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Lunchtime supervisor

Lunchtime supervisors, sometimes called mid-day supervisors or lunchtime assistants, look after the welfare of school pupils during lunchtimes.

What's involved

Lunchtime supervisors have a range of duties and responsibilities, varying according to the type of school, which typically include:

  • effective supervising pupils in the dining hall and other parts of the school
  • helping pupils with a variety of tasks, such as cutting up their food and changing clothes
  • cleaning up spillages and sickness
  • helping to clear away food and stack tables and chairs after pupils have left the dining hall
  • ensuring pupils keep out of areas that are out of bounds, and don't leave the school premises
  • dealing with misbehaviour and reporting any problems they are unable to resolve to the duty teacher or head teacher
  • tending to pupils who are sick or injured, ensuring they receive appropriate medical attention, and reporting any serious accidents
  • being aware of responsibilities under child protection legislation, and reporting concerns to a senior supervisor or the head teacher
  • assisting with play activities if required.

Skills and experience you'll need

To work as a lunchtime supervisor, the following skills would be helpful:

  • enjoyment of working with children and the ability to control and supervise them
  • patience
  • the ability to stay calm
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team

Entry requirements

It could be an advantage if you have basic first aid skills and experience of working with children. You would need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau), along with patience and the ability to stay calm.

Training and development

Once you start work, you will receive training on the job from experienced staff. You might also attend a first aid course.

Your school may give you the opportunity to work toward a qualification in support work, such as:

  • Level 2 Award in Support Work in Schools
  • Level 2 Certificate in Supporting the Wider Curriculum in Schools.

These include units on:

  • child development
  • safeguarding children
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • supporting children at break and mealtimes
  • Supporting out-of-hours activities

You can read more about these qualifications here. If you need more help speak to the person responsible for your career development or your Union Learning Representative.

Useful links

Have a look at the midday supervision role profiles under the pupil support and welfare job family to find out more about the different levels you could work at.

Find out more about working as a lunchtime supervisor on the National Careers Service website.

For more information in Scotland, contact Skills Development Scotland

In Northern Ireland contact Careers Service Northern Ireland  

In Wales / Cymru contact Careers Wales