As of the end of January I'll be a "was-a-supply-teacher." Was planning and hoping to work much closer to when the baby's due - however, having had a grand total of two half days and a full day of supply since September, having had one agency kick me off their books because the other one won't provide a reference (and my other referee I'd use is dead), and the other agency only contact me to bully me to work for free - I cannot economically justify the costs of putting the rustbucket car I use to run around to supply bookings through the week through its MOT, tax and reinsurance... so it's time to throw in the towel and admit it's all over. I've survived longer than a lot - managed to withstand rate squeezes and cover supervisor wages all of last year, managed to keep going with schools requesting me by name until now - however I find it highly, highly suspicious that a new consultant comes into the agency - asks me to do freebie bookings, which I politely refuse (since I'm not prepared to set the preceedent for other teachers to be expected to do the same) - and then suddenly, literally overnight - the work dries up. Going from being one of the teachers sent out to new schools because they knew I'd secure the repeat business, to one that we don't touch unless we absolutely have to - overnight?! Pardon my cynicism there - but I've been in this game long enough to know that any agency is only as good as the consultant working your desk - and that this new girl dislikes me and was determined to block me because of my refusal to work for free. Thankfully - the demand for private tutoring is insane around here - and that can pick up enough of the slack for us to just about survive... I'll miss supply, heck - I miss the days when the banter on here was to do with actual teaching and not just hanging on by fingernails for survival, but I won't miss having to be polite to agency consultants doing the "Hiiiiiii how are you today" when they obviously really don't care, or being pinned down on my every movements in case there's some profit they can jack of another agency, and I won't miss standing outside a school at 8am praying someone wanders by the front door and hears me ringing the doorbell trying to get in - or those schools that openly resent your existence and use you as a scapegoat... I'll miss the ones where I get a name other than "The Supply" and of course I'll miss 99% of the kids! If it's any consolation - my mum ran into dear Mr Balls (for let us not forget while the Tories added to the messed up situation, Labour had the grand idea in the first place) at a function fairly recently and was exceedingly rude to the man, throwing in the parting line of "my daughter's a supply teacher - no thanks to YOU!"