Steps you can take when searching for the ideal supply teacher

Whether you’re searching for a full-time teacher or you simply need to cover illness or annual leave, supply teachers are an invaluable resource. However, it can often be a struggle for schools to fill the positions they have available.


That’s why this month we wanted to explore some of the steps that could be taken to help the recruitment and placement process go even more smoothly.


Utilise the available services


One of the easiest ways for schools to source the ideal candidate is to work alongside a recruitment business or recruitment agency. They have experience working with educational bodies of all shapes and sizes, so they will have the insights you need to find the ideal candidate.


When you’re working with a recruitment agency such as us, questions to consider asking include:


  • What types of roles do they specialise in providing candidates for?
  • How far do the candidates come from, ideal if your focus is on finding a supply teacher in your local area.
  • What checks do the company have in place to safeguard pupils and teachers
  • Do they take into consideration pre-application, pre-screening checks, reducing your administration costs?


All of these questions give you a better idea of how an agency will work with your school. For example, here at Simply Supply, we have a pool of candidates that specialise in the Special Needs Education, Secondary or Primary sectors and much more.


Our candidate interview process goes through all the basic interview questions, as well as covering their qualifications, past experiences, and work preferences or expectations. This means that we already have a good idea of how well they’ll fit with your educational body before you even meet them.


Analyse your needs and advertise accordingly


When you’re searching for the ideal candidate for a role, it’s important that you not only consider the needs of your students but also the needs of your school as a whole.


If you only need someone to help as a teaching assistant, then adjust your job description so that you can attract someone who isn’t too qualified for the position. This may seem counterintuitive, but the constant change of teacher can have a detrimental impact on your students and their learning.




Bringing on a supply teacher shouldn’t be a task that one person does alone, even if you have limited resources within your school. One of the easiest ways to find a supply teacher (if you’re not working with a recruitment agency) is to delegate tasks between everyone that’s involved.


This not only reduces the workload of a single person, but it also means that there are multiple touch points in the recruitment process. Full-time members of staff will already have experience of the students, meaning they are able to identify key strengths in applicants.


Part-time teachers may have a set of criteria of what would need to be done whilst they’re away, so they can look for talents and experience in candidates that they would find useful and beneficial to their students.


Use traditional and online channels


When to comes to finding the right supply teacher for your school, it’s important to consider the traditional and online channels. In the day and age of technology, many younger candidates and some more experienced ones are turning to digital job searches.


However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the traditional print or PR opportunities that are available. Reaching out to local newspapers or liaising with journalists can help you promote the position and your school to a wider audience, as well as promoting your educational credentials.



In conclusion, your students deserve the best supply teacher possible. Their education is the highest importance, and if you’re able to implement the steps that we’ve mentioned, then you’ll be well on your way to a successful placement.


Remember, if you’re struggling to find the time to source a supply teacher for your school, then we’re here to help. With a pool of talented candidates available, we’ll help find you the ideal person for your role.


Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding the recruitment and supply process, you can speak to a member of our team here, they’re always happy to help.

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