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Most cost-effective way to manage cover?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by PizzoCalabro, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Interested to see how other schools manage this.
    Internal 'Cover Supervisors', specific agencies, LA list, reduced timetables for staff, SLT...?
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    What about the quality of teaching delivered?

    How far down the list is that?
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    This is how it's done properly and cost effectively in New Zealand.

    Each school maintains a list of subject specialists who are interested in doing cover at their school. Every morning the principal or a vice principal gets their butt out of bed bright and early. Teachers who are sick will have phoned in the night before or very early that morning. Those, with the right specialism, are then phoned and asked if they are available. They are paid the normal salary, for their point on the scale.

    Everybody benefits! Students get someone who can actually teach the lesson, and no money is wasted on parasitic agencies. The only downside is if the head or his/her sidekicks are too lazy to get up early.
    snowyhead likes this.
  4. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Phase out part time teaching contracts where necessary and have sufficient cover across all departments to reduce the expenditure of cover teachers. You could also employ a team of cover supervisors who can double up as TAs or other staff when cover is not required.
  5. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    And, probably fall foul of current employment laws which give employees the right to request part time work - of course employers can refuse requests for part-time hours if they can give a valid reason. If there are already part-time teaching posts in the school this might make a refusal difficult to uphold. Deliberately removing all part-time posts could open up an employer to charges of constructive dismissal and possibly even discrimination too.

    In very small primary schools (which employ 4 or 5 FTE teachers) employing unqualified cover staff in the form of cover supervisers/TAs is just as uneconomic as employing a qualified supply teacher as and when necessary. Don't forget in maintained schools HLTAs and cover supervisers are not permitted to undertake long term cover because they are expected to work under the direction of a qualified teacher.

    This from The Key:

    Higher level teaching assistants delivering lessons
    Ref: 3522
    Last updated on 19 Jun 2015
    Can HLTAs be timetabled to teach lessons? Higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) can deliver lessons under the "direction and supervision of a qualified teacher".
  6. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    Having part time staff actually works for cover in my school. My teachers are usually happy to cover for me and each other for occasional cover. It works really well as my first port of call is usually one of that class's teachers, or at least another established member of staff. Not the cheapest but certainly the best form of cover and the easiest for the teacher being covered.

    I also have an excellent HLTA who also works as a TA and 1:1 SEN TA. So she is my next cover option before having to go down the line of supply. I wouldn't use her however for long term cover.
    snowyhead likes this.
  7. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    In regards to my original post, there would be many implications with phasing out part time teaching contracts but what I mean is, when part time staff do leave, recruit full time teachers.. You've then got the flex of the full time colleagues as well as extra
    support from part time teachers too!

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