As with everything the ups and downs of life impact on a school’s ability to deliver their vision to pupils. The ideal is a school where all posts are filled by staff immune to both illness and the temptations of another job or promotion, but in the real world it is often supply teachers, employed directly from a school’s own group of regulars or from an agency, who are called upon to fill in gaps on a long term or ad hoc basis.
Most schools would describe their “supply experience” as chequered; illustrated with stories of both horror and heroism. Much has been made of a school’s expectations of supply teachers, reinforced by safeguarding legislation and the competitive nature of both academy and agency markets, but what about a school’s statutory, professional and pastoral responsibilities towards them?
A supply teacher arrives at a school when it is at its most hectic; often met by an administrator who is juggling with staff issues, pupil illness and a telephone that never stops ringing. Although we can all relate to this it is no excuse as if you demand a professional you must be professional too.
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Are you complying with relevant legislation as it applies to supply teachers?