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Career Advice

Common questions about a career as a cover supervisor

Written by

Josh Bromage-Smith

Date posted

27 November, 2020

As a leading teaching agency, people get in touch with Coyle Education every day to enquire about work as a cover supervisor. However, many people don’t seem to fully understand the role, what is required to carry it out, and how it differs from other roles in education. Cover supervisors play a vital role in every single school in the country, and they often do not get the praise they deserve for doing such an important job.

In this short guide, we want to answer some of the common questions we get about working as a cover supervisor. If you have any more questions, please do get in touch with the Coyle Education team. You can also upload your CV to find out more about our current opportunities.

What is the role of a cover supervisor?

A cover supervisor’s primary role is to supervise pupils in the absence of their normal teacher – usually to cover short-term absence. In most cases, a cover supervisor doesn’t need to prepare or set any work for students, as this is set by other teaching staff. During lessons, a cover supervisor must manage the classroom and ensure that students remain focused on the work that they have been set. This can sometimes prove challenging, so it is important that cover supervisors are confident and have the skills required to keep a class on-track.

What qualifications are needed to be a cover supervisor?

There are no specific qualifications required to become a cover supervisor, however, many successful candidates have at least some experience in teaching or working with children and some cover supervisors have fully qualified teacher status. Some schools may also have individual requirements and may ask for cover supervisors educated to at least a degree level. If you’re not sure whether you have the necessary qualifications or experience to be a cover supervisor, get in touch with the Coyle Education team. We’ll be able to quickly tell you if you are suitable for any current roles, and if not then we can offer you some expert advice on what you can do to get more qualified.

How much does a cover supervisor earn?

The amount that a cover supervisor earn can vary greatly, depending on several factors. The type of school and its location will impact what you are able to earn, as will your own qualifications and experience. Average salaries for cover supervisors across the UK range from £17,000 up to £28,000 per year. This is a pro-rata salary, which means this is what you would earn if you were to work in the role on a full-time basis.

What’s the difference between a cover supervisor and a supply teacher?

In practice, there is very little difference between the two roles, the main difference being that a supply teacher must hold qualified teacher status. In terms of the work carried out daily, the roles are very similar.

How do you manage a class as a cover supervisor?

One of the biggest challenges you will face as a cover supervisor is managing the classroom. Sometimes students tend to lack focus when their normal teacher is absent, and a good cover supervisor must do everything they can to keep students focused on their work. A good tip is to always set clear expectations and boundaries at the beginning of the lesson. Be firm but fair with students and remain consistent in your approach.

Are there opportunities for career development?

Again, this can depend on the individual and your current level of experience and qualifications, but usually, there are career development opportunities. If you’re quite early in your career, working as a cover supervisor can give you excellent experience which can help you to secure your next position. Getting a good reference from a school you have worked with can be helpful later on.

If you are already qualified, then working as a cover supervisor can give you an opportunity to get to know some local schools, and if you do well then you may be in a good position to apply for a permanent vacancy should one become available. Finally, it’s a good way to network; to meet fellow education professionals in your area. Having a good network is always recommended and can help you find a great position in the future.

To conclude…

Cover supervisors play a really important part in the UK education system, and we are always looking for high-quality candidates to help fill these roles. As a teaching agency working with schools across London, Essex and the East of England, Coyle Education have a range of cover supervisor jobs available right now. If you are interested in finding your next position or would just like some advice from our team, upload your CV or get in touch today.

Click here to view our current cover supervisor job vacancies

Click here for more information about Coyle Education

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