What are my responsibilities as a supply teacher?

When you are working as a supply teacher either for a school that you are familiar with or through an agency it is not always clear what your responsibilities are beyond the obvious ones of teaching the class and making sure that safeguarding guidelines are followed to the letter. Some schools have a clear policy on what they expect of a supply teacher but many haven’t so if you want to be offered work on a regular basis it is important that you create the right impression and fulfil the duties expected of you in a particular school.

Some teachers whose classes you cover will leave work for the children to do and expect this to be carried out as their guidance. This is especially the case with older children who often have a fixed curriculum to cover in a given timeframe. If this is the case it is important to carry out the teacher’s instructions as fully as possible. A brief note to the teacher outlining how the day went is a valuable way to communicate but should focus on the positive aspects if possible.

Sometimes if a supply teacher is needed to cover for an unexpected absence no work has been allocated so it is a good idea to have lessons up your sleeve that can be adapted to the age group you are teaching. Always mark any work that either you or the teacher has set, checking with the school marking policy or a senior member of staff if in doubt as to the level of marking required.