SupplyNow - What you need to know


Teacher FAQs

SupplyNow believes that supply teachers and supply staff should be paid fairly and ethically. That's why we encourage you to be paid on a PAYE basis, directly by us rather than through umbrella companies.

Within our launching counties of Kent and Surrey, we guarantee a minimum of *£150 per day for Qualified Teachers, which is between M4 and M5 on the Main Pay Scale. For any long-term assignments, we encourage parity with permanent staff from day one of your booking.

Afraid not. HMRC is clamping down hard on what they view as "false self-employment". They have tightened up on the tests used to assess whether someone is indeed in business for themselves. Our view (backed by plenty of experts) is that it's almost impossible for a supply teacher or teaching assistant to claim self-employment and meet the test criteria legitimately.

If HMRC decides that a teacher or teaching assistant is not truthfully self-employed, they can demand back taxes, interest and penalties from both the candidate and party who paid them - agency or school.

Other platforms are offering this as it makes their life easier, and they can charge less to schools as they're avoiding costs like Employer's National Insurance contributions. Recent changes to legislation in April 2017 make the tests even tighter for anyone working in the public sector. To find out more, head to the HMRC website.

We clear all our candidates in line with the latest DfE Keeping Children Safe in Schools: Safer Recruitment document.

Our checks include:

  •   Identity
  •   Right to Work
  •   Verification of professional qualifications (including overseas qualification equivalency)
  •   Enhanced DBS and/or overseas police check
  •   Barred List check
  •   Medical physical and mental assessment
  •   Prohibition from teaching check
  • Disqualificaiton by Association declaration

It's easy to capture and upload your documents online. We aim to make this as quick and painless as possible.

You won't be able to accept work on the system until all your vetting checks are complete, which we aim to do within a week. This will depend on how long it takes your referees to respond (we always recommend that you let them know we will be sending a request). If any lapse, you won't be accepted to work until they're renewed (don't worry, we'll give you plenty of notice if anything's going to expire).

A DBS check is also mandatory, and we'll be unable to register you until you have one.

Fair pay, better choice, more control. You accept broadcasted roles that match your set criteria.

We give full transparency of pay, fees and margins.

You can rate schools and add them to your “Favourites” or "Don't send back" list – we might even make suggestions on how they can improve from your ratings. Schools you work in rate you too and your overall rating is visible to a school when you confirm a booking.

A school can also score you based on your performance against the brief and have the option to add you to their "Favourites" list, so you get priority over their future jobs.

We believe that ratings help us to ensure complete transparency in our community.

As you're paid by SupplyNow, rather than the end-user school, we cannot contribute to the TPS (Teachers' Pension Scheme) as an employer. However, you also won't have employee deductions made for TPS.

SupplyNow does offer a pension scheme in line with the automatic enrolment in workplace pensions scheme – this will be offered to all directly engaged candidates. If doing supply work on a short-term basis, many Supply Teachers prefer to keep their total earning rather than contribute to their pension – the choice is up to you.

Schools are required to contribute 16.48% of pay to TPS as an employer contribution - another reason they like working with Teachers who are registered with an agency.

Teaching Assistants do not have access to TPS but can generally join a Local Government Pension Scheme or the Academies LGPS pension arrangements.

In our pilot areas of Kent and Surrey we guarantee a minimum of £150 per day for Qualified Teachers (between M4 and M5 on the Main Pay Scale) on long term roles, £100 for experienced Cover Supervisors, and £60-£80 for experienced Teaching Assistants. Our candidates always receive the rate we quote; it will be in the booking details and completely transparent on the app

For any longer-term assignments, you will be paid parity with permanent staff from day one of your booking. We believe that supply teachers should be paid fairly and ethically.

We also won’t deduct our taxes from your standard pay if you work via an umbrella company – your rate will be uplifted to compensate (you may currently be doing this without being aware). For this reason, we encourage you to be paid directly by us on a PAYE basis, as opposed to going through an umbrella company.

When will I be paid?

Thanks to our innovative platform, you will always be paid on the Friday of the following week from when you worked - better yet, there are no timesheets!

We began in Kent, Medway, Surrey, Croydon, Bexley and Bromley, but are now heading to the South East of England and further into London.

School FAQs

Using our simple web interface you can specify exactly what sort of cover you need, when, and for how long. You can make the booking at any time or day of the week. This could be same day cover, or for a longer-term vacancy. You set your preferences and broadcast your requirement. The system will use its matching algorithm and expertise to cascade its search until if finds a candidate who meets your needs. As soon as a candidate accepts you will be notified and sent their safeguarding details for your OFSTED-required single central record.

Our pricing is completely transparent.  We are cheaper than an agency with much more of what you pay going to the member of supply staff in their pay.  We think that is only right and fair. You will pay a daily charge (half-day minimum) based on the pay-rate to the candidate, plus statutory employment on-costs (Employer's National Insurance contributions, Auto-enrolment pension, apprenticeship enrolment contributions if applicable), plus £20 for our administration costs and an element of  profit.  As a school you can determine the pay rate that you want to offer to matching candidates (subject to a minimum) so the cost is up to you.  By offering fair rates to supply staff schools will improve consistency of cover and find better matches.  We don't have prohibitive temp-to-perm transfer fees either so if you do find a member of staff you really like there are no barriers to getting them to join the permanent staff.

We work with any classroom staff - qualified and unqualified teachers, cover supervisors, HLTAs, and classroom support staff.

Yes, you can upload details of your own supply list and book these for your school. Candidates will be paid by SupplyNow rather than paid by the school. Once registered on SupplyNow these candidates will be available to be approached about work at other schools too, which they can accept or decline as they wish.  Any candidates who are uploaded to the platform will need to pass SupplyNow's safeguarding requirements.

By using technology rather than recruitment consultants in offices on telephones we can offer a faster, better service paying fair rates to supply staff and offering lower costs to schools and academies as well as better pay rates to candidates.

A bit like Uber or Tripadvisor. You are asked to give a star rating on the candidate. You can also add candidates to your favourites list to be contacted first, or add them to your "no thanks" list. We know that not every candidate gets on well at every school, and vice versa. Candidates can similarly rate schools and add then to their favourites or "no thanks" list. You will have full visibility of your feedback ratings and we may make suggestions on how you could improve your future feedback.

The platform will start by looking for supply staff who meet all of your criteria, e.g. favourite, lives within 15 minutes, is a subject expert or taught the same class. If it can't find anyone with those criteria it will gradually widen the search using the inbuilt expertise. Because we can contact thousands of candidates at the same time, within 5 minutes of you adding the booking (this allows you a cool off period) rather than one after the other on the telephone, we should always be faster than other methods meaning you will know quickly whether you need to relax your criteria or make alternative arrangements. It will also release the booking in real time so you don't have to wait for an agency to open. Also, because you aren't locked into a subscription you can also use other sources of supply staff in times of high absence levels. Because of the speed of our system you should also have access to the widest pool of the best supply staff.

Because SupplyNow is completely pay as you go with no upfront costs you are able to use us as either your sole source of supply staff (yes please!), your first port of call supported by other methods, or only in peak periods of demand when your other sources have dried up. We are confident that due to our convenient user interface, wide choice, and great rates that we will have available supply staff when others have not. If your agency does offer you a low rate this is most likely because they are paying a low-rate to their supply staff, meaning that in periods of high demand it is unlikely you will be able to get the staff you need.

We would also like to think that schools are as keen for supply staff to be paid a fairer rate of pay than via most agencies as we are. We aim to keep more money in the pockets of supply staff and schools and less leaking out of the system in the form of commissions (we don't have to pay them at all!)

For longer term supply our charges work in exactly the same way. You can either just engage a teacher or teaching assistant in the same way you book them for day to day cover, or use the dedicated functionality on the SupplyNow platform to view CVs and book interview slots (coming soon)

We carry out the same checks that you would, and we supply evidence of those checks for your OFSTED required Single Central Record. As the employer of record it is SupplyNow and not the school that is responsible for ensuring that the relevant checks have been completed satisfactorily. You can engage candidates through the platform with complete peace of mind. Candidates will have a digital ID card that you can compare to the information you were supplied with at the point of booking, including an ID photo.

Candidates will not be able to accept work through the platform if any of their mandatory checks has not been completed or has lapsed.

Our pre-employment and ongoing vetting checks are in line with DfE Keeping Children Safe in Schools : Safer Recruitment September 2016.

Safeguarding Check-list: 

  •   Identity
  •   Right to Work
  •   Verification of professional qualifications (including overseas qualification equivalency)
  •   Enhanced DBS and/or overseas police check
  •   Barred List check
  •   Medical physical and mental assessment
  •   Prohibition from teaching check
  • Discqualification by Association declaration

In addition we constantly gather feedback on candidates on the platform as they work with customer schools, giving you an up to date picture of how other schools have rated them

We are starting with Kent, Medway, Surrey, Croydon, Bexley and Bromley. Once we are up and running in these areas we will ask for votes on where we should go next. It is likely that we will concentrate on population centres first, but who knows?

Responsibility for paying the supply staff and ensuring that taxes are deducted sits squarely with SupplyNow.  Schools cannot legitimately pay candidates as self-employed or limited companies (without deducting full taxes) and neither can any app or agency platform.  Our candidates are either directly engaged on "PAYE" by SupplyNow, or if the candidate prefers they can work through an approved and vetted umbrella payroll company.  SupplyNow ensures that all employment on-costs are passed on to the umbrella company so that the candidate does not lose out.  You may want to look into how supply staff are engaged through other technology platforms as several, in our opinion, are not compliant with current legislation and could be creating a liability for the candidate and potentially for the school. 

It all depends on what you want and need.

The benefits of SupplyNow for a school are that we take the role of employer and pay the teacher. We can engage teachers at whatever rates we agree with them rather than being bound by MPS, although we are trying to get as close to MPS as possible without pricing our candidates out of the market. We also don't have to contribute 16.48% of their day rate to the Teachers Pension Scheme as a school does, and teachers don't have to contribute 10% of their pay to Teachers Pension Scheme - something we have found that teachers would rather not do if they are only working on supply for a relatively short period of time.

You also don't have to pay an up-front subscription and you can use the platform to manage your existing supply list free of charge.

You don't have the responsibility of checking and maintaining a record of safeguarding information and pre-employment checks, and you don't have the administration overhead of getting supply staff set up on your payroll system or dealing with pay queries.

It is more like using a supply agency, albeit with better pay to supply staff, a more streamlined way of booking, and transparent and low margins.

For some schools the idea of paying an up-front subscription fee and then acting as the employer for supply staff may be a better answer, particularly if levels of supply are low and one source of staff could satisfy peaks in demand

Why teachers love SupplyNow

I’ve been with SupplyNow for just over six months and am really pleased I joined. I’ve actually been offered a permanent position with a school I’ve been working at for two months, so everything’s worked out brilliantly!

Kylie – TA – Croydon

I honestly recommend that all Supply Teachers sign up with SupplyNow. Not only is it easier, but I love that fact that they are highlighting how unfairly supply teachers are often treated. I’m fed up with people thinking I make way more money than a permanent teacher – I don’t! Mainly because the recruitment consultants take so much. I didn’t actually realise how much until I joined. It’s nice to feel like people are seeing it for what it is, and that we can actually make a massive change.

David - KS2 Teacher - Greater London

The best thing about SupplyNow is the fact that I now know in advance where I’m working. With my previous agencies, I had to sit and wait by the phone, which I absolutely hated. With the app, I can accept a job on the weekend for the following week then relax knowing where I’m going and at what time!

Sabina - Early Years Teacher – Croydon

We are proud to have been nominated as a Finalist for Startup of the Year at the Bett Awards 2018