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Job Title

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by neli, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    At a Supply Agency interview recently the interviewer was adamant that their Agency liked to be very upfront and transparent with Teachers. (This sounded good) She then went on to explain that the way their Agency gets around the '12 week' rule is by giving their Teachers the Job Title of Cover Supervisor. She explained that as a business they had to make a some profits and because of competition from other Agencies this was the only way they could make their Services attractively priced to Schools so guaranteeing their Teachers work and a small profit for themselves.

    Now, while I appreciated her honesty I couldn't help but feel a bit conned, this is obviously one bit of legislation which is supposed to protect workers but, it is being blatantly manipulated. Of the 3 Agencies I went to, this agency actually offered the middle rate although all the rates were similar which makes me suspect that the other Agencies are doing the same.

    Has anybody else heard of this?
  2. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Read some of the above posts on AWR. Join a union. Ask for the going rate. Don't be conned by agencies. Some of them are complete rip offs.

    If the school has asked for a qualified teacher, then the agency must pay you as a qualified teacher. If the job description is cover supervisor, then you are only expected to be there and supervise a pre-planned lesson, no marking, no planning, no extras at all. Straight out of the door at 3.30.

    Can you get in touch with me privately and let me know who this agency is.

    If they are a member of the REC, report them.
  3. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    Sent nearmiss, and thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
  4. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    AWR is really a pointless piece of leglislation probably because someone (or someones) somewhere had targets to meet.

    Since the introduction of PRR (performance related pay) there is no Teachers' Pay Scale (yet another acronym TPS). This means that a school/academy/agency can set their own pay scale for a teacher and doesn't have to match anyone else. Of course if they set their pay rate too low no one will work for them.

    What this agency might be trying to do (and I strongly suspect they are) is appoint you at Cover Supervisor rates (CS) but tell the school they are getting a teacher. A CS will get about £40 less then a teacher. Expect at least £100 (but should be nearer £110+) as a teacher. Walk away if they try to pay you less.

    You could name this agency here so others know to avoid them.

  5. WaylonWu

    WaylonWu Established commenter

    That also sounds to me what is happening. No surprise that some teachers are concerned when they are expected to do all the same things as a teacher but for less pay.
  6. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    To be fair they offered me £145 a day but, they said the CS thing would kick in once I had completed 12 weeks anywhere. It was basically so they didn't have to comply with legislation saying we should get pay parity and therefore price ourselves and the agency out of a competitive market. I did tell her it sounded very wrong to me and she simply explained that that was how it was.

    Out of 3 agencies I was offered £140, £145 and£150 a day. They all equally assured me this was M6 rate which made me chuckle at the variation, obviously not too hot at maths any of them. I'm actually UPS3 but, they were at least united in so far as they said they only paid up to M6.
  7. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Parity pay is set to a simple formula that you can do with the calculator function on your phone. Your spine point pay scale is set (and most schools and academies are still using this). Link to the the jobs tab on the bar at the top of this page, click on salary checker and follow through. For M6 it's 31,552 gross per annum. There are 195 teaching days so divide 31,552 by 195 and you get £161.80 per day. That is your parity pay. As for it from the word go and haggle from that as your starting point. There are plenty of people who don't use this or any other forum who are getting this rate.

    In the commercial environment of agency supply teaching, this price war was bound to happen. Parents will not be best pleased that money they thought the school was spending on teachers, classroom equipment and staff training is being paid to agencies who don't belong there and don't operate anywhere else in the world except England and Wales so they can make a profit. There is a conflict of interests which is not serving teachers or students. Pay rates were fixed for a reason. Take the incentive away and you won't recruit the best people. It doesn't take a genius to see that.
  8. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    Who should pay for the service that agencies provide? The School who have a staffing problem or the Teacher who wants to work independently of a contract? A little bit on both sides does sound fair enough to me. The problem I see is that the agencies are asking a lot more from schools and giving a lot less to Teachers.

    All Teachers can do is fight for a fair wage at the expense of any work at all and all schools can do is fight for a fair price at the risk of...(well, not all Teachers are great).

    We need proper legislation but, it won't happen.

    I am going to stand up for myself a bit but, if I'm moaning on here come November about lack of work...

    (or I could just be THAT Teacher ^)
  9. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Agencies are the gatecrasher at the party who have come in, thrown up on the carpet and crashed out on your bed with your partner. There is absolutely no need for a middleman. There is ample evidence from schools' administrators that I have spoken to, that they have been hard sold by the agencies. They did not approach the agencies; the agencies approached them and sold them a deal. Many have been told that they are not allowed to recruit supply teachers directly, which is not true. Dozens of contributors to this forum write in asking if they can apply directly to schools not realising that agencies are not statutory bodies and are simply businesses who have found a profitable sideline in education recruitment. All the agencies drive our wages down because they have to take their cut to make it profitable for them, when all they do is check your DBS and add you to their database. They don't train you, they don't back you up in a discipline incident, they just make one phone call and that's that. I get emails and calls from agencies I never even enrolled with offering me work.

    They have to get to the schools before you do. Under law, if the agency has introduced you to a school, even if you went in for just a morning, they can charge the school an introduction fee of 10 - 20% of your gross annual salary if the school uses you directly in the following sixth months. Very few schools can afford this. Many are given very stern warnings by the agency staff about legal action if they breach contracts (not that I am aware of anyone actually being sued for breach of contract by an agency). This is why the agencies move you around in the first couple of weeks. They know where the potential vacancies are likely to be. Their marketing departments have done the research so they can get a foot in the door before the job goes public. Of course this is all quite legal but it doesn't help local teachers get local jobs. If you look at the job adverts in TES, you will see many of them stipulate "No Agencies" by which time, we have already missed out.

    Nowhere else in the world has such a system that is loaded in favour of businesses taking money out of schools' budgets.

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