The demand for supply teachers continues to remain buoyant in the current climate, according to the specialist recruitment company, Hays. Schools have come to rely on supply teachers to fill their staff shortages, as the requirement for sickness and emergency cover is as prevalent now as it has always been.
“Supply teachers who provide sickness support and cover emergencies at short notice are very much in demand, especially given the harsher winter conditions that we’ve experienced this year,” commented Stephen Heard, National Operations Director at Hays Education.
He emphasised, “Supply teachers not only make a significant contribution to staffing needs, but they are also pivotal in ensuring that schools run smoothly and that standards are maintained in the education sector”.
Supply teaching offers a great lifestyle choice and allows for greater flexibility, which suits people who have family or childcare commitments. Stephen continued, “Having the choice to work a limited number of days per week is a valuable option for some teachers, although they have to be flexible – in terms of both school and location – and available to travel at very little notice”.
Working as a supply teacher also allows the individual to cement their experience by working in a number of different schools. An NQT starting out in supply teaching will develop valuable skills and a breadth of experience that they would not have otherwise gained in a permanent role. This gives them a chance to look at different schools and to establish the type of environment that suits their personalities best.
Regular stints as a supply teacher can also serve as a valuable stepping-stone to a permanent teaching job. “It is important to foster relationships with the school as you will also be considered for a permanent job when one becomes available,” explained Stephen.
Opting for a longer-term contract is a way of bridging the permanent and supply teaching divide. It helps to build a teaching career, allowing the teacher to become a more integral part of the school and have greater involvement in planning class activities. Supply teaching provides an excellent platform to build a track record of experience and make a mark in the industry.
“Fostering a relationship with a specialist recruiter that deals in supply teaching vacancies means that you can establish a career and become known among schools, which will subsequently ask for you by name as your reputation in the industry grows,”Stephen concluded.
About Hays Education:
Hays Education is part of Hays plc, the leading global specialist recruitment group and specialises in a wide range of teaching jobs from cover supervision to head teacher jobs. It is market leader in the UK and Australia, and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. On 30 June 2008, the Group employed 8,872 staff operating from 393 offices in 27 countries across 17 specialisms.
For the year ended 30 June 2008:
– the Group had revenues of £2.5 billion, net fees of £786.8 million and operating profit before exceptional items of £253.8 million;
– the Group placed around 80,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 300,000 people into temporary assignments;
– the temporary placement business represented 49% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 51% of net fees.