Supply Teaching: Is It Right For You?

Wanting to work as a teacher in England? One of the options for contracts is being a supply teacher. But what is supply teaching, and how do you know whether or not it’s the right option for you?

What is supply teaching?

Supply teaching is casual or relief work. If a teacher is unable to work, a supply teacher will be called in within a day’s notice. Supply teaching is a great way to get an introduction to teaching overseas.

Should you consider supply teaching in the UK? We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to make the decision easier for you.


Start when you like

You know you’re not going to be in the UK for the start of term. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to start teaching. With supply teaching, you can start whenever you like. You don’t have to wait for the next term to start or arrive in September.


With supply teaching, you won’t necessarily be working full time. This means you’ve got more flexibility in your schedule. You’re overseas, so you can spend more time soaking in your new environment and travelling. If you’re continuing your studies at the same time, you can organise your schedule around your studies.

Less pressure

It can often be stressful starting a new job, let alone one on the other side of the world. With supply teaching, teachers face less pressure. Don’t like the school you’re teaching at? If you’re a supply teacher, you don’t have to worry about going back to a job you don’t like. You can simply be a supply teacher for another school that better suits you and your needs. You can choose whether to accept or decline work.

Foot in the door

Being a supply teacher is a great way to get your foot in the door. Supply teachers are often asked back to the schools they attend. This means you get to form stronger relationships with not only the students but the staff and parents as well. Looking for a more steady contract? Making a good first impression as a supply teacher can often lead to a short-term or permanent teaching contract.



Unlike short-term or permanent teachers, supply teachers will only get paid when they are working. If you are unable to secure many supply teaching positions, it can cause financial insecurity.

Planning your week

Supply teachers are often called to work with a day’s notice. This can be stressful for people who prefer to have a set schedule. This can cause difficulties with planning your life outside of work, as you may not know what days of the week you are working.


Permanent teachers will have access to more developmental opportunities, which can help to advance their careers and enhance their skills. As supply teachers are not on a contract, these opportunities are not available.

Supply teachers will not be teaching the same classroom on a regular basis. Therefore it can be difficult to form relationships with students and staff members, as you would if you were a permanent teacher.

Considering being a supply teacher in the UK? Point to Point Education can help. When you arrive in the UK, you will meet with one of our recruitment specialists who will organise your paperwork. We also schedule all of your supply work for you, so you don’t have to worry about finding a job. We will generally pre-book your week, so you will know when and where you need to go. We also offer flexibility with our contracts. You can move between supply teaching, short or long term contracts and permanent contracts – you don’t have to stay as a supply teacher. Interested? Fill out our instant assessment to get your overseas teaching journey started.

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