NASUWT calls for an end to the exploitation of supply teachers

The NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, is calling for an end to the exploitation of supply teachers who, a new survey undertaken by the Union has found, are routinely being denied the pay, training and support to which they entitled.

A real-time electronic poll of supply teachers attending an NASUWT supply teacher seminar today (Saturday), the largest gathering of supply teachers in the UK, found that:


  • Over two thirds (69%) of supply teachers have seriously considered leaving the teaching profession in the last year;
  • Nearly six in ten (59%) of supply teachers have had no access to CPD in the last year;
  • Nearly half  (45%) of supply teachers say that their work has impacted negatively on their health and wellbeing during the last year;
  • Over a third (37%) of supply teachers say their job satisfaction has declined in the last year;
  • 82% of delegates reported some problems getting work-20% said they usually have problems or can never find work;
  • Nearly half (48%) of supply teachers are paid between £75 and £120 per day-as 62% of participants had been working as a supply teacher for more than 10 years this indicates many are likely to be being paid at a level which is not commensurate with their experience;
  • Many teachers reported being denied access to basic facilities including toilets, staff rooms and food and drink facilities;
  • Some teachers reported they were not given essential information on SEN details of pupils, behaviour management procedures and current programmes of work.

The NASUWT is lobbying MPs, calling for greater regulation of umbrella companies, which some supply agencies are using to exploit supply teachers and avoid paying tax and National Insurance.

The NASUWT is pressing for appropriate regulations and kite-marking of supply agencies to end the exploitative practices which too many supply teachers are exposed to.

A recent NASUWT survey of 1,500 supply teachers found that nearly two thirds (65%) had been asked to sign contracts with offshore umbrella companies which deny supply teachers their basic legal rights and entitlements.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Today’s poll shows that supply teacher members are routinely being denied the pay, training and support to which they are entitled.

“Supply teaching is, by its very nature, often an isolating job but these figures show a worrying rise in stress and drop in morale.

“Supply teachers provide a vital resource to schools but all too often they are being exploited, often by unscrupulous supply agencies.

“Supply teachers are often unable to speak out about their treatment by some of these unscrupulous supply agencies due to threats of ‘blacklisting’.

“It is time for government to act to secure good employment practices, fair pay and decent working conditions across the public education service.”

Notes to editors

The NASUWT survey of 1,500 supply teachers referred to above can be found at
Earlier this year, the NASUWT launched SupplyAdvisor, an independent website designed for supply teachers.

SupplyAdvisor puts supply teachers in control, as they can use the website to see the agencies that other supply teachers recommend, and choose to use these agencies accordingly. Supply agencies can also comment on reviews of their agencies.
SupplyAdvisor also provides links to documents, and websites, which allow supply teachers to gain support or help when needed and understand their rights and levels of pay.

Although SupplyAdvisor was developed by the NASUWT, it is designed to be an open and free resource for all supply teachers.

SupplyAdvisor can be found at