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Are you a supply teacher or teaching assistant looking for some help and advice? If so, you are in the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, ECTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer. 

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Registering with Smile - 19-01-2024 - - 0 comments
Supply Teaching: Is It Worth It?

Wondering if now is the time to take the leap into supply teaching? Whether you've been teaching decades, or even if you're just starting out, supply teaching might be the perfect next step for you.

Sure, since we're a supply teaching recruitment agency, you might call us biased. However, because we're passionate about matching the right people with the right roles, we're an honest bunch. So, we've put together a realistic list of some of the benefits of supply teaching.

First things first...

What do you need to become a supply teacher?

First and foremost, you'll need the right qualifications. To teach at a primary, secondary or SEN school you'll need to have completed a degree or qualification that has awarded you QTS (Qualified Teacher Status).

To actually get into the role, you could apply through an agency, or register as self-employed. However, registering with supply teaching agencies means you'll get a dedicated consultant to help find work for you. It'll also take away a lot of the stress around sorting out your tax and National Insurance. If you register with Smile, we can also sort out your DBS, the cost of which we'll refund after you work ten days with us.

Once you've registered and gone through all our checks, we'll then contact you to offer you suitable work.

Is supply teaching flexible?

Supply teaching comes with more flexibility than a permanent role - because you can choose when you work. If you're only looking to work certain days of the week, supply teaching is the perfect choice for a more flexible work-life balance.

With supply teaching, you're the captain of your own ship. You don't need to organise lesson cover or cancel work commitments if you need a day off. You'll be able to control when and where you work, giving you the option to take on more or less at your will.

Supply teacher vs cover supervisor: what's the difference?

Cover supervisors and supply teachers are both temporary roles that involve supervising students while their usual teacher is absent. However, they come with different responsibilities, and require different qualifications.

If you're looking for supply teaching work, you'll need a QTS. Working as a supply teacher means you'll also be able to take on positions where a class's permanent teacher is off for longer periods. You'll also take more of an active role in actually leading the class through their work.

Cover supervisors don't need to hold a teaching qualification. As a cover supervisor, you'll be managing a classroom on behalf of their usual teacher. You'll ensure they complete work they have already been set. To be a cover supervisor, you'll ideally need previous experience.

Supply teaching vs permanent: what's better?

There are tonnes of benefits to supply teaching and permanent teaching jobs. Deciding which one is better depends on your requirements and preferences. It also depends on what your future teaching career goals are, and how you'd like work to fit around your lifestyle.

For example, if you're looking for more day-to-day, flexible work that suits your lifestyle, i.e. you're only available a few days a week, supply teaching might be a better option for you. It might also be a better choice if you're not a fan of the other responsibilities that come with teaching, such as lesson planning.

You might be studying and need to build up your experience, or want to try supply teaching as an ECT. Speaking of experience, supply teaching can offer you a much wider variety of positions. Every day might be different, meaning that you'll be able to shop around to find a type of role you most enjoy and go from there.

If it's a permanent role you're after, you might even get this through supply teaching in the first place. You'll be able to gain experience at a school, and demonstrate to them how you'll fit in there. A permanent role will be more consistent, predictable and allow you to get to know your colleagues, the school, and its students in more depth.

How do I find supply teaching jobs?

The easiest way to find supply teaching jobs near you is to register with a supply teaching agency. When you register, you can tell them how far you'd like to travel and any preferences you have about hours. You can also tell them what kind of school you'd like to work in.

If you register with an education recruitment agency like Smile Education, you'll need to go through several checks to ensure you're compliant. For example, ensuring you have a DBS and sending over any references to validate your previous experience. Your dedicated consultant will then contact you with relevant supply teaching jobs to suit you.

How do I register with Smile Education?

We were hoping you'd ask us that..

If you're looking for supply teaching work in the West Midlands, East Midlands, North West or South Yorkshire, you can call Smile Education on 0121 392 6570.

You could also get in touch with a recruitment consultant by filling in the contact form on our website, or you can submit your CV to us.

Happy job hunting!

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