How can a Cover Supervisor become a teacher?


Cover supervisors have a pivotal role to play in classrooms across the UK, and for those looking to further their careers in education, it can provide several routes into teaching.

Although the role involves supervision and no active teaching – a cover supervisor must simply watch over pupils and administer pre-set work – it can provide useful experience of the classroom environment.

Other elements of the role, such as understanding school policies and managing pupil behaviour, are also important in a teaching job and are, therefore, suitable skills that can provide a platform for the future.

Not only do you gain valuable insight into what life in a school is like, but you’ll also get first-hand experience of the responsibilities and challenges faced by teachers daily.

Several potential routes into teaching

A cover supervisor role can act as a route into teaching as a stepping stone towards becoming a qualified teacher, and it can be possible to gain qualified teacher status via a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) programme or an equivalent.

These programmes are often delivered by groups of schools in partnership with universities, and you should be able to gain a post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE), as well as Qualified Teacher Status.

In some instances, schools may offer these opportunities to individuals in supply roles – such as cover supervisors and teaching assistants – if they feel they are suited to making the transition into teaching.

Another option is the assessment-only route, although this is predominantly for very experienced staff who have spent a lot of time in the classroom previously, but who may not have qualified teacher status.

This route requires an individual to be job-ready, and assessors will look at a trainee’s portfolio and observe lessons as part of the process, which takes around 12 weeks.

If you’ve worked as an unqualified teacher previously, have a degree and can demonstrate substantial classroom experience, this option may be available from a cover supervisor role.

While full-time teaching represents a huge step up in terms of qualifications and experience, a cover supervisor role can provide the basis for a successful career in education.

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