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Category Archives: General


Five reasons to fall in love with supply teaching

Five reasons to fall in love with supply teaching

Here at Key Stage, we love to hear stories about why our supply teachers love what they do, so here are our top reasons why everyone should fall in love with the best job in town.

  1. The kids are brilliant

Not only are you getting the opportunity to have more experience in the classroom: you get a snapshot view of some amazing young people’s lives. Key Stage supplies teachers for nurseries, colleges, primary, secondary and SEND schools.

  1. Differentiation from day to day

No two days are the same in supply teaching.  Key Stage branches in Blackburn, Chorley and Lancaster send their teachers to all sorts of schools in lots of different areas across the North West, from Accrington to Ulverston, in an array of subject areas. The varieties of placements available mean that every day is different.

  1. Long term opportunities

In supply, teachers could be covering classes for prolonged periods of time, keeping our teachers busy for weeks or months, and with great, long term jobs can come greater, and longer term opportunities (you might even secure yourself a full time role). Key Stage offers both day-to-day and long term placements for their teachers.

  1. The Fun Factor

There are worse ways to spend your days than helping a class of young people in a cover lesson. On the Key Stage website, we provide fun tips for lesson plans and our consultants provide support for NQTs, as well as book and website recommendations. Your placement will be as fun and interesting as you make it, and with the diversity between jobs, supply teaching is sure to keep you on your toes.

  1. You make a difference

What could be better than teaching a class of nine-year-olds how to spell ‘because’, or explaining that the moon isn’t made of cheese to a year seven class? Supply teachers have the capability of making young people into educated and responsible citizens, whether it be through a 60 minute session or two months of lessons.

So what are you waiting for?

For more information on why we think that supply teaching is simply the best, give us a call, or check out our website.



Published Date: 31st August 2017
Category: General, Key Stage Supply, Supply Teaching



The Science of teaching

Due to increasing demands from schools (and a national shortage!), we are always looking for Science teachers to work in our 300+ schools across Lancashire and Cumbria. For both day-to-day supply teaching work and long-term positions, we need Science teachers specialising in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, along with applied specialisms too.

We have branches of Key Stage Teacher Supply in Blackburn, Chorley and Lancaster, with local work available for you to access on your terms – either part-time or full-time, short or long-term. To register for work (or just find out more), call Catherine on 01254 507210.



Published Date: 27th February 2017
Category: General, Key Stage Supply, Supply Teaching



Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

From everyone at Key Stage Teacher Supply, we wish you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Our offices are closed now until Tuesday 3rd January, but you can contact us by phone on all three of our branch numbers:

Blackburn – 01254 507210

Chorley – 01257 240960

Lancaster – 01524 597170

See you in the New Year! (It’s going to be a busy one!)


Published Date: 23rd December 2016
Category: General, Uncategorized



Recruitment… What sector is best for you?


I started my Recruitment career the same way many of us have… I fell into it.

One day fresh off a training course as a lettings agent. Feeling like the wolf of Wall Street, ready to pounce on the next deal, I showed a gentleman round a flat. This dilapidated flat had barely enough room to swing a cat as well as having the most basic kitchen with no oven! It was grotty. However using my fantastic new sales techniques I made this squalid bedsit look like Buckingham Palace!

The man that viewed the flat happened to be the MD of a Recruitment consultancy! Following the viewing he pretty much stalked me with emails, leaving business cards on my desk and of course LinkedIn messages. He told me he had a job for me in Recruitment and about the benefits of becoming a Recruitment Consultant. With minimal understanding of the industry and a bit of research I made the leap…

My first Recruitment role was working for a start-up Recruitment to Recruitment to Recruitment consultancy on a FREEZING cold desk. If you speak with any Recruitment consultant they see R2R’s as the black sheep in Recruitment… They are selling sand in the dessert! My Recruitment to Recruitment career had many rocky moments and also lots of rewards and triumphs. Trying to master the role myself in a tiny start-up company and convince graduates that it is the best career opportunity for them and they must come into Recruitment as well as trying to convince very experienced Consultants to move companies for a better deal was an interesting experience (that I continued for the next two years).

Was this the best Sector for me? At the time… I’m not too sure. I had minimal experience within Recruitment so I was interviewing consultants with much more experience than I did. I was also concentrating on working with Graduates and again not being a graduate myself, I was less able to relate to the candidates I was speaking with… Never the less I still made money, placements and progressed!

Due to the company relocating and my Single parent status chaining me to a certain location, I was thrust back into the Recruitment world myself and finding a new role.

My second Recruitment role… Thinking I was now the Recruitment guru after having two years in my past company. I jumped feet first into opening up a new desk and sector within a local Recruitment consultancy… Not only was it a new sector to them it was also a new sector to me and a duel temp and perm desk… Again completely new to me!

This was a commercial and industrial Recruitment desk… it was scattered Recruitment placing anyone and everyone within a geographical area. This was mass Recruitment for tiny margins. As well as perm placements in between. For my personality this was a great Sector. However with vast changes happening in the company I moved onto an Engineering desk… Account managing!!

Engineering is a technical sector… It is marrying skills on a CV with skills needed on a Job description. This is a sector again I had no relation to. However this is not a sector that needs people with engineering experience or knowledge. If this was 360 Recruitment experience within engineering it may have suited me however as a Recruiter it is all about the BD/sales and Money for me!

Thankfully a local Education Recruitment Business that I had previously been in contact with through my R2R days got in contact and offered me a role. (They had offered previously however time was a key factor in not accepting previously) This company offered a warm desk that needs developing, supplying local Education staff to local Primary Schools.

As a parent of a primary School child myself this is something I can vastly relate to. More so than any other sector that I have worked within. I was very quickly able to build relationships with Schools and Teachers understanding their job roles and their working patterns.

Working in a Sector that I can relate to and I am highly passionate about is like a breath of fresh air! Knowing that my child would not have a Teacher if companies like Key Stage didn’t provide supply staff to Schools is something that hit home! As well as this making sure that Schools have consistency and fluency for children with supply staff is again so important.

Taking all of the experience and skills I have gained in previous Recruitment positions and utilizing all of them in Education Recruitment has resulted in one very happy and high billing consultant!

Holly Austin, Education Consultant


Published Date: 1st November 2016
Category: General



We are 16! Happy birthday Key Stage Teacher Supply!

Today we are celebrating our 16th Birthday! It was sixteen years ago that Key Stage Teacher Supply first opened its doors in Blackburn with Darwen with just two members of staff.

Now, three branches later with a team of seventeen wonderful staff, we are proud to be celebrating today. We would like to say a huge thank-you to all of our candidates and clients who have supported us over the last sixteen years. We couldn’t have done it without you.



Published Date: 31st October 2016
Category: General, Key Stage Supply



Are you still working through an umbrella company? Consider the benefits of working with Key Stage Teacher Supply

With the rule changes implemented by HMRC last year, the tax advantages of being able to offset expenses have largely evaporated.

Many agencies still insist their temporary workers sign up to their preferred umbrella company as, unlike Key Stage, they do not have their own payroll department.

What is often not made clear are the charges of between £20 and £30 per week made by the umbrella, paid out of your wage, a yearly cost to you of up to £1200.

The cost advantage to the agency is obviously considerable, but why should you pay for a service that should be provided by the agency anyway?

At Key Stage we do not charge or take a cut to process your wages and, being in-house, it is easy for you to contact us with any pay query you may have – without having to speak to a third party.

Contact your nearest Key Stage branch to arrange an interview and start saving on unnecessary charges.  Blackburn 01254 507210, Chorley 01257 240960, Lancaster 012524 597170.


Published Date: 13th October 2016
Category: General, News & Events



You’ve got an interview! Now to prepare…

While a lot of the usual advice also applies to teaching interviews – eye contact, concise answers, relaxed open posture, remembering your interviewers name… (the list goes on) – there are particular sets of questions to be prepared for as well.

Click here for a really good, comprehensive list – speaking from personal experience, you will certainly encounter at least some of these questions. It pays to be prepared – why not sketch out rough answers to each question in note form?

This Guardian article goes even further and asks Heads what sorts of answers they are looking in response to 10 key questions.

Now you are feeling clued up and ready, you should take a look at our current list of vacancies here. Or you can always give me a call on 01254 507210 to discuss registration.




Published Date: 2nd September 2016
Category: General, Supply Teaching



Improve your CV to maximise your job prospects!

Here at Key Stage Teacher Supply, we get requests for staff to fill long term positions all year round, and It really helps us out if our candidates have a suitable CV ready for us to send out to schools.

We have a template on our website that is an easy-to-use layout that is really well-presented and popular with our client schools and nurseries. Just click here.

With over 300 schools and nurseries across Lancashire and Cumbria, we place lots of teachers and teaching assistants in long term jobs every year, and having an up-to-date CV that really sells your skills is a vital part of that!


Published Date: 25th August 2016
Category: General



Working with Keys Stage Teacher Supply in Early Years education

Here at Key Stage Teacher Supply, we get many calls all year round from schools and nurseries looking for staff with Foundation Stage qualifications and experience.

From day-to-day bookings to long-term jobs, we experience high levels of demand for nursery nurses, childcare practitioners and Early Years teachers. Whether you hold an NVQ, BTEC, NNEB, Early Years Teacher status (EYTS), Early Years Professional status (EYPS) or QTS, we want to hear from you!

We supply staff to over 300 schools and nurseries across Lancashire and Cumbria, and we are able to tailor your work to your individual needs – whether you want part-time or full-time hours, in schools, private nurseries or children’s centres, we can do it all!

Call Catherine on 01254 507210 to find out more!


Published Date: 1st July 2016
Category: General, Supply Teaching, Teaching Assistants



Making the move from secondary to primary…

Here at Key Stage Teacher Supply, we regularly hear from teachers looking to transition from secondary teaching to primary. While there is no official ‘route’ from one to the other, here are a few important factors to consider:

The primary curriculum

Primary teachers and leaders need a much broader understanding of the curriculum, with no heads of department to rely on. Making the transition from secondary primary means moving away from subject specialism, and this is something to think.


There is much more interaction with parents when you are a primary teacher or leader, simply because more children will be picked up and dropped off for school. This is of course a good thing, and many primary heads are outside every day to greet children and parents as they leave and arrive.

Pupil behaviour

Every bit as much of an issue at primary level as it is at secondary – so don’t expect this to be much easier than what you are used to. Younger children often have the added frustration of not being able to fully articulate why they are angry or upset.


In general, primary schools are much smaller than secondaries, and so you will need to be of an all-rounder if you are aiming for a leadership role as you will have a smaller team around you than in an equivalent secondary role.


Perhaps most importantly – are there any networks that you can tap into/ Are there peers who can mentor you and help point you to research and good practice?

When we receive queries about making the transition, we generally recommend a period of voluntary work in a local primary, just to give you a feel for the environment, and allow you to make to best decision about your next move. That might not always be necessary though – especially if you have transition experience with Year 6/7 students. As ever, if you would like more information or advice, just give us a call on 01254 507210.


Published Date: 31st May 2016
Category: CPD/ Training, General