Liquid Friday Logo

5 Common Misconceptions about Supply Teaching

supply teaching

Working as a supply teacher can be the ideal way for education professionals to fit their career around family life. You pick and choose the contracts, working where and when you want. However the freedom and flexibility of supply teaching is offset by a bunch of perceived negatives.

Here we challenge the most commonly held misconceptions:

Work as a supply teacher is thin on the ground

In fact, an REC survey found that since the beginning of 2016, less than 10% of supply teachers have had difficulty finding work. Short-term supply teaching should be seen as seasonal rather scarce. The peak comes in the winter months, when coughs and colds are rife in the classroom and teacher sickness levels are at their height. There is relatively less supply work around in the summer, especially in the run up to the summer break. Long-term supply teaching is also an option, and this type of contract is available all year round, at very competitive rates of pay.

Locum teaching can affect my professional development

On the contrary, as a supply teacher you will be exposed to all different age groups, teaching styles and social demographics. This makes it a great way for newly qualified teachers, in particular, to quickly broaden their range of experience and increase their career prospects.

I’ll lose out if my agency pays through an Umbrella company

75% of recruitment agencies pay their supply teachers through an umbrella company. The principle reason for this is that it is the ideal vehicle for supply teachers who typically work on short-term assignments and with multiple agencies. At Liquid Friday we employ hundreds of supply teachers who take us with them as they move from contract to contract, school to school.

See how you could benefit – contact us for a calculation

I don’t have the employment rights of a permanent teacher – do I?

The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) mean that agency supply teachers are entitled to the same rights, including equal pay, as permanent members of staff once they have been in the role for 12 weeks.

I’ll only get work in “challenging” schools

There is a prevailing notion that the bulk of supply work is in socially deprived catchment areas and low performing schools with a high staff turnover. However supply teachers are always needed in even the best schools to cover short and long-term sickness, maternity leave, jury service and training.


So the moral of the story is… don’t be put off by the myths. We work with the top agencies in the education sector. So, if you are new to supply teaching, coming back after a break or been doing it for years, why not get in touch.