The Changing Needs of Supply Teachers and How to Meet Them

Supply Teachers

Some supply teachers still see supply as a temporary situation; maybe they’re between jobs or gaining experience while they look for their first permanent position. Some see it as a casual arrangement, topping up their pension or thinking about going back to work after a long break. But a significant and growing number see supply teaching as a long-term career choice.

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According to the NEU Supply Teacher Survey, 36% of supply teachers no longer want a permanent teaching post, and 12.5% have been in supply for over 10 years.

Traditionally, supply teachers sacrifice stability for freedom, accepting reduced employment rights and benefits in return for control over when and where they work, which is fine if supply isn’t your main source of income or you don’t expect to be doing it for long. For long-term supply teachers who intend to carve a career, a life and a future out of their supply work, this compromise is less acceptable.

So how can a supply teaching agency provide the stability these career supply teachers need, while allowing them the freedom that attracted them to supply? How do you connect with teachers who want to have their cake and eat it too?

Umbrella employment for supply teachers

Employment with a compliant umbrella company is the best option for most supply teachers, but this is especially true for those who intend to stay for the long term. The teacher has a single, continuous period of employment across all assignments, along with full employment rights. This includes statutory sick pay, maternity/paternity pay, access to a workplace pension and holiday pay.

Care must be taken when choosing the umbrella company. We recommend that supply teachers and agencies alike only work with FCSA Accredited Members.

Employment with Orange Genie Education

As a professional employer, we offer everything a compliant umbrella company does, but we’re not satisfied with doing the legal minimum. We’re determined to improve the lives of the supply teachers we employ, and we look after our employees and their families in ways many employers have never considered.

  • We ensure they get fast access to healthcare with free 24/7 GP appointments by telephone and webcam, and expert help when they need to see a specialist.
  • We look after their mental health with free access to trained counsellors on a confidential helpline.
  • We help their money go further with a vast range of discounts on holidays, entertainment, groceries and everyday spending.
  • We support carers with expert help to find the right care solutions, as well as legal support and financial advice.
  • We provide a range of free lifestyle tools to help our employees maintain and improve their health and wellbeing.

This gives our employees the freedom they want from supply with the security they need from employment, along with the rewards and benefits of a large, professional employer; no trade-off or compromise required. This in turn makes it easier for you to attract and retain high-quality teachers, particularly those who want a long-term career in supply.  

If you have any questions about this or any issue, or if we can help in any way, please contact our expert team on 01296 468483 or email


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