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22nd January 19
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Supply teaching as an NQT

Can supply teaching count towards induction?


A post lasting less than a calendar term in a school cannot be considered as part of the induction period and no assessment form should be completed for it.  Such work is limited by law.

If a newly qualified teacher takes up a supply teaching placement for a term or longer, this forms part of the induction period and they have the same obligations and entitlements as any other NQT. The post must involve regular teaching of the same classes and the headteacher must agree at the start of the period to take responsibility for the NQT's induction programme. 

If agreed in advance, a part time post lasting for one full term can be considered as inductable and an interim assessment form should be completed for it, to be taken to another school.  For example, a 0.5 post from 7th January 2012 to 27th March 2012 would be considered inductable and the days worked could be added to another 0.5 post that lasted a term, to make a full term towards induction).

Any Lancashire school that starts induction with an NQT must register them in advance with Lancashire County Council, using the Eform on the Schools Portal.  To register a teacher contracted through a supply agency, please complete the form as normal but enter random letters into the Pay Reference Number box.

Can induction be backdated?


If an NQT begins an induction programme in a school where they have previously taught on a short-term supply basis, the induction period cannot be 'backdated'. It will begin from when the NQT and the school decide to start an induction programme. The start of the induction period does not have to coincide with the start of the term - but it must be a full term - e.g. if the induction starts two weeks into the term, it must continue until two weeks into the next term.

What about cover work?


Cover supervisors (even those holding QTS) who are not employed as teachers cannot count their time spent towards induction.

The nature of a cover teacher's responsibilities make it unlikely that the post would comply with the requirements for induction.

How long does induction take?


The induction programme must last for as many days as there are in the full year of the first school you start induction . If you are undertaking your induction in an FE College you must do induction for 189 days.

If you are part-time, this is calculated pro rata so that you cover the same number of school sessions as a full time NQT.  For example, with a 0.5 (50%) contract the induction period will last for six school terms.

You can complete Induction in more than one school at the same time, if you have a contract with each of the schools for at least one term.  One Headteacher will take responsibility for your induction and receive feedback from the other Headteacher about progress.
You can take a break in induction.  During any break, you may do short-term (less than a term) supply teaching; but this would be subject to the five year rule.

If you leave a school before completing induction, take copies of your assessment forms to provide to any future school, to be used to plan the rest of your induction.  If you don't take a new appointment, your records should be retained by the school and the Local Authority for six years. 

Limit on short term supply work


From September 2012, NQT's can work as a casual supply teacher in a non-inductable post for up to five years after they gain Qualified Teacher Status while they are looking for inductable posts that last for a term or more. These are measured as 5 consecutive years from the date of QTS, not as an accumulation of days worked.

After five years, the next teaching post in a 'relevant school' must be one where induction can be undertaken. NQT's in this position cannot undertake supply work in a maintained or non-maintained special school unless it is a placement of at least one term, and counts towards the induction period (or they are concurrently undertaking induction elsewhere).

There is no provision for this five years to be extended under any circumstances.  However, it is important to note that NQTs do not lose Qualified Teacher Status at the end of this period. They may undertake inductable work in a 'relevant school' (and may also undertake short term supply if it is concurrent with inductable work).  They may also undertake short term supply in independent schools, Academies and Free Schools, where induction is not compulsory.

Click on the title above to download the essential information for NQTs working in Lancashire, which summarises the guidance on your rights and responsibilities as an NQT, where you can and cannot undertake induction, the duration of short term supply and guidance on working as a supply teacher in Lancashire.

Statutory Guidance


For more information on rules governing supply teaching and induction, please see the Statutory Guidance.

Lancashire Teaching Agency and other supply agencies in Lancashire


Lancashire Teaching Agency is a partnership between Lancashire County Council and Reed Education.  It deploys supply teachers throughout Lancashire and offers training courses to those on its registers.  Check out the LTA website for more information.

Other supply agencies operating in Lancashire include:

Please note that:

  • Inclusion on this website does not imply recommendation
  • All NQTs are bound by the five year supply rule and you should read and understand the limitations created by this rule.
  • Supply agencies do not have a legal responsibility to find NQTs inductable work - this is the responsibility of each NQT.