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There is always work to be won in the supply teaching sector
Do you want flexibility or do you prefer your own patch of grass? As a teacher in London you’ll need to ask yourself this when deciding what sort of role is for you.

What is it?

Supply: It can be short term – day-to-day work – or long term – a week to a term or two.
Permanent: You’ll sign on for more than a term, a year or indefinitely.

Why do it?

Supply: Sanza Teaching’s Kati Pilkington, who is the branch manager at the recruiter’s Islington office, says one of the main benefits of supply teaching is the flexibility it gives candidates who want to make time for travel. Supply teaching also offers a great introduction to London’s teaching landscape, so by working in a variety of areas teachers can get a taste of the local culture.

“I think people who are flexible and fairly easy-going are well suited to supply teaching,” Pilkington says.

“You’ve also got to be able to read maps and jump on different Tubes because we’ll be ringing them at 7am and say we need you to get to a certain place by 8.30am. So you also need to be resourceful.”

Permanent: A permanent teacher is part of the community of the school and is recognised as a long-term staff member with access to a lot of additional training, Pilkington explains. Don’t forget you’ll also get paid for holidays – and you get on average 13 weeks a year.


Supply: Pilkington says supply teachers who get work through Sanza will be paid a minimum of £125 a day. Long-term supply rates will reflect experience or if you teach an in-demand subject such as maths.

Permanent: Pay is dependant on experience and the area in which you are teaching. The salary for a graduate teacher in London starts at about £25,000, but can increase.

Getting work

Supply: You should expect to start working straight away, Pilkington says. The peak time to land long-term supply work is the start of the school year in September. There is always work to be won in the supply teaching sector, although the last few weeks of July (at the end of the school year) are notoriously quiet.

“The good thing about supply teaching is that schools always need teachers,” Pilkington says. “They can’t do without them, so there is still plenty of work around.”

Permanent: Most people can apply for permanent roles after having done some supply work, as local experience is desirable.

“We do have people we place in permanent roles straight away, but the nature of what they’re doing means they like to come over and try a few different schools, assess the areas and then pick and choose from what’s on offer in the permanent sector,” Pilkington says.


Supply and Permanent: You will be in a position to complete Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) if you opt for a permanent role, which means you will legally be able to work in the UK for in excess of four years.

Pilkington says a willingness to complete QTS can increase your job prospects even if you’ve only ever worked as a supply teacher.

» For more information see tntjobs.co.uk and sanzateaching.com (020 7288 6644)

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