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How do you get supply work? Is there something that I have missed?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by albertdog, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. This leads on from the 'Supply in London' thread. How does one get even a reasonable (or, indeed, any) supply work. When I started trying to get supply work, I was 58, with thirty-plus years experience of teaching maths and science in London schools. I have taught chemistry and maths up to A level. My references are good, as I have seen them. I even have a aged Ph.D. Over the past fourteen months, I have registered with over two dozen agencies, and I live in easily commutable distance of Central London. At one point, I was making up to 20 phone calls every morning and more than that in the late afternoon. Only two of the agencies ever found me any paid work; most of the morning calls ended up with me travelling to bookings that had already been cancelled.

    The result of all this effort: a huge bill for CRB checks and six days work. I would love if people could tell me what more I could have done to get some work, and why it might bee that agencies are just not using me. Be as brutal as you like.

  2. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Try approaching an Academy directly. Academies have the advantage of being more independent and some use agencies to a lesser degree. I get quite a bit of work from one I have built up a relationship with. It also pays a good deal more. May be a bit late for this school year now but something to think about for September.
    They are keen that you actually take an active teaching role,as I'm sure you would, and not just fill a cover supervisor role.
    If using agencies just pick two or three good ones (I find Teaching Personnel to be good) and not be too fussy, at first, where you work (take half days if offered). Its all about building up relationships with them, if you've registered with too many you are spreading yourself too thin to do this. Again take an active role, I'm afraid that some supply teachers have let the rest of us down with their iPod/newspaper reading antics (I've seen it myself).
    There will be little work in secondary at the moment with year 11 left, year 10 on work experience, sixth form left, sports days camps etc. Why not consider some primary work, it can be fun.
    Fortuantly for me I'm still getting a few days each week and when I'm not the trout fishing is good.

  3. No idea, nut maybe the agencies aren't getting any work in at the moment! Agencies seem to charge schools more than LEA's paying supply to scale! My other suggestion is to take your CV to some of your very local schools, in person, possibly asking to see the HT and letting them know your availability. My aunt who is about to retire after being made redundant from a middle school did this and has ended up with very regular work form a couple of schools (who by the way use an agency too but pay her to scale directly and even did her CRB). You can let them know you are CRB checked with the various agencies and that they can request you through the agencies too if necessary.

    Just a though.
  4. Probably an age thing. There is a new generation of teachers who are moving up into HOD roles, never done any supply, so they just look at the many CV's which agencies pass onto them. and toss anything which does not feel right for them.
    Best take the advice as best you can and somehow be seen by schools someway.
    What is not helpful is that cover co-ordinators in school are CS's who have moved up the scales. They are hardly going to do supply teachers any favours!
    It is tough for all supply teachers. I was a shining star, but not being seen in school these days means my star is jaded.
    Just another agency CV plonked on a CS desk
  5. This are usually intercepted by admin staff and are 'filed'.......

    Think the best advice on this thread is go to local schools with your CV, CRB, a glowing reference and an offer to do some voluntary work. I live & work in the SW, agency supply can be sporadic, however I approached a couple of schools and I now work solely for 4 schools & have left the agency that I had signed on for. Was a slow process, but is well worth it now as I only do pre-planned absences! Good luck!
  6. I don't know any CS's who are the Cover Coordinators - usually it's an Assistant/Deputy Head that's in charge of cover, and I certainly haven't even heard of any schools where it's not even a qualified teacher. Some keen HTs and HoDs even sort it out themselves, especially if it's long-term rather than day-to-day.

    My advice - as I wrote on the other thread - would be to make a nuisance of yourself at the start so you make your name the one the consultants think of first thing in the morning. This is easier to manage if you're only registered with a couple of agencies. Although I'm registered with a bunch, I focus on 2 (the 2 consultants I like most if I'm being bluntly honest :) )and the others call me up from time to time. Most only try me for the dodgy schools no one wants to go in - and they've caught me out once or twice, but I'm very careful how I answer the phone to those agencies! The ones I've built up a better relationship with try and get me into schools where they think I'll succeed most, and they've really helped me in my development as a teacher.

    Still an NQT but I'd wager a bit more experienced than your average!
  7. [​IMG]

  8. Probably depends on area, I am in the north somewhere. In the secondaries the cover co - ordinator sometimes called the cover manager is not a teacher. I only knew of one school where a member of SMT did the cover like they used to. A recent visit and the role is now carried out by essentially senior CS. Have an application form with me now for a cover manager. I doubt I wil get a look in but have to do applications
  9. Am also in the North (we're talking Borders here) - and have also found that cover managers are usually CS, although in some cases it's the bursar or office manager/lead secretary.

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