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Tips for Choosing a Supply Agency

Hadley Webster
4 Aug 2019
3 min read
Tips for Choosing a Supply Agency

Navigating how to find the right supply agency for you can be an overwhelming process. It’s important to understand the differences between them and what each has to offer. Follow the guidelines below to ensure that you find the best agency for you.

Consider recommendations from friends or colleagues

A great way to find supply agencies is through referrals from people you trust, such as friends or other teachers. Hearing a personal account of their experience with an agency can be helpful in determining whether or not it is something you are interested in. Remember that not every agency will be the right fit for you, so be sure to do in-depth research on the agency after the referral.

Look for signs of a quality agency with experience

With as many agencies as there are out there, there are plenty who do not offer a reliable service. There are certain indicators of a good quality agency to look out for.

  • See what types of schools the agency works with and if the schools are relevant to your preferences.
  • An agency may work with great schools, but if they’re 30 minutes outside of your preferred travel distance, then you may end up having a longer commute than desirable.
  • What’s more, be sure to ask how much work is available in your travel range, as not all agencies will be able to offer many placement opportunities which satisfies that.

Evaluate whether or not you trust the agency

One of the most important qualities an agency should have is trustworthiness. If you don’t feel like you can rely on the agency to meet your preferences and needs, then you likely won’t have a positive experience with them. Be mindful of how easy it is to talk to the staff members and if they are consistent in their communication. Transparency is key. Make sure you are aware of their expectations and guidelines and take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Research testimonials and reviews

Hearing other people’s reviews of an agency can be particularly helpful in distinguishing the difference between a good and a bad agency. If the majority of the reviews are great with a few poor ones, investigate the reason for the bad review. Often in these cases, this could be a sign that the person giving the reviewer had unrealistic expectations about what the agency could offer them.

Ask yourself if the consultants are reliable

Reliable consultants are well-trained and have experience in the education sector, either as a former teacher or some other career in the education field. They are communicative and transparent with you, making sure that you understand exactly how their agency operates, and they listen to your preferences. The work they offer you should be relevant to your preferences and they should be willing to address any issues or questions you may have immediately.

Research payment procedures and compare take-home pay with each agency

Do your homework and investigate their payment procedures. Are you paid through an umbrella company or PAYE? Understand the fine print about each method. Compare and contrast how much you would actually make between different agencies. Also be sure that the agency is straightforward about these procedures and prepared to answer your questions or address any problems you may have with it.

Make sure they care about safeguarding

All quality agencies should prioritise safeguarding and be clear about their commitment to safeguarding policies. Make sure they abide by standard procedure and thoroughly vet all their teachers and TAs. This is a great indicator of a supply agency which takes their responsibilities seriously.

It’s never easy navigating through crowds of agencies, especially where when there are so many bad players. Now that you’re aware of what to look for in a supply agency, you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

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