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Vetro Recruitment’s Supply Teaching Guide Part 1: The Benefits of Supply Teaching

  • Date: Jun 11, 2023
  • Author: Alastair Tulloch

Vetro Recruitment’s Supply Teaching Guide Part 1: The Benefits of Supply Teaching

Supply teaching roles are more valuable to the education sector than ever before, thanks to the current short supply of full-time teaching staff. The number of full time teaching staff in England and Wales increased by only 4,400 in 2021 . Meaning school administrators are keen to tap into the experience and knowledge of temporary staff to reach their goals and provide the best experience possible for their students. Supply teachers are also in demand to cover illness, maternity leave and unforeseen emergencies.

Thanks to this high demand, supply teaching can be the perfect choice for newly qualified teachers looking to gain experience, qualified teaching staff who are transitioning into new careers, or retired teachers looking to supplement their income.

Supply teaching can be a rewarding career path that offers flexibility, variety and the opportunity to make a positive impact on students' lives while gaining valuable experience and skills. If you are considering supply teaching, Vetro Education have put together this three-part guide on becoming a supply teacher with us, the benefits and how the process works.

For part two of our guide explaining rates of pay and opportunities, click here
For part three which takes you through training and preparing for placements, click here 

How does supply teaching work

If you have never considered supply teaching before, it’s important to think about what types of supply work might be most suitable for you, what qualifications you need and how supply teaching works. Let’s break it down:

The type of assignments available

All educational institutions, from primary schools to higher education establishments, use supply contracts to fill temporary vacancies or to cover staff absences.

Assignments are usually offered as ad-hoc hours and day to day work, however weekly assignments and longer-term supply positions are becoming more commonly available.

The nature of temporary supply assignments means that your schedule can change from day to day. you may only receive details about your work placement the night before or on the morning work is due to commence. 

The qualifications you need

Supply teachers must hold and maintain a relevant teaching qualification with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and are required to teach lessons in accordance with the National Curriculum. It is also a mandatory safeguard that all supply teachers and support staff undergo an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before they can work in a school.

Supply teaching responsibilities

While fulfilling each assignment, supply teachers share the same teaching responsibilities as permanent staff members and the same access to facilities and amenities.

Schools that book supply cover in advance usually set work for the day, however if you are contracted for a longer, temporary period, your duties will typically include planning and marking, supporting students or even attending parent’s evenings or excursions outside the classroom.

If you work on an ad-hoc basis there may be no lessons planned and it will be your responsibility to prepare appropriate lesson content for the age group.

Busting misconceptions and the benefits of supply teaching

There are lots of reasons you might be considering supply teaching; many of our candidates are new teachers just starting out, others have personal commitments that make full time work impractical, and others are approaching retirement or reconsidering the impact of full-time work on their health and wellbeing.

“Supply teaching offers me a great opportunity to keep up my skills and earn extra money whilst building a new company in a different field.” - Steve, Science Teacher

Whatever your reason for considering supply teaching, there are plenty of benefits to pursuing temporary teaching work:


Supply teaching offers the freedom to select your own hours and work as much or as little as you prefer. This allows for good work-life balance and the ability to pursue personal interests, without giving up what makes teaching so worthwhile - making a positive impact on students' lives!


Supply teaching gives you opportunities to work across a variety of subjects and age groups in a range of schools within your preferred work area. Allowing you to gain experience and insight into different teaching environments and make informed decisions about your future career path.


Supply assignments are one of the best ways to gain wide ranging teaching experience. Not only does this enable you to expand your skillset through exposure to every aspect of teaching, it allows you to develop preferences and discover new talents and strengths. You’ll become familiar with local schools and build a network of contacts making it easier to determine which schools you would like to work in should you take up a permanent teaching post in the future. 

Reduced workload

The education sector attracts many enthusiastic and passionate teachers who want to make a positive difference. However, the increasing levels of paperwork, targets, inspections, curriculum changes and policy meetings that come with full time teaching are a common cause of pressure and stress. Supply teaching allows you to prioritise more of your time to the part of the job you love – teaching.

Find your perfect supply teaching role today with Vetro!

We understand the rewards and challenges facing teachers and support staff across the education sector today. If you are considering supply teaching, our consultants can help guide you through the process and match you with assignments that will develop your skills and achieve your goals. With Vetro Education, you can be confident that you are getting the best possible support, value, and opportunities to succeed in the education sector.

If you'd like more information get in touch or explore our hundreds of live vacancies across the UK.

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