Calculating a teacher's pay with a calculator and sheets with columns of data, in front of a laptop

How Do Supply Agencies Work Out How Much to Pay?

There are a number of factors that supply agencies take into consideration when calculating a supply teacher’s pay. What a teacher gets paid can be based on the booking type, the teacher’s sector, subject, and other factors discussed below.

So how do we at Simply Supply begin calculating how much to pay a supply teacher?


Calculating a Supply Teacher’s Pay

Before we decide a supply teacher’s pay, we do our research. We conduct our own surveys to find out what other agencies are paying to get a market baseline.


With this estimate, we are able to set a competitive pay rate for our supply teachers, to ensure we can attract good teachers to register with us.


What Factors Affect a Supply Teacher’s Pay?

The amount a supply teacher gets paid depends on a number of variables. These are:


The kind of booking

A booking for a supply teacher can be ad hoc/short-term, or long-term (typically 6-12 weeks, a half or whole term).


Ad hoc bookings can be unplanned, usually because the regular teacher took an emergency sick day.


Long-term bookings are usually planned, generally to cover a long-term illness, maternity leaves, or a gap while the school recruits a permanent replacement.


Long-term bookings can mean the supply teacher needs to replace a permanent teacher. It usually means they are meeting parents, planning lessons, checking and marking homework. In short, it means the supply teacher is more involved in full teaching responsibilities, which is why they can be paid more.


Short-term bookings are lower-paying as they are less involved and work-intensive.


Type of sector

A supply teacher can be a nursery, primary, secondary, or special educational needs teacher.


Within the secondary sector, Maths, Science, and Resistant Materials teachers can get paid more, as there is a shortage of teachers in these subjects. This means these teachers are in demand and we can negotiate a higher rate for them.

october maths teacher - How Do Supply Agencies Work Out How Much to Pay?

Teachers’ pay scale

Since 1st September 2018, Hampshire has adopted a 12-point teacher’s pay scale. Earlier, a teacher would progress along the pay scale based on the number of years of experience. Now teachers’ pay is more performance-based, and teachers don’t automatically go up the pay scale every year. Since that is more subjective, we can sometimes get more flexibility in negotiating a supply teacher’s pay rate.


All these factors go into calculating a supply teacher’s daily pay rate. Once we have determined what that is, we calculate how much we need to charge the school.


How Do Supply Agencies Calculate What to Charge the School?

Supply agencies don’t just charge the teacher’s daily pay rate. Here is a breakdown of the charges that make up the charge to the school.


The total charge to school is a sum of:


  • Teacher’s daily pay rate
  • Teachers Holiday pay
  • Employer’s National Insurance contribution
  • Employer’s Pension contribution
  • Cost of running the payroll
  • Gross profit margin (including costs of DBS checks, office costs, direct staff costs, IT development and other overheads)


Out of these, the daily charge rate, pay rate, and profit margin are flexible. We can increase the charge rate according to the proficiency of the teacher and reduce our profit margin. However, the other charges are fixed and cannot be changed.


Another factor that comes into play is the Agency Workers Regulations.


Agency Workers Regulations 2010 were drafted to protect the rights of agency workers, including supply teachers registered with agencies.


The regulation stipulates that any agency supply teacher who has been hired by a school for the same role for up to and over the qualifying period (12 weeks) must be paid a comparable amount to a comparable teacher hired directly by the school.


At Simply Supply, we ensure we keep a track of the time a supply teacher has been in a role, and before they complete the qualifying period, we let the school know so they can revise the supply teacher’s pay and respective charge.


In short, calculating how much pay a supply teacher gets involves a number of factors. As a supply agency, we need to ensure our teachers are paid fairly and a rate that is competitive.


Further Reading

Rate Transparency and Fair Pay for Teachers

Safeguarding and Child Protection in Nurseries

What is the Role of a Recruitment and Childcare Agency?


To learn more about our payment calculations or how we can help you, get in touch with us today. Our team will talk you through your options and give you reliable advice.

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