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Is supply teaching the right path for me financially?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Bowstreetwhiskey, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Hi

    First let me apologise if this has been covered in other posts but the more I read, the more confused I become. At this stage it is only the financial implications of supply work I am concerned about. Any help would be much appreciated.

    I have been a teacher in Leeds for 6 years but I've never done supply work. My last pemanent job ended in August 2010 and since that time I have been on Contribution-based JSA and have recently moved onto Income-based JSA. I am a single parent with a teenage son who gets DLA. I have no savings and I live in rented accomodation.

    My question really is, would I be better off financially working as a supply teacher or staying on JSA and holding out for a permanent job in teaching or otherwise?

    I have read many excellent posts by Jubilee and others but because I have no experience of supply work, and there are conficting posts on the amount of work I might expect (my subject is ICT), plus CRB's at £40+ a pop, I'm very interested in the experience of others. BTW, my JobCentre have so far been very understanding about the situation.

    Thanking you in anticipation. Bow Street Whiskey.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As it's now the end of the year I've just had my last pay slip for the financial year & despite having quite regular work at one school, I've again earned just under £4k. In the past 10 years, unless I had a long-term post, I never got anywhere near the tax allowance for the year.
    Others do do better than that & it may well depend where you are in the country,& if you continue with JSA (follow all jubilee's recommendations here) you may well be able to scrape by.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Given your circumstances, you really shouldn't take teaching work unless it's a longer term placement.
    Doing odd days of supply used to allow for earning a decent amount but those days are gone now that Cover Supervisors are used instead.
    I have earned under 4k this tax year, where I managed around £24k in 2007.
    As you are on Income Based JSA, you will likely find yourself working for no gain if you do p/t work. They disregard the first £5 of p/t earnings per benefit Week and then reduce your JSA £ for £. Travel to work in the BW is likely to cost more than that £5 diregard so you're immediately worse off if doing just a day or so of work.
    You really don't want to mess up your Housing Benefit and Council Tax relief with irregular p/t income.
    If you end up with 16 hours or more of work in a BW, you have to close your claim and then reclaim when work ceases. That will entail more visits to the jobcentre, on top of the normal signing days (so more travel/parking costs).
    Do not underestimate the value of the free NHS services that you get when on Income Based benefits and the free (or low cost) access to college courses, LA swimming pools etc.
    Hold out for a permanent job or a placement that is guaranteed to last at least a term's length.
    Bear in mind that if you close a claim for LA paid work, your JSA will cease from the last day of JSA but when the work finishes, you will not get the last pay until you are back on JSA. That arrears of pay will then reduce or cancel out any JSA payments for a few weeks.
    Weekly paid agency work would affect your JSA for just one week when you signed back on for JSA.
    Also bear in mind that any prolonged work that allowed you to save money, would lead to reduced JSA if you amassed more than £3k in savings. If you managed to save more than £8k, you would not be able to claim JSA Income Based again (only Contributory of £65 per week)until your savings reduced (at Income Support levels) to under £3k. Essentially you'd have worked for nothing again for a periodof JSA equivalent to up to £5k.
    You can't reduce spend your savings more quickly than JSA levels and then get JSA reinstated sooner. They look at your savings when you reclaim and work out how many weeks will elapse, with you using savings to live on (or supplement partial JSA) and they set in stone the date when full JSA will kick in.

  4. Basso_Profundo

    Basso_Profundo New commenter

    In the resent climate, I would say supply work is only a viable option for those with an income or pension from elsewhere on which they can afford at least a subsistence-level existence. Certainly, since Christmas, it has not provided me with enough to live on, and I have been excessively dependent upon the funds and continued good nature of my partner. This is certainly not a position I wish to perpetuate.

  5. I'm broke
  6. I would hate to advise anyone to stay on jobseekers rather than work but I agree with all the previous posters - supply work is very hard to budget on.
    I have just about managed to scrape by for the last year and a half, but I've also had weekend and holiday jobs which helped make ends meet. If you have caring responsibilities I'd imagine this would be difficult.
    It can be very stressful not knowing how much money you have coming in every week or month. I know that you won't be living it up on benefits, but at least you know what your budget is.
    I would suggest trying to get some voluntary work in schools though - check it doesn't affect your availability for work - it would be a good way to get yourself known to schools, and could provide a good reference for your applications.
    Good luck.
  7. Its getting so stupid now - up all days of this week so far and diddly squat work. I am so tempted to leave teaching, as all of the 'fight' and 'enthusiasm' keeps being drained away from my body. Every day that passes without supply work coupled with more rejections from job applications - seems to be taking its toll on me motivation wise.
    I know this is probably more than some of you, but I am averaging 0.75 days a week. What a total waste of time and effort.
  8. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I am similar, I worked out in my spare time and I have plenty, that since last September I have had just 24 days work and I love teaching, but I have got to the stage, that I am asking I can I afford to keep going, I should be running the treasury by the ways I manage to balance the books and keep going, but even I have got the stage that even I am running out of ideas on how to manage in the coming weeks..

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