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13 supply teachers since September - how?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Ultrafin, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. I covered in a school yesterday where a CS told me that I was the 13th supply teacher to cover this particular teacher since September. I didn't ask why she was off work, it seemed inappropriate, but how could this happen?

    I was booked to cover Mon, Wed and Fri, all my available days this week, but my consultant has just called and told me the booking was cancelled. I think he was lying. The reason being that, there are several offices for my agency, and the original booking was for a different office to my local one, and the school over an hour away, so I was being paid accordingly. My own consultant has now booked me into one of his regular schools. I suspect that he has done some kind of deal with the other office, because there seemed to be no prospect of the original booking being cancelled when I was in the school, in order to get me working at a school in his patch.

    This whole situation has left me feeling very cynical about supply teaching and supply agencies in particular. I had already planned work for the original school - which won't be wasted, I'm sure I'll use it one day - but it's the pupils I really feel for. One of the classes I covered for, a year 10 class, had no exercise books, no folders, no record of the work that they had done since September, and the HoD told me that even though the class was able, they would not be entered for the full GCSE as they hadn't done the work. Who's fault is that?

    It seemed a whole timetable of pupils had been given up on.

    And now I feel I have also let the pupils down because my local consultant has switched me to his local patch.

    Am I being naive? Am I reading the situation wrong? Or are the pupils really being let down as badly as I think they are by everybody?
     
  2. I covered in a school yesterday where a CS told me that I was the 13th supply teacher to cover this particular teacher since September. I didn't ask why she was off work, it seemed inappropriate, but how could this happen?

    I was booked to cover Mon, Wed and Fri, all my available days this week, but my consultant has just called and told me the booking was cancelled. I think he was lying. The reason being that, there are several offices for my agency, and the original booking was for a different office to my local one, and the school over an hour away, so I was being paid accordingly. My own consultant has now booked me into one of his regular schools. I suspect that he has done some kind of deal with the other office, because there seemed to be no prospect of the original booking being cancelled when I was in the school, in order to get me working at a school in his patch.

    This whole situation has left me feeling very cynical about supply teaching and supply agencies in particular. I had already planned work for the original school - which won't be wasted, I'm sure I'll use it one day - but it's the pupils I really feel for. One of the classes I covered for, a year 10 class, had no exercise books, no folders, no record of the work that they had done since September, and the HoD told me that even though the class was able, they would not be entered for the full GCSE as they hadn't done the work. Who's fault is that?

    It seemed a whole timetable of pupils had been given up on.

    And now I feel I have also let the pupils down because my local consultant has switched me to his local patch.

    Am I being naive? Am I reading the situation wrong? Or are the pupils really being let down as badly as I think they are by everybody?
     
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    No need for you to feel guilty, it wasn't your choice not to go.
    I don't think you are being naive it does sound like these students are getting a rough deal. Part of the blame for this (and similar situations) must go to AWR. I hope some parents start to complain.
     
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

     
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    How did you come to that conclusion?
    The OP seems to have been booked elsewhere, not because of meeting or exceeding the 12 week AWR qualifying period but because their loacl agency office wants to be able to get the 'cut' for their registered teacher instead of their linked office that deals with the school in question getting the payment.
    the only person who seems to be concerned about continuity ofr the pupils is the OP. the school probably are too and they will no doubt have been told by the agency that the OP has pulled out and taken work elsewhere! I'd be contacting the other agency office (that placed the OP in the school) and asking why the booking was cancelled.
     
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Beware of supply jobs referred by one branch of an agency to another - they can often be nightmare schools that no-one in the local area will work in. Think about how little supply work there is - an agency should have no problem filling a post in its local area unless something is very wrong with the school.
     
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    True for pre-booked work but I sometimes get late calls from the other branch of my LA agency. They ring me because I am willing to travel, or live nearer than others on their books who can't possibly get to the school in time. I sometimes get work at the school that is 5 minutes walk from my home but whose LA supply is managed by an office 30 miles away. My office, 10 miles form the school and me, manages schools up to 40 miles in the other direction as well as schools in their town!
     
  8. Didn't seem like the school were at all concerned about the pupils. That's why I was so shocked.

    Think I am very lucky too, here in South Wales I have only had 3 days with no supply work since January. That's what made me wonder, why can't they fill the post long term? The school is in a fairly isolated region of south Wales, but for the right pay, surely someone would do it long term?

    I take your point about there's something wrong with the school if they can't fill a position. Certainly it was a pretty tough day, as the classes were totally unmotivated and a bit out there. I would definitely think twice about taking it on long term, am only available 3 days a week.
     
  9. I used to pick up a fair few last minute jobs from the next branch down of my agency - being on a motorway corridor I could be there relatively quickly anyway if they were low on available bods on their own lists that morning - and the schools I got sent to were often really nice ones! Can work out if you live on the boundary lines of agencies and counties.
    In the case of the 13 teachers - could it be a particularly picky/snooty/unreasonable school as well? I went in one school where I think I was supply number 5 that week - because the school were SO anti-supply and interpreted any call for backing as failure, rather than as a step on the road to getting a stable footing and some consistency for the class - they'd just rattled down the list of anyone with a pulse at the agency chucking them all away after a day... the management of that school's since changed, and I've been back a lot for long-term bookings - but the whole ethos of the school's changed (the long term staff go white and start physically shaking recounting how the whole old-head regime was - she picked holes and shredded not only an endless line of supplies... so the kids knew they could do what the hell they liked as you'd never be back again in the morning... but her own staff pretty badly too).
     
  10. PurpleSapphire

    PurpleSapphire New commenter

    I am about teacher number 11 (or 13, can't remember) since September too. The kids feel let down, saying everyone keeps leaving. I've got a long term contract until the Summer (hopefully, if they don't get rid of me after 12 weeks) but the kids (in one group) still aren't happy that I'll be leaving and they'll have someone new in September. I told them I have a 30 mile journey each way so I need something closer to home.
     
  11. I am secondary trained but sometimes go to primary schools
    one afternoon I was in a class that had had a different teacher in once a week for weeks.
    Its very disheartening to see this in schools
     
  12. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    You're right maybe I was a bit too quick to falsely blame the dreaded AWR in this particular case.
    However I do feel that AWR will be at fault in other cases if long term supply teachers are replaced every 12 weeks or so to keep costs down. To cover a maternity leave, of say, 9 months the classes involved could have anywhere from four different teachers upwards. This cannot be good for the students.
     

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