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Cover supervisor pay for Teacher work

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by ellenlilymay, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    Hi I'm increasingly being put into work as an experienced teacher (20+ years) with degrees etc and told that it is at cover supervisor rate at about £70 or £80 a day.

    I'm also finding that frequently my bookings are for mornings or afternoons only.

    I'm finding that there is very, very little work out there for supply teachers nowadays, and perhaps this is how they can do this.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this, as this is making it completely and utterly uneconomical to continue doing supply. I'm in Eastern England.

    Best wishes to all, Ellen
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    That is not good. Are you with just one agency or several? I have just signed up with two new agencies this year. One of them is much better at keeping in touch and has got me more work than the other. I have had some half days, they seem to be getting more common as TAs are used more for PPA . It might be worth joining one or two more agencies. Ask around which agencies other supply/permanent teachers use/have used. I'm thinking of joining another agency - one recommended to me by a permanent member of staff at a school I was in last week (she had worked for them). Also, are there any of the apps such as TeacherIn or Teacher Booker in your area?
    I agree the situation is not good. I am thinking of giving up if it doesn't improve this year, or at least will try to find an additional source of income.
  3. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    Have you looked at the 'New to Supply?' pinned thread? There is some info on there about working as a Cover Supervisor. It is not recommended, but if you do work as a Cover Supervisor you are not obliged to do any marking and can leave when the children leave. It seems to be a murky area as it's possible the school is paying for a teacher, so I would say to make sure you tell the school you have been sent as a Cover Supervisor by the agency.
  4. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    Ellen I know how you feel and it does start to P*ss you off at times, but to get half a day can be economically bad depending on the travel time and distance, a full day at £80 is better then now't, but I always make it clear I want paid teaching work and will only do CS work at a certain pay and only for a limited time. I know some schools are forcing this approach on agencies due to the lack of money, large number of supply staff and increased number of agencies.

    I have you looked at other agencies for work, but I am looking at some part-time work in the evenings to add to any teaching work that I may do, to get me past Christmas.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Another unpleasant consequence of living in 21st C Britain.It seems 20+ years of experience and degrees don't actually count for very much these days. But at least you are fortunate enough to be employable. As I understand it, Jobseekers Allowance currently stands at 'up to £73.10 per week' for those 25 and over, or 'up to £114.85 per week' for couples where both are over 18.
    BetterNow and pepper5 like this.
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    The answer is easy to your problem, "Don't do the work at those rates."
    Of course, it's only easy if you can afford long unemployment periods or, like me, you are in a shortage subject.

    It's far too much to hope that schools will solve the retention/teacher health crisis by actually making it a pleasant job to do.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Sorry to hear of your dilemma and agencies and schools will exploit you if they can.

    For various reasons, this year has been particularly slow for a lot of people.

    I won't accept CS at all, but fresh air won't pay bills. Mornings or afternoons at teachers rates are o.k. as long as I don't have to travel too far.

    If I were you, I would start looking for work to supplement the supply work. In the meantime, if you can afford not to, don't accept the CS rates. The consultants will say that is all the school will pay, but they may be telling you that just to get you to go and will pay you the higher rate if you say you won't go. If enough people say no to CS rates, then they may have to pay the going rate.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  8. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Many agencies and schools have blurred the definitions of what a teacher is and does, so you can find yourself called a 'subject specific cover supervisor', 'associate teacher', 'learning facilitator', 'unsupervised learning assistant', 'graduate teaching associate', etc. doing a full teaching role but paid not much more than shelf-fillers' wages. It is a market place but the over supply of would-be supply teachers means that agencies can just tell hagglers 'take it or leave it'.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    Hi guys - thanks for your replies - it looks like we are all in the same boat. The suggestion of other agencies is sound and that's what I'll be doing as this is now getting ridiculous.

    I really think that this is an area that the unions (for example the new NEU!) need to tackle especially as Jolly Roger suggests, the confusing and "smoke and mirrors" array of names we can be called. There should be a set of duties aligned with each of these jobs, just like in industry. I think we should perhaps contact our unions and argue for them to tackle this on our behalf!

    PS I had a student just recently who said "you aren't a proper teacher" - what do you say to this? I told her that I am, but I choose to spend half my year abroad (untrue but hey!) - the nerve!!!
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi ellenlilymay

    Oh...there have been students since the dawn of time who tell supply teachers ' you are not a proper teacher'. Agree, and say you are a cardboard cut out, or tell them your real job is a movie star in LA and this is just a stop gap job. LOL.
  11. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    Ellemlilymay I agree with both you and Jolly_Roger, I am sick of the way we are treated by the schools and the NEU, I have heard many times of how the unions will take up the cause of schools using unqualified staff instead of qualified teachers. Yet nothing as happen, it is just weasel words from a bunch of self-serving weasels who like to pretend they are defending educational standards then let schools use unqualified staff, without a fight or a demand for strike action.

    Oh the old chestnut, are you a proper teacher! If I received a £ pound for that line, I would be better off then I am now.
    pepper5, ellenlilymay and BetterNow like this.
  12. mrjack

    mrjack New commenter

    Are people writing to their MP's about this, you have to fight.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    Does anyone else feel that the education system can't continue much longer the way it is? I am getting a real sense - more than ever before - that everything is being done on the cheap at the 'chalk face' while plenty of money is going into the hands of academy bosses / agencies. I am beginning to get a feeling that parents are beginning to sit up and take note that the system is very wrong. The kids are being failed. Good teachers are leaving or desperate to get out. I think it's going to take parent power to change anything. Teachers and the unions are just seen as whinging.
    pepper5 and BetterNow like this.
  14. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    I think it's going to take both but I'm not hopeful about any of them being sufficiently bothered to act (and the unions can't act without a lot of their members bothering to act with them)
    BetterNow likes this.
  15. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    pepper5 likes this.

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