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I'm sick of it all. Where is the work?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Om100, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Om100

    Om100 New commenter

    It is February, it's dead for supply work.
    In previous years this was not so.
    I have had 4 days this half term, 7 last.
    Last year and the one before I had work every single day.
    What has happened?
    Has anyone else experienced supply dying a death this year?
  2. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

  3. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    How to get work calls pouring in....

    1) Be ill
    2) Book time for something else, eg children and opticians, day out
    3) Have other important deadlines to meet, eg further study, urgent house repairs..

    OK, calls pouring in is an exaggeration but work is never available when I want it and I get lots of phone calls when I need to be doing something else.

    Just before Christmas I accepted a lot of work when I should have been doing other stuff and last week as well. Now I'm quite ill and trying to catch up. One of the jobs involved a long journey and planning lessons which didn't help. (For a decent rate of pay).

    I'm not cut out for this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Supply certainly is not for everyone- depsite how many people perceive it as 'relatively easy and stress-free'. It just has other stresses; possible 'lack of respect' from students, lack of regular work and inconsistencies, constant worry about finances, lack of work possibilities for many weeks in the year . . . .I could go on. As you say one of the biggest problems is having to be 'constantly available' and being able to drop everything should work come in, if you want to be asked again.

    It is not just this past couple of years ,but similar conversations which I had with a fellow supply over 10- 15 years ago.
    maybe time for a rethink? Either in terms of whether to continue on supply, or to rethink your attitude and approach to it?
  5. WillyDjangoReinhardt

    WillyDjangoReinhardt Occasional commenter

    The pr
    The problem of course now is that all the difficulties of being available at the drop of hat etc is that we are no longer compensated by a decent daily rate of pay. Endlessly undercut. There is no doubt the situation is a basket case. It's done for. I try to tell my friends a bunch of state school educated people all in good jobs obviously not working in education just how it is. They do their bit to be good mums and dads they are proactive in supporting their kids and all keen to move into areas to get into catchment areas where the good schools are. I cringe at this and their lame hot house attitude where money buys them into better prospects believing all the marketing hype schools put out about totally unaware that TAs Take classes, cover supervisors pretend to be teachers armies of mums pretending theyve got qualifications they clearly havent, seen it time after time . . head teachers prefer cheap unqualified staff over trained experienced professionals every time office staff with no experience in teaching making decisions about the veracity of supply teachers so on and so on. Rubbish who cheapest always comes first I your any good well that's a bonus is how they see it.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  6. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @WillyDjangoReinhardt: Spot on about the huge proportion of unqualified staff in even the supposed 'best' schools. When I left my last school, there were nine people in the science department. Only five had QTS, consisting of three with science degrees and two with degrees in other subjects. Of the other four, one had a science degree, one a degree in computing, and the other two, AFAIK had no background in science or education.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  7. rainbowsparkle

    rainbowsparkle New commenter

    One of the problems, I find, is that since the LA supply pools closed, all the schools have signed up with different agencies and it's impossible for a supply teacher to sign up with all the agencies necessary to get all the work they might have been getting with the LA. Combine that with the over-use/inappropriate use of cheap, unqualified staff and supply has become almost impossible to earn a living on. When I first became a supply teacher, almost 9 years ago, it was with the LA. I was paid scale and could have been booked twice over. Since 2011 (which coincides with the policies of a certain PM and chancellor) supply has dwindled so much it's scary. I can't earn enough to live on now :(
  8. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    In a school recently I kept being given quite a lot of science cover because I did 1 science to A level and another to AS. The cover manager said she'd rather me do it than anyone else because I seem to know what I'm talking about and I've been getting on with it ok. She then preceded to ask me 'can't you teach science? We need a science teacher.' A very strange question to be asking I thought when she knows my subject and it is definitely not science or even anything related. I feel like I know enough to get by when covering/ possibly teach ks3 basic stuff but that is hardly the same thing as having a science degree!
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I get regular booking at one school specifically to teach Maths and Physics. I do have Maths A level, but no science A levels or even GCSEs. I have been offered a permanent maths job there, but declined.
  10. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    Are you sh tting me?

    Do elaborate? Work utterly utterly utterly dried up for me in the SW and the local colleges dump a fresh bunch of sci PCGEs in the job queue every year. Despite this "shortage of science staff" there are only about 4 jobs a year advertised in my area.

    Everyone in every department should have a DPhil from Oxford and a nobel prize with the amount of jobs there are! Seriously, WT utter F?
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @elvispenhaligon: This is in Hillingdon, in NW London. It is not that teachers with QTS, a science degree and experience are difficult to find, but they are expensive to employ. Non-qualified teachers and NQTs are much cheaper. I am a qualified teacher, with science degrees and decades of experience and, like you, I can't get a teaching job, either.
  12. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    Let's admit the bigotry here. After you have done a couple of years in supply, or gone and done anything else, you are a leper, as far as most staff are concerned. "How could you not just walk into a permanent job? We did! You must have something wrong with you".

    As a 39 year old, I am now totally unable to write a dewey eyed application with no cynicism, with enthusiasm for the latest pedagogical nonsense, spouting the latest buzz words. However, you could wake me at 3 in the morning and I'd get any class or school situation ordered within the shortest possible time. I'm also quite threatening, I imagine, being a big loud hillbilly. When I see various PGCE students, it always amazes me how young, quiet and insipid they are. Not really the sort of people to put in front of a class IMO.

    Anyway, I make my money as a field geologist/director in a weird area. It's great and a good thing to leave all of the nonsense behind. I'm still 100% a teacher and I'm very much angry about how things have turned out and how the state and ed sector continue to delude people with their "despite the economy being in the s ht, you can go and earn a fortune being a teacher".

    There should be some sort of duty to employ the best person for the job. In my experience, in actual fact, even down to me, schools have failed in this respect and continue to cut costs (this is surely not down to the nasty party), hire kids with limited ability (but the important ability to keep their heads down), unqualified people being used whilst others, who have sometimes paid a fortune to get qualified are utterly screwed.

    This is insane.

    I don't think it's down to the nasty party and nasty gove, I think generally a sense of importance, arrogance and right on behalf of those in charge. Do we really need all of these assistant heads, school managers, deputy heads, head of XYZ. NO.

    It's just typical public sector self showboating IMO.

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