If it’s your first time working on supply, you’re bound to have a bunch of questions you would like to ask your consultant when you first meet/speak to them.

And that’s exactly what they’re there for – to ease any concerns you may have!

Below, we’ve put together some of the most common questions teaching staff tend to ask supply teaching agencies before they start their placement.

1. What should I wear?

We would always advise going to a new placement looking smart on your first day. Make sure you’re giving off the best first impression to ensure that you have the best chance of being asked to go there again. Every school/nursery is different, so it’s best to check with whoever is in charge of your placement what they deem acceptable dress code. In some cases, you may be asked to take a PE class so it’s good to be prepared for that too. For SEND placements, we will always advise on dress code, as some schools are a lot more relaxed, whereas others will specify that you don’t have any jewellery, scarves etc, as it can be dangerous.

2. What should I take with me?

All teaching staff should take their DBS and photo ID with them, regardless if they have been to the school before. It’s always good practice to go with a lesson plan prepared too, just in case there isn’t one prepared for you.

3. What if I’m late?

If you are running late, you must call your development manager at least 15 minutes before your arrival so they can let the school/nursery know.

At Connex, we have a policy that you should arrive 10 minutes before you are due to start placement. So try to plan your route before you leave so you know you can get there in plenty of time. It reflects very badly on supply teaching agencies and the staff member in question if you are late and haven’t let anybody know, so it’s best to keep your DM in the loop as much as you can so they can take care of everything for you. Alot of the time they will know the area well, and will be able to help you if you get stuck.

4. Do I get a break?

It’s always best to check with whoever is in charge of your placement at the school/nursery. If you’re only there for a couple of hours e.g. 9:00am – 2:00pm, you probably won’t get a break. Anything after that and you should get at least half an hour to an hour. But again, it’s down to what the school have requested.

5. What if I can’t make my booking?

We require a phone call before 7:30am if you cannot make a booking – this gives us plenty of time to find a replacement so that the school is not inconvenienced. Please do not email or text, as this can be missed on a busy morning.

6. What are the most important things I should remember for my placement?

Always report to reception when you get to your placement, and familiarise yourself with the school’s policies/behaviour policies. If you’re heading to a primary placement, you MUST make sure you carry work suitable to match the year groups you are qualified to teach. Sometimes planning may not have been left for the class you will be teaching, so be prepared. Make sure that when the days supply is complete, your marking and handover notes are completed. Schools may refuse to have you back if you leave without completing the marking…

7. What if there is a safeguarding issue?

Any safeguarding issues must be reported to the designated safeguarding officer within the school, as well as the recruitment consultant dealing with your work.

8. How much work can you give me?

We never use the word ‘guarantee’ when we discuss how much work we can offer. The amount of work we receive is purely down to each school’s needs and demands. However, what we can say, is that we are incredibly busy at the moment, and are looking for more and more staff to meet each school’s expectations. This can be both on a day to day basis or long term. In addition to this, we will also work alongside your availability and requirements, whether you want day to day or long term.

9. How do I access the online portal?

When you begin working for Connex, you’ll receive login details to your own portal, where we keep all of your personal information and details about the work. You can access your portal on the homepage of our website. Your development manager will take you through everything you can manage within this portal.

10. How will you know that I’m available/unavailable for work?

Teaching staff at Connex should update their availability with their recruitment consultant for the week commencing, whether it’s by phone, email, or updating it through the online portal.

If you do have any more questions, you know where we are! Give us a call on: 0845 266 0650 or contact your local branch.