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As an NQT why should I consider supply?

A lot of pressure seems to be placed on NQTs to enter a permanent role asap after graduating but is this approach right for the student or the university in the long-term? Being able to demonstrate that a high percentage of graduates go onto permanent roles certainly helps universities attract new students but the rate at which NQTs are leaving the teaching industry suggests more could be done to better prepare and support new teachers for the realities of the profession.

Too many times I’ve been contacted by an NQT who has rushed into a placement only to find out that the school or role does not meet their expectations. This is not to say that the schools are responsible for making the NQT year so tough; there are a range of factors, stresses and pressures which can cause disillusioned NQTs to quit teaching.

For many years I have helped rebuild the confidence of NQTs who have been in a position that wasn’t suited to them and as a last effort they consider supply work. But instead of being a “last resort”, what if the supply route was embraced as a starting point for NQTs? After all, what better way is there for newly-qualified teachers to experience first-hand how a variety of schools work; the different behaviour policies and techniques used; how staff interact with the children; how planning responsibilities are shared; and how the school treats its employees? Supply work is and always will be