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Long-term supply query

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Izzi, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Advice gratefully received ... I've been on supply in the one class, covering long-term sick leave since 25th February this year. It wasn't clear when I started how long I would be there for but the sick leave has been extended several times and so I am now looking at finishing the term there. It is not clear whether the teacher will even be back in September and I believe there may be an opportunity for me to continue there, albeit in a different class. There was a brief mention of a contract at some point a couple of months ago when the sick leave was extended by a further 8 weeks but nothing happened. I didn't think anymore of it until recently and then came across some information which said things change if you are in a supply position for more than 12 weeks. Does anyone have any experience of what happens in this sort of situation? Look forward to hearing back from you if you do. Thanks.
  2. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    After 12 weeks you should be paid at AWR rate; ie 195th of your full time salary, ie point on the pay scale, per day. If this hasn't happened get in touch with your agency.
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Now is the time (though it would have been even better to have started on day 1) to be networking like mad. You need a guru whom you can trust to guide you through the labyrinth of politicking and finding one now is your priority.

    There are several interlinked problems
    1. The school needs a half-decent teacher in September
      i) are you that one?
      Or should they advertise and interview? Expensive and maybe futile.
      ii) do they need to pay the agency a release fee? If so, how much?
      iii) can you negotiate a contract that starts now? So you'll be paid over the summer.
      iv) How likely is the sick one to return and be the 'proper teacher' again?
      Or will he be eased out via capability/health/.. whatever?
    2. Agencies want money
      i) Err.. that's it actually but they aren't going to want to see a steady income stream like you vanish and will hustle to get the most out of you.
    3. Will others in the school speak up in your favour?
      Line manager/parents/TAs could all feel that their opinion of you is important and may be.
    4. How bothered are you about working there?
      Do you have any other options that are worth pursuing (or even holding up as a haggling tactic)
    These are all the head's problems but realistically you need to find the answers yourself. Not easy and certainly not what you went into teaching for.

    All the best.
    Izzi and agathamorse like this.
  4. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    Don't get your hopes up with a permanent job. I did the best part of a year in a school. All of the staff said "you will get hired here for sure". Head was positive. End of year, new HOD bought in an NQT from his previous school. A shoe in.
  5. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Thank you for your replies. Today I have been asked to work there in September as the absent teacher is likely to be off possibly until October, maybe longer. Unfortunately, I hadn't seen your reply, agathamorse, before I had this meeting. I had asked about how things stand in terms of a contract but this is not forthcoming as they do not know when the other teacher will be back and they have said my assignment is therefore open-ended and will just run week-to-week. As I didn't know for sure what happened after 12 weeks, I wasn't able to push that point. I am rather annoyed that my agency hadn't done anything about this and I have not been paid for holidays that fell after the 12 week period. Re 195th of salary, it's not clear from the more recent information online what the salary is - it can apparently be at the school's discretion (pay an NQT rate) rather than to scale. My agency is not being very forthcoming with information and has fobbed me off, saying that they can't speak tonight and will have to speak tomorrow. I am grateful that I have been asked to take on the role and so don't want to rock the boat but on the other hand, feel that I am being taken for a ride somewhat. I'm not sure if I'm being taken for a ride financially by the school or the agency, or both. I have said that I am interested in taking on the role but am beginning to wonder whether I have made the right decision if they expect me to carry on on a supply rate with all the responsibilities of setting up for a new class in September. I ought to feel that I have the upper hand, negotiation-wise but somehow don't. I don't mind doing the role so long as I am being paid fairly for it.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  6. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    Sadly, on supply we never get paid for the holidays. A portion of your daily rate is your holiday pay. However you should be getting paid AWR. You need to go back to your agency.
    JohnJCazorla and Izzi like this.
  7. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Simply tell your agency that you are being paid awr or you are not working for that school or that agency again

    You are the goose that lays the golden egg for the agency

    If they call your bluff another agency may get the gig

    Up to you really
  8. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Thank you for the advice! Do you know if it's 195th of MY scale or whether it's whatever scale they fancy paying me?
  9. The-Gaffer

    The-Gaffer Occasional commenter

    It should be your scale but you might get fobbed off with the school think the job is M1 worthy

    You might want to work out what your expectation is & see what's offered
    agathamorse and Izzi like this.
  10. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    It should be to scale but that'll rarely go past M6. The school can play the game of "this is what we would pay if we hired you permanently" so it could be M1.

    After 12 weeks the agency has to pay you to scale - it isn't the school's responsibility but they'll still want to squeeze out the profit from the school so will be negotiating.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  11. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    REMEMBER the Golden rule of Supply Agencies

    Charge the school as MUCH as you can

    Pay the teacher as LITLLE as you can

    Simple really!
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    A school making encouraging noise about offering you a permanent job is often a warning sign that intends to do no such thing. The praise is to keep you there until it is expedient to dump you.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  13. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Well, I've got the role for September until the sick cover isn't required anymore - I'm not too worried about having a permanent job but had just wanted to make sure before I committed that I was being paid fairly now that I am being expected to do all the stuff that a class teacher does (even though I was doing it before). I've spoken to the agency today about this 12 week AWR thing kicking in and what would be the rate of pay now that I've gone (well) past 12 weeks. They have confirmed that it would be to scale (which is good news) but then said that it would be divided by 232. When I queried this, I was informed that this was the number of days worked. I am extremely confused. Can't get a straight answer out of the agency - keep saying that they are having to check everything with the school. Obviously an amount of money divided by 232 is a significant amount less than divided by 195. And actually comes out LOWER than my current daily rate. So, lose lose for me. Any advice, as ever, gratefully received. I can't find anything in writing to back up my push for 195th - this seems to be only if you're employed directly by a school, and I'm not, I'm through a supply agency. Really worried that I've accepted (verbally) to do the job and am going to end up worse off.
  14. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    You've accepted (verbally) to do the job on a supply basis. So you can pull out of that on much less notice than the unfortunates on Workplace Dilemmas who have bound themselves to a permanent contract. Check current paperwork and it'll probably be a week or fortnight at most that notice applies.

    Suggest you write an email on these lines.

    Dear Parasitical Agent,

    Having reviewed my finances I realise that I can no longer continue with a rate of pay that is £ a day in September. I appreciate that you will have negotiated the best deal you could get already but I need to find a better rate for the coming academic year.

    Accordingly I intend to leave Just About Okay Primary on Friday 19th July.

    Thank you for all your efforts

    This puts the agent on the spot. You are now little more than a (high) income stream and they will be shocked into getting you more. Also as it doesn't mention AWR, or anything specific, then you can't be pinned down on specifics. You should get a phone call back and a reluctant promise from the agent that they'll try to get more, which will then be delivered upon and who cares if it comes from the agency or the school?

    Depending on how Machiavellian you're feeling, I'd suggest talking to the Head and saying that you'd like to stay but the agency is being very awkward over pay.

    Finally get registered with other agencies, easier to play such petty games if you've got a few agencies who could come through.

    DISCLAIMER: I can and do act like a lesser-Trump in negotiating because the mortgage is paid off and a few days/weeks unemployed is bearable. Are you as confident?
    MsOnline, agathamorse and Izzi like this.
  15. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Ha ha! Thank you for those words of wisdom. I'd kind of resigned myself to doing day-to-day supply anyway in September so the job offer was a bonus as I thought that the 'proper' teacher would have been back in time for the start of the new year. However, when the HT started reeling off all of my duties that I would be expected to do (I have not attended staff meetings unless specifically requested to and then have put in my hours for said meeting, ditto reports = £, ditto parents evenings = £ etc.) I started to worry that I was backing myself into a corner as it seemed I was being expected to do this with no extra money on top of my daily supply rate. So, yes, I will be speaking to the the school in the morning. I've asked the agency to confirm their proposal in writing - this should come through tomorrow. I shall take a decision then. In the meantime, I'm trawling the internet for any mention of 195th in relation to a supply agency. Still don't understand why they've come up with the magic number of 232 when there are only 195 working days in the academic year 2018-2019 so there's no way I could work 232!
  16. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Agathamorse, do you have any link to where I can quote this figure of 195 at my agency? I am not employed by the school, but only through a supply agency. They have quoted me a figure of 232 today - which comes out considerably less than when divided by 195. Would be so grateful.
  17. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    (a) Model letter for you to use in schools where teachers are employed on STPCD contracts.
    Please feel free to amend the text according to the specific circumstances.
    Dear [agency initially, then hirer if agency has failed to respond]
    This is a request for information under Regulation 16 - of the Agency Worker Regulations 2010
    I have completed the following assignment(s) with [name of hirer].  [list assignments with dates]
    The hirer above engages teachers on contracts of employment covered by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (‘STPCD’). The assignments above involved specified work as defined by Regulation 6 of the Education (Specified Work and Registration) (England) Regulations 2003.
    Under Regulation 5 of the AWR, after I have completed 12 qualifying weeks in the same assignment with the same hirer I should be entitled to the same basic pay and conditions as if I had been recruited directly by the hirer. I believe I qualified for Regulation 5 rights on [date].
    If I had been recruited directly by [hirer school] I would have been entitled to be paid under the provision of s47.1 of the STPCD. As I am on scale point [?] that means I would be entitled to a daily rate of 1/195 x [appropriate salary] which amounts to £ [?] gross.
    I should therefore have been receiving the above daily rate from [qualifying date]. In fact I am receiving a daily rate of £[ ] and I believe this is in breach of the AWR.
    Please can you provide me with the following information within 28 days of the date of this letter.
    1. The relevant information relating to basic working and employment conditions of teachers within the Hirer’s workforce.
    2. The factors you considered when determining the basic working and employment conditions which applied to me from [qualifying date].
    3. If you are relying on Regulation 5 (3), please provide the relevant terms and conditions that you assert applies to a ‘comparable’ employee and explain the basis on which you believe that employee is ‘comparable’.
    Please note that whilst you are not legally obliged to respond to this request, if you fail to respond, or if your response is evasive or equivocal, an employment tribunal will be entitled to draw any inference that it considers just and equitable to draw.
    Yours sincerely
  18. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    I don’t know where they get the 232 from. Is your school one that runs to the “burgundy book”?

    The STPCD states that a full-time teacher, “must be available for work for 195 days in any school year, of which 190 days must be days on which the teacher may be required to teach pupils and perform other duties”. The 195 days must be specified by the employer or, if the employer so directs, by the head teacher.
    LunaBlue123, Izzi and agathamorse like this.
  19. Izzi

    Izzi New commenter

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate you sending this information.
  20. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    Apologies if anyone has replied to this, but I hadn't spotted it. The magic number of 232 keeps cropping up and it was bugging me because I knew I had come across it before. Voila! There are 52 weeks in a year. Times that by 5 (working days in a week, allegedly) and take away 232 and you will get 28. This is the number of days paid holiday to which you are legally entitled. Forget 13 weeks school holidays, as an agency supply teacher they are irrelevant except that we get no work and no pay. Now, I don't know the legal detail but if you are a union member they should have someone, probably at head office, who can explain it all to you much better than I can. Hope this helps a little.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Izzi and agathamorse like this.

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