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Supply Teaching as a NQT



There are typically three different routes available for Newly Qualified Teachers –  a permanent position in a school, a short term or temporary position in a school, or flexible supply work. At Headline we often meet NQTs who, for various reasons, do not have a permanent teaching position lined up for the September after they qualify. Although this can be daunting - we are here to help! Whether you would like to start with flexible supply (great for “dating” potential schools before making a commitment), or would like long term placements which can count towards your induction year (three terms in three different schools can be a fantastic way of broadening your experience and developing your practice) – Headline will work with you to ensure that you get the most from your first year of teaching.  


We spoke to Cambridge Headline Manager, Rachel, about her experience of supply teaching as an NQT.


“In 2009 I completed my School centred initial teacher training course (SCITT) and gained QTS. To say a SCITT year is hectic would be an understatement and finding time to apply for my first teaching post didn’t come easily to me. I applied for a few things but kept putting it on the back burner with the assumption that something would turn up. That perfect first teaching post did not materialise for me and so I made the decision to try supply work.


Many people advised me against Supply as an NQT but I can whole heartedly say it was the best thing for me. I didn’t know what type of school would be right for me, I wasn’t even sure which year group I wanted to teach. Supply not only gave me the opportunity to see how different schools operate but extended my classroom experience and knowledge of curricular models and assessment practices. It allowed me to learn how to adapt my teaching style and practices, on a day to day basis to suit the needs of the school and the class I was in that day. It also enabled me to develop exceptional behaviour management strategies as everyday was a different set of children and a different school behaviour policy to follow. Ultimately, it built my confidence and expanded my knowledge and skills - what more could you ask for?


I Initially decided to register with two supply agencies. I had to look after number one so wanted to ensure that I would get offered as much work as possible. Headline quickly became my preferred agency to work for. They made me feel extremely welcome and at ease and were able to offer me support and guidance as all the staff were previous educational professionals. I wasn’t just another teacher to them, they took an interest in me as an individual. They never pushed me to teach in a location or year group I wasn’t happy with and I felt part of their Headline team.


It didn’t take long before I was in a long-term placement in a school that I loved, doing a job share in a foundation stage class. After a term they offered to put me through my NQT year. The ultimate goal achieved and it all started with supply.”


So, if you are an NQT and don’t currently have a post lined up for September – give your local Headline branch a call today. They will be able to talk you through how we can make supply work for YOU, will chat to you about the schools that they currently support, and will answer any other questions you may have about supply.