Supply teaching; is it fulfilling?

Supply teaching; is it fulfilling?

Do you have children but want a flexible and rewarding job to fill your spare time? Are you an actor looking for extra money? Are you studying and want to dip your toe in education? Supply teaching is very fulfilling and might just be what you’re looking for.

Supply teaching is a really flexible alternative to working full time, whether that’s in teaching or another sector.

So, why do schools use supply teachers? There are a number of reasons as to why schools need supply teachers; whether one of their full-time teachers is in training, maternity/paternity leave or isn’t well enough to come to school. Supply teachers are really important because they minimise disruption to pupils and their education; i.e. they don’t fall behind on their work and progression through the curriculum.

What would I have to do as a supply teacher? The first thing to note is the flexibility in your work schedule, you can work as little or often as you like. Once you’re booked to a school, your job is to deliver the lesson plans provided to you by the regular class teacher to the students in an engaging way. You can use communication and planning skills to do this well, and it goes without saying that the more you teach supply, the more confident you’ll get.

If you think you need to brush up on specific aspects of your skillset, you can attend free CPD courses that we offer. For example, if you went to a school on a supply assignment but didn’t receive great feedback, we can help. We offer courses on behaviour management to brush up your knowledge and help you learn new and effective strategies.

If you work a full school day, you’ll get paid a daily rate, but if you only complete a few hours at a school, for example, if a teacher was at training, then you’d receive an hourly rate. A full day could be 5.5 hours of teaching, with an hour either side for marking/tidying etc.

Shorter working days are why supply teaching is such a great way to ease your way back into the sector. There’s less obligation to fulfil a full-time teachers duties, which leaves you with a great work/life balance and a career in your hands.

Ease yourself back in with daily supply

Ease yourself back into teaching

If you’ve taken some time away from full-time teaching but you’re feeling ready to dip your toe back in the water, you should consider daily supply. Not only does daily supply give you full control and flexibility, it’s a great way to balance your time if you have other commitments.

The beauty of daily supply is that you can work as much or as little as you like – which makes it the perfect option for people that are studying, have children or work part time elsewhere.

Daily supply works like this: you let your agency know when you’re available to work each week and wait for a call on those mornings for your assignments for the day. It’s as simple as that. The difference between daily supply and being on a supply contract means you’re not always guaranteed work. This is something to consider if you need financial stability each month. As long as you’re keen, make yourself available, work hard and receive good feedback, you’ll ensure your agency will rebook you for more supply work.

As with all jobs, there are a number of ways to make things easier for yourself. With supply teaching, being prepared is key. Make sure you take stationery, emergency lesson plans, icebreakers and time fillers with you. It’s also great to have your own set of classroom rules and behaviour management plans in your head just in case.

How do I get going?

Every agency asks has different ways to get you ready for work. You’ll have to submit a number of documents and have them checked before you can work, so it’s best to get this process done as quickly as you can. Our Compliance team are will help you through this process to make sure you can get stuck in as soon as possible.

Once you’re ready to work, you can let us know when you want to work each week – we have a handy online calendar booking system that you can do this on. Once you’ve completed a day of supply work, you’ll need to submit a timesheet which the school will approve in order for you to get paid.

It’s all simple enough, but don’t worry, we’re only ever a phone call away to assist you however you may need.

Get stuck in, not stuck!

SGP: Get stuck in, not stuck!

Have you finished your teacher training? Are you unsure where to start? Do you want to try a few schools out before you choose one? Supply teaching in the answer to all of these questions. Our Secure Guarantee Pay scheme means you’ll get paid each and every week and teach in a variety of schools near where you live. We’ll give you a call each morning with your daily assignment, it could be where you taught the day before, or it could be somewhere you’ve never stepped foot in. Every day is different, that’s all part of the fun.

Try before you buy!

The best part of teaching supply on our SGP scheme is that you can try out supply teaching at a range of schools, before you decide to teach at one on a longer-term basis. The more schools you teach in, the more you’ll begin to understand what you need from your next school, i.e. a nice staffroom, great senior leadership or somewhere that supports you from day one.

Earn as you learn

Working with us means you can earn as you learn. We hold professional development sessions each month which are fully accredited and can give you an edge when deciding where to take your career. Use our free sessions to enhance your offering as a supply teacher or delve deeper into other areas of the education sector. You never know where it could lead you.

Variety is the spice of life

You know what they say, variety is the spice of life. If you’re up for a challenge and want to do something different each day, SGP is for you! All you need to do is be ready to rock at 7am – we’ll give you a call to let you know where your day will take you. Whether you sign up for it to find your perfect school or for a term of teaching in different places, it’s the best tool for you.

Relocation, relocation, relocation

Whether you’re moving abroad to England or moving from a different part of the UK, SGP is a great option for you. We’ll help you relocate and find other teachers that live near you too. Relocating can be daunting, but we pride ourselves in how we support our teachers with relocation. We’ve been doing it for eight years and it’s what we’re best at.

From SGP to…

From SGP to…

So you’ve been teaching supply on our Secure Guarantee Pay scheme for a few months now. You’ve taught at 13 different schools in your area. You know what you like and what you don’t. So what’s next?

What are my options?

You’ve always got options when you work with us and as an SGP teacher, you have loads! The first is renewing your SGP contract, either in the same area or somewhere new, for example in a different part of town.

If you’ve enjoyed SGP but you think you’re ready to find a school that you could teach in on a longer-term basis, then find a long-term contract might be what you need. We’ll be able to help you find schools that are recruiting and get you set up to interview! Longer term contracts can range from anything from six weeks to a whole school year.

Permanent opportunities

If you’ve enjoyed teaching in England so much and you’d like to stay here indefinitely, then you could look for Sponsorship opportunities if your visa is running out. Sponsorship means a school would sponsor you to stay in the UK and teach here indefinitely – you’d become an employee of them directly. We can help you figure out whether this is right for you.

Don’t need sponsorship?

We can help you find a permanent role in a school, too. Explore other sectors Why not embark on a new challenge and work in a different sector. Special Education is extremely rewarding and has a range of benefits. Our Special Education team are on hand to help you get into Special Education as an LSA, SENCO, or Special Education teacher.

Daily Supply

There are other ways to teach supply without being signed up to a contract. Daily supply means you let us know each week when you’re available to teach and we find you the supply work on those days – it’s as simple as that. This is a great option for people that might be looking for something more part-time or flexible as you choose when you work. Whatever you’re looking for, we’re on hand to support you with your choices and ambitions.

How SGP works for you

How SGP works for you

It’s always important to know that something will be worth your time before you sign up. Are you looking for something that offers you monetary security with flexibility every day? Do you want to be able to try teaching in different schools to gain experience? Here’s how Secure Guarantee Pay works for you.

How is it secure?

Secure Guarantee Pay does what it says on the tin – your pay is secured each week, even if we can’t get you out one day. Let’s say you’re on a contract that means you work 4 days a week, but we’re only able to get you to school 3 days, your pay will be for 4. That’s part of our promise to you. We do all of the hard work ensuring we have the supply days available in schools in your area and put you at the top of the list so that you get as much work as possible.

How does it work?

Every day you’ll need to be ready to rock bright and early, waiting at a train station for us to call with your assignment of the day. All you need to do is get to the school and begin! The beauty of supply teaching is that in most cases, the general class teacher will have left your lesson plans and assignments ready for you to arrive, so all you need to worry about is the teaching itself.

How to ace it

There are lots of ways to make sure that you’re getting the best out of supply teaching and that the children you teach get the best from your teaching. Here are a few tips to acing it:

– Make sure you get to school early (we’ll make sure you never have to travel more than an hour to get to a school)

– Make sure you have a ‘Supply Teacher Pack’ so that you’re always prepared – this includes stationery, back up lesson plans, icebreakers and your very own set of classroom rules

– Get to know the staff at the school you’re teaching – if you have time in the morning, introduce yourself to any staff you see

– It’s a good idea to ask if there are any difficult children in your class before you begin teaching so you can effectively manage behaviour during your class

– Ask about the schools routine – it’s important to know when the toilet breaks and assemblies are!

– Take note of anything important for reporting back to the class teacher – they’ll want to know which students did really well in class and who struggled.

What are the benefits of working with Engage Education

What are the benefits of working with Engage Education

In case you’re wondering why you have that funny feeling, it’s something we like to call the ‘aha moment’ when you know you’ve found the agency that is going to give you all the tools you need to embark on your new teaching journey in the UK.

Let’s sum it up shall we?

Choose your route:

– SGP – gain experience in different schools, financial security

– D2D – flexible, work when you want

– Iday – free UK trip, see schools in person, visit UK schools, leave with job offers

– LT – get to know one class, salary Perm – work directly for a school, step up (promotion), no timesheets

Finance support:

– For our overseas teachers looking to relocate to the UK, we offer the extra cash injection you need to help you find your feet, with our £1,000 Rewards Program: £500 term 1, £250 term 2, £250 term 3. Only when you work with Engage.

Get set up:

– We sort the airport pickup – No getting lost here.

– Help you set up bank account – Amazing how handy getting paid is.

– Show you the bits and pieces of the Visa process – Minimize the anxiety.

– Sourcing your National Insurance number – You need one to be a legit UK resident.

Help with the Essentials:

– Help finding accommodation and introductions before you even get here.

– Internet! We give you the advice you need. Imagine a new home with no internet, no way.

– A dedicated support number, not sure about something, got a question, give us a call: 0333 150 8010

Social perks:

– Organised social events to help meet other teachers like you!

– A private Facebook group for related insights.

– Discounts and insights for shopping and entertainment.

– Exclusive holiday offers and trips, see Europe or the rest of the UK, it’s your call.

Career Planning:

– Personalized plan including CPD training, induction and continuous development.

Induction Process:

– Full day of essential insights, training and integration knowledge plus a smattering of fun.

Why Engage?
As part of our commitment to our partner schools, Engage Education employs two highly respected former school senior leaders who advise on teaching and learning and behaviour management systems, deliver bespoke CPD, coaching and mentoring programmes, as well as offering in-class support for developing teachers.
Between them, Mike Conaghan and Jay Treloar boast more than 25 years’ teaching experience and a wealth of training expertise. They work collaboratively to provide unrivalled support for the children, teachers and schools they work with.This week’s blog sees Mike take on the challenge of teaching a Year 4 class in order to better understand the needs of a teacher he is currently supporting. A secondary specialist, Mike approaches the moment of truth wondering whether he would be better off coaching from the sidelines..

“With butterflies fluttering furiously in my stomach, I breach the threshold of “Butterfly”, a Year 4 class in a Surrey school with whom we have formed a genuine partnership over the last few months.

Why the trepidation?

Well, this is a school visit with a twist. I am about to teach them!A stroll in the park, I hear you cry! Tiny, timid treasures, treats to teach, wonders to witness, joys to behold!

Hmm… Rewind two weeks to my first encounter with these pupils, and the reality is far from rosy. Ray, their third teacher in as many months, is trying admirably to calm a storm that has been whipped up by the recent deluge of inconsistency. It’s Ray to the rescue, but he is close to being out of his depth.

Ray is a secondary trained Aussie, unfamiliar with the age group, unfamiliar with the curriculum, and struggling to swim in a sea of special needs.”Guess I’ll just have to get on with it, mate, no point bein’ a sook!”, he quips, chin barely above water.

Ray is exactly what these children need: dependable, caring and willing to learn. I’m hoping to support him on this journey. But what do I know? Who am I to preach? As we discuss strategies following the lesson I observe Ray teach, it becomes increasingly apparent that, while I can talk the talk, I’ve not walked the walk. If I am going to provide effective mentoring, I need to know how it feels to be Ray. Well, for an hour, at least….

Into the fray!

I’ve never taught a primary class in my life and it seems an age since I even set foot in a class as a teacher. But as a former (and very recent) senior leader,  behaviour management specialist, not to mention English teacher,  all of a sudden my reputation is on the line. What on earth have I let myself in for?

The knees are weak, the voice a little wobbly, but once I get going, all butterflies settle. Thankfully, over a decade working alongside a string of genuinely outstanding teachers stands me in good stead: I’ve planned meticulously and concentrated on engaging the pupils.

And, in the end, a thoroughly enjoyable hour or so ensues: they listen, they engage, they learn and we have fun. And it would, of course, be nice to think that this was down to my talents as a teacher. Truth is, though, these children have been given a Ray of sunshine in their lives: this is why they are smiling; this is why they are learning.

And this is why I am happy to be on this journey with them.I reflect and find myself confident that it won’t be long before Butterfly’s metamorphosis is complete.

I’m ready! How do I sign up?

I’m ready! How do I sign up?

Right first thing’s first, whether you’re already in the UK or you’re living abroad, there are different ways to get a long-term position.

If you live in the UK

Let us know you’re ready to find a new role, and we’ll do all the hard work!

Meet us for a chat

We like to get to know every candidate that works with us, so we’ll invite you in for a cup of tea and a chat, or have a telephone call with you.


In order to make sure you’re ready for work as soon as possible, we’ll need a few documents from you; things like your CV, references and DBS application form (our Compliance team will help you through every step!)


Next is the exciting bit – we’ll arrange interviews with schools in the area you’re looking for that have vacancies that match your skills.


Because you’re a superstar educator – you get offered your dream job


Horrah – you got the job

Ongoing support

We pride ourselves on the continuous support we offer our candidates. If you have any queries about where your nearest McDonalds is, what you can claim back on expenses or advice about shampoo – we’re here for you.

If you live outside of the UK

So you’re ready to move across oceans to work in the UK, that’s great. We can’t wait to help.

Get to know us

We like to get to know all of our teachers – our overseas Talent Acquisition team are a great bunch!

Compliance and visas

We need to make sure you’re visa and compliance documents are all ready to rock before you properly start interviewing!

Decide your journey – iday or profiling or skype interviews

iday – allows you to fly to the UK for free – to interview and find a school that suits you.

Profiling – this means we create an impressive profile of your skills and requirements and send it to the schools we work with in the UK.

Skype – if you’re ready to go now – why not Skype interview directly with schools? We can help find you the right ones.


The fun bit – meet headteachers (in person or over Skype) and find out all about their schools and of course – sell yourself!



Relocation help

Once you’ve found your perfect position, we won’t leave you high and dry. We help with all aspects of relocating to another country, we’ve helped thousands of teachers relocate.

Ongoing support

We pride ourselves on the continuous support we offer our candidates after they’ve found work.

How easy is it to transition from mainstream to SEN?

Transitioning from mainstream to SEN

There’s an increasing number of teachers moving from mainstream teaching to special education. This is down to a number of reasons, the most pertinent reason being the positive impact you have on students.

Faye, our Senior SEN Specialist for Leeds has extensive knowledge and experience working with Specialist Children and subsequently, Special Schools. The feedback she’s received from Deputy Headteachers and Headteachers who moved over from mainstream to SEN was that they felt they can really have a positive impact on students, due to smaller class numbers. Special Education is much more focused because every student learns and reacts to stimuli differently. Many Special Schools focus on nurturing their students, looking at background problems and helping to implement strategies that get to the root cause of issues.

Another reason why SEN may becoming more popular is that Special Schools days are shorter than mainstream school days. As well as this, there is a flexible curriculum and fewer class requirements. These factors work hand in hand to benefit many special education teachers, they give them more time to balance work and their personal lives – which we all know is an important factor to decreasing in teacher burnout! The relatively lenient nature of Special Schools schedules allows special education teachers to step away from the grind of their job on a regular basis so that they can be more focused in their day-to-day roles working with special needs children.

For teachers looking for something between a part-time and a full-time job, becoming certified as a special education teacher may be ideal.

Would I suit teaching in a Special Education setting?

The following skills would make you a great asset to a special needs setting:

– Commitment to working with pupils with special educational needs

– Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

– Initiative and problem-solving skills

– A strong ability to manage confrontation and challenging behaviour

– Team working skills

– Organisational skills

– An observant and responsive approach

– Flexibility – it is important to be able to respond to the needs of the children and adapt or change plans accordingly

– A positive, energetic and enthusiastic outlook

– Patience, understanding and empathy with both pupils and parents

– A sense of humour!

How can I make the change?

Why not ask your agency if they can arrange a few trial days for you in different types of Special Education schools, this is a great way to not only gain experience but get more of an understanding about special education without committing to a job.

Our Special Education team offer taster days within special needs settings.

Do your homework: starting a new role

Do your homework: starting a new role

First of all, congratulations on your new job. Searching for a new job is tough but you made it! Here’s a little list to help you know what to do before and after you start your new job.

Before you start

Positive thoughts!

Make sure you start your job with a positive headspace – a ‘can-do’ attitude and a smile is the best way to hit the ground running and make a great impression.

Do your research on the role

By this point, you’ll have a good understanding of the school and it’s culture, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you research again before you start there. Check out their website, their official social media pages, their school ethos and any relevant reading material. Not only will this make you super prepared for your new role, it’ll show that you care.


Ensuring you understand the current curriculum, especially if you’re an international teacher. The UK curriculum sets out the key programmes of study that you’ll need to cover throughout the year, they differ for every Key Stage, from EYFS to Primary to Secondary.

Establish your classroom rules

It’s important to have classroom rules before you begin teaching to make sure your classes run smoothly. What can your students do to get your attention? Put their hands up and wait quietly. What can students do if they finish their work early? What happens when a student starts misbehaving? Good ideas include a verbal warning, followed by writing a students name on the board. Some schools may have their own classroom rules which they might tell you about when you begin.

After you start

Make yourself known

With any new job, it’s important to make yourself known. Introduce yourself to other staff members in the staffroom or corridors. Make sure you ask for help when you need it, too. This is a good way to build rapport but also to understand the boundaries between teachers and SLT. Peer help might be a better option sometimes.

Set your classroom up

Put your own stamp on your classroom. A basic display is a good way to introduce your teaching styles to the staff and students. Create a ‘star pupil’ display to create something your students will strive to get on, or combine a visual display with classroom rules and create a reminder of break times display.


Make sure you’re aware of the school’s schedule to create a daily plan. When are the breaks and lunchtime? What is the protocol for assembly? What do you do during a fire drill? Where can you find classroom supplies? How do you go about ordering more? These are all valid questions to ask or find out during your induction.

Continue learning

Keep up to date with education updates in order to ensure your teaching remains relevant. Take advantage of CPD offerings that your school or agency might have. Professional development opens doors and enhances your career prospects.