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Doing supply as a TA (Teacher Assistant)

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by a1976, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    Do you think this is just begging to be exploited by schools. I haven't been doing supply since July but thought about dipping in a couple of days out of the month as a TA. What do you all think of this?
  2. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I work with a guy who is a cover supervisor. He's on £65 a day through the agency. There are easier ways to make £65 a day than hiring yourself to be verbally abused by teenagers.
  3. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Unless you are 1:1 for a child with particularly challenging needs, primary (or probably secondary to be fair) TA is probably less stressful and soul-destroying than trying to cover supervise teenagers at a challenging school. TA-ing in a specialist setting might be rather different though, especially if SEMH as those roles typically depend on relationship-building which is difficult as supply.

    I am quite lucky in that so-far my agency has been pretty fair (I hear stories on here about agencies regularly trying to get qualified teachers to regularly accept TA work) and has only occasionally asked me to do TA work when they have been really desperate. I didn't feel exploited by the school, although I suppose it could be an issue if you were regularly doing supply at the same school. To be fair, TAs are probably one of the most exploited groups of employees in any UK state employment so it probably wouldn't be personal!
  4. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I came across a few supply TA’s in Primary and they were usually working on a 1:1basis.

    I was offered TA work twice in a Secondary. I did the first one and although it was easy money I was bored out of my mind as only one child needed support (I was working with different children throughout the day).

    The second time that it was offered, in the same school, I turned it down even though the agency upped the money to £75.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Bloody hell, you wouldn’t think anyone would work for that. Is that even minimum wage?
    tonymars likes this.
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    When I did my one day I worked from 9am- 2.30pm with an hour for lunch so it was above minimum wage.
  7. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    Hi everyone!
    What I'm wanting to do is make myself available for casual TA work (tell my agency my availability) and if a TA is needed for a day and I'm wanting to work that day, go in and work as a TA. But, I do not want to be in a school on a regular basis.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Yes begging to be exploited.
    £65 gross a day. Poverty wages.
  9. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    On the other hand, you can leave earlier than if you’re doing long term Supply, likely to be able to get work nearer home so less of a commute...

    I find doing the odd day a CS a bit of a relief. Given the pay I don’t drive myself so hard to get the little darlings to complete all their work.

    You may end up in one or two schools, though and get taken a bit for granted...
  10. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    Are long term supply people supposed to stay late? Nobody told me. I'm always out ten minutes after the kids.
  11. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Marking? Planning? Other duties? In primary at least, the expectations of long term supply are no different from those of full-time staff...
    BertieBassett2 likes this.
  12. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    During a long term supply post I refused to be performance managed because the agency was paying me, not the school.
    agathamorse, abwdSTEM and Jesmond12 like this.
  13. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    Well minimum wage is £8.72 and I guess if you work 8.30-3 with a 30 min lunch break then it’s above minimum wage. Not by lots.
  14. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Well, I was quite naive in one placement...
    Latest placement school have told me their expectations....I am compromising and leaving at a reasonable time but not 10 mins after kids...
  15. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    No pension contributions, no sick pay, no holiday pay and no notice period. No benefits of a permanent job. No scheme of work, no text books, no resources, limited support with behaviour and minimal consequences for verbally abusing me! I turn up, plug a gap and then go home. There's no point staying late to try and impress some guy who's not even your boss!
  16. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    I tried to argue on similar lines once but the school argued back that it would be good for my professional development and help with references and I couldn't really think of an appropriate response to that (I'm sure a lot of the posters here would probably be a lot firmer but I really want a 'proper' job (i.e. in the sense of having a contract) so am trying to create as many good impressions as I can)
    BertieBassett2 likes this.
  17. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    £65 gross a day e.g in London.
  18. abwdSTEM

    abwdSTEM Occasional commenter

    I was a regular visitor to one particularly difficult school, many supplies would refuse to go there but I didn't mind it too much (mainly because it was a nice ride there on my motorbike and they finished early ;)).

    Anyway SLT though it was a good idea to performance manage everyone including: TAs CSs and long term supply (although not regular visitors like me). There was one long term supply who could handle the kids (or at least put up with them), would plan lessons and mark and was doing a very good but thankless job. He told the school that he would not be performanced managed by them. They insisted but he would not agree.

    SLT still ignored him and set a date for a lesson observation. The day before this observation the supply told the school he meant what he said and that he was leaving putting SLT into a panic because there was no one else willing to replace him. What SLT didn't know, although the rest of the faculty did. was that the supply in question had a very successful business making more money then teaching, teaching was only topping this up.

    They offered me the role but I didn't want it because I was getting plenty of work elsewhere (those were the days) but remained a regular visitor where I found out the classes concerned never got a regular teacher for the rest of the year, oh and performance management for supplies was dropped too,
    BertieBassett2 and agathamorse like this.
  19. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I've been caught up in observation cycles before on long term supply. My attitude towards this is that they are welcome to pop in any time and see what is going on. After all the school is paying my wages, albeit through a middle man. However when I was once asked why I hadn't arranged an appointment to get my observation feedback, I said "well if I was that bad you wouldn't have had me back in on Monday".

    Even as a permanent teacher I never once was allowed to observe an observer showing me how it was done! The whole thing should be a two way process. And those in the position to make judgements about whether someone is inadequate at a job or not should at least allow us lesser mortals to see how they show rapid progress every 5 minutes or whatever else is on their b***s***t checklist!
    BertieBassett2 and agathamorse like this.

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