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The Role of Supply Teachers

The Role of Supply Teachers

This guest blog has been written by Louise Royal, The Marketing Manager at Class Cover.

Class Cover is an established and successful education recruitment agency providing outstanding primary, secondary and SEN teachers ECTS and teaching assistants to schools throughout the Southeast for day-to-day, short-term and long-term assignments.

They currently have a wide range of positions in a variety of Schools and learning environments. Please call 0808 168 4040 and speak to one of their team to discuss the opportunities available.



Supply teachers are an essential part of the education system in the UK. They provide a valuable service to education providers by filling in for absent teachers and helping to ensure that pupils still receive the best possible education.

Without the temporary cover they provide, there would be increased disruption for pupils and staff alike, not to mention the interruptions to lesson plans and timetables. Supply teachers give students the opportunity to learn from someone new, and explore different ideas and teaching methods. This can benefit students as it encourages creativity and exploration of different learning styles throughout all subjects taught at school.


Make a difference as a supply teacher
A supply teacher working with a group of children


Why Become a Supply Teacher?

Becoming a supply teacher offers several benefits and great opportunities for you as a teacher. Whether you are looking for a career change or to improve your work-life balance from starting with supply it is vital to explore what is on offer.

Firstly, flexibility has become a high priority for candidates looking for work post pandemic. Research has found that employees regularly consider their work-life balance to be one of the highest priorities when seeking a new position. Supply teaching allows you to choose when you work, making it an excellent fit for parents coming back to work, retired teachers, early careers teachers (ECT’s) and those who have other commitments. The benefits to your health and well-being of choosing a better work-life balance are plentiful.  

Secondly, with supply teaching you are not limited to committing to the same year group, subject or school, meaning you can work in a diverse range of environments, rapidly developing your teaching experience. You will be exposed to different teaching methods and learning styles that you build on and implement in future positions. Additionally, there may be opportunities to secure more teaching work in a school where you feel confident and enjoy working, potentially opening doors for permanent roles.

Lastly, for early careers teachers (ECTs), supply teaching is a fantastic opportunity to gain more experience in a wider range of schools. As an ECT, you may be unsure of the direction you wish to take with your teaching career. Supply teaching can help you to decide which schools, subjects and pupils you enjoy working with, without having to commit to a full-time, permanent role at the very beginning of your teaching journey. This diverse teaching experience early on can provide a strong foundation for a long-lasting career in teaching, as well as make your application stand out amongst other candidates when you are ready to look for a permanent role.


Work with others as a supply teacher
A supply teacher getting experience working with a variety of people


How do you choose the right supply agency?

If you’re an ECT or qualified teacher preparing to start supply teaching, having the right agency behind you will help the transition feel much smoother. While you don't have to sign up to an agency, many teachers have found them extremely helpful when finding work.

When looking for a supply agency it is best to focus on agencies specialising in education recruitment. A specialist in education recruitment will know the ins and outs of supply work in the education sector and be up to date with current legislation and accreditations, as well have having a large number of schools and potential opportunities at their fingertips.

A good education recruitment agency will not only find you the right jobs for your skills, but they will be able to guide you through the process with helpful advice. When signing up with a reputable agency, you will find that most will provide optional CPD courses to help carry your career forward and keep up to date with any changes in legislation. 

We all know the value of recommendations in all aspects of life, so take the time to speak with other supply teachers and look at feedback online to get an idea of which agency would work best for you and your skills.


About Class Cover

Class Cover is one of the UK’s leading Education Recruitment Agencies specialising in providing outstanding Teaching talent and support staff to schools and nurseries for day-to-day, short-term, long-term, and permanent positions. Our team of experienced education consultants are expertly placed to provide a dedicated professional service in finding you the positions which suit you.


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