For those thinking about becoming a supply teacher, the transition from a permanent role can be quite daunting.

There is a misconception that being a supply teacher is a thankless, poorly paid and onerous task – this is frankly not the case.  Many of the supply teachers and teaching assistants registered with 4myschools have been with us for a number of years, enjoying great feedback and the flexibility of a well-paid job. 

Why do schools use Supply Teachers?

Normally we are asked to provide supply cover at a school when an existing teacher is undertaking training, is on maternity/paternity leave or is unwell. Assignments can vary from half a day through to an entire academic year. Our role is to enable schools to continue their daily routine with the minimum disruption to pupils and their learning.

Minimising Disruption

Being able to minimising disruption is essential to the role of a supply teacher. Your role is to enable the school to continue its normal teaching schedule without any problems whilst a member of staff is absent or unavailable.

Making this easy for the schools and pupils is essential, minimising the disruption and providing a consistently high quality of service to the school.  This requires us as the agency to be able to offer the school a superb supply teacher, who knows how to teach the year group or subject required and who will quickly engage with the children.

Role of the Supply Teacher

Being a supply teacher offers great potential and flexible working arrangements, which means you get to choose when and where you want to work and for how long – all you need to do is to tell us when you are available!

Both Primary and Secondary supply teachers are in demand. You can teach in the Key Stage that you feel prefer, using your past skills and resources to enhance lesson plans provided to you, to deliver engaging lessons to the pupils in your care.

We recommend for supply teachers to invest in their CPD. In particular, CPD around changes in the curriculum, behaviour management and delivering outstanding lessons.  By investing in yourself, you build confidence in your teaching skills and are better able to manage in a diverse set of schools.

It is important that you let us know which schools you like and how you got on after every assignment. If you don’t want to return to a specific school, you simply tell us which will enable us to build up a profile of where you like to work and will save us offering you work in a school which you prefer not to work in.

Marking and Parents evenings

As a general rule, a supply teacher in Primary schools would be expected to complete the marking for the day, whereas a supply teacher in Secondary schools would not.  Confirming with the school on arrival what is expected of you, is always a good opener to make sure both you and the school are on the same page from the start.

For long term placements, there is often a request for supply teachers to cover parent’s evenings. The schools typically offer to pay for the additional hours invested by the supply teacher.  If you are being paid as a full time teacher then marking and parents evenings is typically included within your higher rate; however this would be agreed at the outset of the assignment to make sure all parties know what is expected.

The role of a supply teacher tends to mirror that of a permanent teacher, but with added flexibility, more opportunities to experience other schools and teaching styles and the freedom to choose longer term assignments in schools that you enjoy teaching in.

If you would like to register for supply teaching work, or to find out more about supply teaching in your area, please contact 4myschools on 01245 353 808 or www.4myschools.org.