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Good news for Supply Teachers???

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by les25paul, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I met a fellow Supply Teacher today, (which itself is a rarity these days), and he told me about a recent long term placement he had just left.
    It was in a newly built academy which was run very much on business principles. The teaching day consisted of five hour long lessons. But for each lesson every teacher had to submit a full "OFSTED" style lesson plan complete with AFL, SEN requirements, evidence of progression etc, etc, you know the score. He estimated that this took at least 30 mins for each plan, although often longer. Every student's work had to be fully marked with detailed comments how to improve for each lesson, lets give that another hour for every lesson for marking. That now gives us over a twelve hour day, five days a week (OK you might be able to knock off three to four hours PPA from this).
    In addition this academy was very keen on various meetings with at least one every week, also held regular twilight CPD sessions and had INSET days during the school holidays. I think we can see the amount of time expected from its teaching staff is quite excessive. My contact told me that many teachers were struggling with these demands.
    Since this was an academy it had its own rules on hiring and firing and I was told it was commonplace for regular long term teachers to keep disappearing from the staff room (they were sacked, not buried under the school rose bush as they fell) particularly those who had taken sick leave for stress related reasons.
    "Still" I was told "Its good news for us Supply Teachers if regular teachers are dropping like flies". I'm not so sure myself, whilst I would be pleased to see more work available I wouldn't like to get it this way and am pretty certain I wouldn't like to work in a place like that.
    What do others think?
     
  2. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I met a fellow Supply Teacher today, (which itself is a rarity these days), and he told me about a recent long term placement he had just left.
    It was in a newly built academy which was run very much on business principles. The teaching day consisted of five hour long lessons. But for each lesson every teacher had to submit a full "OFSTED" style lesson plan complete with AFL, SEN requirements, evidence of progression etc, etc, you know the score. He estimated that this took at least 30 mins for each plan, although often longer. Every student's work had to be fully marked with detailed comments how to improve for each lesson, lets give that another hour for every lesson for marking. That now gives us over a twelve hour day, five days a week (OK you might be able to knock off three to four hours PPA from this).
    In addition this academy was very keen on various meetings with at least one every week, also held regular twilight CPD sessions and had INSET days during the school holidays. I think we can see the amount of time expected from its teaching staff is quite excessive. My contact told me that many teachers were struggling with these demands.
    Since this was an academy it had its own rules on hiring and firing and I was told it was commonplace for regular long term teachers to keep disappearing from the staff room (they were sacked, not buried under the school rose bush as they fell) particularly those who had taken sick leave for stress related reasons.
    "Still" I was told "Its good news for us Supply Teachers if regular teachers are dropping like flies". I'm not so sure myself, whilst I would be pleased to see more work available I wouldn't like to get it this way and am pretty certain I wouldn't like to work in a place like that.
    What do others think?
     
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    It struck me that as more schools move to Academy status it might be possible for established Supply Staff (or, more significantly, groups of Supply Staff) to negotiate their own terms as private contractors and cut agencies out of the equation. Something along the lines of working for agency rate plus a tenner but with no additional agency fee. That way the Supply Staff gain, and the school saves money while the middle men get left out.

    With regard to replacing an increasing number of stressed teachers, I imagine the stress would be equally burdensome for the supply staff. I reckon the future for older experienced teachers who don't want to be overwhelmed by bullsh*t is to switch to part-time working and accept a pay cut in return for their continued sanity. I wouldn't dream of working in the regime described by the OP for more than half a week.
     
  4. Acadamies are a funny one. Some have started with a no supply policy. Collapse three teaching groups into a big room and lock them in with three TA's and Cs's. Throw in a few data sticks and away you go (in theory)
    Saves big bucks.
    However some academies are using supply but it is a tough day in secondary. One I go to does seven lessons a day (50minutes) and pretty nackering as a supply no PPA so seven lessons on the trot running around an academy.
    The acadamy I go to is completely dis organized as the cover co-cordinators do not have a clue anyway. The teachers are moaning away and wished they had not knocked the old joint down.
    But the new joint is more fuel efficient so you can't knock that.
    I rarely meet any teachers anyway, just CS's and TA's running the show.
    Screw em its a days work

     
  5. One local to where my family are has had such a massive staff turnover (well read walking out instead of turnover - turnover implies new staff want to work there!) entire core subject departments are being staffed by ALL supply now. They also have decided that behaviour is improved when the kids don't move around the site at all - so each lesson changeover alllllll the teachers play musical classrooms while the kids stay put - suppose it stops them bunking off mid-school-day though (the kids that is, not the teaching staff).
     
  6. In one academy where I teach art, you race around the school with a few pencils. no art room and you are not allowed to stick things on walls anyway.
    Really screwed up.
    Great!

     
  7. GodOfBiscuits

    GodOfBiscuits New commenter

    "behaviour is improved when the kids don't move around the site"

    Is the behaviour better, or is the bad behaviour just less visible to the senior staff?
     
  8. Considering the truancy issues this place had - I think it's more that the inmates get less chances to escape to be honest!
     
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    When I was at Grammar school in the 1960s we only had specialist rooms for PE,Domestic Science, Art, textiles and Sciences and the teachers came to our Form room to teach us all our other lessons. However, the teachers didn't have to carry sets of textbooks to us as we were issued with all the textbooks that we needed at the start of the year and kept them in our desks (lift-up lids) and took them home to help with homework and revision.
    I can see why the Academy you mentioned would decide to keep the pupils in one place but it puts a huge physical strain on teachers who then have to get exercise and textbooks to the relevant room each lesson. The biggest issue is over the pupils being alone to rampage in the classroom at lesson changeovers.
     
  10. This sort of hiring and firing seems to be pervading into education from 'business'. You are expected to do things for nothing. The warehouse (M6 so no teaching work) where I am working operate a three strikes and you are out policy. One of the strikes is illness others are much more nebulous so that the interpretation can be twisted to suit the occasion under the banner 'misconduct'. Misconduct can range from not meeting your target to bad personal hygiene. The supervisors are Polish, with limited English language skills so that that this fudges the situation further when you state your case. Many of the Poles come in half an hour early to work unpaid as many, the British don't and so are perceived to be lazy. British workers have the encumbrances of families that need looking after when they are off school, the majority of Poles do not.
    The point is the employment market is everywhere one of high unemployment and so 'business' has this attitude that employees are dispensable ("plenty more where you came from"). Jobs in the public sector are being privatised (compare supply teachers having to go through agencies) so they can be replaced by cheaper staff (in education cover supervisors, in warehousing Poles and Lithuanians. Negative spin is put on the original workers eg. British are lazy,they won't do these jobs, they sit at the front knitting and so the almost slave labour is 'bigged-up' as being better.
    If you think my comments are somewhat prejudiced toward my fellow European workers, one of the first things said to the person working next to me was, 'you won't be here long this is a Polish warehouse'. I think some Acadamies have a similar attitude to old-skool (excuse my BMX style term) educationalists.
     

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