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Getting desperate - should I take work as a CS?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by mereside, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. mereside

    mereside New commenter

    This is traditionally the busiest term for supply work and I have always in the past easily had enough work and been able to be a bit choosy about what work I take. However, I have not had a single day so far and on speaking to all 4 agencies that I am with the message is quite clear: schools are telling agencies that they will only pay for cover supervisors for general cover.
    Like many others I have resisted taking work as a CS but I am beginning to think that I may have to jettison my principles in this regard because of the lack of cash in my bank. I know that I will probably be shot down by some on this forum but I am rapidly running out of funds. I also know that many people have also had to jettison their principles and accept work as a CS. Can people who have give any advice/answers to the following questions.
    1 If you do take CS work do you just do it through one agency and tell the others that you will only work as a teacher at teacher rates as no doubt once you take CS rates they will always in future only give you work at CS rates.
    2 When you get to school are you treated any differently? Do the school still expect you to teach the classes or do they really just want you to supervise set work left?
    3 Has anybody got into difficulty with schools/agencies as to where the line is drawn between teaching and supervision?
    4 What sort of daily rate do people get from the same agency as a CS and a supply techer?
     
  2. historygrump

    historygrump Established commenter Forum guide

    The problem we have got is that schools are demanding supply CS and not supply teachers to save money, and knowing full well that in many cases the agency will send a qualified teacher. So the school gets in many cases a teacher on the cheap, who is basically desperate for money to pay the bills. Even worse is the fact that when schools do use supply CS, they are often classified as teachers to deflect any angry outbursts from students and parents on the use of unqualified staff. Even full-time CS are often portrayed as teachers to make easy for them and the school.
    We all know tthat schools are using unqualified staff to teach and that included permanent teachers, an HoD I know said it is wrong, but!. The SMT's constantly lies to the public, polticians and teachers by saying that they are vital to the school in that it allows education to continue for the students without too much disruption. How that is possible when the officially don't teach and some have only the minimum qualifications. I will not condemn any teacher who is forced to work as a CS, if they have to pay bills, I condemn their dishonest, deceitful and spineless teaching colleagues in permanent posts from HT to classteacher, who do not and will not stand up and defend the teaching profession and the education system in England.
    Since the introduction of the CS in schools and allowing the TA's and instructors, and the pointless CS to teach, we have our status in the world league tables fall year by year and all the politicians can say is 'it is poor teaching standards and we need to improve the academic levels, the training standards of teachers'. NO, it is not the teachers fault, it is the politicians for allowing the HT's to use these untrained non-teachers and until they impose the same rules as Scotland and ban the use of support staff to cover, supervise and teach lessons, we will continue to slide down the worlds educational league tables. Schools use to use cover teachers and could still, if they did not waste money on the thousands of pointless permanent untrained CS.
     
  3. You mean you find it impossible to simply say NO with the explanation given above???
    You mean you cannot ACTUALLY say to the caller requesting your services that you are,
    a fully qualified and registered teacher with substantial classrooom teaching experience and should be paid the correct and fair rate for the job!
    Perhaps you need lessons in self-assertion given by other fully qualified professionals e.g. state registered nurses and doctors? who would find this situation totally unacceptable and would unhesitatingly say NO loudly and clearly!
    Absolutely a pathetic victim of bullying and manipulation.
     
  4. The agency worker would also NEEDS TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING questions and aswer the honestly:
    • Should a locum, fully qualified and GMC registered doctor accept work as a nursing assistant?
    • Should a fully trained and NMC registered bank nurse accept work as an unqualified assistant?
    • Should a fully qualified and GTCE registere teacherd secondary subject specialist teacher accept work as a TA's "assistant"?
    Come
    on guys resist all the flattery and insincere praise! Just say NO to
    unacceptable job offers. The more NO's the better for all of us long
    suffering supply teachers!

    Denial and hypocrisy is rife and the fight for employment justice and fairness continues...[​IMG]
     
  5. Again and importantly without typographical errors:
    The agency worker would also NEEDS TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING questions and answer them honestly:
    • Should a locum, fully qualified and GMC registered doctor accept work as a nursing assistant?
    • Should a fully trained and NMC registered bank nurse accept work as an unqualified assistant?
    • Should a fully, graduate qualified, experienced and GTCE registered teacher i.e. a secondary subject specialist accept work as a TA's "assistant" etc etc ?
    Come
    on guys and gals resist all the flattery, humiliation and insincere praise!
    Just say NO to
    unacceptable job offers. The more NO's the better for all of us long
    suffering supply teachers!

    Denial and hypocrisy is rife and the fight for employment justice and fairness continues...[​IMG] Who's inequitable agenda would you wish to follow?

     
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I've worked 100 days out of a possible 170 since last March, 67 of which were paid to scale and only 12 of which were at CS rate. The rest were agency flat rate. Those 12 days earned me £1000 that I wouldn't otherwise have got.

    I tell you what, pedigree - send me a cheque for £1000 and I'll happily refuse the next 12 days of CS work I'm offered.

    I gave up a TLR and half my full-time income when I quit my job in disgust at my HT's dreams and schemes and became a Supply Teacher. The only bullying and manipulation I've suffered was at my HT's hands - my supply agency has kept me financially afloat this last year, and they treat me like an asset, not a commodity.

    I've already paid enough for my principles and I certainly don't intend to start paying any more for yours.
     
  7. I'm unemployed and depressed (have a disabled wife to support).
    Only had one day's work this term on MPS because at that secondary school i'm employed by the LEA.
    Now HAYS has not given me any work this term yet...and has never offered me any TA, CS or whatever because they respect my experience, qualifications and performance as a fully qualified teacher!Or perhaps they know what my response will be?
    I've had three weeks work at the Royal Mail as an Xmas casual sorter and in also in a call centre but working in a school as an unqualified teacher when I'm qualified??????????NEVER, NEVER and NEVER!!! I will not join in with this corrupt and manipulative practice. NEVER!
    £1000 could last me 6-9 weeks IF NOT longer! Live more FRUGALLY! In fact I'll show you how to pare down and make cut backs!

     
  8. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    pedigree: I intend to try and make enough out of supply work to help support my dependants without becoming a martyr to it. The jobscape I've started working in is clearly very different to the one you started working in, and that's all there is to it. If your principles and choices work for you and mine work for me then let's just leave it that and not try to get into some sort of public p*ssing match. My agreeing to work 12 odd days at CS rate simply makes me pragmatic, and not some pantomime villain to be booed and hissed at every opportunity.
     
  9. Good luck to you then! I wish you well as a fellow qualified teacher...But...?
    But please consider that by accepting work as an "unqualified teacher" rate of pay you've allowed yourself to be cajoled and <u>now other qualified teachers</u> will have to also bear the brunt of this <u>devious malpractice</u> because as is so often the case, supply teacher agencies will now say: "other qualified teachers are accepting this level of pay, why can't you?"
    If only we had all remained steadfast and firm with regard to this gross employment inequity and professional disrespect?
    The floodgates are truly opened and whatever NEXT? We could have all (like bankers perhaps) desiged the jobscape but...[​IMG]
     
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    My agency has never discussed other employees with me - they have confidentiality rules. However, as TheoGriff points out, there is a ready and growing pool of unemployed NQTs waiting to step in and take on supply work and CS work at lower rates of pay than us older teachers, because they can't find the jobs they've trained for.

    There are also fully qualified, experienced and competent teachers taking on CS work as a means of gaining a better work-life balance whilst they bring up young families. They go in, do the job for a few hours, then walk away with time to spare. I know of one such person in my last school whom I have a lot of respect for, and I'm sure she's not the only one. She wanted to work as a part time teacher but the option simply wasn't there for her. I fully accept your point about unqualified staff leading classes , but the fact remains that the number of qualified CS staff will inevitably grow.

    My recent experience as a Union rep tells me that those days are long gone, especially when HTs can divide and rule people who fear for their jobs in a recession. Permanent staff who can remember doing endless and unreasonable levels of absence cover before Sept 2009 are grateful for CS staff who give them more spare time. Their HTs are no doubt telling them that if the supply budget isn't reduced their jobs will be at risk, so Supply Teachers aren't exactly a welcome addition in the staffroom. I personally don't think supply budget savings will prevent redundancies in most cases but while the belief is out there, we have no clout whatsoever.

    The only ray of hope I see is the oft-quoted phrase "We're desperate for GOOD supply staff". I think the answer is to work damn hard at being a good supply teacher whatever the pay and circumstances, because will always be in demand. When Mr Gove passes some law that allows CS to cover for maternity absence (and I wouldn't rule it out), then I'll see the writing on the wall and quit.
     
  11. Pedigree is right and a person of principle.
    Any qualified teacher who accepts work in a school at an unqualified hourly rate has not only devalued and undermined their own QTS, teaching qualifications and statutory registration, he/she has undermined and devalued the entire TEACHING PROFESSION.
    HTs are stupidly standing by and doing nothing. Complete hypocrites! They are all salaried...
    We now have a most intolerable scenario of employers thinking or perhaps even implementing a minimum wage of &pound;6.25 per hour now that so many have accepted all this unfairness without a fight!!
    Of course agencies will not discuss individual employees with others but it does not mean that they have NOT FORCED, COERCED OR BULLIED otheres into accepting lower and lower hourly rates!
    Question: HOW LOW DO WE ALL HAVE TO SINK?????
     
  12. Yes true-but i think your missing the point here 'Quietgenius'......supply is a dying game. all supply supply teachers are considered unemployed or self-employed. People need to pay bills and mortgages /rent. Personally cs work os better than no work. Atleast this person will be earning money whil[​IMG]e the rest of you are sitting in the house waiting to answer the phone.
     
  13. This is an example of the absolutely stupid system that we now have in place in schools. Cover Supervisors are only expected to supervise or HLTAs/TAs may carry out specified work. But schools are using qualified teachers to teach but will only classify them as Unqualified Teachers.
    But it is illegal to use some unqualified teachers for teaching when there are qualified teachers available. So HTs are breaking the law when they employ staff in such a way and so technically any person who works as an unqualified teacher is also acting illegally.
     
  14. That's all well and good but I don't know if you've noticed or not, supply is on its ****. It's hard enough getting cover supervisor requests from schools and by taking this hardline stance you're segregating yourself from your agent and pushing yourself further down their list.
    Supply today is nothing like it used to be and change isn't going to happen over night, so you're either rich and work in supply to keep active OR you're foolhardy and poor.

    If a teacher is in a cover supervisor booking and a specialist booking comes through, nine times out of ten it'll be swapped so the teacher can get a teaching wage. I don't see the logic in being stubborn and opting for zero pay over receiving &pound;80 just to make a feeble argument.
     
  15.  
  16. I doubt it's from respect that they don't offer you TA/CS work.
     
  17. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Question: What are your specific suggestions for defying gravity without ending up penniless?
     
  18. mereside

    mereside New commenter

    Oh dear I seem to have opened a hornets nest on this one. Whilst I agree with the points made by Pedigree and Quietgenius it seems to me that we have now reached the practical situation whereby you are both in denial as to how the world has changed these last few years. You describe a utopia - unfortunately it does not exist and, like others have said, bills have to be paid etc. It might also help if you presented your opinions as less of a diatribe against those who now feel forced, because of the economics of the real world, to accept work and pay that would have been refused a few short years ago.

    I have now told one agency that I will accept CS work in "good schools" but not in the indisciplined hell holes that exist. I will only go to them on supply teacher rates. When I asked this particular agency about what I should do if no work had been set or if it actually involved teaching their reply was that I should basically insist on the work left being suitable for CS work and if it wasn't to send them a copy of the lesson plan. This consultant is a qualified teacher and told me that she disagrees with the entire concept of CS but that they are a business and that schools will now only pay CS rates.

    I no longer intend to stay in the NUT. They have not represented supply teacher's interests for a long time now and I am sick of giving them cash.
     
  19. I got a phonecall this morning saying could you goto a school on cover supervisor rate, I gracefully declined (I'm on a gaurunteed pay scheme which I was told would never be for cover supervisor)
    They said ok, and that they'd ring me up with a full teacher rate. As soon as the phone was put down they rang me back I'm guessing not even talking to the school (it was literally 1 minute later) and offered me full rate.
    Are they keeping the massive difference, telling the school i'm a teacher and giving me cover rate, or are they doing the opposite keeping me sweet by giving me full rate and charging the school for a cover supervisor?

     
  20. Spin, more spin lies and more lies!
    Practically all schools now have armies, yes armies of all manner of salaried, unqualified staff who do ALL THE COVER!
    HENCE WHEN THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE i.e. when most of the <u>unqualified</u> staff go absent for whatever reason a PROPERLY QUALIFIED AND REGISTERED SUPPLY TEACHER NEEDS TO BE CALLED IN SO THE PUPILS ARE ACTUALLY PROPERLY TAUGHT AND NOT "SUPERVISED" IN ONE BIG COMPUTER ROOM JUST LOOKING AT COMPUTER MONITERS.
    I've been there, some 80 pupils in one huge room together with TAs and CSs all over the place allowed to do whatever they wanted until I took my designated class and gave my designated class a proper maths lesson in an adjoining room!
    The TAs and CSs that were present simply admitted to me that they were <u>not</u> trained and qualified to actually teach so they "carried on" in their own, non-professional way reagardless but they all respected what I could do and actually learnt some maths with me for those who wanted to join my group!
    The idiocy and the mess has been caused by New Labour and many others who are trying to carry on with a most unacceptable, corrupt and degrading system...qualified teachers who are paid paltry and accepting rates for "supervision" and are now literally begging to do do more "supervision" are playing directly into the hands of bullies and the corrupt!
    HTs are not leading anymore. They are just playing around with the educational lives of pupils.


     

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