1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Current poor school

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Gemspecs, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Gemspecs

    Gemspecs New commenter

    Hi all,

    I was just wondering how I go about telling my agency that I really do not like where I’m currently placed, and would like to work elsewhere from the end of the week? I’m happy to stick the week out, if I know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak! However, I am unsure whether I tell the school/HoD directly of my wishes , or communicate through my agent? Will this reflect negatively on me though, and am I just expected to stay there now for the foreseeable (the contract is “ongoing”), or do I have keep going? Is there any way of me saying I’d like to be elsewhere (obviously in as professional way as possible, as I wish to keep doing supply, but just not at this particular school!). Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Tell the agency. They are usually quite understanding and will happily put you elsewhere to keep you on their books.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi gem

    Always speak to the agency and not the school. It shouldn't be a problem.
  4. Gemspecs

    Gemspecs New commenter

    Thanks both for the advice-will speak to my rep tomorrow after school if it doesn’t improve (feels a bit rash saying I don’t want to be there after one day!)
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    There might be some mileage in speaking to staff at the school but only in the sense of improving it so you stick around. This takes some politicking though and a careful run through of what the problems are

    Problem: Class ruined by low-level disruption?
    Solution: Identify SLT and/or shouters with radios who'll turn up and settle the class for you to assert yourself.
    P: Marking policy causing stress
    S: Do what you feel is okay, ie. specific to the teaching and learning of the classes and wait and see if any book scrutiny actually leads to a bollocking or you get a succession of blind eyes (I've only had the latter, 5 times now at 2 different schools).
    P: Excessive timetable and cover as well
    S: Identify the cover organiser and butter her up excessively so that she won't use you as the default to dump everything on.
    P: No idea if you're teaching or covering
    S: See the HoD and 'take ownership' of lessons. Find out where Schemes of Work are on the intranet and do bog-standard planning.
    P: No keys, log-ins, lanyard, be-bop card or anything that a 'proper teacher' has
    S: Go round IT and admin asking very politely for all the bits. Exaggerate your length of stay if necessary.
    P: Not paid enough.
    S: Say to agent, "I'm sorry but having looked at my finances I can't keep going here without a rise to UPS3 equivalent (£202 per day), obviously I'll do this week but not after"
    This forces the agent to give up more of his cut and/or negotiate on your behalf with the school.​

    Nearly all the above could have been done by the HoD but I bet it hasn't. The poor soul will also be stressed out and probably not even realise the problems. And you sorting it will give valuable brownie points for the future.

    All the above require information, have you befriended any neighbouring 'proper teachers' who can steer you in the correct directions?

    Finally, don't worry about expectations, all parties (you, school, SLT, HoD, Cover Organiser, agency) have different ones and you can only really understand yours, especially as the other ones will be unrealistic.
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I left one school abruptly. Your agent is the person to contact. They take the flak and point out you are within your rights. The school were OK with me but expressed unhappiness to my agent.

    Remember, it works both ways and the school would be equally within their rights to stop your employment.

    I find just knowing I can walk helps me put up with stuff.

    The agency may well have placed other people at that school in the past and won’t be surprised. I doubt very much it will reflect on you.

    It might be worth finding out if there is other work first. I have the impression even long term Supply is getting scarcer. Sign up with more than 1 agency.
  7. pwtin

    pwtin Star commenter

    I have always tried to stick things out depending on how much I could put up with and how much I needed the money. I have only once refused to return after 1 day, at that school I decided I would rather starve than put up with some of the behaviour in classes. Do you need the money and how much work are you currently being offered, those are the important questions to ask yourself.
  8. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    I've just had to tell my agency I want out of my current awful school. I'm not holding my breath for them to find anything else so I've contacted three other agencies I use in the hope they can find something.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  9. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan Occasional commenter

    The schools will have no qualms about sending a supply teacher home in the middle of the day, end of the day, end of the week, short notice "don't come back" like I've just had. Done six weeks before Christmas of cover all over a science "faculty" for a variety of teachers., leaving and sick. Was told before holidays I would have a time table, . The whole school were getting new timetables. Which weren't ready by the end of term. My agency left message for me on the last Friday of the holidays that the school had changed their minds.
    Agency tried pacifying me with "I'll try and find out why ". There is no why only money. Try and get me some money.
    So there's the reality, you owe them nothing.
    That's right, comment about the agents cut. They steal of us daily.
  10. Gemspecs

    Gemspecs New commenter

    Thank you all for the advice (particularly @JohnJCazorla) -a big help!) Lots of problems at the school, ranging from wide-scale awful behaviour (every single class and about 70% of each class), down to me having to go find the HoD/cover person and introduce myself/ask if I can leave ), and no cover being set for half the lessons-I still don't know if there's a staffroom as I haven't been shown it (and no one is ever around to ask), so have had my lunch in the assigned classroom the past two days, with lots of students looking through the windows at me. However, I know the cover situation is dire (SM school recently subsumed under a trust-tale as old as time), and my experience is valuable to the school as a shortage subject specialist (although what subject isn't these days). Therefore, I'm trying to word an email to my supply to say that I don't want to be with them any longer than absolutely necessary...wish me luck!
    agathamorse, JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  11. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Good luck then but the definition of 'absolutely necessary' depends on the beholder.
    It is 'absolutely necessary' that the agency keeps its cut coming in.
    It is 'absolutely necessary' that the school has a teacher that actually knows the subject.
    It is 'absolutely necessary' that the relevant HoD isn't tearing hair out over yet another unsuitable cover.
    It is 'absolutely necessary' that SLT don't have to venture out of their ivory towers to settle kids.

    However none of these are sufficient for any parties to do anything about it in advance so stuff them.

    Suggest you contact the agency and say you are leaving at the end of the week.

    Thanks for your kind words but my advice was superfluous as I can't see any point in hanging on there after reading your post 10.

    Good luck (and I mean it this time)
    tonymars and agathamorse like this.

Share This Page