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Day to day supply may not by dying off...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by SineField, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    Afternoon all

    Before all this Wuhan-flu/Corona thing kicked off properly I was getting regular day to day supply and had accepted a full Summer term position at a good rate. I was previously one of the "day to day supply is dying" brigade but there have been several things I've seen that have got me reconsidering my views.......

    I actually think that day to day supply could end end up growing. Granted I am coming from a maths/science background which does alter things but nevertheless...

    In my time in schools, the #1 thing I noticed is that behaviour is getting worse and worse - now I know many people have commented on this, but what I have been told by several agencies is that due to constant staff turnover in some schools due to poor behaviour they can't even get long term supply cover (half to full term) for those roles. The supply teachers are unwilling to put up with the full teacher admin nonsense + poor behaviour + lower pay.

    There are schools out there that are having to resort to ongoing daily supply as a way to paper over cracks until they can get in an NQT... etc.

    The poor behaviour + admin/workload issue is trickling down..... permanent teachers don't want it ----> teacher absence results in a worsening of pupil behaviour and lesson quality ----.> long term supply don't want it as the rates available doesn't compensate for the grief ----> ongoing daily supply becomes the only option.

    In general, this all feeds into my grand unifying theory of teaching!.... The future of teaching is not in more expensive permanent staff, but in the employing of cheaper, shorter term options for 1/2 - 1 term increments supplemented by daily supply to plug gaps.

    In short.. teachers will become an increasingly bigger part of the gig economy.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I think you're wrong - sorry.
    Jolly_Roger15 and pepper5 like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The future of supply is in long term work.

    My home city has always been a real hotbed of supply but this year (for day-to-day) at least it's been dead as a doornail.

    I really don't think this will change.
    agathamorse, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Who knows what the situation will be when schools start to fully open again?

    If the virus is still around there would be presumably more day to day supply, but would you want it ?

    Teachers may decide to retire or leave teaching rather than continue to experience a greater risk to the virus than the average worker. So possibly more supply work at a cost of putting your self and dearest at a greater risk?

    If we have a deep recession any Teachers who want to leave teaching may be trapped in teaching due to fewer alternative job opportunities. Perhaps less long term supply?

    I don't believe that things will return to normal. There will be a new normal and it won't be pleasant. Prepare to be a lot poorer....
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You could well be right.
  6. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    I remember the last recession. For several months, there were only a few teaching jobs being posted on the TES. However, I learnt that during times of recession, your job (teaching) could be your worst enemy because SLT knows that very few jobs would be going and that people would be staying, thus, they could get away with being pretty harsh with teachers. I hope a deep recession doesn't come from this.
  7. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I agree with @Yoda- above in that quite a few teachers are not going back, especially if this runs effectively to September.

    While some will feel re-charged and wanting to go back, I expect quite many will have seen how much less stress they have when off work and that yes (like supply teachers) they can see great benefits in less pay but better health and freedom.

    So I think there will be decent work for quite a few months but then, as always, a new wave of young and super energetic graduates will take over, happy to accept low, low wages as schools (all employers) play on the 'be grateful, remember how it was under the virus??' line.

    By the same token supply teacher wages are going nowhere for ages.
  8. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    In the main yes, I completely agree.

    BUT also.... teacher recruitment and retention is still likely to steadily worsen (this being inextricably woven in with declining pupil behaviour and increasing admin)....these issues are more and more carrying over into long term supply roles. Think about it... why would you enter into long term supply (1 term - 1 year) positions when you have all the problems you had before and in the vast majority of cases are earning less money??

    Increasingly nowadays, long term supply vacancies are going unfilled... before Wuhan, my phone was ringing multiple times every day with offers from my agencies.

    The recruitment probs schools are experiencing for perm positions are now filtering into the long term supply positions for the same above reasons......

    This leaves daily supply as the final remaining band aid.

    Without some sort of earth shattering intervention, I cannot envisage any future where retention/recruitment for perm roles (with the exception of non-academic subjects) does not continue to decline.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    But.....most schools now don't need day-to-day supply, they have cover supervisors to take most of the cover.

    In my school we now have 4 CSs - there have been NO supply teachers in or odd days at all.
    agathamorse, gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Coming late to this thread, there is no mention of people who were never teachers.
    And now there are many. Many people have lost their jobs and will remain acutely aware of instability.
    The teaching profession will offer a new attraction. And teachers really do make a difference. (We've all just found out)
    There will be no shortage of new entrants to the profession.
    And that's an adjustment all the way up, with all the cynicism we already know from those who have accrued experience and inhabit a place high up on the pay ladder.

    Whilst we are busy anticipating a profession made rosy by newly discovered gratitude and fresh need, the bottom line of minimal funding is not going to change. If new people are coming in to the profession waving certification, they will always be cheaper and more important.
    Stand back and watch. New teachers, cheaper teachers, grateful teachers, curious teachers, malleable teachers. Currently in limbo with job loss, financial doom, insecurity. Out the other side, and teaching is the obvious way out.
  11. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I genuinely do not think that will happen.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    There may indeed be more applications for teacher training - but will that lead to more and better teachers ?

    The fact of the matter is - most people can't teach children and applying because you can't think of anything better is not likely to be a good thing.

    I've been teaching for 20 years - one thing I have noticed is the decreasing quality of student teachers. We had a decent one last term and we have someone on a SCITT course who will probably make it as a teacher but at heart they don't really want to be one. In the previous few years we've had perhaps one or two good student teachers. The rest were pretty terrible.

    It's a difficult job - not everyone can do it.
  13. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @peakster: You have a point! Say thirty years ago, most secondary teachers had come thorough the relevant subject degree followed by PGCE route. Teaching practise PGCE students had chosen to teach, intending a career in teaching. Then, in the Nineties, the 'on the job' training schemes came along, and early retirees from industry, (and, of course, those made redundant in the recent recession), 'career changers', and the like, appeared in schools, many of whom had little interest in the job. By the Noughties, 'have a go' trainees were the norm, few of whom had degrees, or equivalent qualifications, relevant to the subjects they proposed teaching.

    I am aware that personal anecdotal evidence can be invidious but I was involved in mentoring science student teachers for most of my career. It seemed to me that while in the early days, they were asking me how to teach various topics, latterly they were asking what to teach. I was amazed, and appalled, at the lack of basic knowledge in science of some more recent trainees, some of which, supposedly, had science degrees. I remember having to explain the chemistry of acid-base reactions to an NQT with a degree in chemistry!
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Yes but it does not matter who can do it.
    It matters who is cheapest.
    To be blunt.

    You've either seen that happen in the most pernicious way or you haven't. I wont bother with telling the generic story again on this thread.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @sbkrobson: Looked at cynically, governments might look on spending on more than basic education for the masses as a waste, as employment opportunities for them hardly exist.
  16. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    In the main I agree with what you're saying except for the last bit....

    What you're not factoring in is the fact that as a teacher over the years you become an expert at delivering a specific curriculum, not remotely an expert in the subject itself. This is something that a great many teachers can't bring themselves to admit. And is frequently evidenced when teachers leave the profession, expecting that after 10+ years of teaching that they will get an industry job in their "field of expertise" no worries at all......... only to find themselves working in supermarkets/admin jobs/estate agents/minor civil service positions... etc. By and large 'teaching experience' on a CV carries surprisingly little weight in the real world.

    As someone that has worked both in the science industry and as a teacher, its painful to hear teachers who have done nothing but teach call themselves 'Scientists', 'Mathematicians', 'Historians'... etc.... no, no and no! In the vast majority of cases, there is a massive difference between a scientist and a science teacher.

    I have worked with scientists who are post-doc in specific fields and very successful in their careers and yet they freely admit that are aspects of even the GCSE curriculum that because it has been so long since they studied it and as it has nothing to do with what they do now, have completely forgotten about it.

    So while I get the jist of your point, its not quite as clear cut as you make it out.
  17. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    And here is the most important factor..... get them in young and straight from uni = cheap + naive + keen + malleable (aka easy to intimidate via passive aggressive SLT/HODs)
    Jolly_Roger15 and agathamorse like this.

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