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How to create a teacher supply pool this term

Date posted : 18 September 2023

In the fast-moving world of education, headteachers and schools face the challenge of ensuring a continuous and reliable supply of qualified teachers. Unforeseen teacher absences due to staff sickness, maternity leave, or other unforeseen circumstances can disrupt the learning environment. 

Supply teachers are an essential resource for schools, especially in times of teacher shortages, staff absences, and unexpected vacancies. Finding and hiring good supply teachers can be challenging, expensive, and time-consuming.  

That’s why many schools look for ways to build a supply pool of trusted and reliable teachers who can step in when needed. A supply pool, or talent pool, is a group of supply teachers who have an ongoing relationship with a school or a group of schools. They are familiar with the school’s policies, procedures, and expectations. 

This group consists of vetted and reliable teachers who can help whenever needed and can provide continuity and consistency for the pupils. By working with the same pool of supply teachers regularly, schools can build trust and rapport with them. This helps create a sense of community within the school, which is beneficial for pupils and teachers. 

To mitigate teacher shortages, schools can benefit from building a supply pool. One effective way to achieve this is by collaborating with a recruitment agency such as Teaching Personnel.  

With a pool of available supply teachers, you can fill staffing gaps at short notice and reduce disruptions to teaching and timetables. There are different ways to build a supply pool for your school, and this depends on your needs and preferences. 

Understand Your Needs 

Before creating a supply pool, it's important to have an understanding of your students needs and those of the school. Identify the roles and subjects for which you may need supply teachers. Think about the potential scenarios that might need temporary staffing, such as illness, maternity leave, or unexpected vacancies. 

Creating your own supply pool 

Creating a pool of supply teachers by advertising to potential candidates and using your own networks or online platforms takes more time and resources from your school. It requires schools to manage the recruitment, vetting, and payroll processes. 

Collaborate with Teaching Personnel  

Establishing a partnership with Teaching Personnel is a valuable step in creating a supply pool. You will have access to a pool of qualified teachers and a team that can find your school suitable teachers when the need arises.  

With Teaching Personnel, you will be able to access extensive networks and databases of qualified teachers. Our team can quickly connect schools with suitable candidates, saving time and effort. All teaching and support staff have been screened and vetted too. So you can be assured that all supply teachers meet the necessary qualifications and background checks. 

Teaching Personnel has stringent vetting standards. We operate rigorous control in all areas of recruitment, vetting, and registration to ensure that all supply teachers exceed the exacting regulatory standards set by the DfE in their most up-to-date publication on keeping children safe in education

Teaching Personnel provides ongoing support, helping schools manage their supply pool and adapt to changing circumstances. By regularly working with your school, we will develop a good understanding of your school's values, culture, and specific requirements to ensure a good fit for your supply pool. 

Create a Database 

Maintaining an organised and up-to-date database of potential supply teachers is something that you may want to do. This database should include information about the teacher's qualifications, experience, availability, and references. Modern technology can be an asset, with many applicant tracking systems (ATS) and software solutions designed for schools.

Professional Development Opportunities 

Encourage supply teachers to engage in ongoing professional development. By offering access to training and resources, you can attract and retain high-quality teachers in your supply pool. This not only benefits your school but also ensures that the supply teachers have the latest teaching methods and standards. 

Benefits of a supply pool 

A strong supply pool helps create a positive and stable learning environment for students and enables teachers and schools to focus on providing a good education. Creating a resilient supply pool for your school needs careful planning, collaboration, and effort.  

However you choose to build your supply pool, building a supply pool for your school can bring many benefits, including: 

  • improved teaching  
  • reduced costs 
  • attracting talented teachers 
  • increased retention  
  • reduced stress and workload for existing staff 
  • decreased downtime due to staff shortages 

Quick access to supply cover in advance can help schools save money. When schools source supply teachers and support at the last minute, they may have to pay higher rates to secure their services.  

By understanding your school's needs, partnering with Teaching Personnel, maintaining a database, and providing professional development, you can build a teaching supply pool that supports your school's success for the autumn and beyond. 

Every academic year, we provide staff to over 5,000 schools, delivering a national service on a local scale from our 80 branches. If you would like us to help develop your pool of supply teachers, contact Teaching Personnel 

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