This advice from Shelagh Kavanagh, member of the NEU organising forum for supply educators, can be read in conjunction with the NEU’s guidance for supply members on getting the most from your agency and other guidance on supply matters.
It is possible to work directly for schools as an on-call, on-payroll supply teacher, especially if you are already known to that school or group. I’ve used a marketing strategy and it has worked. You should consider taking a more strategic assertive approach. It’s hard work and it takes time. It’s worth it for the security it will bring. This is the reality of modern supply teaching. You are competing with professional companies with well-funded marketing departments. Raise your game; be competitive.
Build up a reputation
If you’ve been working in a school on supply through an agency, keep a record of who administers supply staff. While you are there, make sure to speak to senior staff, either at break or a convenient time, to let them know who you are and how well the children are doing, how helpful staff have been etc. Be positive. You want to be remembered as the person with the feel good factor.
Leave the room tidy and mark books, even in the most perfunctory way. Just initial the corner of the page or tick the learning outcome if the student has attained it. Tell someone you’ve done it, or they won’t know. If the day has gone well, make sure that the head of year or department knows.
Tell the administrator who has booked you, that you’d be happy to come back again. Remember, if you have not been back to a school for more than 14 weeks, the agency is no longer your intermediary and you can be booked directly – the agency transfer fee will not apply. Keep in touch.