Supply teaching: what do I need to know?


You might be thinking about supply teaching to reduce your workload or as a temporary solution when searching for a new career. 

Many teachers enjoy the flexibility and reduced hours of supply teaching. However, supply teachers can often receive reduced pay, are unable to access the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and do not receive the same benefits such as sick pay or maternity pay as teachers employed directly by schools.

It is important to read your employment contract if you are employed directly by a supply agency as it will stipulate your pay, conditions and working hours.

In this article, we look at pay and conditions of supply teachers, how to find supply work and how it can differ from being employed by a school.

Supply teaching: pay and conditions

Contract with a supply agency

If you are employed through a supply agency, your pay will be determined by your agency. You will not be covered by the pay or working conditions of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).

Pay can differ between supply agencies so you will want to do some research and ask how much you will be paid before signing a contract.

The type of work you complete and the duration of your contracts will also be a leading factor. You could just complete one day a week at different schools in your region, taking on exam invigilation, and covering lessons outside your subject expertise. Daily rates can range from £110 – £150 per day depending on your region and experience. 

Or you could sign a contract with an agency where you will work in the same school for a number of months with the expectation that you might decide to take full-time employment there in the new school year. 

Your supply agency will also mostly likely take a ‘finders fee’ if you start full employment with the school.

Employed directly by an LA maintained school or supply pool 

You should be employed in line with the terms and conditions as outlined in the STPCD. We have published another article which looks at the pay and conditions of teachers employed under in the STPCD.

The STPCD gives the provision to a daily pay rate based on the pay rate for teachers in regular employment at the school. Section 42.1 explains:

“Teachers employed on a day-to-day or other short notice basis must be paid in accordance with the provisions of this Document on a daily basis calculated on the assumption that a full working year consists of 195 days, periods of employment for less than a day being calculated pro rata.”

If you are employed directly by an academy and not covered by the STPCD your pay will be determined by your academy trust.

How do I find supply work?

Local authority supply pools

You can contact your local authority (LA) for supply work or contact a specific school directly if you want to circumnavigate working directly for a supply agency.

Examples of LA supply pools are:

Many LAs no longer offer supply pools so it will be useful to check with your individual LA first.

Supply agencies

After a quick Google search you will be able to view a variety of supply agencies. It will be useful to talk to other teachers you know to see who they would recommend.

Once you have selected an agency to approach you will need to complete an application form, upload a recent copy of CV and attend an interview with an advisor. 

You will want to highlight the types of schools you are comfortable working in, how far you are willing to travel and negotiate your pay rate. 

Do I receive sick pay or maternity pay as a supply teacher?

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 give agency workers the entitlement to the same or no less favourable treatment for basic employment and working conditions, if they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in a particular job. You may be entitled to statutory sick pay or maternity pay rights in certain circumstances.

We have published other support articles looking at sick pay and maternity pay in schools.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.