Annual Supply Teacher Survey

The NASUWT’s annual survey of supply teachers in England and Wales was undertaken between May and June 2018. A total of 1,080 supply teachers responded to the survey.

The survey comprised of a range of questions covering the following areas:

  • the nature, access and availability of work;
  • rates of pay;
  • pensions;
  • welcome to work and access to facilities;
  • supply teacher deployment;
  • compliance with legislation; and
  • training and behaviour management support.

The general trends since 2014 are described below and the full report can be accessed on the right/below.

Trends over the period 2014-17

Nature of work

The dominance of supply agencies in the market continues, up again from 79% last year to 83% in 2018. Since 2014, the use of supply agencies by supply teachers has risen by 20%. The number of local authorities providing work has remained stable since the last survey at 8%, whereas the number of schools providing direct employment has almost halved from 40% in 2014 to 22% in 2018.

Availability of work

Fewer supply teachers have reported problems securing work, down from 62% in 2017 to 58% in 2018.

The number of supply teachers able to work either four or five days a week has increased since the last survey was conducted in 2017 from 26% to 32% respectively.

In addition to this, the percentage of supply teachers reporting an increase in the amount of available work in the last 12 months is up 4% since 2017. Coupled with this is a decline from 37% to 31% respectively, since 2017, in the number of supply teachers reporting that the amount of available work has decreased in the last 12 months.

More supply teachers also report being able to access weekly supply work and supply work in excess of a term, up by 2% respectively since the 2017 survey.

Welcome to work and access to facilities

There has been an increase in the number of supply teachers reporting that they are made to feel welcome when they enter a school.

For example, 57% of supply teachers reported that they are always made to feel welcome by the staff, an increase of 4% since the 2017 survey.

There was an increase of 4% in the number of supply teachers reporting that they are always made to feel welcome by the students, up to 46% in 2018. The amount of supply teachers also reporting that they are always made to feel welcome by the parents has increased from 31% in 2017 to 37% in 2018.

This coincides with a 5% decrease since 2017 in the number of supply teachers reporting that they are never made to feel welcome by the parents.

The number of supply teachers reporting that they did not always have access to food and drink facilities decreased from 42% in 2017 to 39% in 2018. The number saying they did not always have access to car parking has decreased from 37% in 2017 to 35% in 2018. This represents a decrease of 13% since 2016.

More supply teachers reported that they are made aware of key information and policies within schools. For example, the amount of respondents who reported that they are not given clear information on the school’s evacuation policy dropped from 37% in 2017 to 31% in 2018. Supply teachers are now much more likely to receive information in respect of key policies from the school, up from 43% in 2017 to 60% in 2018.

Rates of pay

With regard to daily rates of pay, it remains the case that the majority of supply teachers still report that they are paid between £100 and £149 per day (67%). This has increased by 4% since the last survey in 2017. The percentage of supply teachers who are paid between £51 and £99 increased by 4% since 2017, whilst the percentage of supply teachers reporting being paid between £150 and £199 decreased from 22% in 2017 to 20% in 2018.

It still remains the case that only 1% of supply teachers report being able to access rates of pay in excess of £200. This figure has not altered since 2014.

Despite pay increases for other teachers, the majority of supply teachers have not seen their remuneration increase substantially since 2014. Many qualified supply teachers are still being paid at rates equivalent to that of unqualified teachers.

Coupled with this, there has been an increase in those supply teachers reporting that they have had to cut back on social activities (up 6%) as well as a 3% rise in those who have had to take a second job.

The percentage of supply teachers reporting that they do not feel they are treated with respect and dignity has increased significantly from 41% in 2017 to 60% in 2018.