Want to work as a Cover Supervisor?

A Cover Supervisor is like a Teacher in that they are in front of a class of children and are in charge of the classroom management. However, it is often easier to define the role by what a Cover Supervisor doesn't do. 

You need to be a strong character for this role, and that’s not just to manage the classroom behaviour but to create the right presence. Cover supervisors play a huge part in the running of a modern school and academy, by freeing up the regular qualified teaching staff to carry out essential marking, planning and preparation.

Cover supervisors were originally introduced as a way of maintaining teachers’ non-contact periods but have become a permanent fixture in schools. The role can be extremely rewarding and is a useful way of getting experience in the classroom for those with teaching ambitions.

What does a Cover Supervisor get paid?
As a temporary role agencies generally pay less than that of a Supply Teacher. Many agencies quote £60-£65 a day for Cover Supervisor work but some may pay more if it is a qualified Teacher performing the role.

What are a cover supervisors working hours?
The role is flexible and can be for full days or specific periods throughout the school day (pay would be on a pro rata basis)

Cover Supervisor Duties
The cover supervisor’s main job is to manage a classroom, ensuring that students remain on task, in a safe a secure environment, ensuring set work is completed.
Curiously, cover supervisors are often defined by what they don’t do and this is in response to teachers defending their QTS roles. So officially, cover supervisors:

  • Don’t plan
  • Don’t have the subject knowledge
  • Don’t mark work
  • Don’t set homework
  • Don’t differentiate
  • Don’t set targets

However, many cover supervisors report undertaking the following duties:

  • Teaching grammar
  • Managing behavior
  • Discussing and debating texts with pupils and answering questions
  • Differentiating and allocating extension exercises

Skills and Knowledge
The following are desirable:

  • Highly adaptable as there is no a regular timetable
  • Have a thick skin
  • Strong behaviour management skills
  • Can be diplomatic

What qualifications do I need to become a Cover Supervisor?
There are no formal qualifications required to be a cover supervisor. It is ultimately up to the employer, usually the head teacher to deem what is required for the job. Some will require the applicant to be a graduate but that is certainly not a standard.

It is important that our Cover Supervisors are able to show they have significant experience of working with secondary age children in a position of authority and ideally of graduate experience. Suitable experience may be as sports coaches or youth leaders. We are happy to consider non-graduates who have worked in similar roles in schools, and we have regularly employ retired police officers whose experience we find a good fit. 

What if I am a graduate but do not have the experience?
If you are a graduate that wishes to work as a Cover Supervisor but do not have any experience, we would advise to contact your local schools and offer to get some voluntary experience for 4 weeks. Once this has been completed we would be able to take a reference from the school as part of the recruitment process. We have a large network of schools and would be happy to source a placement on your behalf.

What else do I need to know?
Being a Cover Supervisor isn’t for everyone. The classroom can be an intimidating place if you are not confident in the environment and you need to be honest with yourself in regards to how you would feel in this situation. Those with the right skills and temperament though find the work incredibly rewarding.
Work for this role often comes in on a daily basis, so you will need to be flexible. However, if you are good the job is regular and many people use the role of Cover Supervisor as a kick start to a teaching career.

Interested in giving it a go?

Give our Specialist Recruiters a call on 0113 390 1000 or email us today.


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