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Currently on supply in college...lots of questions

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by cgitsup, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. cgitsup

    cgitsup New commenter


    Have been on supply for 6 weeks now, another 6 weeks left for definite. College unofficially need me for the rest of the year, but can't make an official decision until closer to Christmas as it depends on retention of students.

    Once the 12 weeks are up they have indicated that they would be willing to increase my pay in line with their hourly paid teachers.

    I have a number of questions about staying on past Christmas, but my Head of School is only temporary (the existing HoS is on maternity leave, due back in Jan) and doesn't know the full ins and outs of dealing with agencies. I don't want to direct my questions back to my agency unless I really have to.

    I'm currently earning just over £20 an hour. I've looked at pay scales for hourly teachers (according to the College and University lecturers union) and, if I'm reading it correctly, hourly paid teachers/lecturers are paid an additional 1.5 hours on top of what they earn per hour to cover planning/assessment/other duties. Their actual pay then is based upon what point they are on the pay scale. The £20 an hour I'm being paid at the moment - would this account for this additional 1.5 hours, or if I stay beyond the 12 weeks and the College brings my pay in line, will this come into effect then? If the College decide that they want to offer me a short term contract for the rest of the year, are they bound to pay the agency a 'finders fee' if this happens after my 12 weeks are up? I haven't signed a contract or anything between the agency/college for this current placement - I could, as far as I know, walk out today and not come back - so if my 12 weeks are up and the college offer me something, is it any of the agencies concern?

    I have other questions...but these are the main two at the moment.

    Thanks in advance
  2. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    As far as agencies go, from what you've written they have introduced you to the college and so would be entitled to a finders' fee. You say that you haven't signed anything, but how are you being paid if you haven't completed any paperwork?

    I'm not clear what you are saying about the hourly rate, but if you worked directly for the college you would be paid their hourly rate which can normally be found on their website, or perhaps by asking colleagues. You say that you've checked via the UCU website, but in my experience hourly rates vary widely across colleges and universities.
  3. cgitsup

    cgitsup New commenter

    Obviously I've registered with the agency and completed their paperwork. But as far as my current placement is concerned, I've been told verbally that they require me until Christmas. But surely I could turn around at any point and say I don't want to return, and at any point they could also turn around and say there is no further requirement for me to be there? My point is then, that if in January they wanted to offer me a contract, why would the agency be due a fee? And if it's a case that because the contract is coming as a result of my initial placement, then what would happen if the college said they didn't need me in January, but then changed their mind a week/month/period of time later? Are the college due a fee then?
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    Disclaimer: My experience is all about haggling Secondary (and a bit of Primary) supply.

    Despite that I think
    1. £20 per hour works out at £120 for a 6 hour day, unless that is take home you are already getting a raw deal. Are you already in a strong enough position to haggle upwards?
    2. The 12-week idea is a meaningless cop-out for the college/agency. Meaningless because the college could just as easily decide to cease employing you at that point. As with 1. this comes down to the question is it you or nobody?
    3. How do you know the next 6 weeks are definite? Supply doesn't need to be stitched-up or bullied with capability/disciplinary reasons, just be told to not turn up tomorrow. This has happened to me before and will happen again, no doubt, because I'm always trying to screw top-dollar.
      The chances of being retained have everything to do with quality/cheapness of replacement and little to do with any abilities. I do okay because of my intrinsic 'me or nobody' quality, but when somebody else turns up....:(
    4. Agencies add even more confusion to the above problems because they are after their profit margin. However if you are adamant with them then they will be forced to pressurise the school. If you're registered with several then you can afford the slightly-hurt feeling that you will leave this one with.
    5. Your question about a finders-fee is down to the contract between the college and the agency and I can't see why either party would tell you about that contract.
    To summarise.....
    Don't wait for the 12 weeks, go for the end-result you want NOW.

    Disclaimer 2: This assumes you can afford the downside of actually listening to me.
    saluki likes this.
  5. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    In my time in FE this was always the killer, and I see no reason to suspect it's any different today.

    The temp HoS may think it's a great idea, but you have no idea what the existing HoS will think, and the decision to take you on or not will be theirs to make.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. cgitsup

    cgitsup New commenter

    I have briefly met the existing HoS, she came in on the last day before half term. She made it clear in our conversation that she expects me to be there for the rest of the year. I'm not taking anything for granted, but it would require a lot of students to drop out over the next 6 weeks for the class sizes to become small enough that they could combine some of the groups.

    Thanks for the advice though.
  7. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Again I'm not certain of the position with an FE college but I have recruited temp staff in a variety of other roles and there is usually a clause that mentions a period of time, for example, 12 months within which a finders fee would be payable. However, I'm not sure why you are so worried about this and I don't know how often it is actually enforced.
  8. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    If you are not in a teaching union, you might find you'll need to be. As there is no dispute at the moment, you can probably join up, and then approach them. They all have a helpline to give you basic info. on pay and conditions and rights, and web pages with advice.
    If you are a new recruit, you will get a significant discount on your discount on your subs.
    You will get pointers from members of this forum, but it is best to talk to a trained adviser about individual casework.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    You're probably right. I hope you do get the post, and all works out for you ! The real issue I had with drop out rates, wasn't so much to do with smaller class sizes, but rather the adverse effect it had on funding from one year to the next.
  10. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Depends on your subject really. Some subjects are more in demand than others. Some subjects are absolutely desperate for teachers and just cannot retain them.
    I assume that you are a fully qualified teacher - as such, you should be on 33-35 pounds an hour. The marking and prep time is usually factored in to this rate. Pay in colleges is much lower than in schools but the atmosphere is usually more relaxed. Some colleges do pay an admin rate - this may be lower than teaching rate, possibly only 17 pounds an hour and has to be claimed for monthly, which is a right faff.
    The college which I worked for last year had a supply teacher for Maths, after the maths teacher had a nervous breakdown because of student behaviour. He was wonderful, marvelous, fantastic. HOD slopped all over him (desperate for staff). Begged him to stay on this year. In the office there were gripes about paying supply agency rates and 'finder's fees'. They then requested that he left the agency for a while before being employed by the college in order to avoid paying the finder's fee.
    Not sure what happened next but he is not there this year. My guess is that the college needed him more than he needed the tightfisted college.
    Be aware that colleges do not care about their staff and will only use and abuse you. If you want the job go in on your terms. If you're not that bothered and can do as well elsewhere then go elsewhere. If you need the job keep going but keep your eyes open for new opportunities.
    Good Luck
    JohnJCazorla likes this.

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