5 Tips for Finding Supply Work

| March 21, 2011 | 2 Comments

Our previous Blog article discussed the situation of supply work in the UK today. Put simply, finding supply work is much more difficult now than in previous years. Many supply teachers are having trouble finding work and some have gone so far as to say that the days of supply teaching are numbered.

However, not all supply work has evaporated and many schools continue to use supply teachers. This article will focus on some of the ways that supply teachers can improve their chances of finding work. These tips are by no means a golden ticket but may help get you that early morning call.

Tip #1
Be willing to teach other year groups. If work is in short demand, you may have to broaden your horizons and teach different classes. Especially for secondary teachers (who may have a hard time finding work in their specific area), being willing to teach other subjects or even Primary can greatly increase your chances of finding work. Agencies like flexibility.

Tip #2
Keep in constant contact with your agency. The more you keep in touch with your agency, the more likely you are to get work. Do call each morning if you are not pre-booked and don’t be afraid to pop into the office to say “hello.” Be a friendly voice and face to your agency and they will be more likely to give you a ring.

Tip #3
Work with multiple agencies. This tip is contested, but working with more than one agency can improve your chances of finding work. Just remember that agencies want someone reliable so don’t spread yourself too thin.

Tip #4
Do good work. This infinitely important tip will be your best chance of getting more supply work. Do your best and put in a little extra effort that will get you noticed. When schools recognize a good, hard-working teacher they often request them back. Especially in an unsteady time, being in the good books of a couple schools can really help. It also doesn’t hurt to tell your agency that you have a good relationship with a specific school as you may pop into mind the next time that school calls.

Tip #5
Use available resources. Finally, access the resources that you have available to you. Perhaps other teachers or consultants are willing to share some tips or hints. Be open and take any advice you can (even if you throw it out later). You can also use informative websites such as this one or online teacher forums to find out what your colleagues are saying and experiencing. This will help you stay up-to-date and in-the-know.

Being a supply teacher these days is not easy. Yet, it is also not impossible. If you are keen to keep it up and continue with supply work then give these tips a try. If you are determined, your chances of finding supply work can only improve.

If you have any other tips you would like to share, please leave a comment below!

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Comments (2)

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  1. letty says:

    Albert dog if you are still looking I know of an agency who needs maths and science teachers

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  2. albertdog says:

    The advice about creating a good impression in schools is, of course, valid. However, the great problem seems to be getting into a school. As I have said, since last May I have registered with 27 agencies in London, for at least a month in each case, until the agency proved itself worthless, I e-mailed my availability every day and phoned in the morning and in the afternoon: on some days I was making 10 – 15 calls each morning and afternoon. Being a maths and science teacher, I thought that this was quite flexible, and I am willing o travel up to 2 hours to get to a school. Three times, over the last nine months, I have mail-shotted every secondary school, PRU etc within a thirty mile radius (only two, negative raplies). I have taken short-courses to enable me to get considered for primary schools.

    The outcome of all this effort? Two days paid as a teacher, one day paid as a CS and two days for which I am still awaiting any payment (work done in November).

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