Getting Work

 Supply Pools and Agencies.

There are basically two ways to get work as a supply teacher. Either you can join a supply agency, or you can go out and get bookings yourself. However there are a few things worth considering with either approach:



Supply Agency

-         Often a ready supply of work  especially if you sign up with the dominant agency in the area.

-         Your marketing and advertising is done for you.

-         Great for short-term jobs allowing you to get a feel for schools in the area.

-         Will be able to supply you with a professional reference.

-         Most will happily accept you on their books as long as you are qualified and able to represent their image well (i.e. lack of references or experience not necessarily a deal-breaker).

-         Many agencies add an increment as ‘holiday pay’ in lieu of actual holidays.

-         Many agencies provide CPD training to their members.

-         Sense of community – you feel as if you are working with a team.

-         You avoid the problem of ‘putting your eggs in one basket’.  If you decide not to return to a certain school, or they stop booking you there are other options available.

-         Short notice cancellations are honoured by the agency – you still get paid.

-         You are paid directly by the agency – issues are quick and easy to resolve.

-         Once you have been introduced to a school through an agency you are not allowed to engage in work with them directly.

-         Daily rates vary, but they are usually noticeably less than you would get privately.         

  -         Communicating through a 3rd party can sometimes have a ‘Chinese-whispers’ effect if your agency is poorly organised.

-        The application process usually involves applying for a new CRB – at your cost.

-         If a school you work for wishes to employ you full-time, an introduction fee is charged to the school by your agency.

-         You lose ongoing teachers pension benefits.

Private Freelance

-         The pay is higher.  Usually matched to your pay spine without deductions from an agency.

-         You communicate directly with the schools you work with.

-         You often get more notice about when you are required to work – bookings often happen days or weeks in advance.

-         You are often included as part of the school community, and have a closer understanding of the mechanics of how the school runs.

-         As a ‘regular face’ behaviour management and relationships can improve.

-         There is no impediment to converting to a contracted member of staff.

-         There are no application forms to fill in!

-         Any new CRB cost is usually covered by the school.

-         As long as there are no breaks of employment of more than 3 weeks, your teacher’s pension is unaffected.

-         If your booking is cancelled at short notice, you lose out.

-         Your pay is actually organised and issued by the LEA.  This can be tiresome if/when anomalies occur.

-         Generally, more is expected of you in terms of administration and paperwork.  You role is considered to be closer to a permanent staff-member.

-         Relying on private work can leave you exposed if it dries-up.

-          It can be tricky balancing private bookings with working for a supply agency.



Subpages (1): Marketing Yourself