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Cancelling a booking - not acceptable?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by MsHavisham, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. MsHavisham

    MsHavisham New commenter

    I am new to supply teaching and have worked for single days and one block of 4 weeks.

    Is it ever acceptable to cancel a booking? When I cancelled a day booking to accept the block booking, Agency XYZ were fine with it and wished me all the best. However this week I agreed a one day booking but was then offered a two day booking and so cancelled the original one. The reason of course, was money. Plain and simple. However this agency were really peeved and told me that they will think twice before offering me any more work.

    I suppose I can understand their thinking and perhaps I was being selfish. What does anyone else think?
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  2. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Welcome to the world of supply teaching. You've done the right thing by taking control of a situation. The agency is not your employer, they are an employment intermediary, so this means you are free lance and can pick and choose if you are offered alternative work. That's the gig economy. Don't let them guilt trip you; they have plenty of other people on the books to send in instead of you.
  3. MsHavisham

    MsHavisham New commenter

    Your reply has made me laugh - to be honest I feel really guilty.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. pwtin

    pwtin Star commenter

    Personally I always honour a booking I have in advance even if it does mean losing out on another better offer. In the long run you have upset the agency and will now probably lose out more financially as they will not offer you any further work.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I must admit I have also done this. Your word is your bond, was my principle as it led the school to realise that I would be dependable in any future work, but I do appreciate that was when one was dealing with an LEA and more often than not individual schools, I think today as stated above agencies have little loyalty to their clientele and so whilst I would certainly try to avoid cancelling bookings, other than for illness, I do think if you do you should not be made to feel guilty by an agency.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes but...

    @MsHavisham wasn't just "picking and choosing". MsHavisham had already 'chosen' the first offer. Then reneged on her contract when a better offer came along.

    So by your argument @nearmiss if the agency had offered the job and Mshavisham had accepted it would it be OK if the agency later called back and cancelled it because they'd found someone else who would do it cheaper?

    Do as you would be done by @MsHavisham. You'll get away with doing that to the agency - once. But don't complain if they then do it to you.
  7. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I believe it is acceptable to cancel a booking if there are good circumstances for it, eg; illness / car breaks down / plague and pestilence /etc but not because you get a better offer. Two reasons for this, firstly you need to build a relationship with your agency and develop a reputation for being reliable, this will get you more work. Secondly its the correct professional thing to do, for example you would feel pretty peeved if a doctor cancelled an appointment with you just because a patient he/she plays golf with wanted your slot.

    As for the argument agencies do it to us, not all of them do. Only use those you can trust and leave the others to go out of business. Otherwise if teachers lower the standards then agencies will do the same.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I personally always honour the original booking as I don't like to let anyone down and mess people about.

    I would only generally refuse a booking only if it is too far for me.
  9. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    In the long run you may get more work when you are reliable.
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    You always have to be thinking carefully about what you are committing to and what you may lose. Therein lies the dilemma of freelance work. :oops: You could keep yourself free for the whole of next week and hope that on Monday morning you get offered a full week's work, or accept a job for just next Tuesday and then on Monday lose out on the one that's coming through on Monday.:(

    Since you are just after the money, register with as many as you can and just stay loose and agree to things you will definitely commit to do in future. Supply is a hustle.
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  11. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    To be fair, I have cancelled a prebooked day for another that came in, purely because the second opportunity paid more. I told the agency this, they said they understood financially this makes sense for me. I am still offered work from them.

    I have also had to cancel days due to personal matters and illness, but this hasn't had an impact on me being offered work in the future.
    agathamorse likes this.

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