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Cover Supervisor -v- Cover Manager

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Quietgenius, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Bear in mind before armies of all sorts of unqualified staff were recruited in schools, a member of the SMT was actually in charge of supply cover and as a qualified, registered and experienced supply teacher one was performance managed and peer evaluated by a fellow professional. We are the classroom practitioners.
    So let's have <u>less of the arrogance</u> from CSs, HLSAs etc etc etc etc!

  2. QG is absolutely right!
    What a perverse, immoral and unfair working world we live in.
    Unqualified people telling professionally qualified and fully registered teachers how to teach!?
    Armies of all manner of trumped up staff in our schools when there vshould be in every class a qualified teacher for all pupils in all lessons. The UK must be the laughing stock of the world. Is Mr Gove completely BLIND?
  3. Stuart,
    As a CS myself I must take offence to your comments. You are classing people by your own, obviously limited, experience.
    I bring a lifetime's wealth of knowledge and experience from the many facets of my life and try, with some success, to instill good manners, lateral thinking, respect and human empathy to "my" children.
    True, I am relatively uneducated having been the naughty kid in class but I, better than many of the so called well educated, can impart the knowledge of what life will be like without a good education - very difficult indeed.
    Please try and understand that education is like a diamond - many facited and very hard. WE, the CS's of this life, are the people who assist and allow you the TEACHER to do your job in a constructive and meaningful way. We allow you the time to plan and organise and sometimes even support you.
    So please - a little respect for the people who also try to make that all important difference.
  4. Is a cover manager responsible for directing and supervising any other person who is doing the actual covering?
  5. Which job are you helping me with doggone - oh yes the one I was shoved out of so that people like you could be paid about half of what I was. Are you going to share the &pound;40,000 of loans which I took out to become a teacher? What about my &pound;1,000 overdraft that I've had to spend on such luxury items like clothes for my kids and food? Two governments have shafted people like me - there are now at least 100,00+ fully qualified and experienced TEACHERS in this country selling their possessions to try and keep a roof over their heads. Supply teachers were the professionals that could step in and TEACH the children, not just babysit. Do you CSs have a portfolio of spare work in case the students finish all work set? I doubt it - I've still got my folders sitting getting dusty just in case the *** who've seized power realise that they need to employ TEACHERS in school.
    I've now got to apply to go back to the job stacking shelves in a supermarket, a job which I did in university and for 3 years before I trained to be a History teacher - It was Hell on earth, but I knew that I would be able to move on and fulfill my dream. Now there is no way out of this, and I'm worse off than I was before I went to university.
    I hope that you realise that your willingness to work for a pittance, and be a government slave has wrecked the CAREERS of PROFESSIONALS. Would you try to be a dentist just because you were good with a drill when you do DIY? No? Then stop trying to pretend that you are making a change to young people's lives and education, you're just helping to dumb them down. I've personnally sat in a classroom and heard a CS 'teach' year 7s that "When the Romans had left Britain, nothing really happened until the Normans showed up" Really? You've never heard of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings then? That CS gave all of those children inaccurate information which they will now take through life with them, what a complete Trog!!!
  6. I don't see what's wrong with a CS giving a Supply
    Teacher basic instructions such as how to find the staffroom and what the school's behaviour management system is. As RevBev said,
    if they have been given that task by the school, you should respect
    that (whatever you may think of the role of CS).

    Of course CSs shouldn't tell Supply Teachers how
    to teach - that would be crazy! - but there's nothing wrong
    passing on basic information, just as a receptionist might do

    On a side note, I do wish people could discuss the
    issue of Cover Supervisors sensibly, without lumping us all together
    as "second rate idiots&rdquo;. Clearly there are some bad examples
    out there, as in sulis' post above, but that doesn't apply to

    I work as a CS because 9 months ago when I was
    unemployed and desperate for a job, an agency found my CV online and
    offered me work. Over the past 9 months I've worked my way up from Technician, TA and Exams Invigilator jobs, to general cover, to a couple of long-term roles in my subject

    I have a 1st Class degree, an MA,.5 A-Levels (AAAAB)
    and 13 GCSEs (A*-A) including three languages and triple science. I'm
    not a qualified teacher yet, but at least my academic background
    means I am able to help pupils in a range of subjects. I do my best
    to behave in a professional manner, to learn from the experience of
    my colleagues and to help pupils make progress.

    I know I'm not perfect and I will no doubt have a
    lot more to learn when I start my PGCE in September, but that doesn't
    make all the hard work I put in worthless.

  7. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    sadly this level of qualification is very rare among the CS that i have worked with. More usual around here is a virtually complete lack of education. Often the people are prepared to work hard and are in the process of aquiring suitable resources from teachers.
    But is this really the level of "teaching" that our childrne should receive.
    My grand daughter is taught every week by her TA for one afternoon. So 10% of her time is led by an unqualified person. If she were absent for 10% of the week her mother would receive a fixed penalty notice.
  8. Of course I'm not saying that I'm a typical CS, but I just find it frustrating when I see people dismissing all CSs as uneducated and ignorant.
    I have met CSs who are older TAs that have branched out into covering lessons and don't have any qualifications. But I have also met a lot (particularly through agency work) who are graduates filling time and gaining experience before a PGCE. Jobs are hard to come by at the moment, especially for young people, so obviously we take what we can get.

    I can certainly see the argument that lessons should be covered by a qualified teacher, and I definitely agree that CSs and TAs are overused to cover longer/more regular absences than they should. But that case can be made without resorting to name-calling.
  9. It may be that she is taught for 10% of her time by a TA but what subject is being taught in that time? Is she being taught for one or two subjects in that time? Is she being taught those subjects at any other time of the week as well? Are these core or foundation subjects?
    These are crucial questions to ask since guidelines make it clear that HTs take note of the subject teaching time being lost because there is no teacher available. So what is an acceptable loss of subject teaching time - 10%, 20%, 50% or 100%?
    But that brings up the question as to whether it is cover or PPA time (which are not the same) The reference to 10% suggests that it is PPA time and regulations and guidance state that all classes must be assigned a teacher to teach them.
  10. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    There are some well educated CS, but for every well educated CS there are many more poorly educated CS. Crucially just because someone is well educated, it does not mean that they have the ability to teach, whereas teachers have had to prove to the universities, schools and government that they have the ability to teach, we all know that whilst training, if you fail an observation that you could be off the teacher training course. What training does a well educated or poorly educated CS do? Possibly 2 days of induction, that does not mean that you have the abilities to teach.
    In respect to TA's, I am a supporter of TA's, but they should not be teaching, there role according to the TDA was too 'work with small groups of children under the direction of the teacher and they should not been as a replacement for the teacher or teach whole classes'. That is the role the TA should full and most TA's would support that role, except for those wannabee teachers, who even TA's dislike from some of the comments I have seen and some SLT's, whose primary aim is not education, but saving money. Yet when the next Sats come out or statements are made about poorly educated children, it will be down to poor teachers and not the increasing use of TA's or CS in schools to teach lessons.
    In Scotland it is illegal for anyone to teach or cover lessons who does not a pgce and I believe that we should have a similar reguation for England, I don't care if the person as a pgce in schools or FE, they have undergone professional training to become teachers. But for someone to say that they have life experiences, but did poorly within education at school (I admire an honest person), great we will produce young people who can survive in life, but have little academic knowledge. Having a good education is only part of teaching, having the ability and skills to transfer that knowledge is, as a number of leading acdemics haved stated that teaching is, 'the art or the science of teaching' That is why only qualified teachers should be in front of the classroom.
  11. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    SADLY I THINK THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A DEFINITE U TURN BY ANYONE NOW to rectify the Cover Supervisor position. What it has achieved over the past 6 -8 years, yes Cover Supervisors have been in post since at least 2004 may be earlier, IS A RAISING of the quality and qualifications that Cover Supervisors hold and a softening of the guidelines and boundaries for their patterns of work, with the more unqualified being quietly retained to undertake longer and longer for individual teachers if they have a degree in the subject or a qualifying period of previous experience in a subject elsewhere or where they have a Post 16 teaching certification..........and one can argue, good on them for seeking out the work and willing to work for less money, what you never earned, you never miss unlike the qualified possibly having to take a lower grade salary...... it is in desperation TO BE ABLE TO WORK and unfortunately many positions have been subjected to exploitation without the salary recognition for what they have been asked to do and often people having dual positions within schools, that of part time paid work as a teacher and remainder as cover teacher...... but cover teaching at Cover Supervisors pay... It is a mine field to get a good over view of Cover for schools as some play it by the correct guidelines and by the book and other quite happy to exploit their staff and work every loop hole in the education system that they can with little regard as to how it is impacting on their profession. So to sum it up......... whereas once we knew that Cover Supervisors were unqualified but experienced responsible personnel NOW they are a compendium and its for no one to guess or make assumptions anymore just as its not appropriate to assume all supply teachers are the rejects of the education............ we are all in positions doing our utmost to be professional and if that means that a Cover Supervisor usually a designated Lead/Head/Senior Cover Supervisor whatever title they may have need to relay information about the days cover, then so be i and yes this used to be delivered by a senior member of staff and yes we did feel as though we were working on par with them and that they personally appreciated what we did more than being booked by admin staff BUT there is no room for arrogance in teaching......... yes we may well be qualified and experienced but ......... any information about the school or the classes you are to take should be listened to.......... after all it may just make your day much easier. I sound resigned to accepting cover other than by qualified staff in this posting and possibly I am ....................times are a changing for everyone MY ONLY GRIPE IS why were supply teachers not given the option to take up Cover Supervisor positions as a sensible grade in order schools could continue with qualified cover............................there are enough of us
  12. Very true. I had a student who was a GTP through the early first rounds many years ago. He had a first class psychology degree and his son was in my class the previous year. He wanted to be an Ed Psych an in those days you needed to have been a teacher to get onto such training (why did they change that rule too) so in he comes to teach my lovely year 4 class. I planned with him, sat with him and gave lots of advice yet his lessons bared no resemblance to what we were meant to be doing. I didn't observe him but it was the parallel teacher who planned with us who did do she knew exactly what we were supposed to be teaching. After many meetings and failed observations this chap did eventually take advice and pulled out of his teacher training. He didn't have the people/social skills to teach young children or the flexibility of mind etc even though he was extremely well educated. This is also what concerns me about non qualified staff taking lessons, would all of them actually ever get on a teaching course or be kept on one after the training begins. As I have mentioned in my post regarding nursery classes I was teaching PPA over a couple if terms where my lessons were planned by an HLTA. Lovely lady, brilliant with the children etc however we were awaiting OFSTED and I really worried about the quality of her planning. I had to stick with it for consistency as there were 3 classes being covered by me, her and and recently qualified teacher. Our team was teaching all the PSHE for the school and 1 lesson of PE. Yes, not core subjects but important all the same. Made me cross and although I was upset at being let go once I did 12 weeks as budgets couldn't afford me, an M6 teacher, I was relieved not to go through OFSTED and having my teaching judges on these inadequate plans..
  13. In the last letter I had from the DfE the official concerned stated that the Secretary of State and his ministers were unable to do anything to change this situation.
    Since then Gove has made several statements concerning changes in education such as his ideas on changing the exam system and I am sure that others could name other examples. So the statement that he could do nothing is not true. The truth is that he is nnot prepared to do anything.
  14. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    I should imagine that he would be loathed to keep Cover Supervisors if he gets his way and re introduces the Grammar School system .... surely cover by unqualified would be a definite NO NO.
  15. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    In respect to Bronco's comments, I have recently sent a 11 page letter putting forward a number of arguments for reform to the dept of education permanent secretaryand that includes banning the use of anyone without a pgce from teaching or covering lessons.
    However as you have suggested before and a value your opinion, it may be difficult to turn back the use of CS in schools, however if we cannot ban them, we can at least campaign for certain reforms. I would suggest for example;
    1. Anyone covering a lesson or teaching a lesson must hold a degree and gcse's in English and Math's at grade C or above. This is the minimum requirement for anyone to become teachers, I would also make it a requirement that the school or academy funds are required to fund a pgce GTP course for the CS and that they are required tohave completed it with 2 years of commencing in the role of a CS. At the very minimum, I would suggest a certed, with conditions on the CS use in the school (I.e they can only cover a teachers absence for a maximum 2 weeks and have no permanent lessons).
    This would eradicate the use of CS and TA with poor academic qualifications from covering and teaching lessons.
    2. I would also introduce the role of cover teacher, with a similar pay to a CS, but with the requirement that the cover teacher cannot have more then 4 permanent lessons of their own and if they cover for a teachers absence for a period in excess of half a term, then they would revert to their pay scale for the remaining period of the teachers absence. This would allow NQT's to complete their induction and create more jobs for teachers in general.
    3. I would also make it illegal for schools and academies to use supply CS at all.
    I accept that these ideas may be deemed extreme and anti-CS, but are they better then allowing CS and TA's with no teacher training and poor academic qualifications to cover and teach lessons? They would also allow CS or TA's with the appropriate qualifications to undergo training to become teachers and allow them a road, and a role with education. This ideas may be the way forward for all and are open to discussion.

  16. I fully agree Historygrump! [​IMG]
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    In my last long-term supply cover post, starting in 2007, the person who booked me and supervised me was an assistant Head at the High School. She'd had the supply cover responsibility for years.
    In 2008, she was given a different responsibility and the booking of supply cover went to the school manager instead. He was not a teacher and was only interested in getting an adult in front of a class.
    Permanent staff were not pleased with how he would have 6 supply teachers in, for instance, and none would be deployed in their specialism, despite there being teachers absent from those departments!
    The school manager was also known as the Cover Supervisor but that title indicated that he placed cover staff and processed their timesheets, not that he worked in a classroom substituting for an absent teacher.
  18. rolysol

    rolysol New commenter

    ``Bloody second rate idiots''?! You have a lot to learn my dear.
    I am a lowly CS but I hope one day I manage to develop my `capacity as a person' and reach your lofty heights, what I particularly admire is your non judgemental attitude and abilty not to over generalise; these are important qualities for a teacher so its great to see that you possess them.
    I have a degree in English Language and Literature and also in Humanities and have completed specific CS training. So....a lack of education REALLY? I've worked hard for my qualifications whilst raising my child on my own and working full time and so I take you comments VERY personally.
    I'm doing a PGCE this year and will also be completing an MA and any other training going. Thats all good but theres one thing I don't need training in and that is how to be a positive role model for the pupils.Wonder how you're doing on that one with your bullying judgemental attitude.

  19. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    That was not my experience as a supply teacher. The person called a Cover Supervisor years ago was usually an Assistant Head or other member of SLT who did the admin of recrruiting and placing supply teachers. They would not be involved in telling you what to teach or how to teach. That would be the remit of the relevant HOD or teacher.
    Latterly, the job of liaising with agencies and LA supply services has been delegated to the school manager or another member of te Admin team and they were often called Cover Supervisers before the term was also used for the alternative to supply teachers. The Cover Supervisers who book and liaise with temporary staff brought in to cover classes do not tell those temporary staff what to teach or how to teach. They usually meet you at Reception, hand you your timetable for the day, tell you where the toilets and staffroom are and sometimes accompany you to your first teaching room. Instructions for what to teach are usually taped to the desk in Secondary schools and the information will have been compiled by a qualified teacher.
    One type of CS supervises the cover staff coming into school (booking them, issuing basic information about the school, checking CRB and identity and processing paperwork to trigger payment) and the other type of CS, which may also be a qualified teacher but will not be paid as such, supervises lessons when the usual teacher is absent. As this category is a relatively recent 'innovation', they should perhaps have been called Classroom Supervisers instead.
  20. emmaushead

    emmaushead New commenter

    Be positive role model by not using sarcasm on children, but instead tell them that sarcasm is the LOWEST form of wit.

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