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Is this the norm?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by MUSICJO, Nov 30, 2015.


    MUSICJO New commenter

    Hello! I was wondering if anyone could tell me if this is normal for supply agencies. So I began working for one in September and had a reasonable amount of work until this week when my consultant left. She was very good. Would text me that work had come up and when I phoned in, confirmed the job and off I went. However, since she has gone, I get messages saying there is work and when I phone in I get told the job has gone to someone else. It feels like if a job comes in it's first come first served and if you don't phone right then, you get no work. Today I contacted the agency at 7am so say I wasn't available to day and then they phoned at 8am offering me work. They also agreed to a guaranteed work scheme where I will have at least 2 days a week work but offer me schools over an hour a way which is silly and not worth the time and effort. Is this normal?
  2. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Similar happened to me last year when the consultant moved on to be replaced with a wide boy. Just accepted work from other agencies, and now do only direct work. That agency contacted me yesterday trying to tempt me with some schools I worked at, and liked last year, and asking me to re-register! No thanks. Only reason I am not registered is 'cos he got me no work last term. No way am I bothering my referees for that agency whose name, one syllable, begins with R.
  3. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    One of my agencies texts all their teachers when work becomes available and it's literally whoever rings in first gets the job. Like you say, if you accept a GWS, you will have to go to schools that are miles away, or schools that all the other teachers have turned down because they are so dire.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Consultants in agencies are the gatekeepers. They are the ones who dole out the work unless a school requests you by name. You will be far better off if you can get work directly from schools without using agencies. There is man thread on here on how to go about getting work direct with some sound advice from nearmiss.
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I find that its the consultant that is the major factor in the quality of the work you get and not the agency. So if a good consultant leaves an agency for another I tend to follow that consultant to their new agency.

    Very often they will contact you once in their new position inviting you to join them, its a bit naughty and they shouldn't do that but you need to consider your own needs before that of any agency.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    Having worked in the shadowy land that is a recruitment agency for over 4 years in my time before teaching I have seen both sides of the coin and yes, if you get a good consultant, stick with them. You have built up the relationship with them, they will probably have interviewed you face to face so they are the best person to represent you. Unfortunately some agencies that don't have exclusivity deals with schools are also against the clock in confirming bookings so can't always wait for calls back but then they might not be the best ones to be registered with anyway.

    Rec cons aren't supposed to poach ex workers if they move but so many do as it's hard to regulate and very easy for them just to let you know where they're moving to and then you can just call them. Obviously you'll then have to go through the registration process with new paperwork but it's worth it if it results in more/better work.

    I've had work every day this entire term (bar about 8 right at the start of term) and can't recommend the guy I deal with enough- Jon at QT Education- based in the South West.


    MUSICJO New commenter

    Thanks. I will look at QT as I am based in Taunton. My consultant has said today that there just isn't any work locally. Not sure I believe him!
  8. englishteach101

    englishteach101 Occasional commenter

    I also live in Taunton, pm me with your details if you like and I can pass them on.


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