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how much commission do agencies take?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by sam29, May 12, 2012.

  1. As an NQT, I'm paid £80 per day by one agency, and £85 by the other two I'm registered with. I'm wondering if it's worth approaching schools directly and cutting out the middle-men. if the agency commissions are large enough, I could get paid more and still save the school money.

    So does anyone know how much commission the agencies make? Do they charge schools at national pay rates and pocket the difference?
  2. As an NQT, I'm paid £80 per day by one agency, and £85 by the other two I'm registered with. I'm wondering if it's worth approaching schools directly and cutting out the middle-men. if the agency commissions are large enough, I could get paid more and still save the school money.

    So does anyone know how much commission the agencies make? Do they charge schools at national pay rates and pocket the difference?
  3. Hi Sam. It varies a lot. The agency I have worked for the longest charges £30 for pre-book which isn't that bad and they pay all teachers £105 a day and long term at least £120 a day. Shockingly the people I am with at the moment are charge the school £80 per day for providing a subject specialist and paying peanuts £100 a day...and telling me that the rate is ok. There are no hard and fast rules. If your area has an LA register there is nothing stopping your register and then approaching schools direct with a CV. In fact approaching them direct isn't a bad idea anyway. Many like the convenience of dealing with agencies and don't forget they save on pension contribution, tax and NI that way. They may not been keen to take on a self-employed teacher even though there are huge advantages because you can deduct all sorts of things for tax like office space at home, travel, books etc. I work for a private school on that basis and even though I earn £105 a day there, it works out more because of the tax situation. I did approach them direct. Not sure if that helps or not. However your pay is FTE £15,600-£16,675 (amount you would earn if you worked all days of the school year). This is telling me you are probably in an area with lots of teachers and few jobs/ positions which has allowed the agencies to go that low. Any days you don't work you don't get paid. At that price bracket you are talking about retail jobs, customer service jobs, call centres. You may be better off stepping outside teaching and earning cash and applying to get back in with a regular employment record.
  4. I am also an NQT, but get paid £105 per day. I have work almost every day, and to be honest I wouldn't work for £80, as I often feel that i do more than a days work. For example I have spent time this weekend planning lessons for next weeks supply.
    I have heard from other supply teachers that the agency charges the school about £140 per day for each day that I am at a school, but don't know how true this is!
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    Having seen paperwork accidentally in a school office the agency charge 150 a day for myself, and I get 101 of that, which is crazy to say I do all of the work!
  6. That is very sound advice and I will give it some serious thought. If I can earn the same money in a 9-5 with virtually none of the stress and responsibility then I don't see any reason in continuing to be exploited by agencies. Thanks for replying
  7. That's outrageous! I wouldn't mind if they charged a fee proportionate to the value of their work, but £50 per day for checking a CRB, references and for answering the phone in the morning!?
  8. moleylong

    moleylong New commenter

    This is nothing... I was told by a teacher at one school I supplied at that they "hardly hire any supplies because the school gets charged £250 a day for them".

    I get £120 of that a day and that's before the umbrella company takes 4%, tax, NI and student loan payments.

    I couldn't believe it when I heard that figure!!
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. stan-dards

    stan-dards New commenter

    In my area most agencies charge £200-£250 per day depending on the teachers scale
    pepper5 likes this.

  10. Yes, that's more like it.
    The HT of the independent I worked at called me into his office and said "Do you know how much ***s are charging us to have you every day?". He turned his PC screen towards me-
    "£248 pounds per day (incl. VAT). That's a ridiculous amount of money!!!".
    Mind you, he wanted to put me in £70 a day! I told him to swing his hook.

  11. This is hilarous when they don't pay to scale!
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    £20-30 a day agency fee was my understanding, on top of whatever rate they pay the supply teacher, be it flat rate or scale.
  13. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Yet by the same token the agency allso has to have office space, pay wages get their consultant visiting heads , and expenses,NI and other insurances...you as a teacher contribute towars that,,,but if you had to self advertise yourself......unless incrediblly fortunate..you would incur a lot of other costs.
    The only way to make money is either to go direct( a system which is dying) or employ others and you take the cut..exactly what the agencies do.
    What is a shame is that agencies can vary the rate so much which they pay to teachers in various areas.If that was standerized im sure teachers wold at least know the rate,
  14. spiderwomen

    spiderwomen New commenter

    Your agency are taking the **** out of you! I've never heard of anyone being paid that low! At present agencies are telling everyone that they can't pay them any higher as schools are refusing to pay them. The truth is agencies are still keeping their profit margins healthy by underpaying the supply. They're getting less supply and are taking more commission as a result. Schools agree a sum in which to pay a supply eg £115 - £135. Then their commission on top. As no school bothers asking supplies how much they actually get paid- the agency gets away with it. If you ask for more money then the agency don't use anymore. The whole situation is utter **** and not likely to improve! Schools generally don't employ directly- I've tried in the past and got no response. It's always worth a try though.
  15. I get £115 a day, and am officially an NQT, although have been supplying for 2 years and a term now. Agency charges my schools £180 a day for me.

    Sickening really
  16. £115 is good going for an NQT. I am normally on £120 and I have 36 years experience. At the moment I am on more though as AWR has kicked in and I am in a long term post.
  17. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    £115 as an NQT is blimmin' brilliant! I'm on £120 to £135 and I'm M5.
    I'll admit to always being curious as to what agencies charge schools for supply teachers. Think I'd always assumed it was £40-£50 more than the pay of the teacher. Not sure where I got that from. In these austere times the cheaper ones will most probably flourish.
    One of the agencies I work for are advertising for teachers to sign up with them ready to start work in September. Last year they advertised rates between £95 and £160, now they are advertising £85 to £130. They've probably realised that in order to get more work they are going to have to drop the amount that they charge schools.
    Bring back LA supply lists, is what I say.
  18. I find it hard to believe they are charging over £200 - surely at that rate it would be cheaper for schools to employ supply directly? With agencies competing against each other to get business they must be undercutting each other.
  19. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    I remember when I started teaching in 2007 and signed up with an agency. They paid me £95 a day and said that they were way cheaper than the local authority paying at scale rates. Suppose that might be true as the school would have to pay the employers NI and pension contributions.
    Over £200 a day charged to schools and only paying the teacher about half that is disgusting - greedy agencies will not survive these tough economic times.
  20. Oh I know I am very very lucky to be what I do. It is sickening what the agencies charge and the fact that so many very experienced teachers are forced to take low pay or get no work

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