable agency who will pay you via PAYE. Always good to go with a recommendation if you can... perhaps put an hour aside to call lots of school in your area and ask what agency they use. If there's a 'leader' these could well be the ones to go with as there is the most chance of work. Beware UC though as others have said.
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Go back through the various newbie posts on this forum.

    Above all else, if you are signing up with agencies, you are still entitled to be in a teaching union. In case of any disputes it is worth the fee in the future. As a student, you won't pay for NUT membership right now.

    What tcoll has said above. Your classroom experience as a supply teacher counts towards QTS if you are in middle to long term placements as long as you agree this with your client school.

    Remember that as long as you are with an agency, you are not employed by the school so they have to specify to the agency what hours you will be working. Just check if you are going to be paid cover supervisor rate. If you don't have qualified teacher status, you might find you are offered about £90 per day. There are a maximum of 195 teaching days a year which adds up to £17,550 per annum before tax. Can you afford to live on that? All rates are negotiable so it's worth asking for more than the first offer. Any negotiations need to be done via the agency and not directly with the school.

    A UC payroll scheme would leave you worse of than PAYE at those rates.

    Each separate branch of each agency has its own scales so what is being offered by a branch in one town could be a lot less or more than is being offered by the same company in another town or borough.

    You have to ask at the interview. If you don't like it, don't accept it. There are no pay scales so you have to prove your worth.

    You only need one DBS certificate so as soon as you get yours, use the renewal system within the time limit or you will have to pay again if you have more than one agency. It takes a few weeks to process so get going or you won't be ready by September.

    You can then enrol with a number of agencies.

    In your position, you might be better working as a cover supervisor in a school. At least you will have a fixed salary from Sept 1. Agency work is often sporadic.

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