Happiness at Work Week – Boom in demand for supply teachers gives sector better work/life balance

Dec Connolly Editor

Email business@thebusinessjournal.co.uk

This week marks International Happiness at Work Week, dedicated to helping workplaces across the world thrive as positive spaces for employers and employees alike.

Often regarded as one of the most important vocations within the global workforce, the education sector has felt the brunt of decreasing job satisfaction rates over the last decade. With staff shortages, mounting workloads and external pressures exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, many full-time teachers are switching to supply teaching in order to gain more control over their workload and enjoy a better work/life balance. 

Often an overlooked part of the educational team, supply teachers provide crucial support to schools and colleges across the country. As data from the National Education Union (NEU) revealed that 44% of teachers plan to leave the profession by 2027, temporary staff are needed more than ever to plug the gaps left by full-time staff shortages.

Esme Bianchi-Barry, CEO of education recruitment specialists Affinity Workforce, said: “There are a lot of different reasons why someone might go into supply teaching over a full-time role. One reason we often hear is the work/life balance it gives, as post-pandemic people have reassessed their lives and are now looking to put happiness at the centre of their life choices.

“The benefits of supply teaching are not in short supply, with candidates enjoying the flexibility, variety, autonomy and freedom more so than their full-time colleagues.”

59-year-old Patrick Lawler returned to his career as a teacher after taking a break to care for his terminally ill wife. Patrick returned to the classroom at the end of January 2022 as a supply teacher and has spent the past nine months working five days a week across ten different schools in and around Bristol under Monarch Education, a company owned by Affinity Workforce.

Since his return to the classroom, Patrick’s love of teaching has been reignited and he has been reminded of why he began teaching in the first place. The privilege of having a positive impact on children’s lives has enriched his life, whilst new friendships with colleagues have changed his life for the better.

Patrick said: “I have always been passionate about helping young people. Since returning to education as a supply teacher, my life has been transformed in ways I could never have imagined. What I love about being a supply teacher is that it gives me a great work/life balance, and purpose.”

Esme Bianchi-Barry continues: “Affinity Workforce works closely with candidates and schools alike to ensure teachers receive the best opportunities, support and professional development.

“We are able to put candidates through extensive, high quality training courses, and our specialist consultants are on hand to provide ongoing advice to teachers throughout their careers.

“The benefit of this is that teachers are able to take ownership of shaping their own careers, enjoying a wide range of experiences with the security of a single employer.”

If you’re considering a career in supply teaching, visit https://affinityworkforce.com/