Become a Teacher• 3 Min read

14th September 2021

Supply Or Full-Time: What Suits You?

Choosing a career is a life-changing decision. You may have known you wanted to teach for years, or decided late in your education that teaching could be right for you.  Either way, once you’ve settled on teaching there are more decisions to make, as you’ll need to decide what type of teacher you want to be and how you want to work. Teaching offers plenty of flexible working options for individuals who want to expand their experience and skills or simply like to work in different environments. We’ll bust some of the myths around supply teaching and cover the pros and cons, so you can make the right decision that suits your career aspirations and personal skills.

 What’s Working As A Full-Time Teacher Like?

Teaching full time in a school is how most people picture the teaching profession. Whether you work in Primary, Secondary or SEND schools, working as a full-time teacher is a fulfilling job that will expand your knowledge and skills every day. Full-time teachers work either will an allocated class (Primary) or in their subject specialism (Secondary). Either way, the teaching, assessment and overall attainment of their classes over the year is in the teacher’s hands.

  • Most teachers who work full-time are employed through an agency or through the school directly, on a fixed salary. You’ll know what you are earning and when you’ll be paid every month.
  • You’ll responsible for planning, preparation and marking work as well as attending parents evenings, all of which fall outside the standard school day
  • You’ll have the chance to build genuine relationships with your pupils, many of which last much longer than the year you’ll teach them. Getting to know your pupils and their individual talents, struggles and support needs is one of the most rewarding elements of full-time teaching.
  • Full-time teachers can really get involved with the school community, building relationships with parents, colleagues and pupils

What’s Working As A Supply Teacher Like?

There are lots of reasons that you might choose to work supply. If you haven’t found the perfect role yet, it’s a great filler and working in several different schools will give you a broad spectrum of experience when it comes to finding a full-time role if that’s what you want. Teachers who are semi-retired might choose to work in supply teaching, bring their wealth of experience to classrooms whilst reducing the hours they work per week.

  • Supply teachers don’t tend to do the planning, marking or parents evenings, meaning they work fewer hours.
  • Fewer hours means they usually get paid less than full-time teachers, depending on their experience and seniority.
  • Most supply teachers feel they have a better work-life balance than their full-time peers
  • Working in a different school every day is a bit of a myth -you’ll often work in 2/3 schools on a regular basis, so you’ll still have the chance to build relationships with pupils and colleagues.
  • Supply teachers can experience different types of school before committing to a full-time role in their chosen environment – having this experience means you can make the right decision for your skills and career in the longer term.

Supply teaching can also build confidence in new teachers – if you aren’t ready for the full-time responsibility of a class but want to gain teaching experience, supply teaching could be an option post-qualifying as you find your feet in the teaching world.

Which Is For You?

Different types of teaching will suit different individuals. If you are the kind of person that finds routine reassuring and don’t want to have to deal with the upheaval of moving between schools or starting somewhere new on a regular basis, you’ll probably be more comfortable in a full-time role. If you are doing other work such as tutoring, or are looking to reduce your working hours, supply teaching is perfect to plug the gap.

Still Unsure?

At Engage, our consultants have years of experience in helping teachers to grow their careers. They can talk you through the options and opportunities available to you, and point you in the right direction for training and CPD that will elevate your CV and your chances of landing your dream role.

Supply Or Full-Time?

Either way, we've got opportunities for you. Register today:


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