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Hostility towards supply teachers

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dobrze, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. dobrze

    dobrze New commenter

    Feeling really shaky as I'm writing this. I was booked for a days supply at a school I regularly work at, lovely school thought I was getting on well there. Turn up only to be told they have changed their plans and don't need me after all. So not the first time this has happened but then it transpires that they don't want me in a class as there was an incident. They refused to tell me what it was, I know there wasn't one and this is fabrication. My agency have said they will try to find out what is going on. I've been teaching for over 30 years and never had anything like this, I have a really good relationship with all my schools and agencies. This year I've noticed a marked increase in hostility towards supply teachers. I've also been shouted and screamed at by a teacher who of course didn't apologise. Nowhere else would you get away with this. Any other supply teachers feeling the same?
  2. UpperPayShelf

    UpperPayShelf New commenter

    I am so sorry you are experiencing this. Just want to send you encouragement and hugs. xxx
    I'm not a supply teacher (yet) but I am very thankful for you and I'm ashamed that the profession behaves in this way, but... I'm not surprised.
    I hope they get to the bottom of this nonsense and I'm sure the agency will find you somewhere that does appreciate your vast experience and diligence.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I assume you reported the individual to both the HT and your supply agency. Strikes me that an apology of itself wouldn't be an adequate response here.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Everyone these days is running scared of allegations. It doesn't take much. Heck, it doesn't take anything at all. Just a morsel of malice and a helping of hysteria.

    If they don't want you? Fine. As long as you get the work you need. It's a shame as you liked it. Maybe it'll blow over. There's no substance to any of this so the worst that can happen is that this school declines to take you. Sadly they HAVE to take action if a complaint is made. That's just procedure. If you're as good at the job as you sound then they'll realise it's spurious and have you back.

    Supply generally? I think schools are so short of money they're trying desperately to do without. They'll first ask a TA to cover. Then try to persuade other teachers to give up PPAs etc. And so on until the options run out and they have to put it to an agency.

    Concentrate on the good bits about supply. You don't have to go there ever again unless you want to. You don't have the stupid meetings. No after-school ball ox. Far less marking. No threats of capability.
  5. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    I wouldn't be too sure about that.
    FormosaRed and grumpydogwoman like this.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    There has always been a certain hostility towards supply.

    Mainly because they see the supply being able to come in and do the job without all those 'extras' which ordinary teachers are having to cope with.
    Plus there's a misconception about how much money supplies get paid.
  7. Cooperuk

    Cooperuk Senior commenter

    Having done supply on and off for a few years I can state categorically that supply teachers DO NOT get paid very well.

    There are no safety nets in terms of sickness either.

    Plus, some of the 'lesson plans' I have been left to decipher have been appalling. The worst was when I ended up being the only teacher in an MFL dept (I am not an MFL teacher) with lesson plans and resources that did not even fill 50% of lesson time.

    When kids acted up and I needed one removed I was told - we can't remove the kid without the HoD intervening. The HoD was in Paris on a trip. I explained this and got blank stares of incomprehension from the SLT member concerned and a reply of "We have a procedure - you'd need to get the HoD to intervene."

    Needless to say, I didn't go back to that school again.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Which is why I used the word 'misconception;.;)
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I agree with the rest of the post but doesn't the action have to include an investigation followed by informing the DBS if an offence was made?

    Otherwise the school is taking the risk that in a court a few months/years later the question will be asked
    "You knew that @dobrze was a risk to pupils and all you did was ask him to not turn up again!"

    Apologies @dobrze, I don't mean to allege any guilt on your part but the school should investigate this allegation anyway for precisely that reason, doing nothing, as now, is not an option.
  10. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Actually I'm well paid, over £200 per day (but through an UC so take home £130 or so). I keep mentioning this to every supply I meet in the hope it will embolden them enough to push their agency for more. Strangely most would rather whinge than push their luck.

    I get this because I'm half-decent at Maths/Science in W Yorks and I go to the bottom-end Secondaries. That money helps me put up with a lot of the rubbish that comes along but why the other supply work there for peanuts is very strange.

    Even more unusual is that the more money I ask for the less appears to be expected of me. There probably is no direct link between the money the agency pays me and the charge to the school.
  11. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    With respect, despite what some SLT may think, they cannot determine if an offence took place. Courts do that.

    AFAIA the only information that can appear on a DBS certificate is conviction/caution information held on the PNC system or "soft" information held on the police local systems. So unless the police were involved at some point I do not think it can appear on a DBS certificate.
  12. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Sorry @dobrze

    Reading the above I am far too callous, I suggest for your own health you get out of such schools and find a much more pleasant working environment.

    Or you could copy my example and sell your soul for a few extra fivers.:(
    agathamorse and Cooperuk like this.
  13. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You're quite right, SLT can only determine if the schools safeguarding processes have been breached and then make a report to the police and/or DBS.

    I need a synonym for 'offence' now?
  14. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    Why be paid via an UC if you end up losing 35%?
  15. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    I am not sure a school can report anything to DBS as they do not hold any information, they just check information held elsewhere.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Some agencies insist that you use a UC and won't give you work otherwise.
  17. dobrze

    dobrze New commenter

    Thanks for support! It now transpires there was no such incident or complaint but they preferred I didn't work in that class!! The agency were great but did tell them that I was far from happy at losing a days work. Will not be going back there obviously.
  18. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Lead commenter

    I am aware that some try this but I was under the impression that the sell on UC was that it reduced your tax and NI not increased it!
  19. The-Gaffer

    The-Gaffer Occasional commenter

    There you go fixed it for you
  20. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    What the OP describes is at the extreme end, but sadly, yes, a poor attitude to supply teachers is apparent from some so-called adults in quite a few schools, never mind the kids. It goes with the territory, and for the low level stuff you just grin and bear it.

    I was heartened on one occasion though, when I told the office staff I was ending the maternity cover quite soon, one of them replied with a smile "We'll have to cross you off the best dressed teachers list then". I always wore a suit on supply, even though I hate suits. Apparently most of the regular male staff were sartorial slobs by comparison. :)

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