With teachers leaving the profession at an alarming rate, many are choosing part-time and supply work over full-time hours.
Excessive workloads and accountability are responsible for 33 per cent of teachers quitting by the end of their fifth year. This means that teaching has one of the lowest professional retention rates, with increasing numbers of teaching staff reporting mental health problems.
An NFER report found that one in 12 secondary teachers want to reduce their hours by more than one day a week. While part-time teaching and job shares are becoming more common, many teachers are also choosing the supply list over fixed hour contracts.
Supply teaching allows teachers to choose which days they want to teach and the schools they want to teach at. Such is the high demand for staff, many supply teachers can choose their hours on a weekly, or even a daily basis.
This can allow supply teachers to achieve a greater work/life balance. Not only is classroom stress and administration reduced, teachers can tailor their hours around other commitments that the demands of full-time teaching wouldn’t accommodate.
For example, many female teachers choose not to return to the classroom if they have carer responsibilities for children or an elderly family member. This often means that the profession is losing teachers with the ‘nurturing’ skills that can benefit children.
Children are also bearing the brunt of overworked teachers. Constant Ofsted reports and excessive paperwork mean that staff are often too exhausted to give pupils the quality contact time they need in class.
Although supply teaching isn’t the answer to the inherent problems within the education system, it can be a way to make teaching manageable. This is preferable to teachers quitting the profession altogether because they feel they can’t cope.
Speaking to TES, one supply teacher commented: “Working reduced hours stops the job being an unremitting slog and allows me to enter the classroom feeling fresher. It gives me breathing space and a different perspective than if I was in school every day.”
The question of payment must also be considered, with supply teachers typically receiving no holiday or sick pay benefits. However, supply teachers earn a higher daily rate than their full-time counterparts, meaning that the additional funds can be used to make provision for times when they can’t work.
Agencies may be able to negotiate rates for teachers depending on their experience. Using an agency can also ensure a steady stream of supply work from a large scope of schools. This can reduces gaps between teaching assignments, providing access to a stable income at a higher rate of pay.
Some teachers who work supply or part-time hours find that it gives them the opportunity to qualify in other high demand areas of education. For example, educational psychologists and school counsellors are typically well-paid, while their working hours are often flexible. Private tuition is also another well-paid option for topping up supply hours during the school holidays.
Other teachers who go on supply may find that doing something unrelated helps to balance their teaching work and give them a different perspective. With less administrative duties and school politics to deal with, supply teachers can feel that their teaching work doesn’t dominate their lives. This can avoid burn out and stress related issues, enabling teachers to bring more energy and creativity to the classroom.
At Amaze we offer a friendly and reliable FCSA accredited umbrella service that that takes the stress out of getting paid for your supply work. Speak to a member of our team today on: 0161 464 8993