Interview with... Allison

Allison, from Manchester, talks to us about her school's expectations of a supply teacher.

AllisonHave you ever worked as a supply teacher?


How often does your school use supply teachers?

Some weeks lots, other weeks less so, depends on need.

Does your school use supply teachers known to them (retired staff for instance), supply teachers from a pool, or from an agency?

Usually agency, but we try to request regular teachers that have worked in our school before.

Does your school have a policy regarding what should be left for a visiting teacher? Or a pack?

We have a timetable and usually lesson outlines for the day, class list and any SEN or behaviour. Other members of staff are able to support as necessary. Information left does vary in detail from teacher to teacher.

How do you welcome supply teachers into your school?

Sign in at reception, usually office staff escort them to the classroom where they will be teaching, the partner teacher normally talks through routines, lesson outlines, resources etc.

What does your school look for in a good supply teacher?

Work marked, written feedback for class teacher, good behaviour management, initiative to deal with issues or seek support if needed, and I look for a tidy classroom.

What are your expectations of a supply teacher in terms of providing work, marking work, playground duties and use of the staffroom etc.?

We would expect them to provide work if plans have not been left or a colleague is not able to advise on lessons to be covered, but usually work is left. We would expect work to be marked and we would expect playground duties to be covered if the teacher the supply teacher is covering would normally be on duty. When a supply teacher is covering a planned absence, most teachers swap their playground duties with another colleague. Supply teachers are welcome in our staff room.

Story time!

We used to have a Supply Teacher who was obsessed with aardvarks, no matter what work was completed, there was always an aardvark theme!

And finally! Who would be the ultimate supply teacher?

Jenson Button, good fun, easy on the eye and a real treat for hard working teachers!

Karen has a similar role in her school to Allison, read here about the expectations of supply teachers in her school.

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