As a supply teacher registered in Wales you are entitled to access professional learning opportunities through a Professional Learning Passport (PLP). The PLP has been developed to support your personal and professional learning, where your training experiences can be recorded throughout your career, with the aim of improving your practice and the outcomes for learners.Your Professional Learning Passport
can provide you with a useful tool to plan, record, evidence and reflect on your professional learning and development.
There are a number of ways that as a supply teacher you can access professional learning:
Professional/ academic course or event - if you are working at a school you can ask to take part in their in-service provision. The effective management of workforce attendance guidance document published in July 2015 reiterates that head teachers ‘should, as far as is practically possible, include staff temporarily placed at the school in planned provision for the professional development of their staff as set out in the SDP.’ You can also contact your local Consortia or local authority to find out about the professional learning opportunities that are running in your area.
Collaborative learning with and from others - Supply teaching offers the possibility of working collaboratively with a wide range of teachers in different settings and this can be a source of rich reflection and professional learning. This can range from coaching and mentoring to observations and visits from peers.
Further academic study - the Welsh Government has developed a series of innovative e-learning packs to inspire and motivate educational practitioners across Wales. You have full access to the Masters in Educational Practice e-learning packs. There are also a number of University programs available online that you can access.
Professional reading and research - It may be possible to engage in enquiry into an aspect of your own practice.
Leadership activity - offering to lead a Professional Learning Community of supply teachers to share professional learning and reflections.
Welsh language - the Welsh Government operates a Sabbatical Scheme that offers Welsh-language and methodology training to practitioners, including supply teachers, who are required to teach Welsh second language as part of the national curriculum.
Induction for short term supply - Statutory induction can be undertaken by NQTs who have a permanent contract, a temporary contact or are working as short term supply teachers. If you are an NQT and employed as a short term supply teacher you must make your school and Appropriate Body aware that you are an NQT and eligible to undertake your induction.
Supply Model Taskforce
In June 2016 the Welsh Government established the Supply Model Taskforce to consider future delivery options for supply teaching in Wales. The Taskforce comprised of representatives from education, local government, business and trade unions. The Taskforce engaged with key stakeholders and delivered its findings to the Cabinet Secretary for Education in December 2016. It is clear that the issues surrounding the employment and deployment of the supply teaching workforce is varied and complex. Further consideration will be given to recommendations made by the Supply Model Taskforce following the publication of their report, which is be available below.
View the written statement
Ministerial Supply Model Taskforce: Report to the Cabinet Secretary for Education (File size: 391KB)
Terms of reference (File size: 63KB)
Hwb aims to enable all learners and teachers to access a diverse range of online resources anywhere, at any time, from any device. It will also provide tools to help teachers and learners create and share their own resources, and to support collaboration. These pages are free and safe to use and will by signing up to an account, allows you to build a bank of creative resources to use within the classroom.
The Welsh Government’s newsletter, Dysg, is a resource that provides the latest information on upcoming training and events, as well as other information on developments within the education sector in Wales. Subscribe to Dysg here.
There are a range of supply agencies operating in Wales and the Effective Management of School Workforce Attendance outlines the minimum criteria that schools, and therefore supply teachers, should expect from the ones that they use. The Welsh Government does not, and cannot, endorse any one such agency. However, in April 2015 the National Procurement Service awarded a Framework Agreement for the Provision of Supply Teachers to New Directions the ‘preferred provider’. As part of the Framework Agreement New Directions are committed to providing their supply teachers with access to training as well as an element of performance management. Each local authority in Wales has individually signed up to this framework agreement, nevertheless, it should be noted that there is no compulsion for schools to use the preferred provider. If you’re registered with a supply agency, you should ask them about the training that they can offer you.
Effective management of school workforce attendance
In July 2015 the Welsh Government published guidance on the effective management of school workforce attendance.The guidance sets out the roles and responsibilities of Government, schools and supply agencies in ensuring effective cover management. It also provides an outline of the support and resources that the Welsh Government expects schools to provide to their supply teachers. The guidance provides a range of options available to schools when deciding how to cover their lessons. It is a living document that will be developed based on feedback from all stakeholders, including supply teachers.
Welsh Government is currently updating this guidance.
A new curriculum for Wales will be developed with education professionals across Wales with the aim of it being available to settings and schools by September 2018. Teachers working in Pioneer Schools will be fundamental in developing the new curriculum for Wales.
Education Workforce Council
The Education Workforce Council (formerly the GTCW) is the professional registration body for education practitioners in Wales.
The EWC's main functions are to:
- establish and maintain a Register of Education Practitioners;
- maintain a Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for the education workforce;
- investigate and hear allegations of unacceptable professional conduct, serious professional incompetence or relevant criminal offences that might call into question a registered practitioner's fitness to practise;
- provide advice to the Welsh Government and others on matters related to the education workforce and teaching and learning;
- monitor Induction and hear Induction appeals (where applicable) for teachers;
- promote careers in the education workforce;
- undertake specific work in relation to teaching and learning at the request of the Welsh Government.
There is a wealth of information on the EWC website registration and fitness to practice, induction, professional development including how to access your Professional Learning Passport and research and statistics.
Education Support Partnership
All teachers have ‘around the clock’ access to the support provided by the Education Support Partnership (previously Teacher Support Network.) ESP supports all teachers at any stage of their career as well as their families and dependents. It offers a range of services including coaching, counselling, financial advice, availability of grants and signposting to other supportive organisations.
The Welsh Government has provided advice on a number of occasions to schools and supply agencies, on who can work as supply teachers for absence cover and on both short term and long term contracts.
The Welsh Government’s 2015 guidance
Keeping Learners Safe
provides advice on employers’ duties with regard to safeguarding. This includes guidance within a supply context. The guidance requires employers to ensure that they operate safe recruitment procedures and ensure that appropriate checks are carried out on all new staff and volunteers who will be working with children.
EWC guidance for employers –
‘School Teacher Registration Guidance for Employers (Local Authorities, Schools and Private Supply Teaching Agencies), April 2015’
– highlights the legal requirement placed on schools, local authorities and supply agencies to ensure that they employ workers who are registered with the EWC.
You as a supply teacher must be made aware of the named person within the school that is responsible for safeguarding, in case an issue arises whilst you are at the school.
Welsh Government would like to draw your attention to the attached summary documents as they continue to promote the issue of safeguarding within this context, highlighting its importance and relevance.
Employing and Supporting Supply Teachers in a School Environment (File size: 290KB)
Safeguarding learning and development modules
There is a clear need for consistent safeguarding learning and development tools and in response we have developed e-modules that are available on Hwb.
The modules are for all staff within an educational setting and you as a supply teachers are advised to familiarise yourselves with the content. The modules comprise of the following:
The modules are made available by accessing the playlist (the third link on each of the modules), a Hwb login is not required.
The modules come as a result of stakeholder engagement and align with our safeguarding in education statutory guidance ‘Keeping learners safe’, published in January 2015. The guidance outlines the statutory duties placed on schools, FE colleges and education services and enables them to:
- create and maintain a safe learning environment for children and young people
- identify where there are child welfare concerns and taking action to address them, where appropriate, in partnership with other agencies
- develop children’s understanding, awareness and resilience through the curriculum.