'Servicing the Supply Teachers'.....

Business Development Director of Orange Genie Education, Pras Desai recently featured in the latest edition of Recruiters supplement, ‘Managing Agency Workers and Contractors’ in a piece called ‘Servicing the Supply Teachers’.


We thought you might find it useful if we shared the questions (& answers) Pras went over, take a look…

Q & A's with Pras...

Are you finding an increase in the number of supply teachers coming onto the market?

Yes. It's evident that a growing number of the teachers we employ have left full-time teaching positions due to the increased workloads they were experiencing. Many have taken the opportunity of taking early retirement and supplement their teaching pension with working as a supply teacher. Supply teaching allows them to concentrate on the key reasons why they became educators without having to worry about the increased administrative nature of full time teaching.

Are there any regional trends when it comes to demand and supply that you’ve noticed lately?

The recent School Census showed that LEAs in London and the South East spent more on supply teachers than the next few regions aggregated. This reflects where we have seen most growth too. Irrespective of the region, we have seen an increase in the number of days worked per week by our supply teachers. This demonstrates that there is a strong national demand for supply teachers.

Where are the main skills shortages or surpluses?

It's well documented that there are shortages in certain core subjects. A future opportunity where agencies may be able to assist schools with is the new computing curriculum. The feedback we have received is that within the Primary sector, permanent teachers do not have the time to learn all the skills required to teach the new curriculum, in particular the special coding skills required.

As an umbrella, what are the key things to be aware of when dealing with supply teachers?

Many of the supply teachers we employ are registered with more than one agency, with some working via different agencies within the same week. We focus on ensuring that our processes are aligned with all the agencies we partner with, to ensure our supply teacher gets paid on time every week, regardless of how many different agencies they are sourcing work from.

Is there anything different about managing supply teachers compared with other contractors?

Reflecting on comments received from supply teachers we have implemented extended opening hours. In line with our aspiration of increasing the opportunities available, we give them access to teaching resources and a free safeguarding course, enabling them to refresh and develop their knowledge.

Are there any issues that recruitment agencies need to be aware of when dealing with supply teachers?

The supply teachers we employ constantly tell us how frustrating it is when they register with a new agency who insist they have to use a specific umbrella company. This ultimately means more hassle for the supply teacher who now has multiple employers. It’s also not the most effective use of their tax code.

Is this likely to be a growing area of your business?

Yes, the majority of supply teaching agencies we partner with are expanding. Furthermore, we are seeing a massive increase in new referrals from the existing teachers we employ.

Should you have any queries, do not hesitate to get in touch; 01296 468 483

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