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

Feeling worried

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by spanner27, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. spanner27

    spanner27 New commenter

    I’ve been on supply for 4 years now in between having my children and although I know September is quiet I’m starting to stress out as I’ve had no work at all yet.
    I was on a long term contract last term so feel like I’ve lost all my schools who used to ask for me,one agency is fobbing me off and I signed up with another nearly two weeks ago and they still haven’t requested my references so that’s not happening soon.
    I guess my question is can agencies just drop you without warning and do people think it will pick up soon or should I look for work elsewhere?
    Thank you
  2. The-Gaffer

    The-Gaffer Occasional commenter

    I think it depends where you are based & your subject (or if you are primary)

    I'm secondary PE in Birmingham & last year did 5 days before Oct half term then worked pretty much the rest of the school year on long term positions

    The previous year I probably averaged about 3 days a week over the whole year although none of that was in PE

    Regarding agencies if you do a long term placement then after 3 months you do become non compliant with the others so will need to re-register, this is where it can get tricky as the agency who just got you long term gigs effectively has to confirm to the other agencies you have been working with them

    So far I have avoided this as one agency has kept me employed since Christmas last year, however unless they come through on another long term gig from January I'll be back on day to day
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi spanner27

    Welcome to the forum.

    Agencies can be very fickle and they usually have no loyalty to anyone. It is best in my view not to overthink these things and just get on with what you can do - big, big piece of advice that helps me is: do the things you can control and don't worry about the things you cannot control.

    1. Call the agency that hasn't organised the references and ask them is there anything else you can do to expedite matters as you are eager to start working.

    2. Are there any other agencies you can sign up with to replace the one fobbing you off? Why do you think they are fobbing you off?

    It is VERY difficult to predict with any certainty what direction supply will take. Last year, it did not pick up until after the mid term break; but after that, I was busy right up until the last day of the summer term on day to day supply.

    My personal view ( which of course is not based on anything other than my own experience) is that it will pick up again after the mid term break.

    What you could do is to ride it out until then if you can. If it doesn't start to pick up then look for something else.

    We are only in week three of the new term - it is still early days.

    You must try not to get stressed out but keep calm - it can be horrible waiting around for a phone to ring and I should know since I have done this for nine years.

    Every year this same things happens to me: for about two or three weeks, I start to panic thinking the phone will never ring and then suddenly it starts ringing three times each day!

    However, the very nature of supply means that it is totally unpredictable.
  4. spanner27

    spanner27 New commenter

    Thank you - I’m primary and based in the north- east. I think just one day’s work would ease my anxiety at the moment and hopefully it’ll pick up soon.
    I’m just getting paranoid that I’m being put to the bottom of the pile with the agencies and I just need the chance to get in a few schools to hopefully get repeat booking.
    Fingers crossed
    gingerhobo48, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  5. spanner27

    spanner27 New commenter

    Thank you - I’ve given myself till half term to re think my options so will try to stay calm till then!
    The agency I think is fobbing me off only got me two half days in the year then were off with me when I rang to re-register so I just feel like I’m not top of their list. Plus I’ve asked for their CPD package a week ago and they still haven’t sent it so ....
    I just hate agencies and all they stand for!
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi spanner27

    Yes, it is probably just a matter of holding your nerve and waiting for the agencies to ring. It might be quicker than you think.

    You obviously have a lot of experience and know what you are doing so that is a big bonus for you.

    Are you in a position to register with some new agencies? Also there is nothing stopping you for writing to some schools you like and asking for work directly - some of them might just need an experienced primary teacher.

    Have you ever thought of starting a day care? You would have to put a lot of effort into researching it and finding finance to get started, but is that anything you might be interested in?
    spanner27 likes this.
  7. spanner27

    spanner27 New commenter

    I did look into childminding but I don’t really think it’s for me. I’ll have a look for some other agencies to sign up to and keep pestering my current ones till they give me work just to get me off their case!
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Yes, working with very young children every day is definitely a "calling" and if it is not for you then you probably know it.

    Definitely look for some other agencies. Call the schools near to you and ask them who they use. Also, send out some speculative letters to any schools you think are the "good" ones.

    Keep us posted.

    All the best

    agathamorse and spanner27 like this.
  9. spanner27

    spanner27 New commenter

    Well I’ve got work booked for tomorrow so you must have brought me good luck! Full day and only 10 minutes drive too - hooray!
  10. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Wise words pepper. I'm fortunate enough to have a gig that should last til half term and maybe Xmas, but I am curious. Does anyone else sense that schools, EVEN MORE THAN BEFORE, are plugging holes with anyone cheap, now that they are no longer under any obligation to employ any sort of qualified staff?
    agathamorse, JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  11. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    tonymars they have been doing that for years, but I know what you mean. I read somewhere that the number of teachers employed on permanent contracts have fallen by 1.5% or a figure like that. So that begs the question with student population going up and teacher numbers falling, who is filling in the gaps, schools may increase class sizes, but as the year advances on, I am hoping the consequence being a increase in demand for us supply teachers to stand in and cover the lessons.
    agathamorse, JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi spanner27

    Good news.

    I must admit I said a little prayer for you.

    That was a quick answer!
    agathamorse and Happyregardless like this.
  13. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    I think Pepper is painting a somewhat rosy picture!
    pepper5 likes this.

Share This Page