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Supply Teacher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Supply Teacher, or Substitute Teacher, covers the role of a permanent Teacher. Their primary duties include carrying out the absent Teacher’s lesson plan, consulting with parents and maintaining records of student progress.

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Supply Teacher duties and responsibilities

Supply Teachers can work with a range of different age groups, and many specialise in supply teaching for elementary, middle and secondary classes. The class’s subject, the grade level and how long the Supply Teacher serves in a given class may affect their duties. Some of their specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with Lead Teachers, Assistant Teachers and School Administrators to make sure students are safe
  • Promoting in-class engagement and good behaviour
  • Proctoring examinations and quizzes
  • Assigning and collecting assignments and keeping it organised for when the permanent Teacher returns
  • Leading lessons using presentations, textbooks and other learning materials
  • Following lesson plans from the permanent Teacher
  • Supervising students in class and during recess, lunch and detention periods
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What does a Supply Teacher do?

A Supply Teacher is an independent contractor who temporarily replaces a permanent Teacher. Their teaching assignments may last from one day to a year and work is usually sporadic. However, Supply Teachers may work more often if they apply for a supply teaching position in several schools. Once the Supply Teachers are placed on a school’s roster, they may be called in to teach any grade level, usually on very short notice. Depending on the situation, Supply Teachers may perform the absent Teacher’s lesson plan or create their own. Supply Teachers are employed by private and public schools throughout the United Kingdom.

Supply Teacher skills and qualifications

A Supply Teacher needs a range of skills and qualifications to perform their duties effectively. These skills and qualifications include:

  • Ability to teach multi-grade classes
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Patience, flexibility and good with children
  • Creativity and organisation skills
  • Networking skills
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Time management skills

Supply Teacher experience requirements

Supply Teachers must have a classroom experience. Many schools in the UK accept candidates who have worked as a volunteer Teacher. Some schools require candidates to have experience with children outside of the classroom, like through mentoring, tutoring, youth clubs, summer camps, play schemes or sports, as this shows candidates have passion for teaching or working with children. Supply Teachers must also be familiar with the national curriculum in order to teach effectively.

Supply Teacher education and training requirements

Supply Teachers must have a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree or a BA/BSc with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for Wales and England, or Teaching Qualification (TQ) in Scotland. If they already have a degree, they will need to complete a postgraduate teacher training course, which leads to TQ in Scotland and QTS in Wales and England. If the candidates’ undergraduate degree doesn’t grant them QTS, they are required to obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) if they study in Scotland. All Supply Teachers in the UK must pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before they can work in schools.

Supply Teacher salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Supply Teacher in the United Kingdom is £119 per day. Their actual salary varies depending on several factors, including their level of experience, geographical location and the specific school.

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Supply Teacher job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Supply Teacher?

A good Supply Teacher is adaptable. These professionals must be comfortable picking up where the permanent Teacher left off, following their directions and trying activities that keep pupils focused. Good Supply Teachers also have excellent leadership skills. They must have the confidence to lead a lesson, engage the pupils and encourage them to complete tasks. They must also have excellent conflict-resolution skills to manage student interactions effectively.

Who does a Supply Teacher report to?

A Supply Teacher reports to the head of the school, for instance, a Dean, Headmaster or Principal. In higher-level educational institutions, a Supply Teacher reports to the Department Head.

What are the differences between a Supply Teacher and a Teaching Assistant?

A Teacher Assistant works under the supervision of a Teacher or Teachers, while Supply Teachers take charge of the class. Supply Teachers typically keep student records, evaluate student work and create lesson plans. Teaching Assistants usually will not. Most importantly, a Teacher Assistant is not authorised to perform Teacher’s duties. A Supply Teacher is. For this reason, you have to make sure that, if you need a classroom covered, you have access to properly credentialled and highly qualified Supply Teachers.

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