Supply teachers need more support from schools and unions

5th May 1995 at 01:00
Thanks to your News Focus on teacher supply agencies (TES, March 17) I have had more than a score of letters and some half dozen phone calls from supply teachers.

They have related their experiences with much criticism of agencies for not paying the full rate and for not allowing pension payments and it has also emerged that local education authorities' rates for a supply teacher at the top of the salary scale range from Pounds 84 to Pounds 110, with some agencies paying as little as Pounds 75 and offering no support.

The consensus seems to be that supplies need much more in-service training, preferably paid, to keep up to date, more support from schools and unions and greater recognition as professionals.

Another generally held view is that supply quality ranges from poor child-minders to dedicated professionals and that the system should weed out the former.

On balance, it would seem that much could be achieved by special sectors in the unions and perhaps supply advisers and advisory teachers, as well as dedicated supply training. Only two of the supplies who responded were happy with the situation.

Congratulations on the article, and keep up the good work, supply teachers need help!


Supply teacher

13 Blackmoor Road



Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today