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How do agencies choose which teacher...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Lucilla90, May 1, 2018.

  1. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    ...to send on assignments...particularly at quiet times?

    Do they go according to length of service? If someone has a part-time longer term job, do they go down the list so that work can be spread among the teachers, to keep everyone sweet?

    Does anyone actually know?
  2. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Maybe it depends who will accept lowest daily rate.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Or maybe the person who is known for answering most quickly / most likely to agree to go. . . . .

    I doubt there's any specific policy as such and much would depend and vary dependent on any particular agent / circumstances on the day / specific school etc
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I used to wonder that as well.

    Especially when you stop getting work
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Admittedly this was 'pre-agency days when we had a local LEA supply list and Schools phoned themselves, but I often wondered similar. I usually found it was a change of 'staff member dealing with supply' who had their own 'pet list'. ;)Or else because I'd been on a long-term position I'd been unavailable a couple of times and I'd dropped down their list.:rolleyes:
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. KB2015

    KB2015 New commenter

    I think if you contact them regularly updating them on your availability and if you have worked in a school before and received good feedback you will generally be at the top of their list. Don't work for a few weeks and you fall behind. On the other hand if you are a subject specialist and they need a long-term supply they will generally just ring whoever is most suitable for the post.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. The-Gaffer

    The-Gaffer Occasional commenter

    There used to be a contributor who was an ex agency employee - or claimed to be - I think they went by the name cuddly coyote but I couldn't find them when I ran a search so maybe they deleted thier account

    I think it's a range of things which in the main we as supply teachers have very little control over, I try not to let it affect me & prefer to believe that if I do the best I can then that's all I can do, everything else is outside of my control & I have enough worry in my life without worrying about things I can't control
    Lara mfl 05 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  8. RadostinaDa

    RadostinaDa New commenter

    Unfortunately I think you are right! We don't have control on that, at alll. I tried to be highly adjustable and accepted lower payment from one of my 2 Agents for an immediate start on a permanent role. When went to the interview they told me that the payment is even lower. I finished the interview in the middle, politely.
    Of course, at the end the Agent convinced me that I misunderstood the rate (which was an offer in written), and haven't had a heard of her yet.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I am sorry you have had this experience. We have all 'been there' and 'got the tee shirt', although this is little comfort to you. As someone said, supply agencies pull stunts that would make used car salesmen blush. I have found that there is always at least one 'catch' with longer assignments, usually with how much, or even if, you will be paid. which the agency tries to explain away as a 'misunderstanding', on your part.

    Teacher: "You said my daily rate would be £130. Why I am getting only £80?"
    Agency: "That's right. We pay supply teachers at least £130 per day."
    Teacher: "Why I am only getting £80?"
    Agency: "You are being paid as a learning facilitator', for which the rate is £80."
    Teacher: "But I'm doing a full timetable, including A level."
    Agency: " I think I see the misunderstanding. When I told you that we pay teachers £130, you assumed that this applied to you, as you consider you are doing the work of a teacher. Unfortunately, we (and/or the school) see it differently."
    Teacher: "Why didn't you tell me this before I started?"
    Agency; "I'm sure I did, although I don't recall you asking me.'"
    Lara mfl 05 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Yet another thing that annoys me about agencies is how bone -idle some of them are, expecting you to do the 'running about' for them, leaving you to liaise between them, the school, and the UC. A typical example of this is when you end up as piggle-in-the-middle between all three, as each blames the other for why you have not been paid.

    Particularly annoying is when an agency tries to use to deliver bad news to a school, to preserve their precious 'good relationship' with it.

    "We haven't received our monthly payment from the school. As you're 'on the spot'*, perhaps you could chase it up for us? It'd help you too, as we can't pay you until the school pays us."

    *putting you 'on the spot', too!
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I would suspect that the criteria goes something like

    1. Subject/Key stage
    2. Geography (how close to the school)
    3. Mode of transport (linked to 2 as a car driver can get to a school faster than someone relying on public transport)
    4. Reliability (How many times does the teacher turn down a gig)
    5. Feedback from schools (The agency may not wish to place a teacher with an awkward rep in a school that is a good customer).
    6. The school. Is it a new customer, in which case the agency will wish to send a safe pair of hands to make a good impression and hopefully gain more work.
    7. Interpersonal relationship between the handler and the teacher. (When I go to a new school I always send an email to my handler with my impressions of the place and any gossip such as staff that may be leaving and require cover, she seems to appreciate it). I also give her plenty of notice for dates I am unavailable.
    JohnJCazorla and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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