As a supply teacher working in England, you do not have to belong to a teaching union or association. However, we highly recommend that you are a member of one. A teaching union or association can be like an invisible safety net. They offer support, information and guidance. They also can provide legal assistance. If you do not have membership, then please look into Professional Indemnity Insurance and make sure you have legal expense cover.
Some teachers unions and teaching associations have variable membership fees depending on how much you are expecting to work as a supply teacher and on part-time contracts. For example, the NUT for one, has one price for supply teachers (paid daily/hourly) and a pricing structure based on you working up to 30% of a week, 30% to 60%, or 60%+. I used to update my details once a term as contracts began and ended to make sure I wasn't paying too much or too little.
Please find below links to the main Teaching Unions in the UK:
Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)
http://www.atl.org.uk *News soon on the merger with the NUT
- National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers http://www.nasuwt.org.uk
- Voice – The Union for Education Professionals (formerly PAT) http://www.voicetheunion.org.uk
Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
University and College Union (UCU)
Scottish Primary Teachers Association (SPTA)