Supply Teaching, Pay, Job in England & Scotland Schools

Supply Teaching, Pay, Job in England & Scotland SchoolsThe choice of education council run school or recruitment agency supply teaching jobs can be an advantage for some or a disadvantage for other teachers.  Supply long or short term teaching has a place in today’s schools to cover a teacher that is not in the classroom.


What is a supply teaching agency?

An external company or organisation that provides qualified teachers and other staff to a school on a temporary or long tem basis. The teaching agency or council first vets, recruits, trains and places teachers in schools that have contracts to provide class teachers to fill gaps in teacher shortage or illness. 

Further, three-way partnership between a school, teacher and the supply teacher agency is a short term gap to fill a post due to no teacher that day or weeks.

All good teacher recruitments agencies and councils follow Department for Education clear guidelines, accountability and responsibilities.

As a teacher you can sign up with more than one teacher recruitment agency and teach for both if you wish when placements are short late in the school year.

A school does not willingly take on the services of an agency and accept supply teacher’s on a daily, weekly or longer term basis, although there may be more than one reason why a school seeks use of a temporary teacher to fill a classroom teacher gap.


Supply teaching pay UK schools

Schools and education councils direct employment pay more, permanent contract & benefits.

Bigger agencies supply teacher pay from £95 to £160 per day for a class teacher less tax.

Smaller agencies pay is from £95 to £130 per day less income tax.

Recruitment agencies, schools and local councils pay also includes pension enrolment, sick pay, training opportunities and other benefits.

Supply teacher roles are legally entitled to paid holiday per year of 5.6 weeks, by a school agency or council employed.

London school teacher’s are offered the most payment for school teacher supply jobs. 

Actually pay depends on a number of factors including size of agency, work for a council, location, long or short tem employment, experience & role as every recruitment agency has their of rates of pay & benefits.

Supply teacher pay is transferred into your bank account weekly, 2 weeks or monthly depending on council or recruitment agency you work for.


Demand for teaching agencies staff

Greatest demand for primary and secondary school supply teachers is in England, and especially the south East of England. There are temporary teacher jobs in all parts of England and a few roles with councils in Scotland.

In Scotland supply teachers are only registered with local councils.


Agency supply teaching in primary or secondary school options

How to become a temporary school teacher: 

  1. Once you are a qualified teacher register with one or more of the many recruitment agencies that offer short or long term teaching positions in primary or high schools.
  2. You could also teach for a school group.
  3. Register as a supply teacher with a council education department direct on their supply teaching list.


Typical supply teacher sign up process includes:

  • Complete an application form
  • Teacher number
  • Qualification certificates
  • Email or take a full CV
  • Provide 2 most recent teaching references
  • UK Criminal record check
  • Face to face interview at the agency office, council or school group
  • Take with you to the recruitment agency all qualifications, proof of address and identification and what they ask

Questions the recruiter will ask

You will be asked what age level and subject you wish to teach

Geographical area of school teaching placements

How soon and long are you available?

Short term or long term placements

Teaching related questions


Starting first supply teacher school placement

Once accepted with the agency, school or education council as a supply teacher you’ll receive a call or possibly an email the day before on the morning with a placement at a school. 

Successful supply teaching is where you are prepared mentally for the teaching day and week. You should have a range of ideas and teaching strategies for the subject you teach. You could also be asked to cover lessons in 4 different subjects in one day.

Expect normal class teacher role in school where you could have a tutor class each day and school duty on the playground.

You could find yourself teaching in three different schools in a week. Other times you could be teaching at the same school all term or even two terms.

Don’t be surprised if a school offered you to teach at their school for the rest of the academic year.  Happened to me a few time.

When you arrive at a school go to the reception. Someone generally meets you or the receptionist hands you a list of classes for the day.

At the end of the day or week prompt at 15.30 or at the end of the last class of the day get your time/attendance sheet signed by the appropriate person.

Replying hello to many students will be a pass time in the local town if you are teaching in more than one school in the area!


Challenges as a temporary class school teacher

  • Recruitment agency you are not employed by the school and you are not part of their communication channel or training.
  • Could be teaching multiple different subjects in one day.
  • Could be seen as a temporary employed applying for a mortgage or loan, depends on you’re contract.
  • Remember and use children’s names for each class.


Why schools use teaching agencies

Schools from the state and independent sector use short term contract teachers for a range of reasons:

  • Maternity leave
  • Teacher illness
  • Un-filled post
  • Teacher away on training
  • School trip with a teacher away
  • Increase in pupil intake
  • Skills input and training
  • Others


Cost of a supply teacher to a school

There exists tangible and non tangible cost of supply teaching from a school, pupil and teacher perspective.

Agencies receive a premium for placing a teacher and the teacher receives a significant percentage of what the agency receives from the school.

A school can, and do get good temporary teachers that can motivate and teach a class, although at times some teaching staff is not best suited to the role.

Schools that take on supply staff today have a choice of agencies, fees, and a growing number of temporary teachers for the role. Schools sign a contract for supply teachers for a certain time, quality and fee.

Pupils do not always receive good quality teaching and learning with supply teachers.


Agencies and councils for teachers

With a growing number of teaching agencies attracted to high profitable revenue, standards in the recent past have been raised.

Of course some agencies are better equipped for the supply environment to support teachers and schools for the benefit of pupils.


Education council supply teaching jobs vacancy 

Powys Wales supply teacher application  

Waltham Forest London “Air Supply” connecting teachers with schools  

Falkirk Scotland 


Best to stick with agencies that are fully registered with industry bodies, school or a council direct.

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