Job description and role of a cover supervisor

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Job description and role of a cover supervisor
A cover supervisor will supervice students in a teacher's absence. (WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Cover supervisors are used in schools to provide cover for a class when a teacher is not available. They are employed by schools on a regular basis to ensure that a teacher can have time away from the classroom to carry out other duties such as planning and assessment. They may also cover lessons for teachers who are away from school due to sickness, on courses or for other absences. Using cover supervisors in this way means that other teachers in the school do not have to give up their own teaching or planning time in order to supervise an absent colleague’s class.

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Main role

A cover supervisor is not responsible for planning or assessing a lesson. The class teacher will set work for students to complete and the cover supervisor will ensure that pupils remain on task. Although it is not necessary for cover supervisors to have specific subject knowledge they should be able to manage behaviour and discuss the student’s work with them, offering support and advice.

Other duties

A cover supervisor is the responsible adult in the classroom and is, therefore, responsible for dealing with any emergencies or problems that might occur. It is important that a cover supervisor is fully aware of the schools procedures and policies in order to undertake this responsibility. A cover supervisor will also be responsible for collecting completed work from pupils at the end of a lesson and ensuring that it is given to the teacher and will also feedback any information from the lesson to the teacher regarding behaviour and any other important issues.

Skills, experience and qualifications

The qualifications needed to become a cover supervisor vary from school to school. While technically there are no formal qualifications necessary, some cover supervisors have qualified teacher status. Others have a degree. It is beneficial to have previous experience of working with children or working in a school, perhaps as a classroom assistant. A cover supervisor needs to be able to deal with behaviour issues, will need good communication skills and confidence. It is important to be well organised and flexible as there will not always be a regular timetable.

Salary and hours

The Times Educational Supplement states that pay is generally around £12,000 to £16,000 per annum, however, holidays may not be paid. Hours will also very depending on what a particular school needs. If you are working full time, the hours worked should not generally exceed 35 per week.

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