Best Practice

Supply teaching: Going back full-time

As part of SecEd’s series on supply teaching, school leader Ben Solly offers practical advice for supply teachers thinking about returning to the chalkface as a full-time teacher

Supply teachers provide the education sector with a valuable service and are an essential resource at a time of severe teacher shortages within a profession that is plagued with retention and recruitment problems.

Sadly, for many professionals who work in the supply teaching sector of the education industry, they are often faced with questionable attitudes, inaccurate perceptions and outdated opinions on what it means to be a supply teacher. Sadder still is the fact that these attitudes, perceptions and opinions frequently emanate from teachers employed in permanent positions in schools.

Teachers work in the supply sector for a variety of reasons. Many individuals choose to and enjoy the benefits of not being tied down to a particular school, avoiding many of the administrative and time-consuming burdens that accompany permanent employment as a teacher. Indeed, making this conscious decision to work as a supply teacher can bring with it a great deal excitement, a huge variety of experiences and the opportunity to work in many different schools.

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