Choosing a supply agency can be incredibly daunting when you’re first looking to dip your toe into supply! There are hundreds of agencies out there, therefore how do you choose?
1 – Recommendations
Speaking to those in the profession that you trust can be a great way to get an understanding of how an agency works and their personal experience with a agency. Even speaking to local schools to find out what agencies they use can give you an understanding of who works a lot in the area. However, whilst recommendations are helpful, it is important to remember that an agency that suits one individual, may not suit everyone so make sure you pick the agency that you’re comfortable with.
2 – Accreditation’s/Awards
Accreditation’s and awards from respectable professional bodies can be a great indication of the agency’s quality. For example, being REC Audited is the most comprehensive regulatory audit of its kind. It covers compliance as well as the REC Code of Professional Practice. This accolade will enable schools and education providers to be confident that they are using an accredited supplier, independently verified, putting standards at the centre of their business.1 If an agency has this accreditation, it is a great sign that they are professional, quality and thorough in all their processes.
3 – Location, Location, Location!
Being with with an agency based near the area of schools that you wish to work with can often be beneficial. Local agencies based in the community tend to have greater area knowledge and can help with even the smallest of details such as reassure you with directions and parking info etc. They also can have far better relationships with schools due to being able to easily pop and see them, and thus truly understand the needs of the school and the extent to which a school may be a good fit for you!
4 – Communication is Key
Does the agency seem reactive when you get in touch? Are they keen to answer any questions and support your application? Do they provide CPD opportunities? All these points are important and can help form your first impressions. Placements are based on clear and constant information from the agency to the teacher. It is important that your agency are good communicators to ensure that you feel confident in their ability to communicate with you and get you work!
5 – Fair pay
A supply agency should help you get a fair deal in terms of your daily rate. You need to feel valued, important and crucially paid fairly for the skill set you possess.
However, it is important to bear in mind that there is a balance in terms of being underpaid and pricing yourself out of the market. Above all, a good agency will ensure that you know it is important that you feel that you are getting paid fairly and dealt with transparency.
6 – Transparency
Having an agency that will be honest with you and discuss your expectations is vital. Understanding the agencies specialist areas, locations and pay rates is incredibly important, especially as the nature of supply teaching can sometimes mean you are very busy with placements and then at other times can be slightly quieter. To understand the key areas of the agency that are important to you means that you can make an informed decision as to which agency to join.
Overall, there are lots of aspects to consider when picking what agency to join, however it is important that above anything else you feel happy in your decision.
Opus Teach are always looking for high quality supply staff to join our team. We aim to be transparent, fair and friendly always. We want our teachers to feel part of our team, successful and valued. If you’d like more information on how we work, where we work and to answer any of questions, please call us on 03301 242801 and we would be more than happy to chat.
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