The Key to Supply Teacher Retention

Supply Teacher

When we ask supply-teacher recruiters about their key challenges, retention of supply teachers always comes up. Demand for supply services is high and set to rise, and supply teacher pay rates are a contentious issue at best. So how can you, as a recruiter, compete for in-demand supply teachers when you can’t pay any more than your competitors?

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Retention of supply teachers is about more than the pay rate

Historically there has always been pressure on supply teacher pay rates, and of course the rate they earn is important to supply teachers. However, our experience of working with supply teachers suggests that there are other important factors when in-demand supply teachers are deciding which assignment to accept, or which recruiter to work with. 

A supply teacher’s time is valuable

Supply teachers tend to be busy people, and many chose supply because it gives them control of when they work, which makes it easier to juggle all their other commitments. It’s therefore not reasonable to expect them to become experts on supply-industry details like umbrella companies, employment rights, and holiday entitlement. They need clear, trustworthy advice that doesn’t take hours of research to understand.

Busy supply teachers also want to spend as little time as possible checking and chasing their payments, so it’s vitally important that their pay is always correct, and always on time.

Value is more important than money

What supply teachers get from a recruiter adds up to more than a work-finding service and a pay rate. Your value to them is made up of a complex tangle of details which includes how they’re treated, the quality of support they get, their general experience of working for you and any additional benefits you’re able to offer them.

Your teachers may need some extra support

Teaching is as demanding as it is rewarding, and your supply teachers want and need to be at the top of their game whenever they walk into a classroom. With the number of teachers working in state-funded schools still falling relative to pupil numbers, the school environment will become more pressurised and more of your teachers will need additional support.

What you can do to improve supply teacher retention

Working with an established, FCSA accredited umbrella company like Orange Genie Education will help you achieve a lot of this. You’ll be ensuring that your teachers receive high quality advice from a trustworthy source, and that they get paid correctly and on time, which will free up their time and give them the confidence to concentrate on teaching.

The additional benefits your teachers can access through Orange Genie Edge will help their money go further, help them take care of themselves and their families and get the most out of life as supply teachers. All the benefits of Orange Genie Edge come at no cost to the teacher or to you, and will leave your teachers in no doubt that they’re both understood and valued.

Orange Genie Edge also includes medical and support services designed to help your teachers protect their physical and mental health, helping them meet the demands of teaching and do a great job for your clients and their pupils.

Where your teachers receive excellent service and feel cared for and valued, your retention rates are likely to take care of themselves.

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way please contact our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email

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