The Do’s and Don’ts of School Supply Work

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At justteachers, we are fully committed to supporting our staff every step of the way, particularly if you are new to school supply work or new to working within Education, as it can often feel like you are treading new territories.

Working in supply allows you to work on a temporary basis, covering the role of a permanent teacher or support staff. As a supply staff member, you could be working in multiple schools on day-to-day assignments, or you could be providing long-term cover to one school in particular, for example for maternity cover. Should you be looking for day-to-day assignments, you’ll need to make yourself available frequently, and be confident in working in a variety of classroom situations.

Your dedicated consultant should have already explained the process to you from start to finish at interview, but should you have any additional questions the teams are always available to contact.

Below we have collated some helpful and recommended do’s and don’ts when it comes to supply- some may seem obvious to some, but not to others.

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  • Take your ID (passport, driving license etc) and original DBS certificate, otherwise you run the risk of not getting paid, as the school will not allow you to complete the cover
  • Call your consultant ASAP if you are delayed on your journey to school for any reason or happen to wake up feeling poorly. Our on-call service is available from 6am-10pm, every day
  • Wear appropriate clothing. If you are unsure at any time about the dress code within educational settings, simply assume you are dressing for an interview, whilst also making sure you will be comfortable for the day.
  • Make sure you have the name of the staff member you are reporting into and make your introductions to him/ her as you would in an interview. First impressions count
  • Ask for a copy of a supply handbook upon arrival. If one isn’t available, make sure you have your checklist of questions to ensure your day runs smoothly
  • Check the school’s policies on Safeguarding, behaviour and also on rewards and sanctioning pupils
  • Volunteer for additional duties if required, such as playground duties. If you are a Teaching Assistant, be proactive in the classroom and take initiative- don’t wait to be asked
  • Establish where the staff room is for break and lunch times so that you can introduce yourself to other staff members and take a little time out over a coffee. Ideally make sure to take your breaks in the staff room and leave the classroom
  • Store your mobile phone (and laptop if you have one) in a locker and not in a classroom
  • Notify the safeguarding lead and your consultant ASAP with any safeguarding issues / concerns
  • Call your consultant as soon as you leave school to let them know how your supply went and if you’d be interested in going back

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  • Rely upon texts or emails to inform your consultant you cannot make it in to school due to sickness or an emergency. Always telephone the office
  • Forget your forms of ID and your original DBS- you will not be able to start your supply without them and are at risk of not getting paid
  • Leave home without planning your route to school
  • Swear or use any language deemed to be inappropriate
  • Eat in the classroom
  • Take mobile phones or laptops into the classroom- taking or making personal calls/ texts is a definite don’t
  • Make physical contact with students unless you have received relevant training or have been instructed to do so in order to prevent harm
  • Leave school early- you might be expected to cover a lesson at the end of the day
  • Communicate with pupils, family members or friends of pupils through social media
  • Make ‘friends’ with pupils via social media or have personal contact out side of school hours