Managing Increasing Demand for Supply Teachers

Supply Teaching

Demand for state secondary school places in England is at its highest since the start of the decade, it’s still increasing and the rate of increase is set to speed up. Whatever strategy is employed in response, it’s likely to add up to increased demand for supply teachers.

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The situation

  • Nationally, there are now at 2.85 million pupils in state secondary schools, up by 69,000 since 2013.
  • In January 2018, nearly 1 in 5 local authorities received more applications than they had secondary school places.
  • Pupil numbers will rise by a further 326,000 by 2023.

Possible solutions

According to Zoe Claymore, a researcher at the National Foundation for Educational Research, there are three main strategies that could be employed in response to this increase in pupil numbers; creating new free schools, expanding existing schools, or expanding existing classes. In fact, class sizes are already growing, by an average of 1.1 pupils since 2013/14.

Local authorities will need to work with school leaders to explore whether there is scope to expand, or to accommodate extra pupils within existing structures. Whatever combination of strategies is employed, any expansion of our education system will require more teaching staff.

How does this affect supply teaching agencies?

We can expect the demand for supply teachers to increase enormously over the next few years. Your clients in England’s schools are going to face considerable staffing challenges, as well as the other challenges that come with an increased pupil population. Your pool of high-quality supply teaching staff will be even more vital to our education system than it is today.

The challenge for supply teaching agencies will be to keep up with this demand. Unless current trends in the teaching profession are unexpectedly and dramatically reversed, numbers of unfilled teacher vacancies will inevitably increase, and good teachers will find themselves very much in demand. In this environment, recruiting and retaining the quality teachers your clients need will be even more of a challenge than it is now.

How can we help?

As a professional employer specialising in the education sector, Orange Genie Education are ideally placed to help you attract and retain high quality teachers.

The supply teachers we employ benefit from our determination to improve the lives of our employees. As well as the normal statutory rights all employers must provide, and the brilliant service all umbrella employees should expect, our employees also receive:

  • Fast access to healthcare, with 24/7 GP appointments by telephone and webcam, and expert help when they need specialist care.
  • Access to our comprehensive discount outlet with hundreds of pounds in savings on holidays, entertainment, groceries and much more.
  • Professional counselling on a range of subjects on a free confidential helpline.
  • A range of free lifestyle tools to help them maintain and improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Support and expert help for carers to find the right care solutions, legal support and financial advice.

This approach has proved extremely successful in increasing employee engagement, satisfaction and wellbeing, which obviously helps our agency partners attract and retain great teachers.

If you have questions about this or any issue please contact our expert team on 01296 468483 or email

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