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Long term supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by laustokes760, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. laustokes760

    laustokes760 New commenter

    I am quite new to supply teaching. I have been doing it like three weeks and I am paid 110 per day on day-to-ay.I have been offered a supply position in Maths at one of the schools I use to work in for initially one month and a half but it would probably be extended. I would like to know how much pay I should request to my agency considering the position will involve marking and planning. Thanks.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    As much as you can negotiate (seriously ...I'm not being flippant)

    I did two long term placements two years ago and got about £400 a week, I was happy with that but I reckon I could have got a bit more if I'd asked.

    I did all the planning and marking too as well as a parents evening and other stuff - It got me a permanent position elsewhere in the end so was worth it.
  3. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    You are being completely ripped off being paid £110 a day. On the plus side, the supply agency personnel will be chinking their champagne classes this Christmas - if they have lots of teachers like you on the books, it will be big bonuses all round.

    Seriously, has anyone told you Maths is the biggest shortest subject in UK schools? And why, if you are a Maths teacher, are you working for an agency and letting them take a cut of your earnings? It must take them all of 3 minutes to find a placement for a Maths teacher, and for those 3 minutes, I doubt they are getting anything less £220 a day for you!!! That means they make about £600 a week off your efforts!! Think about it.

    It takes 10 minutes online to set up a limited company. You have to file a company return once a year (2 minutes online and costs £13) and one set of accounts (£600 approx) each year, which any accountant can do. You then pay the taxman one cheque per year and pay yourself a dividend (as well as a minimum salary, for tax reasons) - all done by your accountant.

    You keep all receipts and invoices, keep two lists, one for money you spend e.g on a new phone, iPad, camera, trip abroad etc, and one for invoices you issue. And that is it. No seriously, that is all you have to do every year to run a limited company.

    Get an enhanced DBS check done and pay for update services - search online for local companies who can do this. All you then do is send off CVs to schools saying you're a fully qualified Maths teacher. Charge £195 a day to start with and see what happens. Then increase your rates to demand. You will still be undercutting agencies. Each week, you issue your school with an invoice, lots of simple examples are online.

    Alternatively, let the agency continue to flatter you (it's free) and then let them pay you £120 a day, if you are happy to be ripped off.

    PS your post greatly annoyed me; how can anyone let themselves be cheated and ripped off by a supply agency like this, for the sake of about an hour's work setting up a company and sending CVs off.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    Veerwal likes this.
  4. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Ah Peakster, the irony from the man who called me naive! (I'm never going to let you forget that by the way). £400, served you right. You should have been on nearly twice as much.
    To Laustokes, there are links to teacher pay scales calculators on home page of this very website, just go and look at them. Also at the top of this forum is a pinned file of information for supply teachers. The unions don't make this stuff up, but it is your responsibility to yourself to sound out a contract before you agree to it.
    What would your MPS be? Divide that by 194 (the number of teaching days in a school year) and there you have your daily rate.
    However, if you are with an agency, they might not agree to that as they are not statutory bodies and can pay what they want, at least in theory.
    If the contract is becoming long term, you can't now desert the agency to the school as the agency is entitled to charge the school a pretty hefty finders' fee so you are now indentured to the agency.
    Any negotiations will have to be in writing, send them an email, stating that the long term position will entail considerably more time that the day to day contract. Ask for your MPS rate.
    Also hear what Twinklefoottoe has to say. Most agencies are a complete rip off. Schools know that but they have no choice unless you give them a choice.
    There is lots of advice in previous posts on how to supply without the interference of agencies.
  5. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    I hate seeing someone ripped off by a supply agency. Here are the steps you need to take to work for yourself and rid yourself of parasites.

    You can set up a company for £15.00 e.g. here: http://www.swiftformations.com/

    You don't need to worry about what the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association etc are but you can Google them if you are curious. Think of a memorable name for your company and check availability.

    You'll need a name and address of someone who can be a 'secretary', a close friend, spouse or parent is typical. It's a nothing role for a small supply teacher company but you have to have one. Set the number of shares to be whatever you like. 1000 £1 shares is fine.

    Open up a business bank account. They're all the same, with a few hoops to jump through. You'll need to deposit a small sum and provide a few proofs of ID. Probably quicker to use your existing bank for the business one, but check they'll give you a year's free charges.

    Search online for local DBS checks. Pay for one and the updates.

    Search for a local accountant. You need an accountant to do the tax return once a year, and also your payroll (although it is very easy to do it yourself on the Government site). Apart from that, you never need to see them. Typical annual costs should be between £400 and £700. It sounds a lot but is only a couple of supply teaching days each year.

    Get a killer CV prepared, with a photo - lots of examples and advice online. Get them printed out on nice paper, and use nice A5 envelopes. Double-check spelling and grammar and get others to proof-read it.

    Create a spreadsheet of the names and address of all the schools in your area you would work in. Keep it up-to-date. Send them out to both the Head and Head of Department for each school.

    Decide on your daily rate and stick to it. for Maths, Computer Science etc, I'd start at £195 for your first contract if you have one or two years teaching experience and £260 for more experience teachers, ex-HoDs and qualifications like an MSc or Phd.

    Invoice your school weekly. Get the HoD to sign a timesheet weekly. Build up a reserve in the bank account then start paying yourself a minimum wage to start with. See the accountant for advice on removing money from the account.

    Send the CVs off and away you go. Keep doing a mailshot every four months is the advice I was given.

    If there is more than a wet Sunday's work above, I'd be surprised. Then say goodbye to bloodsucking supply agencies and see your income increase by 80% or more.
    Landofla likes this.
  6. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Setting yourself up as a ltd company and sourcing your own supply work sounds very attractive and remarkably easy. Are there any insurance implications that need to be accounted for? Would you say there are any cons? @Twinklefoottoe
  7. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    You can buy insurance for anything you want, but why bother? If you want third party liability, feel free to shell out for it but it's hardly likely you'll need it. If a school doesn't like you, they'll tell you not to come in tomorrow. As long as you are sensible and not planning to burn a school down, it's not needed, IMO, but do your own research and then decide what's best.

    Cons? None. You get a massive jump in income immediately. You are your own boss and can work when you want. You don't have to deal with smarmy twenty somethings at agencies trying to screw you to work for a hundred quid a day while they get more than double that and who pretend to have you best interests at heart. You can take on others if you want to start your own agency as well if you want to empire build. You can take longer contracts only without being pressured to do short daily stints.

    You could have set up a company and sorted out most of donkey work online by this evening, instead of fretting about it. Setting up a company isn't scary. If you really are wetting yourself, set one up while working for agencies and contact schools directly until everything is in place. I do know and have employed some supply teachers who have gone down the sole trader route, a bit easier to set up and run, but I preferred the kudos of a company.

    Ask yourself, why are you using an agency? What exactly do they do for you? You send your cv to the agency, they phone schools and you go? They then pay you. This is nothing you can't easily do yourself. Agencies charge you effectively, and boy is it a massive amount of your income. They'll tell you they build up relations etc with schools. It's all rubbish and marketing twaddle. When you undercut them by contacting schools directly, no school will be loyal.

    All the above is the model I know works from Computer Science teachers in
    Kent and Surrey but only you can decide if you are happy to continue to be screwed by agencies because you are essentially a lazy, scared, clueless teacher.
  8. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Very interesting @Twinklefoottoe

    Would it be possible to leave an agency and have the school employ you via your own agency? Would that get around the finder's fee?

  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

  10. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    How difficult is it, to post out your CV and answer the phone when a school rings you?

    You don't need to register a company or charge VAT unless you have a turnover of £82K.

    You do not need third party insurance or any other insurance. It is up to you. If you do take it out, it costs about £200 per year and takes five minutes.

    I can see you are a 'glass half empty' type of person.
  11. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Not really, but you are in a much better position than many other supply teachers are in at the moment.

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