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A word of warning to all supply teachers

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by skye78, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. skye78

    skye78 New commenter

    Hi everyone.

    After a few weeks away to gather my thoughts and find a way out of supply teaching, I've finally managed it. Huge breakdown caused by agencies as usual being money grabbing (insert offensive word here).

    I wanted to warn any supply teachers of the latest unbelievable trick they seem to be playing.

    I was asked to go to a difficult school during my final week of supply. Nobody will go there but I needed the cash.

    This school starts extra early and finishes at 2pm. They still have 5 hours of lessons per day however.

    Imagine my delight when I saw the agency had docked £30 from my daily rate. I questioned this and was told the following:

    "Well you left at 2pm which is earlier than most schools so it wasn't a full day."

    I informed them I still taught 5 hours, covered a duty and a registration. They wouldn't budge. So I called the Academy personally and asked if they'd been charged the usual rate by my agency. They had. So the agency pocketed the extra £30.

    I called my agency instantly and told them I would never work for them again, have spread the word to friends who work for them and apparently a mini exodus of supply teachers has decided to join me in leaving them.

    Agencies hey. Will they ever rise up from the lows they stoop to.

    So be aware of this everyone. It's disgusting behaviour. I am finally out of supply for good and will never go back, but I wanted to make you aware of what some agencies are now doing.

    Thank you for reading this.
  2. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

  3. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    The school will struggle to get staff to return if the agency plays it like this. Why work 8-2 when you get paid more for working 9-3 at the school down the road.
    BetterNow, les25paul, pepper5 and 3 others like this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    The recruitment federation that the agency is part of would want to know about their "shady" practices. What comes to mind is "Thou shalt not steal".

    You need to report it.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  5. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    I would report the agency to the recruitment federation as well. I would tell the agency to impersonate a turkey at Christmas and get stuf*ed. That sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and by telling asking the school, I suspect the school may think twice about using the agency in the future as well, as it looks bad on the school, in that supply teachers may get the impression that it is the school who did the dirty on the supply teachers.
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    small claims court. You don't need to actually go, just fill in online claim. A group of you could submit a joint claim
  7. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I'm not surprised. I still don't see why schools just can't keep a register of people who would be intersted in supply work and call them in without the need for an agency. Private schools do-I'm told they ask prospective supply teachers to pop in at the beginning of term to have a mini-interview/show their certificates and they then get a call when required.
    Failing that, why shouldn't schools/hospitals etc just have a list of 'bank' staff per county? Cheaper for the tax-payer, better for the staff etc.
  8. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    hhh, that’s what used to happen - local authorities had their own lists, but in their wisdom, deemed it cheaper for them to abandon that idea and let schools use agencies, which is probably a lot more expensive for the schools!
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    They could and I've spent a lot of time and effort trying to charm Cover Organisers and HR into doing precisely that. Then I discover that the HR is useless and/or can't be bothered and the Cover Organiser hasn't got the time to do anything but ring an agency.
    Agree but I think the cause was Academies not paying into the joint pot that covers the expenses of such a scheme.
  10. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I agree but when I was a HT the convenience of having to make one phone call at 7am in the morning rather than several calls to try and get supply was the trump card.
  11. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Agencies have been up to these sort of tricks for years. What happened to @skye78 sounds like a variation on the old 'late call' dodge. An agency would phone you up at a time when it knows you will not be able to arrive at the school by 9 a.m. (or whenever the schools starts). They dress it up by telling you that you will be 'doing the school a favour', and that it will be grateful if you can can get there as soon as you can. Your reward for this is to be docked anything from and hour to the whole morning, as you were 'late'.
  12. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    A similar thing happened to me once. I had a call previous evening and initially said “No” as school was accessible by motorways only for me. As expected I was stuck in traffic and arrived at 9.10am. I left the school at 6.30pm on orders of care taker (ridiculous marking load from cover set). Agency were furious, school annoyed I was late, but were really impressed and would I please go back. No chance.

    Got docked 20% of pay.
  13. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    LEA supply pools were abandoned long before academies came about. I believe it was another wheeze from a sec of state who felt it was a waste of money paying a pool of teachers who, sometimes, were not actually needed. Even though those teachers, if not required for supply, were sent to their base school to work as an extra member of staff.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    That was not the case here 'up north'. I registered with several LAs in 2008/9 and got work from them. No money was paid to me for days I didn't work but I was CRB checked and the school could find me on a list. Of course this meant a lot of grovelling to Cover Organisers but I didn't mind that.

    Perhaps we're talking at cross-purposes here as I've no idea that teachers were paid even if not required as supply.
  15. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    We did have 'floating' supply teachers in ILEA, thirty odd years ago but I cannot remember what they were called. If memory serves, they were permanently on the pay roll, on a promoted scale 2. They were moved around as needed, during the course of a year. There were also Divisional staff, which could be moved around in schools in the same division but only at the end of the school year.
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Back when I started in 1990 Birmingham (the LEA I worked for) had a pool of supply. Each individual was given a base school where they would attend and work in unless they got a call to go elsewhere. They were paid as normal staff. To be honest, if our guy was anything to go by he was rarely in our school.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  17. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    Were they known as 'Borough Unattached'? I seem to have that phrase in my head.
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    What you describe sounds like a form of fraud. To pay you for part of days work but bill the school for a full day. Who is considered to be defrauded legally might be a matter of opinion.

    This is what the governments gig economy is all about. Shafting the individual.

    Contact your union.
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    You might be right there. Something like 'Divisional Unattached.
    BertieBassett2 and agathamorse like this.

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