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I'm afraid the 'writing is on the wall' with supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by is2, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    If anyone is even thinking of making a living out of supply now, my advice is don't. Unless you have a second income and even then it is precarious. I have had 1 half day this term. That is all. Diddly squat, whereas last year I had about two schools calling me everyday for the entire year. Please do not ever depend on it at all. Opinions welcome. Anyone else agree it is fast becoming a waste of time even considering it as even slightly beneficial as a means of income?
    sebedina likes this.
  2. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    I think anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously deluding themselves with lullabies that it is a reasonable means of making a living. It is not. Now mid November and supposedly peak time but not a scrap of work in sight.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It still depends to an extent where you are and how well established you are.

    We had two supply teachers in last Friday (I hadn't seen either of them before).

    Another supply teacher I know has just got a maternity post starting after xmas.

    But I do agree the amount of work is down this year and I'm glad that I'm no longer on supply. I used to get so tense waiting for that phone call in the morning - don't want to do that again for a while.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    There are those of us who have been saying for years that 'supply' is not to be relied upon to provide a regular income.
    Even years ago it could never really be 'counted upon' if you were a one-income family and had bills to pay.
    There are people on here who still do get regular work (as did I) but it was often as a result of building up good relationships with schools over years.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi is2

    I agree with Peakster that a lot of whether you get supply or not spends on where you live. Last week I had four days, but who knows about this week - it could be every day or nothing; such is the nature of supply.

    Supply is OK when there is a partner's income to add to the pot or to run alongside other interests, or if you don't have large commitments like a mortgage.

    I started supply six years ago and it has been OK. I am blessed and can't complain since without the money I have earned we could not have kept going.

    Try not to worry... I do think it will pick up this week.
  6. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I have had all the days I have wanted - 5 days most weeks since I started last Oct. And now with my direct schools I am paid more than thru the agencies, and so 3 days work for a direct pays the same as 5 days thru the agency, so the extra two days are jam compared with last year.. However I agree that it is not for anyone who needs to rely on it as the main breadwinner, because if you do fall ill you have no fall back, and no pension, life insurance etc that you would have with a permanent job. I do it because I am a career changer and after qualifying in 2014 have not the slightest intention of ever doing an NQT year. II enjoy the (secondary) classroom and don't want to spend my evenings marking or in pointless meetings, or my lunchtimes doing detentions, clubs or or duties. This way, in the school I go to most now, I am out of there at 3, home by 3.15, and have time for my own family.
  7. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    Pleased it's going well Pizzo. It seems to me that the ones who are getting hired most for supply are 1. Like yourself, at the bottom end of the pay scale (cheap, no disrespect as I'm sure you are a great and very good and enthusiastic teacher as younger teachers tend to be also) 2. People with a long long history of supply who have very good relations with schools, a 'devil you know' situation. Those like myself who have only been at supply for a year and are an M6 ( I worked for 5 years as a full time permanent teacher in England before coming home to N.Ireland ) are the ones suffering the most and least effected with lack of work at instant as we are expensive, not yet completely known to the schools and management fully and slightly lacking the enthusiasm that those just finished their PGCE year have. I have had enough frankly, it seems I am the least employable as I am too expensive and not completely known yet to schools even though I have arduously circulated my CV around loads of schools and spoke to them directly and done follow up visits and calls to all of these with again no results. Again last year I was flooded with work.
  8. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    Meant most effected not least effected
  9. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Yes, it does seem slower than usual this year. I will give up completely next year if it doesn't improve soon.
  10. supplywhore

    supplywhore New commenter

    I think that until these days of 'austerity' , are over, supply teaching is screwed. 6 days work this academic year and that's more than many have had.
    Let's all work at lidl, last all work at lidl, la la la la
  11. horseykitty

    horseykitty New commenter

    I have been on supply for 11 years and this has been my worst year ever - daily supply seems to have dropped off a cliff. I have been invited to interview for several long term positions but at the moment I don't feel ready to commit to long term. I am fortunate that I have my husband to rely on - still I hate not having a personal income.
  12. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Long-term supply gives you worst of both worlds. You get all the work, long hours and stress of a permanent member of staff for Lidl wages.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    It can sometimes work out LESS than minimum wage when you factor in all the hours you realistically have to put in to the job. Even with a decent daily rate. Long term supply is a mug's game.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. tardis

    tardis New commenter

    I have already contributed to other forums about supply so thought I'd add my voice to this one. I completely agree that the writing is on the wall for supply teaching. I have not had any work to date and need help with some advice. I am thinking about applying for a cover supervisor post advertised through a local school. The truth is I no longer wish to teach in secondary at all. I am 100% certain on that. I haven't ruled out sixth forms yet but jobs are so hard to come by in that sector. Will taking a cover supervisor role diminish me in the eyes of future employers in the sixth form sector and what are the realities of cover supervising??? I read the job description and was aghast to see that the school will expect the candidate to take part in after school stuff (god knows what that is....clubs I assume) and also do lunch and break duties. They would also be expected to take part in parents evening etc. I wanted to escape all this!!!
  15. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @tardis: In many schools, the same applies to CS roles as it would to long-term supply. You are still expected to do all the meetings and other rigmarole. Given that the school would know you are a qualified teacher, you would soon find yourself 'covering' long-term for an absent teacher.
  16. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I disagree actually JR, I really enjoyed my long term placements. I got to know the staff at the schools I was at better, you get a bit of continuity with the kids and it's regular work.

    Also it led to me getting back into full time work again.
  17. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @peakster: I am glad that long-term supply worked out well for you. I think a lot depends on whether you feel valued by the school, both financially and professionally. I have been sounded out about long-term posts that offered either very low rates, such as £40 - 50 per day, or nothing at all. Certainly, these sorts of school are just out to exploit.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Agreed,I wasn't exactly making a fortune on my long term placements (about £90 a day) but for me it worked out.
  19. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Supply has always gone through variations in activity according to a friend who did supply for years after his retirement.

    With the financial sqeeze on school budgets this temporary turn down is not very surprising.
    Alot of schools will try and keep the lid on the supply budget.

    Eventually Teachers no matter how they are attendance managed / frightend will end up having to have more time off. Such things as colds, flu and stress can only be resisted so much.
  20. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As it did for me.
    I also enjoyed the longer term posts where one really was able to see students progress, rather than the day-to-day which I only did to get the other longer term work.

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