Airsupply explore how demand for supply changes over the year and suggest strategies to find work.
When to expect work
Generally, demand will increase as each half-term progresses. We’ve found it to be highest in the final stages of a half-term, peaking in the penultimate week. The common cold season, from October onwards, also increases staff absence and leads to a greater need for supply teachers. Most of our teachers have said that as winter progresses, demand grows.
Longer term supply work is much harder to predict and appears at all times of the year. Caused by long-term sick leave (now at an all-time high), maternity leave or school and career change, there is continually demand for these positions – keep an eye out!
Year on year demand
All evidence now shows that demand for supply is at a record high. The national shortage of teachers combined with increased teacher absence has resulted in high demand. This is exacerbated by ever-increasing pupil numbers. Schools are working hard to internally cover absence and teacher shortages, but this is not always possible.
How to find work
- Be strategic with your agencies. Pick those with work in your area and start to build a relationship with them.
- Don’t be afraid to call or email your agency over work – let them know you’re looking.
- Have another look at your CV with supply teaching in mind. You’d be amazed at how touching it up with a focus on relevant skills and experience could help.
- How far are you willing to travel? Many agencies work on a “as-the-crow-flies” principle – letting them know you can travel greater distances if convenient could see more offers come your way.
- Be patient, understanding that certain times of year will be slower than others.
As always we'd love to hear from you. If your experience confirms or differs from our findings, please let us know.