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Many teachers are now choosing to do long term supply teaching as opposed to finding a new permanent position. So, what is the difference between the two options and why is supply making a comeback?

Long Term Supply Teaching

Opportunity and Demand 

Supply teaching is no longer seen as such a risky option for teachers. The demand from schools for long term supply or contracts for a term, or even a year has increased considerably. This is often due to budget cuts and uncertainty within schools, combined with the teaching recruitment crisis in many areas of the UK, which has led to schools being unsure about course numbers and class sizes year on year.


One of the most attractive benefits of long term supply teaching, is that it offers you the flexibility that you would not have when working in a permanent role.  By doing long term supply you can take time off in between posts, which is great if you are looking for more of a work-life balance. You may complete a 2 term maternity cover and then decide to have a half term off before starting a new assignment.  Many of our teachers have chosen to do long term supply teaching as it enables them time in the year to pursue other interests and commitments ie leading expeditions in the Himalayas, fostering, TEFL teaching in South America, writing and caring for family members. 


Long term supply also allows you to try new roles and settings without having to commit to them on a permanent basis. Trying out a new type of school, an SEN role or a different phase or subject is easy when you are able to trial it for a short period. Gaining a range of teaching experience is a lot easier to do when working on supply.  It is also gives you the opportunity to see where you would and would not like to apply for a permanent post if one were to arise.  Trying new roles and settings keeps life interesting and ensures that would are constantly learning and developing your skills. 

Permanent Post

However, we should not forget the benefits that come with working in a permanent teaching post.


The stability that a permanent role provides is an undeniable benefit. Salary, pension and holiday pay are all benefits that many people look for when finding the right role. And, if you are looking to build a strong base of experience and would like to see your class develop throughout the year, then finding a permanent role is definitely the best option for you.


Career progression is also something that goes hand in hand with a permanent role. If you are looking to gain consistent experience and progress within a school then a good way to do this is through a permanent post. Staying in a school gives you the opportunity to become fully immersed in the community and get involved in extra-curricular activities, school programmes and take on extra responsibility.

Training / development

The opportunity for CPD and further training and development is another benefit of a permanent teaching post. Schools offer a range of training opportunities for their permanent staff that allow them to develop their teaching and class management skills, curriculum knowledge, safeguarding knowledge and IT skills, amongst other things.

Find out more about careers in teaching. Contact one of our education recruitment consultants today.