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Does subject speciality affect amount of cover work available?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by azebay, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. azebay

    azebay New commenter

    Hi, I'm new to the forum and in fact new to the profession. Completed my secondary maths pgce in june and only started supply teaching two weeks ago.

    I've been reading throughout this forum about how supply work is drying up and it's left me a bit worried as my plan was to do this as my only source of income for the next 2 years at least. So far in two weeks I've had 5 days of cover which isn't too bad. No work today though and the unpredictability can be a little scary. I had been told by all and sundry that due to the shortage of Maths teachers, I'd be in huge demand, especially in Birmingham where I live.

    Anyway my question was whether there is likely to be more supply work for a subject like maths or is it a myth that has been propagated only due to the apparent shortage of maths teachers nationwide?
  2. Fraccy

    Fraccy New commenter

    Well, I'm a Maths, Computing, Science specialist, in east London. Only had a couple of jobs this term! So there's been a definite downturn in supply...

    I wonder how the poor agencies are coping? (Yes, that's meant to be somewhat sarcastic...)
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Fraccy

    I think it depends on where you are in the country. There is another poster who lives in Birmingham who posts on here and they have not had anything at all so you have not done badly and it is coming up to the busy period now. Are you willing to do other subjects besides maths? Are you willing to do primary? The more you are willing to do the more chances you have of getting work. Also don't forget you are just starting out ; the longer you do it the longer you will build relationships with schools. If I were you I would also try contacting schools directly to tell them of your availability.

    As a maths teacher as !long as your behaviour management is sound, I think you will have enough work. Also you could do private tutoring which is good money.
  4. YoungSupplyTeacher94

    YoungSupplyTeacher94 New commenter

    Hello Fraccy,

    I have quite a regular amount of work since September. I think a lot of it depends on where you live and how far you are willing to travel.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I am a science specialist (chemistry) in London, and I have had very little work since I started supply three years ago. I've had nothing this term, and only a few days for the whole of last year. I looked into doing primary but my agencies just said that there wasn't enough work for their primary trained teachers. It's difficult to build relationships with schools if you can't get into them. private tutoring depends on where you are. Around me, there are too many people getting in the act, offering rock bottom rates, saturating the market.
  6. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    Hi there. I would say it is a risk but maybe. I have had very little work this year and only had my second day this term today. I think the subject you teach is irrelevant. Apologies for the cynicism, but you are more likely to get lots of supply work if 1. You have not done your NQT year and are just out of training, or if you keep subbing having never done your NQT year. The reason being you are cheap ( there is another sub at the school I got my second day this year at which I worked almost every day last year at. They have cut back on subs with only me and her having been I this year. She has had 10 days and I have had 2. She is in her fourth year doing subbing at the school and she never did her
    Probation year so she has best of both world. Cheap and bottom of pay scale and has built up at least three years worth of association with the school which is necessary. She fits both criteria for getting work at the moment)
    2. Have built up at least three years association with a school.
    If you are not in either of these catagories ie a long serving teacher of five years service in another part of the country ( quite expensive) with only a year supply service in my area, then I am afraid you are probably the least likely to be hired due to being expensive and not completely known to the school yet.
    Good luck. Like I say I think subject does not matter just whether you are cheap or have built up an association matter
  7. Fraccy

    Fraccy New commenter

    Hi pepper5, thanks for your kind encouragement!

    Before summer, I had several primary jobs; I have no problem trying out new things! (Even reading stories to 'em... [shudder!]) Basically, I take what's thrown at me - and there's been precious little this term, which is echoed in many other threads.

    As for building relationships with other schools: in this area, the supply process is pretty industrialised - I get to school, do the work, and that's it, I don't even get to speak to the person who organises supply. I mentioned in another reply that I tried arranging for direct work, but so far, I've found that schools only want to go through agencies (because, apparently, it's a borough requirement).

    Never mind, I'm working on other things...!
  8. Fraccy

    Fraccy New commenter

    You make some good points - I hadn't even considered that! I'm expensive because of my experience; the agency was delighted to market me that way. Probably it's working to my detriment right now...
  9. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    Yes. Accross the board it seems that those who are very cheap with a long association with a school are the ones getting the most work at present. I am very experienced having been a subject leader previously at a school for five years in England, before returning home last year to do supply (last year supply was great). This year it is terrible so yes, I think it seems some of us are the victims of our own success and experience in this chronically bad year for supply and are ironically the worst effected, especially if we are not yet in the 'who you know' catagory. It is a paradoxical lose lose situation even though on paper we appear excellent, and are undoubtedly so in the classroom

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