We cannot help but notice that many highly qualified and experienced teachers are turning to supply teaching, having made the decision to leave permanent teaching jobs to change career.

Further investigation tells us in fact teachers are leaving the profession in droves. It’s hard to ignore these statistics:

  • 50% of teachers quit teaching within their first 5 years.
  • 84% of teachers admit to feeling demoralised and de-professionalised.
  • 50% of current teachers have seriously considered leaving in the last year.
  • Almost half of qualified teachers in the country are no longer teaching.

So to sum up these statistics: Half of all teachers are leaving the profession and 84% of those left feel demoralised.

There’s no way of brushing this issue under the carpet. It’s as clear as day. Teachers are not happy. As a result the UK is losing excellent, highly skilled and committed professionals in their thousands.

Therefore we decided to ask teachers registered with teachweb what the real reasons are behind them wanting to get out of the profession.

As expected, they told us stress and bureaucracy are top of their list. Also, the huge number of changes being forced upon them. Here’s a rundown of some of their comments:

“The unbelievably harsh regime of observations we have to endure.”

“Ofsted has created a new pressure. Now it wants everyone to be ‘outstanding’. My school seems to think that anything else isn’t good enough.”

“This pressure to be “outstanding” has led head teachers to implement their own systems of stress-inducing observations. There used to be a maximum limit to the number of observations a few years ago. Unfortunately for us this has now been removed.”

“In most schools observations are ‘no notice observations’. This means the head will just walk into any lesson without warning, observe it and give the teacher a grade.”

In theory, the possibility of any lesson being observed will lead to improved standards, as teachers will meticulously plan every lesson.

In reality though, teachers are reduced to quivering wrecks with the constant fear of observation upon them. Many work themselves into the ground making sure every lesson is of observation-quality, as if they don’t have enough to work to do.

Are you thinking of leaving the teaching profession? We would welcome your comments”

Rick Smallwood, Founder teachweb supply teaching agency
Rick Smallwood, founder, teachweb

About the Author: Rick Smallwood is a former chemistry teacher and founder of leading London and the South East supply teaching agency teachweb. He has a proven track record of matching the right teachers to the right vacancy.

When it comes to searching for teaching jobs in London, due to a wide selection of agencies out there, it can be difficult to choose the best one for you with  those all important competitive pay rates.

At teachweb, we find it is often about connecting with a consultant that understands your requirements, needs and skills so they can place you into a role you will enjoy and thrive in. This article will discuss the benefits of registering with teachweb, some of which include having a dedicated consultant, getting fast feedback and thorough interview preparation help!



  • Immediate notification of the latest available secondary teaching jobs.
  • After  you have completed the short registration process, you can expect to receive immediate job alerts.  If you let us know you are not available, or you have told us to cease looking on your behalf, you will stop receiving these alerts. The great thing about immediate notifications is that your CV will be the one of the first to arrive at schools offering teaching jobs in London – without you doing anything.  Schools prefer to use agencies because of the speed, efficiency, legality and convenience – and the same is true for candidates – we can send your CV to many teaching jobs at the touch of a button.
  • Having a dedicated, experienced, focused and friendly consultant. With teachweb you are dealing with a personal, experienced, accountable job finding organisation. Once you are fully registered, when you call, you can expect a consultant to be familiar with your “job search” after he or she picks up the phone. We often  identify you by voice without you having to tell us who you are!
  • CV and interview preparation and feedback. Quite a while ago we realised that because we are an intermediary that organises so many interviews, and because we get feedback on each interview, we should be able to give our  candidates information which will help them avoid making common mistakes that previous candidates have made in previous interviews. Most schools reject candidates for similar reasons and , generally the flaw is in the “trial lesson”.
  • Fast reference checks and feedback.
    • Have you every wondered what other  people say about your teaching?
    • Would it be useful to use this information to enhance your practice and to prepare for interviews?
    •  Would you expect your agency to let you know as soon as your references were returned?
    • Teachweb works in partnership with you to use references to your advantage.  


    Now you know the perks of registering with teachweb that will give you the confidence, inside knowledge and connections to help you successfully land supply teaching jobs in London.


Image taken from www.today.mccombs.utexas.edu

School open days – a chance for the head teachers and principals to sell their secondary schools to local parents and pitch all of the unique benefits their hub of education carries.

I have written this blog post to give an account of my thoughts from not only a recruitment consultants perspective, but that of a parent as well. I really got to see the different ways in which heads perceive their schools and Academies. Each Head also has different persuasive abilities and skills in presenting their school to their audience.

As the open evening season draws to a close, I begin to reflect on the Principals I have seen, and will within this blog post, discuss the pros can cons of their presentations and set them in context against the school being presented.

The first institution I went to was an academy in South London which had recently been taken over by a well known Federation. The Principal was confident and charming with a “can do” attitude. When he delivered his speech, he was so convincing that I (from the talk alone) would have thought the school was an established Academy already on a plateau of excellent results with established buildings and long serving staff. This wasn’t because there was any massaging of figures; it was because the Principal’s approach was so confident. There is no doubt that this Academy is a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis of the old school!

The second was a small Roman Catholic mixed school with a recent rebuild and an emphasis on caring and spirituality as opposed to the first which was centred on raising academic achievement. As a parent who found secondary school quite intimidating myself, I found something very comforting about the presentation of this school. The Head Teacher claimed to know all 700 children’s names (and I believe that is absolutely true). She seemed very approachable and demonstrated prior knowledge of several parents in the audience whose children had been through the school before. There was less of a mention of results and more ambition to bring up spiritual, rounded young people.

The last institution I visited was a large academy, completely new, with very experienced senior managers. There seemed to be an essence of freedom here in which teachers and heads could shape the institution from the ground up (as it was built) along with its policies. The teachers reported that teaching there was so much fun, even compared to other good schools. They claimed the lessons were fun because of the rituals and routines which students engage in, which really do succeed in making them fully participating learners. The Principal was passionate about explaining these rituals, routines and structures built into the day and the curriculum which work to engage students of all abilities. I came away with the impression that this was a place where everyone could succeed. This was partly because the experience of the managers had been allowed to blossom and shape the design of school life in this establishment. The Principal seemed like he knew all of this back to front – but his presentation was possibly more “technical” (in an educational systems sense) than the others. Like the first there was not so much mention of care, and leaning towards making everyone feel at home.

Overall, I came away from the three presentations aware of the competition there now is between Secondary educational institutions. Standards are high and “sink” schools simply do not exist any more which in turn puts increasing amounts of pressure on teachers to get their kids acing exams.

Tell us your thoughts!Which secondary school would you prefer out of the three and why?

Image from Innovativeteacher.org

Engaging Kids in the classroom can be a tricky. Getting their attention is one thing, keeping their attention is another. When you are supply teaching, this challenging yet rewarding task is part of your role and the more helpful tips you can get, the better.

Every teacher knows, it’s when the pupils minds switch off, that’s when they begin to misbehave and cause distractions for the other members in the class. Hence why creating lesson plans with solid teaching resources can be imperative.

You must also bear in mind that some kids have finally learnt to respect and abide by the rules their permanent tutor has set. So when they see a new face walk through the door, this is a sign for those kids to kick back, relax and enjoy the lesson the way they want to. Some may even view it as a free lesson! But once you command their attention and respect, they will begin to see the true value of a substitute tutor.

Here are some practical points that will help you to do this:

Keep it lively – the livelier and the more creative you make the tasks, the easier it will be for them to engage with not only the work you have set, but with you as a teacher. Brain teasers, puzzles and quizzes can be included in lesson plans as they are a great way of doing this instead of reciting text book paragraphs and lecturing.

Give your lesson meaning – this is one of the oldest tricks in the book but nonetheless, will work wonders for keeping your class engaged. By drawing parallels between the subject and points you are trying to explain to your students with real life examples, especially amusing and interesting stories or personal experiences, can help bring your subject to life. The students will easily connect with things they are familiar with. So keep the examples relevant.

Introductions are everything – The transition between different tutors can throw students out of their comfort zone. You can ease them in gently by a warm, friendly introduction where you give a short biography about yourself, are open to any questions and outline what you expect from the students.

Make them see the value– Kids are more likely to engage with what they are learning when they see the value in what they are learning. Help them to understand that taking part in specific actions will bring positive results.

Keep a solid structure – begin as you mean to go on. Let the class know what the lesson will entail and what they are expected to have learnt by the end of the session. To round things up, provide students with the chance to summarise what they have learnt through short write-ups, question and answer sessions or group brainstorming sessions.

Prepare them for the working world– In this digital age, kids are becoming familiar with technology whilst learning to walk. Encourage the use of learning with computer applications in the classroom. From blogging to photo editing, your students can have fun whilst learning practical content if the subject area complements it.

Have you struggled to keep the attention of your class before when supply teaching? What do you find helps?

Set out below are school teachers’ pay scales or rates from 1 September 2013 for each of the four pay areas: England and Wales generally (E&W); Inner London; Outer London; and the Fringe Area.


(Other than leadership group members and leading practitioners)

Main Pay Range from 1 Sept. 2013  £ p.a.
England & Wales Inner London Outer London Fringe Area
M1 minimum 21,804 27,270 25,369 22,853
M2 23,528 28,693 26,941 24,575
M3 25,420 30,188 28,609 26,466
M4 27,376 31,761 30,381 28,428
M5 29,533 34,204 32,957 30,581
M6 maximum 31,868 36,751 35,468 32,914


Upper Pay Range from 1 Sept. 2013  £ p.a.
England & Wales Inner London Outer London Fringe Area
U1 minimum 34,523 41,912 37,975 35,571
U2 35,802 43,972 39,381 36,848
U3 maximum 37,124 45,450 40,838 38,173

(Note – Points M2-M5 and U2 are not now mandatory points)

Want to know about the 5  CV tips that will allow you to build a fantastic CV format once that will last you a lifetime? The founder of Teachweb, an experienced recruitment consultant in the education sector, gives his 5 secrets to what recruiters and schools look for when choosing reliable supply teachers.


Writing a winning CV


1.Formatting – The appearance of your CV can make a potential employer continue reading or put them off completely. A neat layout goes a long way. Ensure the font is the same throughout your CV and there are no irregular indentations. Boxes and tables can also look untidy.

2.Experience – With your teacher CV you’re only as good as your last role – or that’s what our Deputy Head clients will want to see. Whether it went well or ended badly – our clients want to see your most recent role -on the first page of your CV. By making sure your school experience is near the top of your CV (above your education) and that your most recent school is the first one on the list, this can make a great first impression. So try to avoid placing details such as  ID numbers and whether you can drive at the top of your CV – these attributes are not your best first impression – your recent teaching experience is!

3.Bullet point explanations – Make sure the content of your CV answers questions like – What did I do at that school? How long was I there? For each role we prefer school name and dates and then below that bullet points listing what your role encompassed. Only stick to the necessary things that will highlight your skillset such as if you were a  form tutor, ran homework club for year 9 or you took a GCSE high achievers class. Please note teaching “hot words” and acronyms are good to use in the bullet points about your roles. They professionalise the CV.

4.Your education – Firstly, this should come after your teaching employment if you are seeking supply teaching work. The reason for this is because much of your education we can assume – if you went to University to do Molecular Physics , followed by a PGCE we can assume you also have GCSE English, ICT and Geography – or that if you don’t it will not be relevant to your application for this particular teaching job. Remember to keep it relevant. We also do not need to know about your subs scouts foraging award or your bronze swimming badge – although these do make good conversation in the interview!

5.Font- This aspect may be overlooked but it is in fact highly important- teaching is a modernised profession highly reliant on new technology! Don’t use times new roman – it gives the impression that you are not “au fait” with modern technology.

Now we have shared our 5 top tips for writing a winning CV, have you got any points that have helped get your CV noticed? Let us know what you think works and what doesn’t when applying for supply teaching jobs.

They say there ‘s never a bus and then 6 come at once. Well in our recent history – since the recession – there have not been any buses in the last 4 years – and then 7 come at once – there ‘s a bus at the stop, one behind that waiting to get in one slowing down behind that and as far as the eye can see buses, buses and buses!

For the first time in some time, the job market for us and teachers registered with us looks really rosey! Customers who we have not heard from since 2007 have been calling us again, schools and academies have been reporting very high numbers of “no shows” at interviews ( a sign that each of their interviewees has received several offers ) and TES adverts just don’t yield enough good applicants for schools to appoint. It hasn’t been so good for teaching agencies and their registrants for years. In this article we offer a couple of explanations and try to hazards predictions about what will happen in the near future.

My immediate thought – based on what I hear anecdotally from teachers and managers in schools and academies – was that perhaps academies have simply pushed new, more stringent working conditions to a point where staff are leaving the academy education system. I did hear some reports that this was happening – even when teachers had no other role to go into. I had one question – and that was – since everyone needs a job to survive financially, surely most people would have to have another role to take on and, if that were true there would have to be a lifting of this recession which has plagued us for so long – and for which there seems little evidence of a dramatic recovery. In short – if teachers are leaving teaching in such high numbers – there has to be an increase in alternative work – or a greater desire to claim jobseekers allowance than to teach in todays secondary education institutions.

The second explanation – which was mentioned by 2 Head Teachers – is certainly partly responsible and maybe a temporary problem only. There has been a collapse in the number of trainee teachers this year as a result of Gove’s planned changes to teacher training. From what I understand he is insisting that teachers should now be trained in-house ( in schools ) rather than being university based. This would seem sensible – all other things being equal – especially had the policy been implemented properly. However schools have not taken one as many trainees as anticipated and Universities had half of their funding removed – so they did not take on as many trainees either.

As an example, Christ’s at Canterbury has 750 students instead of 1500 – and not one is a mathematician. This explains, why even desireable schools and academies have received very poor fields from TES adverts.

This could be fixed fairly soon – but it may take a few years for the new system to get going – and when it does get going – perhaps the shadow of this recession will have lifted.

We also noted that this June and July daily teachers were generally booked – and we received fewer calls from teachers hunting down daily roles after study leave this year indicating a greater use of daily supply – which in turn indictates a great level of fatigue, unreliability and or courses and day trip spending by institutions.

You can go and enjoy a holiday this year – knowing your skills are likely to be more highly valued next year. Well done for waiting for the buses they always arrive in the end!

Have a happy, Sunny and relaxing holiday.


I worked as a supply teacher at four schools – Harefield Academy, Rutlish (Wimbledon, all boys), Warwick (Surrey), and St. Joseph’s (Croydon, all boys). Some mornings and afternoons travel time got close to ninety minutes, but this provided valuable time to plan, think, and see the sights of inner London. Here is a list of my thoughts about teaching in London and maybe some useful tips to consider if you are thinking about teaching in London:

  • The secondary school structure and system is different in London to what I was used to in Australia. Generally speaking the school day is set up differently, and the most noticeable difference that I recall was that students had more influence and say with what happens at school (more perceived power).
  • The students that I worked with were highly attuned to supply teachers, and consequently being a supply teacher had a real stigma attached to it. Due to this there were times when it was difficult to get students interested, involved, and learning.
  • It would be worthwhile to develop some background knowledge of the education system in London, and also doing some homework on the different regions of London (East, West, North, South). The schools that I taught in were highly multicultural, and often this observed students who had difficulty with the English language.
  • I am a trained Health and Physical Education teacher, but I taught a whole range of subjects. In PE students hold 99 percent of their interest in football (soccer), so teaching any alternative can be challenging.
  • Some days are good, other days not so good – just like any job. I was presented with the opportunity to teach longer term at two of the schools I worked at, and if I was staying longer I would have considered this. My recommendation, if possible is to make a longer commitment to one or a couple of schools and work to develop a relationship with staff and students. Over time this will have benefits. Unfortunately due to my short time commitment I as unable to do this.

Casey, Tasmania, Australia

For both daily and long term work:

Ring a few local schools – they should be objective! – ask which agencies they use – if they give the same agency – than contact that agency – although that could just mean they are cheap!! So ask the school whether thats the reason they use them – they should be honest – they have no reason not to be. Cheap agencies – will generally either be small and hungry – keen to get into the market OR just plain mean.

Then join any few of these agencies – get out working – you can’t make and omlette etc! Talk to other agency staff within schools – especially ones who have been doing it for a while – what do they see as the good and bad points of a few agencies?

Often agencies with the most work will have the lowest rates – because they are the cheapest they get given lots of work! No surprise there.

The best arrangement for daily teachers who really do not mind what they teach – is the find a new, young agency who have clients – but are struggling for teachers. They will have small expenses, but will be exceptionally grateful of a new talented teacher to send out to their small client list. If you can deliver – then this is for you. New agencies will typically be advertising in google adwords – not on the natural search first page – again a more mature supply teacher will tell you who they are.

Be effective :

Ontime, dressed smartly, teaching actively, be seen to keep a couple of students behind – unless the miracle occured and there was zero disruption. As well as looking good to managament – who will positive – feedback to the agency – it means that if you return to the school you will get better treament from the students than you otherwise would have!

Try and assess the feel of the school:

Some schools will like you to seek management support the moment something goes wrong. Others will resent constant requests for management support and will think that you are not “hacking it” – which kind is it? What is acceptable and what is not? Can you see yourself enjoying that particular environment for a while – remember you can go anywhere – you are a supply teacher!!

One agency is rarely enough (for long term work)!

For daily work – one busy agency could be enough. When you wish to settle however – you want to cast your net far and wide – and you really want at least three agencies to contrast and compare……..and to play off against each other. The better your feedback and experience – the more they will bend to your will on rates remember that! There is also a hierarchy of “in need” subjects. Maths always tops the ladder! Science is usually next and each year there is a wild card , sometimes RE, sometimes Art and sometimes Geography – totally unpredictable and often as a result of government lead changes in curriculum content.

Always say you have other options – always mention in passing that another avenue is available to you. Use the subtlist comment to indicate you have other options. You don’t need to stand on the roof shouting about it – just one comment is all that’s needed. Agents ears are so sensitive! If you disappear – so has his placement! After you have a done a trial lesson you will also know how many others are going for the role / what kind of chance you have. Depending on this – you can fix your rate expectations.

Over and out for now and good luck for your agency hunt!

Image taken from sweetclipart.com
Image taken from sweetclipart.com

Everyone knows research and preparation is key to walking out of that interview feeling good, like you have done all you can do. The pressure to do your best intensifies when you know the competition is high, which nowadays is commonplace for school jobs. Therefore we have compiled some practical points for supply tutors looking to secure teaching jobs in London:

  • If you have a solid record of experience behind you, don’t be humble but bring this to the fore. Ensure the employer sees the value of having you on board.  With AWR you’ll be cheaper to the school even employed through a teaching agency if you are less experienced. This is a big selling point.
  • Get as much information from you agent about the department and school as possible. Names , length of service, whether the supply teacher agency have sent someone there before will be a good start when gathering background knowledge.  Consider whether they know what the school will be wary of and if your agent knows of any prejudices ?
  • Get prepared to ask some questions. This will leave the employer knowing you are keen and have thought about the position thoroughly. Some great questions to ask might be: What is the exact format of the interview / meeting ? What are your resources? Will you get class lists? Can you have a copy of the school behaviour policy ? Who will be watching you teach? Does the agent know them?
  • In the agents experience what is the most common reason for candidates getting rejected from all schools ? From this school? Use this information to deduce how to underline your strengths so this is not a reason for rejection.
  • Get the supply teacher agency to discuss the pay rate with you before you go to interview. That way you can challenge the rate before giving away how keen you are on the role.
  • Get to know the school by reading the schools Ofsted report and looking at the schools website. Have they been mentioned in any recent news reports? Impress the senior management by showing a genuine interest in their school.
  • Find out which syllabus the school follows. Have you taught that before? Can you find out about it from friends or peers? At interview demonstrate you have put some research into this.
  • Always ask about the circumstances of the departing teacher – for your own sake! Has there been a string of supply teaching that timetable? Who is the longest serving member? This will give you an idea if the department is stable or not.
  • Do you know anyone else who works at the school or has worked there? If so, mention this connection if it is recent and could be seen to have informed you of the schools ethos and culture.

So when seeking school jobs from a supply teacher agency, following these points of advice can be a powerful reminder when prepping for an interview. Do you have any tips you think work well for the interview stage? Let us know!