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is this the way the cookie crumbles, or not..what do I do?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by cazzy4k, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. OK, here's my situation (sorry this will probably be all one blurb-google chrome) I started long term supply back at beginning of may, covering mat leave. About 2 weeks in school were really happy, asked if I could stay until christmas (they were of the understanding that I am applying for jobs, but as we know those are high competition, and few and far between). They wanted me so much, my agency have phoned me at the weekend to tell me this!

    I've been back 3 weeks after H/T, really got to know and love the children I'm working with, offered to write the reports, have assessed and submitted end of year data, and supported the transition process to the point of introducing myself (and head has) as the class teacher for next academic year! Have given presentations etc!!

    Today I was speaking to SLT about the prospect of improving classroom layout, easier access to continuous etc, that kind of thing to help improve results next year, all of which was taken on board, and so far everything I have said has been well and positively received. Even suggested to Head on this week, an idea for improving parent/school links.

    This dinnertime, head pulls my teaching partner to one side (clearly to say I wouldn't be back next week), then me 10 mins later, saying whilst courting prospective supply for another role, a teacher who has more than 7 times my experience became available through another agency...GUTTED. (Apparently someone they had wanted for a while)

    I asked if it was anything I had done, and no, I had done an excellent job, sure I would get a job blah blah blah....this teacher will be staring on Monday! sucker punch

    I don't know what to do now, do I have anywhere to stand? My family thinks that subconciously, or without realising I may have done something to upset them, but I can't see how, it doesn't take a genius to work out that a teacher with 15 years as opposed to 1 and a years supply (2 years) is better, but I just feel as though they could have let me stay on until the summer holidays, and not finished me today

    Needless to say I feel a bit in limbo, with very little money and a small debt, I am not going to be able to keep my head above water with day to day supply :(. I dont know if there is any route a could take (union for eg?) to help at least gain an understanding of why they left me up the creek without a paddle, despite putting in more work than expected of a supply teacher, and sometimes working 10 hour days with more work being done at home.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You're experiencing the trials and tribulations of being a supply teacher on daily rate. My last long term post cane to an end with 4 hours notice (the teacher on sick leave phoned at 11 am to say that the GP had signed her as being fit for f/t work again and would be in the next day and that was the end for me after over 6 months!
    I presume that you will be paid for this week at the end of next week. On the first work day after being paid, sign on for JSA if you have no work booked. If you don't have savings over £8k and don't have a working partner, you will be assessed for JSA Income Based (means-tested) and should get Housing benefit for yourhome if you rent + Council TAX Relief and free dental, optical and prescriptions.
    Whilst signing on you can take p/t work if it materialises but it will affect your JSA if you get paid for it whilst still claiming. Many on JSA Income Based are better off getting their full benefits and holding out for long-term work. Starting a claim in early July and not bgetting any more work before the end of term will mean some financial security for you over the summer and into September.
    Do not signpost yourself as a supply teacher when you make a claim (by phone or on-line). Simply call yourself a teacher who is unemployed and looking for f/t work + available for f/t work.
    Those with a working partner cannot get JSA Income Based but can claim JSA Contributory based on their past NI record (they currently looke at your NI in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010).

  3. I think that experience would hurt anybody! However I would take the view of this new supply being so good with a large pinch of salt. It could be a factor, another agency has gone in with a better deal for the school (cheaper) they ain't gonna tell you that!
    Not a lot of point in speculating or beating yourself up regarding what you may have done or said.
    However, something fishy here, and probably nothing to do with you!


  4. That is some blow and of course you will be hurt. Anyone would.
    But first; do not blame yerself in any way. Sounds as if you have done a grand job, but..
    Understand that for many schools "we" are just commodities and I often think that in many institututions people lose sight of the fact that we have feelings and need the work desperately.
    But, we are "commodities"; often expendable.
    A similar thing happened ar my old school (had a TES thread about it). They promised to keep me on till the end of the summer term (began in April) after a teacher jacked it in under stress, but they had employed a student teacher way back in October. The new head rolled in the new term 3 weeks before the end of the summer term and I had to go.
    No-one had told me this and they did not want to lose me. If only they had been upfront it would have given me time to scout around for something else.
    I actually wrote a letter to the HOD saying how insensitive and unprofessional this was and they apologsed profusely and I got a bouquet of flowers (guilty conscience!), but I had to pack my bags and leave. I told them - if only they had been honest! The director of the school admitted they had treated me badly.
    I don't advise writing a letter and I would not in your situation, but I needed to.
    Try and put this behind you. remember it is all a game. I hope you strike lucky and find a new job soon!
  5. aw thanks everyone for the replies, having had the weekend to reflect, I feel massively better than I felt on Friday, but still hugely upset about it all! @Ostpreussen I have written a letter to the head, but haven't sent it yet, it helped me feel a little better writing my thoughts down on paper though, so maybe just writing without sending will help me feel better.

    I feel for all who have experienced this, it isn't nice, it isn't my first knock back either, a school I had a temporary contract at, despite hard work and very little support, decided it was in my best interests if I didn't reapply for my position last year (or rather a close colleague who worked in SLT) hence why I am doing supply. I have had long term schools before, who loved the hard work I put in, developing and helping a class of Rec children progress, but I just cant seem to turn any of this into a full time job, and this, coupled with what happened on Friday is really starting to make me question my profession! But I'll just keep plodding along!

    Thanks Everyone!
  6. lrw22

    lrw22 Senior commenter

    It is good to get your feelings down on paper but it's best not to send it. It is really harsh of this school to do what they have done but see what you can get out of it. Will the head act as a referee for you?
  7. Yep I would not send a letter. What would you get out of it? possibly a bottle of plonk or a bunch of flowers (I would put them straight in the compost) I would drink the plonk though.
    If your letter wound the head up, You need the referee, Also always a chance of some more work there in the future (if you would want to and they offer).
    And remember the school grapevine of informal communication between heads of different schools. If you send the letter you really do not know how they will react. Even if you did get a bottle of plonk, a bunch of flowers, and even a sorry, you do not know how mischievious and truthful they are. (in this case not very truthful at all).
    Lesson learned is our contracts can be terminated at a days notice, and take anything a school or agency say with the largest of pinches of salt.
    Itt is worth developing a bit of self awareness, the closer you get to a school (and we all enjoy working with the schools and the children sometimes) the more you will be hurt if they dump you at zero notice.
  8. In terms of the union- you wont have a leg to stand on, supply teachers are not full time members of staff. Shame about being let go-ask the school why they did this. Did you nag the head too much? They dont like being proded too much.
  9. The unions are supposed to represent their members once they have accepted the subscriptions. A supply teacher should be considered in the same way as any full time member of staff in a school. If any union accepts a subscription and then claims they cannot represent that union member because said member is not a full time member of staff in a school I would say the union is guilty of fraud in acceepting the membership fee.
  10. Have said a few times I resigned from my union a few years ago. My risk.
    On the issue of being let down by schools well a union can't really help on that one. Our contracts are with our agencies, not with schools. When our schools drop us we have fulfilled our contracted day with our agency. Our Temp contract with the agency still continues.
    If our unions were to get involved and support us, They would need to become involved with the cover co-ordinators in schools, and blacklist a few agencies.
    Or it least organize a few strikes to stop schools using some of the more nasty low paying agencies.
    I think unions, to at least make a start, start gathering intelligence regarding (our pay rates) if only to make teachers aware. Some teachers still think we are on a version of MPS! coz they were on MPS when they did supply years ago!
    On extended use of CS they should start gathering intelligence on that one as well. Not asking for stats (the schools will lie anyway) but a bit of intelligence gathering.

  11. Fair point-but a supply teacher without a writen contract can be laid off that day. So in terms of contacting the union there is nothing to do. The teacher was on day to day supply.
  12. I have been doing such intelligence gathering in primary schools and yes the schools do lie.
    Some schools say that they do not keep the information on the amount of cover taking place or how many PPA lessons are taken by non-teachers. The interpretation that I would put on some of the replies that I have received would be that the full time teachers do not get any PPA time:-
    15 classes in a school and 15 full time class teachers
    Number of Qualified teachers, Unqualified teachers, HLTAs or TAs taking PPA lessons 0
    Number of classes with the above during class teachers PPA time 0

    420 schools that bothered to provide the information;
    3363 Full time class teachers
    169 unqualified teachers taking the PPA lessons
    535 HLTAs withh PPA responsibilities
    454 TAs taking PPA lessons
    This compares with 398 qualified teachers in post for PPA time.
    This also compares with 81 unqualified teachers in post as class teachers on a full time or part time basis (50 and 31)
    And Gove says that he values teachers when he allows this to happen.
  13. Just watch out for the JSA thing as you may get put on contribution based for 26 weeks if you have been paying NI for the past so many months. Also regarding the income based thing and having a partner - you can claim income based if your partner does not work more than 24 hours per week. You can only claim mortgage relief if on income based but can claim housing benefit for contribution based and council tax rebate - may not be full amount, I rented after graduating and claimed and was told a single person my age should pay x amount in a shared house and x amount was what I got towards my rent. Its a total mine field!!
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    No, you CANNOT claim Housing benefit if on Contributory JSA. You only potentially get mortgage help of Housing benefit and Council TAX RELIEF on JSA Income BASED.
    You get Contributory JSA based on the NI you paid in the two full tax years ending with the contributory year that falls in the calendar year before the JSA claim started! Thus, any claim started in 2011 will need enough NI to have been paid in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 (2010 being in the calendar year before the JSA claim year) ... so not in "the past so many months".
    You can claim Income Based if your partner works under 24 hours per week but will not qualify for anything on Income Based assessment if you partner earns more than £5 per week above your household's benefit level assessment.
    It is indeed a minefield but one that I can negotiate as I used to work in a Jobcentre!

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