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Teaching Jobs: Frequently Asked Questions

Tinies provides a proactive and effective service to assist you in finding your perfect teaching job in the UK

If you're looking for teaching jobs in the UK, at primary or secondary level, register your details with Tinies.

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FAQs for supply teachers working with Tinies

Do schools set work for supply teachers?

This may depend on whether your placement is an emergency placement or whether it is planned. Whenever possible, contact the school to establish the situation.

The school should be able to give you a timetable and a brief outline. If it is emergency cover then it is unlikely that plans will be left. It is always useful to have some standby and stand alone plans that can be easily adapted and differentiated to suit the abilities of the pupils in your care. It is also possible to download plans from the Department for Education website.

We expect teachers to follow the following 'Code of Conduct':

  • We request that Tinies teacher's keep-up-to date on the latest Educational initiatives
  • Excellent classroom management is essential; we expect you to teach & supervise effectively
  • Many schools will have prepared lessons which you will be expected to teach or you will be asked to prepare lessons
  • Primary supply teachers are expected to have a selection of appropriate material
  • You may be expected to phone prospective schools to ensure you have good understanding of their requirements
  • Ensure that all work is marked at the end of the day
  • Maintain a professional standard of behaviour and dress
  • Carry out other duties including playground duty and any tasks requested by the Head Teacher.

I am an NQT, how should I prepare for a days supply teaching?

Schools are getting better at providing packs for supply teachers however some don't so you need to find out about resources and lesson plans. They should also provide you with information about the schools behaviour policy and the special needs of any children in your care.

Ideally you should get a supply kit in a storage box which you can take from school to school. A primary kit could consist of:

  • Plans and resources literacy and numeracy
  • Assorted big books
  • Box of pencils, biros and felt tips
  • A4 paper
  • A whistle
  • Trainers
  • A coffee mug
  • Creative resources, e.g. art posters, music CDs
  • Easily adaptable plans from other curriculum areas.
    e.g. PE games, science activities.

What is QTS?

QTS stands for Qualified Teacher Status. When teachers have completed the appropriate training (e.g. BA QTS, BSc QTS, BEd. and PGCE) and met the standards required by the Department for Skills and Education and upholds the professional code of the General Teaching Council of England.

To be employed permanently in a maintained school, a teacher must have QTS which will give them access to pay according to the teacher's pay spine, continuing professional development and pension contributions. Visit the Department for Education for details about QTS standards.

How long is my DBS check valid and why do I need it?

DBS checks stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB check), and anyone working with children is required by law to have an enhanced disclosure. This is to ensure that any teacher employed does not have a criminal record.

This is valid for up to three years unless you change jobs or have a break for over three months. All teachers are also checked against List 99 which lists people who are barred from teaching or working with children.

Find out more about DBS checks

What is the GTC?

The GTC stands for the General Teaching Council. They act as a regulator of teaching standards including a disciplinary function. GTC registration is required for all teachers with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

I'm a secondary school teacher, can I work in a primary school?

Teachers who have qualified teacher status can move from secondary to primary and the other way. It is more difficult to move from primary to secondary education though as secondary schools teachers have specialist subjects that they can teach up to Year 10.

What is a spine point?

The pay that teachers are awarded is set by the Department for Skills and Education (DfES) and is called the Pay Spine. When a teacher begins their career they start on the Main Pay Scale (MPS). This scale runs from M1 to M6. At the start of every new academic year the teacher moves up a point subject to a satisfactory performance.

As an overseas teacher, can I work as a supply teacher?

Overseas trained teachers (OTTs) from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are able to teach in England for up to four years without the need to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), provided that your visa/work permit allows you to work in the UK. You will be required to provide a police clearance check from your country of origin until you can apply for a DBS.

Who are the DfES, LEA and Ofsted?


The DfES is the Department for Skills and Education and is run by the Secretary of State for Education. They develop the educational policies by which the schools are governed. More can be found out about the DfES on their website at:


The LEA is the Local Education Authority and they oversee all aspects of education in a particular area. They will be able to provide you with information about work and salaries. They are also responsible maintaining the level of education within in its schools so each LEA has Inspectors who regular monitor a certain number of schools. Details of all the LEA's can be found at:


Ofsted is the Inspectorate for Children and Learners in England. It is their job to contribute to the provision of better education and care through effective inspection and regulation. They achieve this through a comprehensive system of inspection and regulation covering childcare, schools, colleges, children's services, teacher training and youth work.


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