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Supply Work What a Pain!!!

(56 Posts)
eliza Wed 22-Jan-14 14:51:28

Have you experienced this with Supply agencies...

This morning I got a call from one agent that I have registered with, telling me that she had one days supply work that will lead to ongoing if they liked me.

I gave up another job that I was due to go to, as I have been looking for the chance of a permanent job for over three months and I thought this was my chance.

Anyway I got speaking to the in charge person at the school and she explained that there were no on going jobs available at the school!!

This is not all, the agency also told me that I was the only candidate that they were sending over to the school, that also turned out to be a fabrication, as I also got talking to a girl at the school that was sent by the agent that sent me!

I despair, totally I do sad

Has anyone experienced anything of the sort?

Would really love to hear your stories and to find out if it is just me.

Bez Wed 22-Jan-14 15:20:03

Does the L A not run some supply teaching ? In my experience agencies pay so much less than the true rate especially if you are well up the scale. When I was doing some supply after I had retired from full time teaching I found that the pay I had from and agency was half that of when I was employed directly by the County. It did not matter to me that you could not pay superannuation as I had stopped anyway but unless they have changed I think they are a curse to young teachers. Of course schools quite like them because they are paying less out of their budgets but an experienced teacher is paid the same as a newly qualified one. Good luck with finding a post in a place you like.

Aka Wed 22-Jan-14 15:42:57

I think most LAs contracted out of supply after the last round of cuts.

eliza Wed 22-Jan-14 15:44:41

Trying to get a job through LA's is sooo difficult, generally there are lots of people after the same job.

Grannyknot Wed 22-Jan-14 16:14:30

All I know about supply teaching is that I had a young Canadian newly qualified teacher staying in my spare room for a few months and I used to feel so sorry for her, the agency really sent her from pillar to post, often called her at very short notice, plus she was new to London and would have to find her way to whatever school she was meant to go to sometimes with an hour's notice (impossible!). She'd get there and there would be no handover, sometimes there had been a succession of supply teachers, and she didn't last, she went back to Canada and retrained as a pastry chef (the reason she came over here in the first place as there are no jobs for teachers in Canada).

I remember how surprised she was the first time she walked in to a classroom and found that there were "two other women in the class already" (teaching assistants) - she had not come across that system.

Ariadne Wed 22-Jan-14 17:14:37

I used to be the one to call in supply teachers; we had several "regulars" who we were delighted to see, and others where a deep sigh could be heard in whichever department needed them. But once we began to employ "classroom supervisors" on a yearly contract, we hardly ever needed supply staff.

It was open odd situation, because the CTs were unqualified, and generally just sat with a class and supervised the work set by the department. Whereas some supply teachers would actually teach, but not all. It was all very unsatisfactory; however, in the long run, supply teachers were too expensive. Money again - never mind the education of the students!

Humbertbear Wed 22-Jan-14 17:31:39

It is sometimes possible to register directly with schools so by- passing agencies.
Why not put your experience to good use by tutoring from home instead?

eliza Wed 22-Jan-14 18:03:08

mmmm good thinking batman AKA Humbertbear!!!Thank you

storynanny Wed 22-Jan-14 18:24:54

I only work directly with local schools, I refuse to work for half the amount which is what agencies offer. I have built up some regular schools by writing directly to them.
However, there seems to be change afoot. Everytime a new head arrives it is all change, including only wanting agency supplies. Not sure why as I know the children, staff, routines etc and it doesn't actually cost the school much more to employ me as they have to pay the agency far more than the teacher receives.
I need a new career, any ideas? I have only ever been an infant teacher, clocked up 35 years now, not sure what else I could do.

eliza Wed 22-Jan-14 18:54:02

Hi storynanny I have a few ideas

You could write--choose a subject that you are passionate about

You could go to some auditions--go on STAGE they have regular auditions

You could Teach from home--Private Tutor

You could work for a Museum--Just go on MUSEUM JOBS

You could open up your own Nursery--The local Authority will have a list of buildings you can hire for this purpose.

Good luck smile

merlotgran Wed 22-Jan-14 19:01:52

Do you like gardening, storynanny? When I studied garden design there were three ex teachers on the course looking for a change of career. One of them designed an award winning garden at the East of England show.

Penstemmon Wed 22-Jan-14 19:02:22

I tried to just employ supply teachers we knew and tried to avoid agencies. We did this for all known absences but often if a teacher was ill w hav=d to call an agency. I resented paying the cost to the agency rather than the teacher. Also we would ask for th supply teachers that had done a good job and ask not to have others who didn't!
My DD is just going back to teaching after having her children and is using a mix of direct school contact and agencies. Eliza are you in a big town or a more rural area? I would send your CV to key schools and say you are looking for a regular commitment. it might work!

eliza Wed 22-Jan-14 19:53:56

thank you penns just doing that as we speak--have been trying for three months to get a regular job--will keep trying til I get the job I want. Yes I am in London

I asked a few local schools if they needed volunteers as I believe that this could be a way into a good school--but was told that they have a waiting list of volunteers!!!

Soutra Wed 22-Jan-14 20:09:31

Most of the schools I know (secondary) have dispensed with supply teachers except for longer term cover which involves planning and marking, and use Cover Supervisors instead. Supply staff are very expensive for more than the odd day and it was (fairly in my opinion) perceived as unfair on permanent staff to have to set and mark work often for weeks on end when their supply teacher could "swan off" 5 minutes after the bell and not be seen again until 5 minutes before the bell the next day! With Cover Supervisors work has to be set (usually death by worksheet) and the hope is that this is only a temporary measure, but some staff are also naughty in that they will not always admit that their absence could be for more than a couple of days and so the students have to put up with unqualified non-specialist teaching until the point where a supply teacher is sought. It is not being a martyr to say that you will be off for a week or whatever as it enables the people in charge of cover to set something in place. Good well-qualified supply teachers are very hard to find particularly in Maths, Languages and Science.

Dragonfly1 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:56:39

It's not just in secondary schools that supply staff have largely been replaced with cover supervisors or teaching assistants. The infant school where I taught used TAs for short term cover, with senior management covering when they had no other commitment; longer term absences were covered by supply staff but only if the head knew it was likely to be half a term or longer. Lots of primary schools in our LA work in the same way.

storynanny Thu 23-Jan-14 12:18:31

Thanks Eliza, I have an idea for a novel based on one of my close friends life, but still need an income at the moment!
I like the idea of being on the stage, I have done amateur dramatics and singing in the past.
I could be a tour guide of some sort as I can talk the talk being a teacher!
I have got used to a very lazy life over the last 2 years of just doing the odd bit of supply and we have enjoyed the freedom of short breaks in term time. Something I never did as I have been either a pupil or teacher all my life!
Still, I have 10 years of working life before I can have a state pension so need to up my game a bit.

gettingonabit Thu 23-Jan-14 13:20:25

OpI feel your pain!

I went back to supply for a bit a couple of years ago. What a farce! All the agencies I applied to bit my hand off for my CV, never to be heard from again. They were only interested in meeting their targets, not getting you work.

I got some work, but inevitably it was not for the full day, or cover supervisor work, which pays less. I also had the story of a permanent job going begging, to find out there was no such thing. It was a ruse to get me to an unpopular school.

The most annoying thing was the crb check, though. I had to pay for it (40quid a pop) and renew it every six months just to prove myself "fit" to be around children.

I no longer do supply work, even though, as a teacher of an "in demand" subject I should be inundated. I just can't be bothered. It's so soul-destroying.

Ironically, when I was a newly-qualified teacher barely out of nappies I had work offers coming out of my ears, and long-term stuff too.

trendygran Thu 23-Jan-14 20:21:48

Did Supply teaching many years ago after all we part time teachers lost our jobs due to 'cuts' . I did not enjoy it at all ,due to the uncertainty of when and where work became available. It also meant that it wasn't possible to plan any other 'life' just incase the phone rang about work. I was very relieved when I found a full time job again , working with Autistic Children. A new challenge, but one I don't regret.

durhamjen Fri 24-Jan-14 01:51:03

My son's partner has a degree in psychology and an MA in IT skills. She then worked as a teaching assistant for a year and thought she could do the teacher's job, so she did a PGCE and then did part time for a year as an NQT. She realised how many hours teachers put in on top of the hours they work, so resigned. It has taken her until now to get a job as a teaching assistant again. She had 11 interviews and was told she was a very good second in all of them.
If I still had to work, I would apply to be a teaching assistant instead of a teacher. Depending on the school, you can have all the fun in the classroom without all the preparation and marking and meetings, etc.
On the other hand, I do think some schools just use it as a way to get cheap teachers. At one secondary school where she was interviewed,there were eight people being interviewed each by two different panels. If they got through the interview they then had to teach. She did not get asked to teach, and when she asked why not, she was told it was because she did not have any experience in a secondary school. She said she had told them that in the application, and was told it was because she had been a teacher, and they wanted to know why she had given up. She had spent a whole weekend preparing a one-off lesson to teach just in case. That's why she had given up the idea of being a teacher at the moment.

eliza Fri 24-Jan-14 15:14:01

Hi everyone--at the moment I am doing supply work, which is a crazy world to be in and I am looking for a bit of advise on supply and how to manage it.

I have not long had my Degree and so am quite new to actually working in schools.

What usually happens is a couple of agencies call me in the morning for work but my problem is I am quite bad at making decisions and usually need a long time to analise everything before I can make a decision that I am confident with--obviously with supply you have less than 5 minutes to decide. The reason that the decision is difficult is that I am looking for a perm position and I need to weigh up in a short space of time which one of those jobs could be a poss perm--the trouble with this is that recruitment supply agencies LIE I was sent on a job this week with a promise that the school were looking for full time but after speaking to someone there it simply was not the case.

Was wondering if anyone else ever in this situation and how do you deal with it--would really appreciate your in put thank you so much smile

Ariadne Fri 24-Jan-14 15:36:54

What is your specialist subject, Eliza?

eliza Fri 24-Jan-14 15:47:24

Hi Adriadne Well my Degree is in English Lit. It was truly a joy and loved every minute of it. Our tutor was from USA!!

eliza Fri 24-Jan-14 15:48:35

Adriadne do you have supply experience?

Ariadne Fri 24-Jan-14 18:37:36

Yes. I was Director of Staff, and of Training and Development, at a big comprehensive school, and a DfES assessor for QTS. So I had to employ supply teachers, though, as I have said, we needed fewer and fewer supplies as we had cover supervisors permanently employed. We were therefore able to pick and choose on the rare occasions we needed help. Do you have a teaching qualification? I am assuming that you do!

My first degree is in English, and I can appreciate your obvious pleasure in the subject.

eliza Fri 24-Jan-14 18:56:56

No not QTS as yet just my degree which is why I can only apply for Teaching Assistant work but I am classed as Teaching Supply.

Its just a matter of sitting in a class were the teacher has not come into work for what ever reason.sorry I am sure you would know that.

Yes love english, always have done, was always top of the class in English

Would it be ok to ask if there is anything in particular you looked for when interviewing staff.

I do get a bit nervous on interviews and all my tactics go out the window.