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Lunchtime Supervisor Jobs: Part-time Family-Friendly Work

Updated on December 20, 2011
Lunchtime supervisors work in the dining hall and the playground.
Lunchtime supervisors work in the dining hall and the playground. | Source
Lunchtime supervisors work in the dining hall and the playground.
Lunchtime supervisors work in the dining hall and the playground. | Source
Lunchtime supervisors work in the dining hall and the playground.
Lunchtime supervisors work in the dining hall and the playground. | Source

If you have school-age kids and you want a job that fits around school drop-off and pick-up times, then this might be an ideal option for you!

Of course you don't need to have kids to work in a school; the most important thing is that you enjoy working with children.

It's also important that you're a responsible, caring person with lots of common sense, who works well in a team.

You need to be reasonably fit and healthy as there is a lot of standing and walking about involved, (sometimes in adverse weather conditions), and in some schools you might be required to move tables and chairs around.

Plus a good sense of humour always helps!

The Mealtime Supervisor Role

As a mealtime supervisor you would work in a school or other educational setting at lunchtime. You would normally expect to work for around 1.5 hours each day (or 7.5 hours per week), and your main job would be to help look after the children during lunchtime.

For part of the time you will probably be working in the dining hall. You will help children to cut up their food, encourage them to eat their meals, and help to keep order. You will probably also be expected to assist in keeping the tables and dining area clean, and help to set up or clear up the dining area. The exact nature of the job can vary depending on the school and the age-group involved.

The other part of your job will be outside in the playground. This is great for anyone who doesn't like being cooped up inside all day! But of course it's wise to consider that you're likely to be outside in all sorts of temperatures. While this might be very tempting in the summer months, some people find that standing around in freezing conditions just isn't for them!

When you're outside you can expect to be patrolling the area to check that the children are playing nicely. In practice you will spend a fair amount of time sorting out disagreements and sending injured children to the medical officer, (or patching them up yourself if you are in a school without a medical officer!) You might also be asked to organise activities for the children to do, or join in playground games.

On wet days or in dangerous weather conditions, children might have to stay inside during lunchtime. Then you will get to help supervise them in the classroom, and help with some activities to keep them busy. This can often be challenging, as you will have a load of very energetic children in one room - the energy that they would usually use up running around the playground has to be harnessed and used in different ways!

Why should you do this job?

This is a great job for somebody who wants to work in a school environment. It is a good introduction to working with children, and works well either as a convenient long-term position or as a "foot in the door" for other jobs within the school. You will probably find many members of staff at the school who started off doing this kind of work.

Through doing lunchtime supervision, you are bound to acquire many important transferable skills and experiences that will stand you in good stead for other jobs in schools or childcare roles.

And being a lunchtime supervisor is often a job that you can do if you have children at the school, so long as your child is comfortable with you being there, and you are able to treat them the same as the other children.

Lots of people find it very rewarding to work with children. It is incredibly satisfying when you are able to teach a child something new, and they really come out with the funniest things, and the freshest, most innovative ideas.


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    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 5 years ago from London

      Thanks for the comment Daisydayz. I'm glad that your mum is enjoying this, it really is fulfilling work. And you're right, it's a really good, gentle way of getting back out there. Glad she's made some friends too. :)

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      My mum has actually started doing this recently for our local community. Breakfast and lunch times. She really enjoys it, even though me and my sister are well past school age, its helped her get back out after a bout of ill health and get a great group of new friends. thanks for the hub

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 6 years ago from London

      What a nice comment! I'm glad you appreciate mealtime supervisors and recognise what they do. It is hard work, but it can be very rewarding too. And you're right, even though 7.5 hours doesn't sound too much, you do get to cram a lot into those hours!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 6 years ago from North-East UK

      I work in a school and I think SAs have the hardest job in school! 7.5 hours of blummin' hard graft every week and very little reward for it financially or otherwise. They're a wonderful, underrated bunch of girls and every day I remember to tell them how great they are!