Supply teachers pay scales

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Pay and pensions
20 February 2017
The basis for the payment of a supply teacher (other than for teachers engaged by an agency) should be the correct point on the relevant national salary scales.

Supply teachers employed by an agency (not by the LA or school) are not covered by the provisions of these pay and conditions agreements, unless they qualify for equal treatment - see ATL's advice sheet on working through a supply agency for details.

In addition, supply work through most agencies cannot be pensionable. The fact that agencies do not participate in teachers' pension schemes is a matter of concern to ATL, and we will continue to pursue the matter.

England and Wales

In England and Wales, supply teachers employed by the LA or school should have their pay determined by the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). This is determined in the same way as for all other teachers. Under current arrangements, the teachers' actual salary may be calculated by reference to a daily or hourly rate.

The daily rate must be calculated in the following way.

  • The annual salary divided by 195 (the days a teacher works in the year).

  • The hourly rate must be pro-rata to the daily rate. This should be the daily rate divided by the number of hours in the school day at that school, lunch periods excluded.

A school does not have to match the salary previously paid to a teacher at the school. In the past, those supply teachers not employed through agencies had to be paid at the point of the pay spine that they were entitled. ATL recommends that schools match previously awarded salaries.

Teaching and Learning Responsibility payments

If the post that you are covering holds additional responsibilities and attracts a TLR payment and you are expected to take on these duties then you should also receive this payment (pro-rata) if you undertake these duties. TLR3 payments are not paid pro-rata.

Special Education Needs allowances

A special educational needs allowance must be paid if the post:

  • requires a mandatory SEN qualification

  • is taking charge of designated special classes

  • is teaching in a special school.

The amount of the allowance should be determined in accordance with the structure of the school's SEN provision and the following factors:

  • whether any mandatory qualifications are required for the post

  • the qualifications or expertise of the teacher relevant to the post

  • the relative demands of the post.


Supply teaching is automatically pensionable, unless undertaken through an agency. It is possible for teachers to opt-out of the Teachers' Pension Scheme if they wish - see ATL's factsheets on the TPS for details.

Tax and National Insurance

Supply teachers employed by a LA or school will have tax and National Insurance deductions made under the LA or school's arrangements. Teachers working through a supply agency are likely to have these deductions made by the agency. Supply teachers who are self-employed will be responsible for making their own tax and National Insurance arrangements.

Keeping records

Supply teachers must keep careful records of the dates on which they are employed, together with their salary slips. It is important that teachers keep these records and salary slips permanently. It is not the responsibility of the employers to keep them and they may be needed many years later to investigate the amount of service for salary or pension purposes. This applies to all teachers, agency teachers included, whatever type of contract they have. Self-employed teachers will also need to keep such records for self-assessment of tax.

Further information

ATL has produced a Supply Teacher Charter which includes a checklist of things a supply teacher should be provided with at the start of each placement. 

ATL also produces a Guide for Supply Teachers which contains more information.