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Ghost bookings

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by suertesamp, May 2, 2020.

  1. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    Today a consultant from an agency I am registered with called me for a brief chat about how things are for me during the quarantine etc. We spoke about how my Masters is going and then the conversation shifted to what this different agency I am also registered with are doing to their supply teachers: Ghost Booking!
    I asked her to explain what this is, and she said that this is a practice in which candidates are given assignments which do not actually exist, so that they can make 100% sure they won't take up work from other agencies and that they will be available that day (even though they do call them early in the morning and say they've been cancelled).

    I knew something dodgy was going on here! How could they!? More often than not, this agency cancel my assignments while I am on the way to work, sometimes sending me to a different school instead. Once, I actually had to drive past my own house to get to an assignment after being diverted 10 miles!

    Has anybody else heard of this?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I may have read about this practice on this forum before, but can't be 100% sure; but it does not surprise me.

    Let's face it - we all need money and we all like to have money; however, when it comes to the point of lying to get money and hurting other people to get it, that is bad.

    They are purporting to enter into a contract with you by making a booking that does not exist. There are various laws they may be breaking; and in addition, they are probably breaking codes of conduct which they should adhere to which pertain to the way agencies deal with their customers/teachers or others they may deal with.

    If that had happened to me, I would research into the body that oversees recruitment agencies and their conduct and report them as they need to have their cage rattled a bit and stop doing it.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    ...and I'd register with some better agencies too.
    gold19951, pepper5 and gingerhobo48 like this.
  4. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    Is this not a furlough pay thing?

    I'm currently on one.
  5. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    I have heard of that and I have also heard quite a lot of agencies booking a teacher at decent schools only to have the booking mysteriously cancelled right when the teacher shows up and is asked to go to Revolving Door Academy.
  6. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @suertesamp: I am afraid this has been standard practice with agencies since they first appeared on the scene, with dodges such as @a1976 describes.
    gold19951, MathMan1 and pepper5 like this.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    A 'rule of thumb' is that the longer in advance a supply teacher gets a booking, the more likely it is to 'disappear'.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    My attitude is if they do this to you, then you think twice for working for them again.
    gold19951 and pepper5 like this.
  9. a1976

    a1976 Established commenter

    There is another stunt that agencies and schools will pull. I've been asked to go to schools for the entire day but once lunch comes about and there is only one more lesson to go, I've been told to go home and that the school had managed to internally cover the last lesson. This happened a lot last year and ended up telling my agency that the next time this happens, I am to be paid for the entire day.
    Happyregardless and gold19951 like this.
  10. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I think in this position Of be inclined to blame the school...
  11. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    One of the main problems when working in this way is that you are piggy-in-the -middle between the school and the agency, both of which has nothing to gain by dealing with you honestly.

    Another little dodge is 'late call', where you get a call to go to a school at a time that ensures that you arrive after the beginning of morning school; late but not very late. You then get refused pay for the morning session, as you were late!

    Another 'rule of thumb': teaching agencies will pull strokes that would make estate agents and used car salesmen blush.
    Happyregardless, MathMan1 and pepper5 like this.
  12. steviepal

    steviepal Occasional commenter

    I've never had a ghost booking nor have I ever been refused a full day's pay when getting a late call. I've been doing this job forever. Must be lucky with all of my agencies over the years because they've all treated me fairly, paid me on time and acted above board. Be good to get more work from them at times but that's not their fault.
    gold19951 and pepper5 like this.
  13. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    This is the first time I have heard of this and haven't experienced this. This sounds very dodgy and really bad practice and wrong ! We learn something new each day.
    gold19951 likes this.

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