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Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by littleguide, Mar 5, 2012.
The only consolation is that their own greed is killing them too!
When I originally signed up with a number of agencies, one agent was quite open and honest with me about the agency stance. He said that as the private sector recession had hit first, the agencies went stampeding into the public sector in search of profits, especially from Health and Education, hence all the competition. Now the Public sector recession is hitting, and with the arrival of Cover Supervisors and AWR I'd be very surprised if a number of agencies don't get taken over or simply go to the wall. One shouldn't rule out a Gove or OFSTED edict about QTS that could change things, but I'm not holding my breath waiting, especially given the relaxing of rules in academies.
TBH, I think schools employing CSs has done more damage than agencies. If teacher illness is covered by CSs, it doesn't matter how many agencies there are, no supply will be required in that school that day.
My agency offer day to day supply at a flat rate of £100 regardless of grade. I'm now being asked if I'm prepared to accept work as a cover superviser.
Since I've been on M6 for a couple of years I'm thinking it's time to quit- if they can only get day to day CS work I'd be better off doing almost anything else (especially as I'm also expected to drive 20+ miles with zero notice).
I accept the fact that Cover Supervisors have greatly reduced the amount of work for supply teachers.
However, if you think back to when CS were introduced- wasn't it in part due to the exorbitant agency charges?
The big agencies , like Ransdat, shunt all kinds of workers arount. A teenager I know of- a couple of years out of school- could only get a job through this outfit working for a crisp factory. The regular staff get £8 per hour, sick pay , hols etc. He gets £6 -no sick , no hols ( same terms as supply).
To the agencies, any a pair of hands is commission, a company car, fat perks, a nice pension and a fancy office.
A ticking time bomb...
Agencies do come in for a lot of stick and maybe they deserve it but I think the real blame for the current situation for supply teachers should rest with others.
Personally I blame incompetent, civil servants, trade union leaders and politicians who have been responsible for writing sets of regulations, guidelines and agreements that are contradictory and then continue to allow shcools to flout those regulations and guidelines. We have regulations and guidance notes that say that classes must be assigned a teacher to teach them and also have guidance that says the same thing. But there are also guidelines that say that head teacers may use support staff to carry out specified work.
The 2 main reasons given for the extra use of support staff instead of teachers for cover and PPA provision (not the same thing) are:
1 support staff know the school and pupils better than supply teachers; but guidelines give schools the chance to use "cover" or "floating" teachers and the use of such staff is not being used very often.
2 budgetary restraints. So why are schools not being provided with a sufficicent budget to enable them to use more teachers for PPA work and cover and then allowing them to use support staff for their primary role one part of which is to support individual pupils and small groups. Were the civil servants and politicians planning to restrict budgets and planning for a recession a decade ago.
The agencies in Warwickshire have their dirty fingerprints all over the demise of teaching in this country!
I agree with Bronco there are many contributing factors to the demise of supply teaching besides the agencies. The one I am most upset about is the lazy unions, especially the NASUWT. However, is there a union out there which will take the concerns of supply teachers seriously?
Sorry , but teachers , yes teachers, have maintained their separate unions. The whole thing is down to LACK of union awareness and LACK of guts ! One union, one voice and one outcome !
WE have let Gove in !
With respect, tory voters and voters who voted libdem to keep a tory out and still got tory, let Gove in.
And now the libdems are keeping Gove in.
Why are we ranting about Gove? Remember which government opened the Pandora's Box of any unqualified muppet being allowed to babysit classes of kids? Don't let them dodge the mess they started either - I advocate a fully non-discriminatory policy of being peed off at ALL of 'em.
I don't actually blame the agencies (much) - I blame the then-Government for trying to get education on the cheap, I blame the current-Government for conveniently ignoring it, I blame the unions and the full-time teachers who happily sold out in return for an afternoon of PPA a week, I blame the unions some more for not stepping in when it became clear what was happening, I blame the heads and full-time teachers who for many years had resented supplies as having some kind of easy life and rejoiced with glee at our perceived downfall... and then, after all of that, I blame the agencies for hatchet jobbing rates down even further in an attempt to scrap against other agencies for business.
Above all else though - I blame the unions and contracted teachers who stood by and took the concious decision to sell supplies out for an easier life for themselves... and then they send out mailings asking us to give a day's pay to the strike fund? Psh!
I would like many others not blame the agencies totally, because blame as to be shared equally between a number of groups.
Agencies - Yes they are greedy barstewards and other charge the school, just by acting as middlemen.
Unions - I am in the ATL, which are so spineless and weak, it is an embarrisment, the NASUWT are not much better and both have a vested interest in the use of the unqualified in that both unions accept membership from non-teachers and then there is the NUT - whose talk a little and do nothing, we all remember when they complained on the BBC about the use of the unqualified to teach and what have they done since?
The Politicians - we all accept that they are driven not by a desire to improve educational standards, but by sheer incompetence and uselessness. I will include the present and the last 2 S of S for education in this. I am still get Mr Gove to answer the question that I posed to him, 'is he not ashamed that he contradicts himself all the time, in that he says teaching standards must rise and then says anyone can teach'. I won't even mention Ed Balls role in the scandal.
The teachers - How many teachers in permanent roles have said 'NO' we will not allow our classes to be taught by an unqualified person? Instead we get they are okay, I trust them, until the lose their jobs and find that these nice support staff doing the job they trained to do.
Headteachers and schools - In many cases they are a bunch of deceitful, dishonest andeducation deserves better then this. We all know the lies that some of these people come out with, 'they know the kids, that is why we are using a supply CS!, we care about our students education, that is why we are letting our nice little Mary the TA (she working on getting her basic skills qualifications, you know) or Tom the CS (he is good at controlling the kids, he worked previously as the local enforcer) to teach the kids
Then finally the group that would gave a swamp rat a bad name, the Media.- what a bunch of slime they are, say nothing about the use of the unqualified or praise the politicians, but at the same time blame the teachers for the kids being unable to read or write when they leave school. They would never tell the truth or are prepared to see the truth, even if it bit them in the ars*.
So it is a mixture of people and organisations that as created the mess we are in and as all bt ended the careers of many of us teachers. I hope that I do not sound bitter.
Agencies:A totally UNNECESSARY EVIL!
Who needs them?
Who wants these malign, utterly self-serving,
profiteering, conniving, stress inducing, INTIMIDATING and utterly
exploitative, patronising and wholly parasitic "businesses" on the
downtrodden and long suffering supply teacher?