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Nearing end of 16 months - really stuck on what to do next.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by helenemdee, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    Hi
    I am primary qualified but considering a number of options career wise, and am looking for advice on which route might be best to take given my current situation. Apologies if this turns out to be a long one.
    The background: I qualified in July 2010 and began supply in Jan 2011 following an unsuccessful NQT position which ended before Christmas 2010. I really like supply teaching due to its flexibility and the fact that I don't have to spend hours planning and marking (and stressing!) and can get on with the other things in my life. I have taught every year group from R to Year 6 in the last 14 months and have had many enjoyable experiences, although it has also been a challenge at times. Behaviour management has been and sometimes still is an issue for me, but Supply is something I enjoy doing despite occasional problems. I have always had good feedback from the schools I've visited. My 16 months ends in May. As yet I have done nothing in regards to requesting an extension. I am not sure whether or not my 3 agencies are aware that my allowance is coming to an end (I didn't start working for 2 of them until July 2011). They do know I'm an NQT, obviously. I supply teach 3 days a week and have 2 other jobs: one in a call centre 3 days a week, which is, if not especially exciting, then definitely tolerable, and I have some good friends there and guaranteed income. I am certainly not desperate to leave, especially if work to replace it is not guaranteed. I am also a self-employed private tutor - a new-ish venture which seems to be something I'm good at - my four clients are pleased with my work so far and it's something I could make a success of, although on its own it wouldn't make a living. However, after a busy day supply teaching I often find myself lacking the energy to be a particularly dynamic or exciting tutor in the evenings.
    I am at the stage of thinking about my career options now, as the September start jobs begin to appear, we approach another quiet period of supply (summer term) and I approach the end of my 16 months with, as yet, no allowance to teach beyond May. It's important I note that I don't want to teach in a full time permanent role. This sounds ridiculous as it's what I trained for but my experiences of working full time long term have made me realise that it's just not something I want to do full time - I felt like I was losing my life outside work, I was tired and felt ill all the time and just don't want to go back there. Part time contract or full time supply I'd be happy with but not full time contract.
    So these are my options:
    - Apply for teaching jobs and hope for the best. I'm not good at interviews, and don't want full time teaching work, so it would be a small number of jobs I'd be applying for. But I feel I'd be appropriately using my qualification if I took this option. The tutoring could fit round a part time role and I could drop the call centre.
    - Apply for an extension and continue with all 3 jobs for the time being if I'm granted one. (Would still be tired on an evening, but it's good money and I'm happy doing it at the moment). Could adjust hours of supply teaching and call centre later if I decided to do more of one and/or less of the other.This problem might raise its head again once the extension ran out, though.
    - Carry on as I am and hope the agencies don't realise once my deadline runs out? (I thought about this when I wondered if an application for an extension might get declined). I know this wouldn't work forever but it would give me more breathing space. Or take on TA/HLTA supply work (which is apparently allowed even after deadlines have expired?)
    - Sack off primary teaching completely (for now) and apply for jobs in FE - this is an area I feel I'd like to get some experience of, and I'm not sure if I've sufficient qualifications or if I'll have to study more first. But if there's a study while you work scheme then that's something I'd like to try. I can always go back to primary teaching later if I don't feel suited to FE (hopefully)
    - Get some more time and space in my life by quitting teaching altogether and concentrating on making a success of my tutoring business. The call centre can provide fixed income in the daytime, leaving me free to take on clients in the evenings. (This is the option I'm considering most seriously at the moment as it means I'm not having to be involved with agencies and such, everything's managed by me, I enjoy it, it's good income, no behaviour issues and most importantly I don't need to have completed an induction to do it!!!).
    Bear with me, I'm almost done. I know my future and the road I take is up to me but I would really appreciate some help on which sound like the best options. In an ideal world, where supply time for NQTs was unlimited and work was guaranteed, I would supply teach in the daytime, and tutor in the evenings, and not bother with the call centre, nor with finding a proper teaching job, since I prefer supply. However, that's obviously not possible. I am aware of the proposed change to a 5 year supply allowance and intend to hold off asking about an extension till I've heard the result. If NQTS qualified less than 5 years ago are given the 5 year allowance, hallelujah and I will probably continue as I am at least in the short term. If the 16 month rule is not changed, I will need to go ahead with one of these options.
    If you have got this far, thanks for taking the time to read this and I would really appreciate your advice, or any other options you can suggest.
    Helen x
     
  2. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    Hi
    I am primary qualified but considering a number of options career wise, and am looking for advice on which route might be best to take given my current situation. Apologies if this turns out to be a long one.
    The background: I qualified in July 2010 and began supply in Jan 2011 following an unsuccessful NQT position which ended before Christmas 2010. I really like supply teaching due to its flexibility and the fact that I don't have to spend hours planning and marking (and stressing!) and can get on with the other things in my life. I have taught every year group from R to Year 6 in the last 14 months and have had many enjoyable experiences, although it has also been a challenge at times. Behaviour management has been and sometimes still is an issue for me, but Supply is something I enjoy doing despite occasional problems. I have always had good feedback from the schools I've visited. My 16 months ends in May. As yet I have done nothing in regards to requesting an extension. I am not sure whether or not my 3 agencies are aware that my allowance is coming to an end (I didn't start working for 2 of them until July 2011). They do know I'm an NQT, obviously. I supply teach 3 days a week and have 2 other jobs: one in a call centre 3 days a week, which is, if not especially exciting, then definitely tolerable, and I have some good friends there and guaranteed income. I am certainly not desperate to leave, especially if work to replace it is not guaranteed. I am also a self-employed private tutor - a new-ish venture which seems to be something I'm good at - my four clients are pleased with my work so far and it's something I could make a success of, although on its own it wouldn't make a living. However, after a busy day supply teaching I often find myself lacking the energy to be a particularly dynamic or exciting tutor in the evenings.
    I am at the stage of thinking about my career options now, as the September start jobs begin to appear, we approach another quiet period of supply (summer term) and I approach the end of my 16 months with, as yet, no allowance to teach beyond May. It's important I note that I don't want to teach in a full time permanent role. This sounds ridiculous as it's what I trained for but my experiences of working full time long term have made me realise that it's just not something I want to do full time - I felt like I was losing my life outside work, I was tired and felt ill all the time and just don't want to go back there. Part time contract or full time supply I'd be happy with but not full time contract.
    So these are my options:
    - Apply for teaching jobs and hope for the best. I'm not good at interviews, and don't want full time teaching work, so it would be a small number of jobs I'd be applying for. But I feel I'd be appropriately using my qualification if I took this option. The tutoring could fit round a part time role and I could drop the call centre.
    - Apply for an extension and continue with all 3 jobs for the time being if I'm granted one. (Would still be tired on an evening, but it's good money and I'm happy doing it at the moment). Could adjust hours of supply teaching and call centre later if I decided to do more of one and/or less of the other.This problem might raise its head again once the extension ran out, though.
    - Carry on as I am and hope the agencies don't realise once my deadline runs out? (I thought about this when I wondered if an application for an extension might get declined). I know this wouldn't work forever but it would give me more breathing space. Or take on TA/HLTA supply work (which is apparently allowed even after deadlines have expired?)
    - Sack off primary teaching completely (for now) and apply for jobs in FE - this is an area I feel I'd like to get some experience of, and I'm not sure if I've sufficient qualifications or if I'll have to study more first. But if there's a study while you work scheme then that's something I'd like to try. I can always go back to primary teaching later if I don't feel suited to FE (hopefully)
    - Get some more time and space in my life by quitting teaching altogether and concentrating on making a success of my tutoring business. The call centre can provide fixed income in the daytime, leaving me free to take on clients in the evenings. (This is the option I'm considering most seriously at the moment as it means I'm not having to be involved with agencies and such, everything's managed by me, I enjoy it, it's good income, no behaviour issues and most importantly I don't need to have completed an induction to do it!!!).
    Bear with me, I'm almost done. I know my future and the road I take is up to me but I would really appreciate some help on which sound like the best options. In an ideal world, where supply time for NQTs was unlimited and work was guaranteed, I would supply teach in the daytime, and tutor in the evenings, and not bother with the call centre, nor with finding a proper teaching job, since I prefer supply. However, that's obviously not possible. I am aware of the proposed change to a 5 year supply allowance and intend to hold off asking about an extension till I've heard the result. If NQTS qualified less than 5 years ago are given the 5 year allowance, hallelujah and I will probably continue as I am at least in the short term. If the 16 month rule is not changed, I will need to go ahead with one of these options.
    If you have got this far, thanks for taking the time to read this and I would really appreciate your advice, or any other options you can suggest.
    Helen x
     
  3. If I were you I would apply for the extension now. At least it would buy you time. If it wasn't granted (unlikely I think) then continuing supply is going to be closed to you anyway which cuts off some possibilities. If the 5 year rule does come in then you know you've got more time to make a lifetime decision. Supply is already sparse in some areas, it may get worse. If it does your tutoring and call centre work would be essential. Deep down I think you want to continue as you are for the moment whilst building up your tutoring to take over more of your supply time. Applying for an extension now would allow this to happen. In 5 years time your life may be completely different from how it is now.
     
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    definitely apply for the extension in the next few weeks. Apply to every LA where you might get supply bookings. You have nothing to lose by applying.
    If the proposed change to having 5 years from qualifying to be on supply ( before needing your next teaching in a State school to be on Induction) is made available to existing NQTs as well, it would lengthen any extension period you are granted.
    I suspect however, that the new regs may only apply to those who get QTS later this year.
    I know whta you mean about wanting to be able to do random supply indefinitely. That used to be possible for those who got QTS before 7th may 1999. I gained QTS in August 1999, having delayed a year before starting my PGCE. I was shocked by behaviour then and was wary of taking up a permanent post. i decided to use my supply allowance to get to as many schools as possible so that I could decide which ones would be worth applying to when vacancies occurred. Guess what? The 4 or 5 schools that I felt were civilised enough for long-term working hardly ever had vacancies as the staff were wary of moving elsewhere!
    I did all my Induction on supply (at two schools) and have remained on supply ever since. 11 months has been the longest in one school and I had 4 extra (unpaid) holiday weeks there as I had pre-booked holidays.
     
  5. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    Thank you Roseangel and Jubilee, I really appreciate your replies.
    I have called my LEA about the extension this week. The person I needed to speak to was not in the office but apparently they were going to have someone call me back "immediately" to discuss it with me - this was Wednesday and I haven't heard from them yet, so not exactly immediate - but I will speak to them again next week. My supply agency have said they have never known anyone to be turned down for an extension in this particular LEA, and I also hear it's quite a quick process to secure an extension, so fingers crossed I'll get it. If I can an extension from this LEA (which is the local area) I'll enquire with other LEAs I've previously taught in, in case I get bookings there again. Would it be wise to apply for an extension in the LEA in which I got an NQT post then got early release?
    The tutoring is starting to take up more of my time as I am on the verge of securing one and possibly two more clients. I think it is likely that at least two of my current clients will become long-term arrangements also (i.e. continuing beyond the current academic year). I am not in a position to take up a full time teaching post unless I quit the tutoring and I don't want to do that because truthfully, I enjoy tutoring more than teaching at the moment. Part time contract might still be an option if I could actually find any part time jobs being advertised! But I don't know how I would justify only wanting to work part time if I get to interview.
    For the time being I think I am going to follow Roseangel's advice and continue with call centre and supply teaching (extension permitting) whilst trying to build up the tutoring and gradually reduce the supply teaching. If I get these 2 new clients I'll probably recude from 3 days a week supply to 2 days anyway. I don't know if I will ever have the inclination to teach full-time contract again to be honest, but if I can be happy doing something else despite having trained as a teacher then that's OK isn't it?
    I just don't know how I'd keep myCRB up to date if I was only working for myself...
    Thanks again
    Helen x
     
  6. You know you started supply in Jan 2011. I know you started supply in Jan 2011, so does Roseangel and Jubilee. Do the LEAs you work for know? My LEA had not a clue until I shot myself in my own foot lol!! Ignorant servants of fascists that they are. Good luck!
     
  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    The "induction panel" at many LEAs are part time (often ex-teachers), so don't be surprised if things take a while, especially around school holidays.

    As long as you can persuade an agency to register you as a potential supply teacher, they can have a CRB done for you (you'll have to pay for it).

    But do you need to keep one "up to date?" and what does that even mean? If you're tutoring in someone else's home, just make sure you're never left alone with the child and keep the door open.

    Most music tutors don't have CRBs - they're self employed so have no way to get them unless they also happen to do work in schools - so the "market" won't expect you to have one.
     
  8. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You don't have to justify it as though there was some fault in you or the p/t position! You would be applying for a p/t post anyway.
    You should apply for an extension to every LA that is in your travel to work area.
    Have you informed the Inland Revenue about your private tutoring work?
     
  9. Regarding Inland Revenue. If it's cash it never happened, DO DECLARE EVERYTHING WHICH ISN'T CASH.
     
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Risky.
    The Inland revenue have a purge on various occupations/ investments where people might be evading tax. In recent years they have targetted private tutors and those who rent out properties (abroad and in the UK) and don't declare the income.
    They have various ways of following up on 'suspects'. They check out classified ads, follow up on those who report that their landlord hasn't safeguarded their deposit ( a sure sign of a landlord trying to keep things unofficial) etc.
    For private tuition income, keep a record of all your expenses (tuition materials, subscriptions, cost of advertising, travel costs if you visit the client, refreshment costs if you provide those at your home, printer ink and paper, receipt book expenditure) so that you are only declaring your profit for potential taxation.
     
  11. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    Hi
    Just contacted my LEA again regarding the extension - it has been agreed no questions asked (some relief!). However they can't post-date them and my 16 months doesn't run out till May 24th, so I have to contact him again nearer the time to have the extension started from the correct day.Hope he remembers the conversation we had today, but he seemed quite sympathetic to the plight of NQTS trying to do their induction, so shouldn't think it'll be a problem.
    (Random question: if I let the 16 months lapse, didn't do any further teaching after it ran out and then called in Sept to ask for an extension, could I get one from then or would it be backdated to May 24th? Supply is so quiet during the 2nd half of summer term anyway that I'm not sure it would be worth having an extension to allow me to teach during that time!)
    The man I spoke to appears certain that the 5-year rule will apply from September however uncertain whether it will only apply to new NQTs or also to NQTs qualified in the last 5 years.
    Is it OK for extensions in different authorities to run concurrently? I believed it was, but this person mentioned how previously, people have had an extension in one LEA, then got one in another LEA once the first extension ran out and so on, but that this isn't allowed anymore. However he also seemed a bit funny about having extensions in different LEAs at the same time? And does anyone know if I need to apply for an extension in an LEA in which I have not worked before, but may do in the future (as I have moved to a different area recently?)
    Jubilee/Stuart Dann, no I haven't declared my private tuition work. But I know I need to, and I will. All my payment for that work is in cash. It would be nice if I could not declare it and know I could get away with it. But that's not the case and I don't want to get into trouble.I just don't like the idea of having a big tax bill!
    Helen
     
  12. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Extensions from different LAs are supposed to run at the same time.
    Extensions of up to a 12 months are supposed to be tacked onto the end of your 16 month allowance.
    Each LA you apply to, if you think you might be sent there by any of your agencies, does not need to be informed about you having an extension elsewhere or intending to apply for one. It makes absolutely no difference to an LA if you work in one LA or multiple LAs.
    The extension is simply permission to be able to teach in their schools, not a guarantee of work and supply teachers need to look to several employers/areas in order to make a living these days.
    You now have permission in principle to a 12 month extension so get it activated in late May.
     
  13. Re LEA 16-month extension: I had a very helpful conversation with a person at my LEA. You get one extension "permission". This is valid for all LEAs. Some LEAs (not many) can be difficult about it. She suggested that I ring her in the case of any problems and she would get on to the LEA concerned. The extension is sent to you at your home address and is valid for 12 months. After that you've had it! Well I will have anyway. Interview on 27/4 for FT job. Everything crossed.
    Good luck , whatever you decide on.

     

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