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It's official. Schools want cover supervisors.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Dunteachin, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Just had a message from an agency I once thought of registering with, to say that schools have contacted them to say, because of budget cuts, they can now only afford to employ cover supervisors on a supply basis and not teachers. The agency is urging CS to contact them with availability and has suggested that teachers might be willing to act as cover supervisors. Apparently, the situation won't improve.
  2. So who do they get if a teacher is off for a week or two? If they haven't got teachers on their books - what will they do?
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I believe that these schools are relying on getting Qualified Teachers working as Cover Supervisors. That way they can pay the lower rate. I'm sure that they would be very unhappy if the agency sent them someone with no experience of working in schools (but still meets the qualification requirements of a CS post) which, at least in thoery, could happen.
    I can propose two counter measures:
    1) Supply Teachers refuse to work as Cover Supervisors, easy to say but maybe not so easy to stick to when there is no other option.
    2) If a Supply Teacher is employed and paid as a CS then they only perform the duties of a CS ie: take registers; hand out the work, maintain classroom order etc but undertake no teaching function.
    I agree that the second option is still not easy since when does answering a student's question change from supervising to teaching? But a stand needs to be made so that schools and agencies realise that if you pay for a CS you get a CS but if you want a teacher you need to pay the appropiate rate.
  4. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Well, they will have to call on teachers in that situation, but I get called in at the last minute sometimes to cover a variety of subjects in one day. I can see how it would be far cheaper for the school to ring a CS and not me. To be honest, I don't actually "teach" when I'm on general cover, but I do have more strings to my bow than an average CS and I get actively involved where possible.

  5. The 'rules' are little more than recommendations. A school can use a cover supervisor for weeks if they wish. I've come across some doing terms.
  6. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    That is the point I was trying (maybe poorly[​IMG]) to make. I think it unlikely that the agency will have anyone on their books as a CS who is not a qualified teacher or experienced CS. (maybe a few potential student teachers?). So they will be calling on teachers, if teachers refused to work as teachers for a lower salary then schools and agencies will have to think again.
    Can you imagine a doctor/solicitor/skilled tradesman agreeing to acept lower standards of pay for the same job?
    But I do appreciate why many supplies have little option but to take on CS work.
  7. The campaign of contempt against supply teachers was very successful. many SMTs are quite open in saying that having been a supply teacher is evidence that the person is probably incompetent and many will refuse to interview you if it's on your CV.
    On the other hand, almost all cover supervisors are excellent.
  8. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    You wouldn't be Manchester based by any chance, because I got the same text and email this morning about schools being skint, etc...
    If you are I suspect we are registered with the same small agency!
  9. Just say NO to all the <u>exploitation, LIES and rubbish!</u>
    Budget cuts (for some)?!
    Why dont headteachers, SMTs etc, all highly paid and self-serving take pay cuts?????????

  10. Just say NO to all the <u>exploitation, LIES and rubbish!</u>
  11. Quite agree Pedigree.
    Have always refused to go in as a CS as a matter of principle.
    More teachers should do the same!
  12. Pedigree is right!
    Just say a big NO to all this nonsense, EXPLOITATION, DISRESPECT and utter disregard to the hard earned professional qualifications of registered, trained and fully qualified teachers.
    Totally and absolutely unacceptable!
    We can all parrot, "budget cuts" etc etc etc etc ...tell these malign, greedy, corrupt and exploitative agencies to kill themselves!

  13. I have refused CS/TA work. I'm fortunate because I am financially able to now. What will be the next downward step? - Those signing up for JSA as an unemployed teacher being told they could get work as a C S.?
  14. Let me just clear up a point here if I may, a fairly obvious one, but one worth mentioning. Schools are not contacting agencies and telling agences that they can only afford to hire cover supervisors, agencies are contacting schools (have first hand experience of this at our school) using their limited understanding of how schools actually work, coupled with scaremongering tactics of what AWR will mean to teachers pay and therefore our budgets!!!
    Also the idea of getting qualified teachers to work as cover supervisors is a lazy and potentially illegal way for agencies to avoid having to pay you to scale after 12 weeks as they will argue that your parity will be that of a cover supervisor and therefore NEVER go up!!
    What ever happened to the sanity that used to previal of only being able to use a cover supervisor to step in for three days before a qualified teacher was required to be deployed?
    I appreciate that it must be diffcult to turn down the offer of work as a cover supervisor, when no teaching work is being offered, but the busiest time for supply is coming up so it should be short lived.
  15. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    I've told my agencies that I will refuse cover supervisor work full stop, so they don't even ask me.
    Just wish more people would do the same.
    Some NQTs may accept CS work as a way of "getting a foot in the door". Well, yes it can be, but even if a job comes up there is no guarantee it would be offered to them.
    Plus, they should be ashamed of themselves (and unions contacted) for effectively undercutting teachers pay. Why should schools pay someone to scale when they can get someone in on the cheap to do exactly the same job.
  16. "A foot in the door"? As a CS?
    What utter self-deception!
    As a fully trained, qualified, highly experienced and registered teacher why should one have to tolerate the exploitation, lies, intimidation, hollow bribery, bullying, devaluation, lies about "budgetary constraints" etc etc etc We as a group must stand united. The CS role is a complete No! No! for qualified teachers.
    Shall we all pitch our tents and OCCUPY SCHOOLS for fair and just recognition and employment practice! Why shoud we be "evaluated" by some non-professional bureacrat in some agency, school etc when at one time a member of the SMT was the cover manager who assessed our competence, performance, subject knowledge and so on.Surely our pupils deserve better and SHOULD BE TOLD THETRUTH?
    Why should armies of non-qualified staff in schools have so much power and destroy our hard-earned QTS?
    It is these people that should be cut back!

  17. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    I completely agree with you Pedigree. I put that statement in my post as it is sadly true. Some NQTs would accept CS work as a way of gaining classroom experience and getting known in a school.
    It happens, whether we like it or not. People accepting this sort of job should be ashamed of themselves.
    If I get another teaching job and I find this sort of practice going on in school I will inform the unions as it is undercutting and undermining the profession.
  18. I turned down cover superviser because its 50 mile round trip, and they only wanted to pay me &pound;65 per day. its crazy how much we are having our money cut by
  19. Tell all these agencies who bully, intimidate and exploit qualified teachers to work as dubious cover supervisors to kill themselves forthwith or think about how they are treating good people before jumping off Beachy Head!
    What are these scum? Advocates? Or malign, devious dimwits who insult our goodwill and exploit us! I will never ever work as a CS. A fake job in a fake role.

  20. Hi there,
    This thread is really interesting. I'm a qualified teacher (as of July this year) and thankfully I have a permanent job starting in January. As I live far away from family and alone until recently, I felt increasingly worried about how I would support myself as it got closer to September and had not yet been successful at an interivew (I was in the last 2 5 times), out of necessity and panic, I took a CS role in September and felt guilty getting the job over peeople who wanted the job as experience prior to teacher training. I wanted to work in a school and develop my persona as a teacher and stay on top of things. However, this experience almost killed my soul (if I'm being honest).
    I want to highlight, that having worked in the role, I believe more than ever that its existence is not only leading to less learning within lessons (I have covered alot of design and technology and was of little help as a Humanities and Languages specialist) but it is also providing a quick way of schools saving money- I've not met a supply teacher all term. Its a 'catch22' as I've had to take this role because of there being little or no supply about at the moment.
    This explains why CS aren't always respected in schools- teachers don't often agree with the role! However, having been a CS I can say its a really lonely place to be. You don't belong anywhere and your timetable (in my case) is full with only lunchtime free, during which admin is always needing to be done. Its exausting and students come to know you as 'cover' (a child actually addressed me 'Miss Cover' yesterday!) and thus don't take you seriously. This matter isn't helped by teachers not getting to know you or feeling like they should make effort because you don't belong to their department, (my school is quite cliquey anyway) and its hard. One might argue that the free evenings are wonderful (I personally miss the planning and autonomy) but in truth, I sometimes spend the evenings recovering from a day of being in lessons without cover work, having students attempt to traumatise me, staff snapping and being blunt or complaining the work wasnt completed as they imagined, "but the books you wanted me to use with the students were locked in cupboard and your collegues didn't know how to find a key and obviously I couldn't leave the students". Its been a real nightmare! I've worked my socks off to build relationships with as many students and teachers as possible but you can't know everychild and where every department keeps the plain paper and you don't have keys? Sorry for the rant- I really have respect for people that do this job permanently!
    Its possible that my teaching experience means I have higher expectations of the lessons I produce/deliver and of my experience in school? I don't agree with the role and I hated having to accept the job, knowing what the role's mere existence means for supply teachers and having to accept a &pound;12,000 per year salary just to be ignored and unappreciated. I hope this isn't the case in all schools but regardless, CS's need your respect and maybe just a smile once in a while?
    The role isn't beneficial to anything other than the school budget, shouldn't we be thinking about the needs of the students? And if we do have to employ Cover Supervisors, couldn't they be temporary full-time teachers on slightly less money than teachers (as theres no planning or marking) so that more jobs are created, the role is more rewarding/slightly better paid and has a higher status?
    I'm sure I'm rambling but something has to change? Noone is happy!

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