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Agencies 'begging' on behalf of schools?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Jolly_Roger1, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Since Christmas, I 've been getting more emails and phone calls from agencies, which have 'noticed' my details online'; you all know how that story goes! This morning, though, I had a call from an agency that claimed, what seemed to me, to be 'begging', on behalf of a school in St Albans. The line shot me was that the school 'desperately' needed an experienced teacher but, due to lack of money, could not afford one, so 'could I see my way clear to helping them out'? Are some schools that desperate to find staff, or this just agencies re-packaging their familiar 'put something back' or 'work experience' ploys?
  2. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    You must be on some form of data list of teachers willing to work for nothing that gets passed round agencies, Roger. Perhaps it's the same consultant who keeps being moved....or they have to prove they have done something so they call round. "I've contacted 10 prospective teachers this morning"...

    Seriously, however, is your name on some list? You do seem to get a lot of these opportunities to work for nothing..oh, sorry, "put something back..preferably into agency pockets"

    I suppose the answer is "My special half-price rate is £210 per day plus travel expenses..." That'll shut them up.
  3. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @Deirds: You might well be right, that my name has got put on some 'easy touch' list. In response to previous such calls, as you've suggested, I have asked, "How much?". In reply to this, some say something like, "I'll find out and get back to you'" Off hand, I can't remember that did.
  4. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I hope some proper work comes your way soon.

    Perhaps you could note down the name of the agency/ school and report them to HMRC for not paying the minimum wage.
    emmalcm1, les25paul and PizzoCalabro like this.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @Deirds: I hadn't thought of doing something like that, although the agency would probably weasel out of it be saying that the job was a voluntary one. I have heard from other people that agencies offer a job at a given rate and later, when the bait has been taken, try to 'Dutch-auction' down that rate by claiming that the school cannot afford it.

    Thanks for you best wishes but I have more or less resigned myself that nothing more is going to come my way :(
  6. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @Deirds: Perhaps agencies target people of my age, thinking that we all have fat pensions, time on our hands, and feel guilty about it. As if?
  7. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Well, I can think of better things to do with my time if I'm not being paid...
  8. FredWelsh34

    FredWelsh34 New commenter

    Interesting point here Roger.
    It seems to me that younger teachers seem to be getting more supply.
    I am approaching middle age, so I expect that schools may be operating on the basis that I maybe am worse for business, but also assume the fact that I already have money behind me, so why offer me work. Nonsense of course.
    I mentioned in another post that I have given up supply, bar Friday's due to the very unreliable and competitive nature of it, which is stressful and and soul destroying.
    In the previous years I did supply, I would go into a school and they would usually offer me lots of repeat work after I did that one day.
    Normally, I am offered a day and then I never hear from that school again, and there is an absence of work for weeks,
    Not to be bitter or hurt anyone's feelings, but I do think schools are operating on the business basis that they seem to be employing the young, a-typical enthusiastic, good looking, NQT wage bracket, meticulously organised and business orientated teachers as opposed to the older, well educated, academic and intellectual types who are a little more Maverick in their approaches, Note, I am not being passive aggressive here, just stating an observation I have had any limited time I have had supply this year.
    Good luck everyone.
    I am now a part time TA Monday to Thursday and I do supply on Fridays when it is available. I would strongly recommend people doing supply find some other income they can fall back on. Otherwise it becomes stressful and difficult, with destitution not uncommon.
    schoolsout4summer and wanet like this.
  9. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Thats a good one and I think I might try it.

    I 'desperately' need a Ferrari but, due to lack of money, can not afford one, so could my local Ferrari dealer see their way to helping me out ?

    Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Which is exactly what this agencies line sounds like. I would suspect that the agency is trying to get some free PR for themselves.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I started out as a supply teacher aged almost 50. My birthday is tomorrow and I shall be 56, but I've never found age to be a problem in getting work and I've been blessed with enough work to supplement my husband's income from his business.

    It has been my experience that schools are more interested in teachers who can deliver the lessons and keep classes on track in a calm environment. If that is someone 21 fine; if it is someone 51 well that is great as well. That is on supply. It may be different for long term posts or permanent positions.

    Take care everyone and have a fabulous week.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @FredWelsh34: Your experience has been very similar to mine. In the four years of being trying to get supply work, I have joined eight agencies and I think I have averaged about half a dozen days per year. Now, even this has dried up.

    @pepper5: I am glad to hear that you have been able to get supply work while not being in the 'first flush of youth'. I was 56 when I first started looking for supply work and signing with agencies, and it has not got me very much. :(
  12. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Pepper, I am a 2 years younger than you - will be 54 in March. Started supply Oct 14 aged 52, after qualifying that summer (career changer). Age is a state of mind - I feel no older than the 30 something dept heads - happy to learn from their experience as they have all been teaching considerably longer than me...
  13. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    Even after a few years of dealing with agencies, I still sometimes can't believe the levels they will stoop to!
  14. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    My age, 60, isn't a problem to me, either. It does, however, seem to be a problem for schools and potential employers

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