Advice for parents about the career options for their children

Why you should consider supply work during your degree

Whether studying part or full-time, many students will decide to take on a part time job to help support their finances. In fact, 8 out of 10 of students across the country already do so. Working as supply staff in a school is a great option to avoid the burnout that a committed part time job could give you on top of your studies. Offering a better work- life balance, it's also a fantastic way for students to make a bit of extra income.

TeacherActive, who specialise in education recruitment with roles such as Teacher, Teaching Assistant, Learning Support Assistant, give a breakdown of the pros of having a temporary job in a school on a supply basis while working towards a degree.

Learning while earning

Not many students can afford to study without earning anything throughout their time at university. Basics such as food and accommodation may not always be covered by just a loan, and often students need to find another source of income.

Depending on experience, rates for supply work can range between £55-100 per day, depending on specialism and the role, and it's a great way to support your studies. Plus, it's great practice if your course is related to education.


Temporary supply work leaves you free from the usual time constraints of a regular teaching time table. While most students can only plan their holiday at set times to fit in with the school year, students working on supply, benefit from the flexibility of setting their own schedule to fit alongside university. This benefit extends throughout your career, a recent survey on supply teachers found that 68% choose this type of employment due to flexibility and work/life balance. ( source)

As it isn't a permanent contract, students can choose to accept or decline work offered to them. All these benefits make for a better work/ life balance, that won't leave you overwhelmed.

Time for time management

With regard to personal development, students must learn to weigh their responsibilities when taking on a supply role and being in full time education.

Though it might seem difficult, working students tend to be better planners, as balancing their priorities is needed to ensure they meet educational and work commitments on time.

Valuable experience for the future

Students that work and study have the benefit of being introduced into the world of work slightly earlier than their counterparts.

Often, students work jobs that introduce them to their preferred career after school is over. This allows them to gain important introductory experience in their chosen sector and begin networking with those in that field.

Even if the job isn't directly related to your subject, keeping a job often shows skills of maturity and responsibility-which looks great to potential employers!

Gaining a practical understanding of the workplace will also make the transition into the competitive world of work much easier after graduation.

Employers look for employees who understand business environments and perform well as part of a team.

Variety is the spice of life

No two days are the same as a supply worker. While working full time consists of staying in the same school, or the same subject that you're qualified in, supply workers reap the benefits of supporting learning in a range of different subjects and age groups, often gaining a wider range of experience.

Holding down a job while studying is never easy. However, supply work can offer you the perfect balance of earning in your own time, while gaining vital skills to carry with you in your teaching career.