Frequently Asked Questions

We've listed a variety of our most frequently asked questions. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on this page, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 8863 8630


How do I become a teacher?

You need a degree and qualified teacher status (QTS) to become a teacher in either primary or secondary schools. If you would like to work as a primary teacher, you will train to teach all the national curriculum subjects across the spectrum.  If you choose to teach at secondary level, you may teach one or more of the national curriculum subjects in depth, or one of an increasing number of vocational subjects.

Do I have to pay a joining fee?

No there are no joining fees or placement fee for candidates.

How can I help speed up the registration process?

You can e-mail, post or fax your references details as part of your initial application process or before your face-to-face interview, as referencing can take a while to come back to us.

How long does it take for my CRB to process?

CRBs are usually processed within 4-6 weeks, although this can vary with the time of year. You must ensure that you follow all instructions accurately when completing a CRB as if something is incorrect then they can be sent back and you may incur a further, unnecessary delay.

Who will be my point of contact?

Each candidate who registers with Enlighten Supply Pool is given their own individual consultant. This consultant will be your main point of contact.

Do you offer social gatherings?

Indeed we do, we organise various social events at different times of the year for each one of our candidates to attend.

Working in Education

In order to become a teacher, the first step would be to plan your qualified teacher status (QTS), which enables you to teach across England and Wales in state-maintained schools.

Becoming a Qualified Teacher:

To become an effective teacher, a lot of candidates undertake Initial Teacher Training (ITT). There are many different types of ITT courses however, which are designed specifically to the age group someone is teaching and whether that be within a primary or secondary setting.  All courses cover the principals of teaching along with the practical experience of being in a classroom.

It is possible to complete your ITT alongside a degree, straight after a degree, as a part-time course alongside work or even as a full time course. Circumstances will depend on what option is best for you. You need a degree and qualified teacher status (QTS) to become a teacher in either primary or secondary schools.

If you would like to work as a primary teacher, you will train to teach all the national curriculum subjects across the spectrum.

If you choose to teach at secondary level, you may teach one or more of the national curriculum subjects in depth, or one of an increasing number of vocational subjects.

Becoming a Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistants are those who support teachers with their everyday work within the classroom, so that the teacher can concentrate on teaching. Teaching assistants are often referred to as classroom assistants or learning support assistants.

The duties of a teaching assistant include:

  • Helping teachers to plan activities
  • Helping children who need extra support to complete tasks
  • Helping teachers to plan activities for the children
  • Supervising group activities within the classroom
  • Preparing the classroom for lessons
Qualifications and Experience:

It is up to local education authorities and individual schools to decide what qualifications or experience they expect you to have when you apply for a teaching assistant job. You can get an idea of what you are likely to need by looking at jobs advertised locally or checking with your local education authority.

Nursery nursing, childcare, playwork or youth work qualifications could be useful, but are not essential - if you have enough experience of working with children, you may be able to start work without qualifications and complete teaching assistant qualifications on the job.

Become a Cover Supervior:

What is a Cover Supervisor?

The job title of 'Cover Supervisor' is very new in UK schools and it has come about as a result of the governments 'Remodelling of the School Workforce' agenda 'Cover Supervisor', is the job title given to non teaching staff who have been chosen by the headteacher of a school to look after a whole class of children. However, it is also possible for other non teaching staff, such as Higher Level Teaching Assistants to look after whole classes too.

Cover supervisors are usually deemed suitable if they have the necessary training and skills to fulfil the task of whole class supervision. The headteacher of the school will normally be the person who decides if, in their professional judgement that an individual is suitable to be a cover supervisor.

As the role of the 'cover supervisor' is relatively new, there are still some elements of uncertainty as to how they are best deployed in schools. Current guidance seems to indicate that cover supervisors should only cover classes for 'short term absences' (eg 3 days), however this can change depending upon the specific circumstances. More guidance is given via the 'Documents' available for downloading on this site.
Typically, a cover supervisor will work during school hours and in addition to supervising the class, they will also oversee the completion of set work and manage the behaviour of pupils.

What is the work like?

Working as a cover supervisor can be extremely rewarding but also very demanding. There is a high level of responsibility and although there is always a teacher close at hand if needed, there is a large amount of autonomy.

A cover supervisor is likely to be used for short-term absences of a teacher. These might be known in advance (for example, where a teacher has a medical appointment or is undergoing professional development) or unexpected (for example, absence due to illness.

On a daily basis, cover supervision is more than likely to include:

  • supervising work that has been set in accordance with the school policy
  • managing the behaviour of pupils whilst they are undertaking this work to ensure a constructive environment;
  • responding to any questions from pupils about process and procedures;
  • dealing with any immediate problems or emergencies according to the school's policies and procedures;
  • collecting any completed work after the lesson and returning it to the appropriate teacher
  • reporting back as appropriate using the school's agreed referral procedures on the behaviour of pupils during the class, and any issues arising.

However, schools may wish to employ staff for cover supervision but on occasions where they are not needed for cover, they might also be released to provide additional support to teachers in classrooms, or to carry out administrative tasks for example. Thus it is easy to see how the role of cover supervisor and teaching assistant can become interchangeable.

The working day is usually during school hours and often, term time only. Salaries are set locally by schools, usually with guidance from local education authorities

What qualifications are you looking for to teach?

Ideally Qualified Teacher Status (Q.T.S), F.E degree standard may be accepted in national curriculum subjects, as well as some overseas teaching qualifications, taken on an individual basis.

I want to return to teaching after a break, what do I do?

5 years or longer you must do a return to teaching course with the local authority or university; if none are available work in local schools to update your knowledge with current initiatives and class management etc albeit probably voluntary. This will also give you a reference which is needed.  

Less than 5 years you will need to provide 2 professional references, 1 being your last Head and quantify your break; be confident with current initiatives and class management.

Which areas do you cover?

We work throughout the whole of London and Home Counties

Which sectors do you have work in?

Primary, Secondary, Nursery, SEN and College/Universities

Do I have to do my own CRB check?

No, we are a registered body with the CRB and all CRBs have to be done through a registered body.