SupplyNow - What you need to know


Teacher FAQs

Our customer schools and academies set the pay rates that they want to offer for a given booking on the SupplyNow platform.  Once you have been working with a particular school for a given length of time the provisions of the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) will also apply giving you parity with a permanent employee.

We generally pay 15-20% per day more than traditional agencies.

Since September 2013 schools, including maintained schools, have been free to agree a scale point with supply teachers rather than having to honour MPS points gained from previous employment.  We pay at rates higher than most of the MPS scale.        

Although many qualified teachers working on supply would have reached the top of the MPS, schools are often reluctant to pay at point 6 or above due to the nature of day to day supply work, and the total cost to the school coming out more expensive than an agency. SupplyNow is trying to strike a balance between fairer pay for candidates, and not pricing teachers out of the market.  

Afraid not, not with SupplyNow. HMRC are clamping down hard on what they view "false self-employment". They have tightened up on the tests they use to assess whether someone is truly in business for themselves. Our view, backed by plenty of experts, is that it is almost impossible for a supply teacher or teaching assistant to legitimately claim self-employment and meet the test criteria. If HMRC decides that a teacher or teaching assistant is not really self-employed then they can demand back-taxes, interest and penalties from both the candidate and whoever it was that paid them, whether that is an agency or direct payment by a school. We'd rather not risk it and suggest you think carefully before going down this route. If you want to check have a look on the HMRC website ( Other platforms are offering this as it makes their life easier and means they can charge less to schools as they are 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.

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 is easy to capture and upload your documents using our web app and our soon to be launched iOS and Android apps. We aim to make this as quick and painless as possible - we know it is annoying to have to keep digging all this stuff out!

You won't be able to accept work on the system until all your vetting checks are complete. If any of them lapse then you won't be able to accept work until they have been renewed. Don't worry, we'll give you plenty of notice of anything that is going to expire.

Better pay rates, more choice, more control. You accept broadcast jobs that match the criteria you set.

Pay rates are typically 15%-20% higher than through a traditional agency

Full transparency of pay and charge and margins. See exactly what the difference between what you are paid and what the schools is charged is and where the difference goes. We've got nothing to hide!

A bit like Uber or Tripadvisor. You can rate schools and add them to your favourites or "don’t send back” list. The school will have full visibility of your feedback ratings and we may make suggestions on how they could improve feedback. Additionally the school is asked to give a star rating on the candidate. Rating help ensure we have complete transparency in our community. A school will rate you based on how you performed against the brief, i.e. did you follow the lesson plan, were you on time and did you complete marking that was set (if specified as part of the booking)? A school can also add candidates to their favourites list so you will be to be contacted first, or add you to their "don’t send back list. We know that not every candidate gets on well at every school, and vice versa.

We are not allowed to contribute to the TPS (Teachers Pension Scheme). As you are paid by SupplyNow rather than the end-user school, we cannot contribute to TPS for teachers as an employer. However, nor will you have employee deductions made for TPS. SupplyNow does offer a pension scheme in line with the Pensions Auto Enrolment legislation.Some supply teachers have told us that if they do not intend to work on supply for very long then they would rather have the money in their pocket rather than contribute 10% of their pay to their pension.

Schools are required to contribute 16.48% of pay as an employer contribution to TPS, another reason they would often use a teacher who is not directly employed.

Teaching Assistants do not have access to TPS but can generally join a Local Authority scheme or the employing Academy's pension scheme.

SupplyNow will offer a pension scheme to all directly engaged candidates in line with the government's Pension Auto Enrolment legislation.

Schools and Academies will set the pay rate they are prepared to offer, guided by the SupplyNow algorithm which will clearly be shown on the booking. To give schools the best chance of finding the best staff our recommended rates will be around 15-20% higher than standard agency pay rates. We also won't expect you to pay our taxes from your pay if you work via an Umbrella Company - your rate will be uplifted to compensate. You may be doing this at the moment and not be aware of this..

Of course, if you qualify under AWR then you will be paid in line with an equivalent permanent employee doing the same job.

Qualified Teachers - Remember though that since September 2013 schools are not obliged to honour previous MPS points reached from previous employment.

Our candidates receive the rate we quote - it will be in writing in the app and will be completely transparent. This all means more in your pocket than through a traditional agency.

First London, then the world! Seriously…. We are starting with Kent and Medway, and South-East London. 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?

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. 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 so the cost is up to you.

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

First London, then the world! Seriously…. We are starting with Greater London, Kent, and Essex. These areas make up over 30% of the total demand for supply staff and James and I live in Essex and Kent respectively. 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

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

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