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Five Benefits Of Becoming A Supply Teacher

Five Benefits Of Becoming A Supply Teacher

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Alastair Tulloch Teacher jobs, education, vetro-education...

You don’t have to look far in the news to find alarming reports of full-time teachers of all seniority levels leaving the profession despite the fact that the UK is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of teachers. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) study revealed that full-time teachers work an average of 54 hours per week, while school leaders work over 60 hours. Only around 20 of these hours are spent teaching, with the remainder of the workload spent on lesson planning, marking, data collation and form filling. 

While teachers are often envied under the misconception that they are home each day by 4pm and on holiday for 13 weeks a year, the reality is that full-time teachers do more unpaid overtime than staff in any other industry. The heavy workload and pressure are credited with a quarter of newly qualified teachers quitting within the first three years and one in five teachers are estimated to be considering leaving full-time teaching.

The Supply Solution

However, it’s not all bad news. The shortage of teachers has led to a nationwide increase in demand for supply teachers, especially in STEM subjects, Modern foreign languages and RE. Education has become the fastest growing recruitment sector with specialist supply agencies offering teachers the freedom to choose when and where they work and still make effective use of their experience, investment in training and passion for teaching. The ability to remain in the teaching profession yet alleviate the pressure of extended working hours has led to a growing number of talented teachers transferring from full-time positions to supply placements. 

Here are our top five benefits of supply teaching:

1) Flexibility

Schools require staff to cover an absence under a variety of planned and unplanned circumstances including sickness, training days, maternity leave, and unfilled teaching posts. As such, supply contracts can range from just a few hours to days and long-term placements. 

The choice of contracts on offer makes supply teaching an ideal way to work around other responsibilities. Some teachers transfer to supply teaching to work around family commitments while for others, supply work helps them return to teaching following a period of absence. Supply is also ideal for teachers who have taken early retirement but still enjoy putting their experience to good use in the classroom, as well as supplementing their pensions. For teachers seeking a career change, supply provides convenient work to fit around studies or other part-time work. 

Whatever the reasons for seeking part-time or temporary teaching work, supply offers the flexibility to create a satisfying work-life balance.

2) Experience 

The diverse nature of supply work means supply teachers can gain a large amount of experience working in a variety of schools in a short amount of time. This enables teachers to gain confidence in their abilities across a range of age groups and subjects and to evaluate which schools provide the best working conditions. 

Newly qualified teachers can also take advantage of this experience, using supply to build up a strong CV. As NQTs often quote a lack of support as a reason for quitting, using a supply agency where the consultants are from an education sector background provides access to invaluable advice and friendly support when needed. Supply teaching also enables NQTs to build relationships within a variety of schools, standing them in good stead for gaining a permanent position in the school of their choice.

3) Extensive Job Opportunities

With qualified teachers in high demand, schools are increasingly turning to supply agencies to help them fill vacant positions and make better recruitment decisions. Working with an agency makes it possible for teachers to find out about a wider range of jobs available within their preferred working area. For teachers looking for career progression, supply agencies can help them find fulfilling work in a school that fits their career aspirations. 

4) Reduced Workload

For day to day placements, supply teachers typically follow lesson plans set by the regular teacher or use pre-prepared lessons targeted for the age group and subjects they will be covering. While it is always beneficial for a supply teacher to arrive as early as possible to familiarise themselves with policies and facilities before classes start, supply teachers can depart at the end of the working day with no obligation to perform unpaid overtime. Supply teachers do, however, have a responsibility to mark any work given.

5) Attractive Pay Rates

Supply teachers earn on average £100 to £124 per day, depending on experience and the length of the supply term. The broad availability of assignments from short-term placements to long-term temporary roles means that it has never been easier for talented teachers of all levels of experience to make a reliable living from supply teaching work.

Ready To Find Out More About Agency Supply Work?

Supply agencies are an integral part of most UK school recruitment programmes. To find out more about the advantages of becoming a supply teacher using a specialist supply agency, why not give us a call at Vetro Recruitment on 02921 660880. Our friendly team of consultants are all from teaching, teaching assistant or recruitment backgrounds and will be happy to help you decide whether supply teaching could help you gain greater satisfaction from your teaching career.