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Why becoming a cover supervisor is the right fit for you

Written by

Eric Smith

Date posted

5 January, 2023

Why becoming a cover supervisor is the right fit for you

There has never been a better time to start working as a cover supervisor, but many people are unaware of just how easy it is to find a role. In 2021 alone, the number of full and part-time teacher vacancies in the UK increased by almost 500 while the number of temporary filled teacher posts increased by just 119 (School Workforce Census). Cover supervisors play a pivotal role in bridging this gap.

To ensure you feel confident about what the role of a cover supervisor is and the benefits it provides, we’ve put together this handy overview of exactly what’s required and how to get started. If you think you’d make a great fit, then get in touch and upload your CV today!

Requirements to becoming a cover supervisor

There are none. Aside from being over the age of 18 and possessing the right to work in the UK, there are no necessary qualifications and it’s perfect for anyone, whether you study, work part-time or even have a few spare hours each week. Everyone has been through an education system at some stage of their lives and so we can all relate to having a ‘cover lesson’ when our regular teacher was absent.

Whoever was sat at the front of the classroom that day was exactly like you, a regular person who has a busy life and friends/family to care for. Certain schools may have requirements depending on the students they cater for but, for the most part, a cover supervisor needs to be confident in front of a large group and able to adapt quickly to challenges that may arise.

The three types of temporary teaching positions

Regardless of your experience or background, the main responsibility of a temporary teacher is to cover for the short or long-term absence of a class’s regular teacher. This is primarily done by handing out pre-arranged work and overlooking the classroom to ensure a sensible level of behaviour/focus is maintained. There are however varying levels of support cover that Coyle Education provide:

Cover Supervisor – This position is not required to teach a specialist subject area. Their priority is to look after students for the duration of the lesson.

Instructor – This position often requires basic teaching in the specialist subject they obtained a degree or similar qualification in.

Qualified Supply Teacher – A qualified supply teacher usually covers longer-term absences, and the role requires qualified teacher status, achieved by obtaining a teaching degree or completing a post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE).

Whilst a qualified teacher is occasionally required to cover for teachers on maternity leave or suffering from a long-term illness, cover supervisors are the most common requirement of secondary schools in the UK. That’s why as a leading teaching agency, Coyle Education is contacted daily by schools to enquire about cover supervisor availability.

The benefits of becoming a cover supervisor

There are many benefits to beginning your journey as a cover supervisor, most prominently the pay. Average salaries can vary slightly depending on your location but generally they range from £18,000 to £26,000 pro-rata in the UK. When working with Coyle Education you can expect to earn between £80-100 for a day’s work.

As for the working hours, they’re incredibly flexible and can be structured to fit around your needs and wants. The school year (195 days total) runs typically from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday, and there are plenty of holidays with half-terms, festive holidays and the summer all excluded. If you’re a parent, then the role fits in perfectly with the school run and allows you to care for your children outside of working hours.

Working as a cover supervisor can be extremely rewarding as you help to inspire the younger generation. There will of course come challenges as with any position but by managing a classroom effectively, you will reap the rewards and likely form a positive relationship with the students. The majority of our existing cover supervisors are loved by their respective schools and have moved towards longer-term positions.

Progressing your career as a cover supervisor

Whilst working as a cover supervisor is a great part-time job, it can also become a full-time position depending on your success. Regardless of whether you’ve just finished school or university, becoming a cover supervisor provides invaluable experience and looks great on your CV. It therefore presents an ideal opportunity for someone who’s just getting back into work as it can be a great starting point to securing your next position.

In most cases, those who enjoy their work as a cover supervisor will be offered long-term positions and permanent in-house cover supervisor roles by their relevant school once a positive working relationship has been established. This can in some cases lead to work as an instructor or possibly even a fully qualified support teacher, depending on the circumstances.

Taking the next step to working as a cover supervisor

An extremely important role in the UK education system, cover supervisors are required up and down the country. Here at Coyle Education we work with many schools across London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk and are always on the look for new candidates.

Getting into the education industry couldn’t be easier and we have a range of opportunities open right now. If you’re interested or simply want to find out more, simply get in touch with our team.

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