Supply teachers are vital for preventing disruption to pupils’ education. From an educator's perspective, supply work offers an appealing degree of flexibility. Supply allows you to shape your working schedule around your other commitments. But it's also a popular, long-term career option for teachers looking to earn more.
Daily supply teachers are independent-minded and adaptable. When you’re dispatched to a new school each day, these qualities are part of the territory.
But every professional in every field needs to be able to rely on a bedrock of support from elsewhere too. That’s where supply agencies come in.
What does a supply agency do?
Supply agencies like Protocol Education fill schools' short and long term teaching vacancies. Teachers will register their CVs and contact details for free with the agency. We then review their submissions and match them to jobs at nearby schools.
The vast majority of supply teachers rely on agencies to find work and develop their careers. Here's why.
1. You will always get regular, quality work
Supply agencies exist to find work for their registered educators. Any good agency will work with enough schools to ensure plentiful vacancies each day.
Agencies don’t just offer quantity and variety of work. They are staffed by specialist recruitment consultants, many of whom are ex-teachers themselves. These experts maintain close relationships with their partner schools. Their insights help registered candidates into jobs at schools where they’ll be the best fit.
In practice, this means supply teachers can take on as much paid work as they choose. A happy, content teacher is a better teacher (and a more employable teacher, to boot).
2. You can expect competitive rates of pay
It is a common error that supply teachers will always earn less than permanent staff. In fact, daily supply teachers can earn over £1050 each week. Those working in Inner London can make the equivalent of a £67,000 annual salary.
Different agencies offer different rates of pay. That's why it's crucial to register with a reputable agency that offers a competitive rate.
3. You avoid losing money to umbrella companies
A new and predatory type of supply teacher recruitment has gained a foothold in recent years. Under this model, teachers sign contracts with ‘umbrella’ companies. These companies then act as their legal employers when dealing with schools.
These agencies sustain themselves by telling candidates they can expect higher pay. Sometimes, they just deceive supply teachers that they have no other choice.
While these companies may tout a tasty rate, the payslip will tell a different story. Umbrella companies often slough off eyewatering sums in various deductions. These include payroll administration fees and hefty commissions. Most gallingly, they charge the National Insurance Contributions that employers would otherwise pay.
What’s more, umbrella companies have been embroiled in tax avoidance schemes. They've even implicated in the “theft” of teachers’ furlough pay. Unions like the NEU have voiced "grave concerns", with the TUC calling for them to be banned.
Unfortunately, many such operations masquerade as regular supply agencies. Before signing anything, always check that your agency operates a PAYE system.
4. Supply agencies offer opportunities for professional development
The best supply agencies do more than just find candidates work. They also nurture their talents and skillsets through valuable training opportunities.
Protocol Education offers our registered teachers extensive Continuing Professional Development (CPD). These online and in-person training courses will build your knowledge of modern pedagogy.
This training gives you recognised accreditations that boost your employability.
5. You can build a positive reputation among local schools
A second-order benefit of supply work is building your profile in local schools' eyes.
To stick out in senior leaders' memories, always try to exceed schools’ expectations. Be punctual, follow lesson plans and collaborate with support staff. You'll boost your chances of finding work at that school again.
A strong local pedigree could help supply teachers move into permanent roles. Senior leaders may prefer job applications from familiar, trusted faces.
Daily supply is a fulfilling career path for teachers, offering flexibility and variety. But partnering with a reliable and trustworthy supply agency is crucial to dodge a bad deal. A good agency will help you find work, grow your skills and build your reputation
As a leading supply agency, we find work for thousands of teachers every week. Register with us to hear about the best roles near you.