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Lied to by Agency. Any one else?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Rainbowe, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. I would be interested to hear others' takes on this and ask if it has happened to anyone else.
    I decided I was going to give up on supply at Easter, as I have only had 1 day's work since November (just 10 days altogether since last May) and I have been paying for childcare (so I can be available) two days a week since December, when our childcare vouchers ran out. I didn't inform the agency of my decision.

    Anyway, I was in the hairdresser's last week when I received a call from the agency asking me if I'd be interested in full-time supply in the school I have had all my work from, for a term. Now I don't want full-time work permanently, as my husband works away, we have no family or very close friends in the area we live in and I don't think it would be fair to my son long-term to have one parent away all week and one parent working as a full-time teacher. However, I thought we might be able to manage it for one term, if my childminder had a full-time space available. I checked with my childminder to find out if she had space for him earlier in the week as well and she has (didn't previously). I rang the agency back to let them know within 10 minutes of their initial call, and at this point the consultant said that was great and they'd pass my CV on to the school and I'd definitely hear back from them by the end of tomorrow. Ok, this wasn't quite what I was expecting, as they'd made it sound like the job was mine, but anyway...

    It is exactly a week since then and I still haven't heard back from them!!! I haven't chased them up, because as far as I'm concerned, it's up to them to contact me, as they promised. I am not cross if the job fell through, but why couldn't they have had the courtesy to let me know when they said they would. I am even wondering if this job was available at all.

    I am not desperate for money, so luckily for me, I can have a nice time being a stay at home mother for the summer term and ignore any contact from them, and we are probably going to relocate over the summer to join my husband, but it still isn't fair to treat people like this. I will also have to tell the childminder that the job seems to have fallen through, but I am a bit embarrassed to be in this situation.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience? And have you spoken to the agency about what happened, or just decided what's the point, like I have? I just expect to be fobbed off and lied to, as the little trust I had is gone, so that's why I don't see the point.

    Apologies in advance for lack of paragraphs. I have put them in, but I am using a Mac and they don't seem to cross platform!
  2. ...read (and weep) the many threads about agencies.
    ...they are great when they want to sign you up but a sodding nightmare after that.
    ...agencies that dont lie are indeed a rare breed!!!!!
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I think that you might have read too much into "were you interested in some full time supply work".
    What this means is that the agency has been contacted by a school, or perhaps only heard via the grapevine, that there is a post needing filling (or might need filling). The school has probably contacted several agencies and is requesting many copies of suitable CVs. From this the school will select some teachers to see or make their choice.
    It rarely means "the jobs yours". I would estimate that for every 10 leads only 1 will lead to work. Its how agencies operate which is fine if you know how the game works. It was a bit mean for them to suggest they will phone back at a certain time but at least you know what to expect next time.
    Golden rule; never make plans to accomodate a job until you have definately got it.

  4. From my experience schools are employing several agencies to find candidates for longer term positions. The job is only yours after you have spoken to the school and clarified your role, terms & conditions etc. Many schools also want to interview you and observe a teaching demo just as if you were applying for a standard teaching vacancy. It's a shame that your agency didn't make this clear and explain that they were just asking your permission to put your cv forward for consideration. As for phoning back..... if the school is interested the agency will do everything they can to get you in there!

  5. Thanks for all your replies. I agree that I jumped the gun on this occasion, although I did have to ask my childminder if she would be available for full-time work before saying yes to the agency. Luckily, she knew it was in theory and I informed her yesterday that the job had fallen through. They certainly didn't make it clear to me, but I should have known not to trust them.
  6. Another little trick they pull is to say something like,
    "You know X school you worked at last week- how would you be fixed for working there til the end of term?"
    You say, " Yes, sure , I'm available"
    Agent says, "Great, I'll contact them and get back to you".
    Experienced supplies can fill in the rest!
  7. I do sympathise with your frustration, and yes, in my experience some agencies can be a bit lax about getting back in touch to confirm things -- so if I really want to know about a potential job, I always ring and ask them. I would advise anyone to do the same: after all, what can you lose apart from the price of a phone call? This may not suit everybody, but I take the view that honesty is the best policy: if I have something to tell the agency, I tell them, and if I want them to tell me something, I ask them. Sometimes you get evasive answers, or they give reason to suspect that they may not be telling you everything; sometimes you find out exactly what you need to know. At least if I've made an attempt to be open with them and tried to find out what's going on, I'm not blaming myself for failing to check out the facts.
    Good luck for the future, whichever way it pans out.
  8. My current long term started as 3 weeks even though it was to cover a teacher on maternity leave for a year. Schools seem reluctant to take someone on long term would rather 'try you out'. Ironic as they don't have a try out period for permenant members of staff. I contacted the school I am at several times with a CV etc and asked for work and never got a reply. I am now in on low agency wages, although AWR kicks in from May. They will not put me on contract because to take me for 1 term the agency demanded a £4k finders fee. However they have said paying the AWR rate is ok (they didn't know about AWR until I told them). I am actually searching for permenant teaching jobs now having been on the fringes for three years - and I am terrified by the fact I have worked in all local schools through an agency. The finders fee things seems almost like slavery. Agencies don't guarantee you work and can be really difficult and they don't actually do much finding....

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