The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought some new challenges to schools, especially around the managing of supply cover. There are always going to be instances where you need to source a supply teacher at the last minute for unplanned teacher absences. But, if planned ahead of time, supply teaching does not have to be last minute.
Nowadays, supply teacher planning has become an integral part of most UK school recruitment strategies. Pre-planned supply teaching requirements can help cover instances including:
permanent positions that you are recruiting for.
While last-minute supply teaching is inevitable for most schools at some point, this can prove to be detrimental to the school and, most importantly, the pupils. In the 2022 Ofsted Annual Review, there was a large focus on workforce gaps.
Last year, it was reported that secondary schools face a 6,000 trainee teacher shortfall. The teacher recruitment challenges that schools face – and the effects that these can have on education – are documented in NFER research.
Fewer people entering teacher training courses further add to the shortage, as there are not enough graduates to replace retiring teachers. Recruiting inexperienced or unqualified teachers can have negative implications for teaching quality. With planned supply teaching coverage, this can be mitigated.
Permanent recruitment challenges
Each year, in the final weeks leading up to the new school term, schools can be in a rush to hire teachers to fill their vacant roles. School leaders have a range of actions they can take to mitigate the impact of recruitment difficulties on the school and their pupils. These can include
increasing class sizes
employing teachers of lower-than-desired quality
deploying non-specialist teachers to teach hard-to-recruit subjects.
Many of these actions may negatively affect pupils’ education and learning.
Pre-planned supply cover can help in this area. Using temporary and short-term supply teachers to fill gaps is helpful in addressing teacher shortages.
Benefits of pre-planned supply teacher hiring
Students and parents expect schools to be prepared to provide the best experience possible in the classroom. As teachers like to get an idea of their classroom setup and student ability, pre-planned supply requirements can help. The supply teacher knows in advance what curriculum they are teaching and can prepare lesson plans ahead of time.
There are huge benefits to pre-planning. These include:
Pupils can have cover with known supply teachers providing greater consistency and reducing any loss of learning.
Eliminates the last-minute panic in the mornings or at the start of the week or school term.
Reduced workload as there is less of a need to use last-minute internal staff.
Administration time is reduced, and cost savings can be made with a full day of supply teaching.
Regular and/or long-term supply teachers get to know your school, routines, policies, and pupils.
How pre-planning works
Schools can plan ahead and schedule supply teachers with Protocol Education in advance for planned absences and planned leave for teachers.
Supply Security enables schools to make the most of Protocol Education’s supply offer at high-demand times of the year. It is flexible too, as you can block book your preferred supply teachers with the understanding that you can cancel in the morning by 7.15 am.
We help you understand the frequency and types of supply cover your school uses and start to build a plan for the cover you need.
Create your supply staff wish list by finding locally-based teachers who match your requirements.
Build your supply pool. We take time to understand your requirements and turn them into an effective supply pool for your school.
To find out more, contact Protocol Education today: https://www.protocol-education.com/contact-us