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How much supply work is around?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by MrMercedes, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    Hi,
    I was having a conversation with a friend today who is also an NQT (primary). We are both trying to get supply work at the moment. He told me today that he is a little bit concerned that there may not be much supply around. He was suprised to receive a call today off a well known agency asking him to work without pay for half a day. The reason given was 'that the agency wanted to build a good relationship with the school and he being an excellent teacher could do that for them'. Also he has not yet had any paid work from this agency! He said no and i told him i would have said the same. My thoughts are that surely the agency should pay you themselves if you are drumming up business for them!
    Anyway, it got me wondering and i decided to come onto the forums. I have read a few posts about people not getting much supply work. I noticed someone post that they also were asked to work for free. Is this a common thing?
    I finished my PGCE last month and am in the process of registering for agencies. I emailed 5 agencies with my CV. One replied and i am just waiting for references to be sorted. I have appointments with two agencies next week and the other two have not replied. I am interested to hear about people's recent experiences of primary supply in the Manchester area, particularly how much work people are getting and how much you receive per day? My friend is looking for supply in the St Helens area and he would also appreciate hearing how much work people are getting around there?
    Many thanks for any replies or info!!!! :)
     
  2. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    Hi,
    I was having a conversation with a friend today who is also an NQT (primary). We are both trying to get supply work at the moment. He told me today that he is a little bit concerned that there may not be much supply around. He was suprised to receive a call today off a well known agency asking him to work without pay for half a day. The reason given was 'that the agency wanted to build a good relationship with the school and he being an excellent teacher could do that for them'. Also he has not yet had any paid work from this agency! He said no and i told him i would have said the same. My thoughts are that surely the agency should pay you themselves if you are drumming up business for them!
    Anyway, it got me wondering and i decided to come onto the forums. I have read a few posts about people not getting much supply work. I noticed someone post that they also were asked to work for free. Is this a common thing?
    I finished my PGCE last month and am in the process of registering for agencies. I emailed 5 agencies with my CV. One replied and i am just waiting for references to be sorted. I have appointments with two agencies next week and the other two have not replied. I am interested to hear about people's recent experiences of primary supply in the Manchester area, particularly how much work people are getting and how much you receive per day? My friend is looking for supply in the St Helens area and he would also appreciate hearing how much work people are getting around there?
    Many thanks for any replies or info!!!! :)
     
  3. zippycfb

    zippycfb New commenter

    In my own experience (and most others if you have a quick scan of the forums) there is very little supply work about. Since September I've worked 5 full days and 5 half days. I'm yet to be even rung this term, not even had my usual 'availability' phone call. I have however been offered cover supervisor work. I can't remember who, but somebody called it right on here a few months ago - supply is dead. As for agencies asking teachers to do unpaid work, this now also seems commonplace.
     
  4. I live on the outskirts of Manchester, and have told my supply agency I will work in Wigan, Bolton, Salford and Chorley (they don't stretch to Manchester schools).
    I've officially "been on supply" since Tuesday, and heard nothing yet - though I didn't expect there to be much work the first week back from the holidays, especially since I'm an M6 experienced teacher returning after a break, and am not prepared to do cover supervisor, classroom assistant or unpaid work.
    I'll post again in a week or two and let you know how it's going.
    However from what I've read on here there really is very little work in most areas of the country. Your best bet is to offer to work in as many local areas as you can reasonably get to, and I know people being offered cover supervisor or classroom assistant work is more common, but that's down to whether or not you're prepared to do it.
     
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I would be more then "surprised" if an agency thought I was was daft enough to work for them for free. I already do some voluntary work for a charity and thats where my free labour goes, not to increase a private company's profits.
    If an agency wants to build good relationships with a school then they are free not to charge the school whilst still paying you (which is what my agency does). At the very least a reduced payment could be negotiated for PR roles only.
    If you are signed up with a number of agencies you can also "palm off" offers of unpaid work saying that you would prefer for some paid work from one of their competitors, that will soon stop them making these silly requests.


     
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Other posters have pretty much said it all.
    Supply has dwindled year on year over the past 10 years. Many schools now have 'alternative arrangements' for cover using TAs, HLTAs, cover supervisors etc. Yes it seems being asked to work for less or even free is common these days.
    There was one poster here last year, and I think the year before, who was getting work every day but I think that situation is generally very unusual.
     
  7. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    Since starting supply in September 2010 Ive had maybe 5/6 weeks where I had no work, the rest I've had generally at least 2 days a week and from March to July last year I had full time sickness cover.

    I had at least a day a week last term, although it was very quiet and so far this term I worked 1 and a half days last week and 4 days this week. I have recently been booked to do every friday til July at one particular school.In my experience It seems that Primary is more plentiful than secondary by quite a high degree, and it also helps if you live in/near a city and your a cheaper nqt. I also have a teaching specialist agency who I have built up a good relationship with and I know I would get even more work if I actually drove/liked upper KS2.
     
  8. ...Hi, I am sure you will have heard a great deal about how poor the situation is at the moment. Like you, I was once an NQT full of hope, excitement and desire to do what I had trained for. Things then (approx 11 yrs ago) were great, plenty of supply work, jobs and prospects.
    ...I dont want to spoil things for you but there is no point in sugar coating the point, supply at the moment is dog eat dog and what many, including me, would regard as a broken system. Work is there but as some have said, its either poorly paid or worse still requires you to work for free. I am an experienced teacher and an optimist by nature but be prepared for the messing about some agencies will give you and be prepared for lots of waiting by the phone.
    ...unfortunately, agencies arent what they used to be. They are quite happy to screw you for a measly few quid and the same applies to schools as well.
    ...good luck, I do hope it works out for you, and I am sure it will. Being positive is a good starting point, but I am afraid that many hardened teachers have seen enough to suggest things this year may be worse than last
     
  9. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    Cheers for the replies everyone.
    I suppose there are different factors, which can effect the amount of work someone gets - where they live, how much their rate is and so on. It's good to hear people's stories negative or positive. I suppose i will soon see how supply is going to be for me! I am now 'officially' registered with an agency. I will let you know if i get any work next week!
    Yes, i live in Manchester and my rate as an NQT will be £90 - i'm hoping that living in a large city and the cheap rate will work in my favour. It's not so much the money which bothers me at the moment as i have bursary money. Plus my uni awarded me some money as i formally complained about certain aspects of my PGCE. It's the being out of school - I already feel slightly worried about being out of the classroom and not remembering and building on the skills/knowledge i have learned.
     
  10. stan-dards

    stan-dards New commenter

    Plenty of work if you are a monkey as they only want to pay peanuts!!
     
  11. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    How much is peanuts in your opinion ?
     
  12. £60 after tax is the minimum I'd show up in a classroom for. That's about £85. (Do bear in mind that the figure the agency charge is pretty static around £170-180). I remember one case where I was working and the agency were getting more money than I was! I would cynically add that I imagine that any price-drop figures are restricted to your pay. I imagine the agency rates are pretty similar. Sadly, beggars cannot be choosers.
     
  13. ....and for £60, I am out the door at 3.05 and doing nothing outside of school hours.
     
  14. tabath

    tabath New commenter

    I'm in the same situation, same area at the same level, mps6 as you. Will be interested in yourexperience as mine is that unless you have some personal contacts within local schools then experienced staff will not get the supply work
     
  15. Speaking from personal experience, Primary NQTs seem to be doing better, as there is more work available in Primary(at least in my area). Even though I don't drive and as a result am somewhat restricted in the area I can work in, from late November I have had calls or bookings most days and this has kept up this term too.

    Something I learnt recently is that the agency I work for have kept quiet about the different rates they pay teachers and while they charge the school a flat fee, they make more money out of NQTs such as myself (because they pay us less).This would mean that an experienced teacher working for the same agency is less likely to get work - nothing to do with the school itself! In my case, it works out beautifully, but if I were a more experienced teacher, I'd be looking elsewhere.
    Anyway, hope it all goes well - the first few supply surprise calls are the worst on the nerves, but once you step into the classroom itself you're fine!
     
  16. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    I have had just 2 days since September and I am tired of the excuses from the agencies, perhaps they are using more NQT's, although I suspect that many are preferring supply CS to teachers or schools have so many permanent support staff to teach lessons in a teachers absence, they do not need teachers anymore. As one Manchester agency stated day to day is dead for teachers! I am so depressed with it, I feel like just calling it a day.
     
  17. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    I would call it a day if only I could find something else. I want something I can do well though. I don't want to sell anything and as for most of the other things I think I'd be able to do I get to the point in the ad that says,' previous experience in ... ' and give up.
     
  18. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    Hi euterpe,
    What area do you work?
    Thanks. I was up bright and early this morning but no call!
    The agency have called me today and said they had loads of work today! However, i was only available for half a day (due to registering with another agency) and they said there was no half day work. Its funny speaking to agencies - i think i just take what they say with a pinch of salt now. Will see what tomorrow brings when i am available for a full day!
     
  19. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    Hi historygrump,
    I went to another Manchester agency today.
    They told me day to day was absolutely fine but longer term work was dead! This was for primary - not sure if the same for secondary.
     
  20. Don't believe all these lies about working for free!
    Utterly UNACCEPTABLE! WOULD THAT CALL CENTRE OPERATIVE WORK FOR FREE?????
    Flattery! Do not respond! Tell them where to go!!![​IMG]
    DO NOT, NEVER EVER DEVALUE OURSELVES! WE HAVE MADE SOME HIGHLY EXPENSIVE FINANCIAL AND ACADEMIC SACRIFICES!!!!!

     

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