What is a supply teacher?

Posted by on Jun 4th 2018

What Is A Supply Teacher Ra5l

Supply Teaching Vacancies 

Schools can have staffing emergencies. Teachers can take time off from their teaching load for training, sickness, vacations, or some other personal reasons. When this happens, the school has to find a replacement teacher so that the kids in the class can continue learning. This is where a supply teacher comes in.

What is a Supply Teacher?

A supply teacher is also sometimes called a substitute teacher. He or she takes the place of a teacher who is absent. It is casual or relief work and an increasing number of people are seeking employment as a supply teacher.

If you qualify as a professional teacher but can’t seem to find permanent employment just yet, you can work as a supply teacher as a stopgap measure. On the other hand, if you have worked for quite some time as a teacher and want a lighter load this time, you can consider being a supply teacher as a flexible alternative to full-time teaching. You can have the joy of being a teacher without having to deal with the responsibility and stress of full-time teaching.

What are the cons and pros associated with working as a supply teacher?


  • No permanent employment and financial stability
  • Sometimes you can get lots of work; sometimes, you get less 
  • The terms and conditions of each job may vary
  • You don’t have the chance to predict what jobs you will get from week to week
  • Sometimes, you are called to work at the last minute
  • No sense of permanence
  • You may feel that you don’t have enough time to get to know your colleagues or the children 


  • The chance to get a “feel” of the teaching profession and the community
  • When you work as a supply teacher, you get to work for different schools
  • You get exposed to teaching institutions in different locations and diverse settings
  • You enjoy being flexible and the variety of work 
  • You have the freedom to refuse or accept offers 
  • You don't have a permanent contract to tie you down
  • When travel is cheap, you can readily take time off for a holiday, even in term time
  • You also have the option to combine work with study
  • You can teach and undertake post-graduate work at the same time
  • Opportunities for professional growth and employment
  • Working as a supply teacher gives you the chance to broaden your horizons
  • You pick up new ideas
  • You are exposed to different ways and approaches for getting things done
  • You develop expertise and confidence
  • If you want to land a permanent teaching contract, you have better opportunities to do so when you work as a supply teacher rather than when you have a non-teaching job or are not employed at all
  • Great opportunities for networking

Working as a supply teacher gives you the chance to work with many head teachers and teachers. You can establish a reputation for being a good teacher. Word will easily spread and you will have good opportunities for landing an excellent permanent job. Working as a supply teacher allows you to work in different schools and educational settings. It gives you the opportunity to determine what kind of setting you enjoy most.

A supply teacher is not required to engage in the time-consuming daily planning that a permanent teacher is expected to do. You are not expected to be present in as many meetings as a permanent teacher is supposed to attend.

How to Get Supply Work

You can get work as a primary or secondary supply teacher by getting in touch with an education recruitment agency such as ourselves. Flourish Education are able to match you with schools and settings that you are most suited for.

Speak to a friendly consultant on 0300 303 3227 Call Today