What can I do as a Supply Teacher to be ready for the new academic year?

For most supply teachers and teaching support staff the month of July starts to see more availability before the 6 week holiday and demand picking up in the new academic year.

So what can one usefully do before the start of the new academic year to optimise the probability of getting more supply teaching work, quickly?

For teachers already registered with a good supply teacher agency there are a number of basic tasks that will help.

The main emphasis is to keep your recruitment agency consultant informed, let them know where you have worked through the academic year. In particular let them know the schools you enjoyed working at and why you liked those particular assignments.

Perhaps the school has given you feedback that you want to share, let your recruitment consultant know so they too can share that feedback with other suitable schools.

Even if the feedback from a particular school isn’t great, on the basis that “all feedback is a gift” it would make sense to share this too. It will only help.

Some schools you experience you will not want to go back to and obviously you have the benefit of simply letting us know – this is really important. There is no issue what so ever in telling us that you would rather not go to a particular school. There are a myriad of perfectly good reasons to not want to teach at a particular school, all we need to know is which school and that is the end of it. We just need to know to avoid discomfort in the future.

With the new term approaching it is a really good idea to explore what you are keen to do, where you want to teach and the number of days you would prefer to commit to. We know that supply teachers circumstances change and that is the one of the great aspects of being a supply teacher. You simply let us know, so you and the school get the flexibility and everybody is content once they know.

Being a supply teacher with the flexibility to take a holiday when you like can sometimes catch us out particular at the start of a new term when one might typically assume that everybody is back to work. Taking a holiday when the schools are back can make sense as the costs often go down and we find a number of supply teachers take advantage of these good value holiday breaks. Simply let your recruitment agency know so they don’t assume you are available. We really do need to know your holiday commitments too.

Supply Teacher CV

  • Your CV – If you’ve not updated your CV for an academic year, it is out of date and needs attention. Most schools will ask for a supply teachers’ CV before committing especially if you are looking for a contract or permanent position. As we all know spending time on creating a good quality CV that represents you well is a great investment of a couple of hour’s effort, especially over the break. It’s very helpful to have your CV written in the 3rd person too.

CPD for Supply Teachers

  • CPD is easily over looked but it is an essential investment to keep you up to date and to meet like-minded individuals to connect with. Typical CPD courses for supply teachers include: Behaviour Management, Classroom Management, Delivering Outstanding lessons, and Safeguarding. These are basic CPD courses that all supply teachers should attend.

Collate new and relevant resources

  • The holiday period is a great time to freshen up ones resources. Why not make your teaching content even more inspiring. It helps to revisit ones content often to make sure it is keeping up with the curriculum changes and isn’t out of date.


  • Check your DBS is valid and you are registered with the DBS Update Service.
  • Nearly every supply teacher should register with the DBS update service, it saves you time and money if you are intending to remain in teaching.
    We still have supply teachers registering with us who are unaware of the update service even though they are registered with another supply teacher agency. This is a real shame because there is only a very short period in which one can register for the update service when you get your DBS done.

Invest in a good SatNav

  • How nice to be get an assignment at a new school that you’ve never taught at in the past and to arrive on time unstressed. There are plenty of schools that appear to be hidden from mankind, there is nothing more stressful than being late to a new school and this is where a trusty good quality satellite navigation system pays dividends. We always recommend that our supply teachers invest in a good SatNav, it removes so much stress.

Refer a few colleagues

  • If you like working for your supply teacher agency then why not let a few of your supply teacher colleagues know about that agency? It is really helpful to get a few referrals from an existing supply teacher, this helps the agency and helps your contacts and the schools too.

New supply teacher and teaching support staff

  • For a new supply teacher thinking about registering with a recruitment agency you will be required to go through a formal recruitment process. There is no way around this obligation, it is all about safeguarding children by making sure we know who you are and where you have successfully taught in the recent past.
  • This requires the normal correct paperwork and we are not talking about copies; all your certificates, address details and identification documents must be original and must be seen by the agency representative you are planning to work with. Getting this in place along with your references before your face-to-face meeting is a top idea, it will save a lot of time and frustration. There should be list of all the documents you will need on the supply teacher agency web site which will help to guide you.

If there is one thing in this check list of task you can undertake during the quieter time of the summer it is to communicate with your recruitment consultant let them know what you want to do and on what basis. We find the holiday goes very quickly so best to tick off each of the above supply teacher check list items as soon as you can.