All You Need to Know About Supply Teaching Jobs

TeacherActive recruit for teaching jobs all over the country for primary, secondary and special needs schools. As a supply teacher, it is important to guarantee a supervised and supportive environment in which you can advise or guide students with their work. The main focus for this role is to maintain a quality standard of order in the absence of the teacher, so that learning can take place to its full potential.

Whether you’re an NQT, a teacher of 10 years or even retired, you can reap the benefits of working on supply.

What are the perks of supply teaching?



Supply teachers are free from the time constraints of full time teachers. You can avoid peak holiday prices, take annual leave when you want so that you can attend that wedding, birthdays etc. You will be able to choose between working full time in long term roles (half a term +), short term stints, a few days a week or the odd day here and there; just let us know what suits you. This is also a great benefit for parents of young children as you can work around your childcare.


Not being tied to a particular team or school means that you can avoid some of the political elements of the permanent working world, along with processes, paperwork, meetings etc. and do what you wanted to do: teach.


A lot of people enjoy supply teaching as it offers them a chance to work at a variety of schools and settings and experience a breadth of teaching opportunities with pupils of different ages, backgrounds learning needs, as well as meeting lots of new colleagues. This can be an opportunity to find out what you’d like to focus on in your career, or indeed to continue to grow and enjoy the variety that your career provides.


Supply work can be a great opportunity to live and work in different areas of the country, a factor that can help individuals decide where they’d like to settle, as it provides great insight into a place’s community life, the facilities in a particular area etc.


Upon retirement, many people find it hard to give up their careers in teaching. If that’s the case supply work can cater to you, as you can continue to work on your own terms: when you want, at the schools you’d like and with specific age groups, as it’s your choice as to whether or not you’d like to take a role.

What is required of a Supply Teacher?


This role requires you to cover lessons for absent timetabled teachers. When you are covering for a short term absence a lesson plan will usually be available to you. You will need to ensure that any learning outcomes that have been set, are met, and (primary teachers only) any work completed that day is marked.

Typical supply teacher tasks include:


  • Teaching students and effectively communicating the learning outcomes
  • Supervising and monitoring the behaviour of pupils to ensure a positive environment for learning
  • Answering any questions students may have
  • Dealing with any immediate issues that may arise and handling them in the most appropriate way
  • Collecting work and reporting feedback to the appropriate member of staff

Supply Teacher qualifications & skills: how to become a supply teacher?



To work as a supply teacher, you must hold a recognised teaching qualification such as, but not limited to; a PGCE, BEd, BA/BSc with QTS. All teachers must have QTS and be registered with the GTC (or the EWC for teaching in Wales) to work as a supply teacher with us.


What are we looking for?

As a supply teacher, you will need…

  • Flexibility and reliability
  • A passion in pursuing a career in education and enjoyment in working with children
  • To be patient and attentive
  • To be a confident communicator
  • Professional attitude to your work
  • Excellent organisational skills


If you’re curious about the different roles we have on offer, what our placement process is, or simply would like some more information, please contact one of our local branches – we’re happy to help!

Alternatively, feel free to browse our supply teaching roles here.

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