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Not asked back after parental complaint. No further information given. Normal?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by bigbear789, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. bigbear789

    bigbear789 New commenter

    After a horrendous couple of weeks in a very large and difficult school I've not been asked to return even though I was booked there for a few days longer. Apparently my agency have told me this is because of a 'parental complaint' but no further information was given. They said that the Head had 'investigated it' and come to the conclusion I shouldn't be re-booked. They let me see out the day though - I certainly wasn't marched out the door or anything as sudden as that.

    Trouble is, I don't have a clue what they're on about. Can't think of a single thing that I've done wrong, least of all been spoken to about it by anybody senior. That only thing I can think of is that I've had to be quite strict with a few of classes due to poor behaviour and perhaps one pupil on the receiving end of a sanction has gone home to parents and made an issue of it. But other than that I'm in the dark.

    Is this normal for a supply teacher to be given the boot so quickly and mercilessly like that? Is it something I should be worried about?
     
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No personal experience but I'd want to check that agency is confident it wasn't any type of safeguarding concern. If not get them to follow it up with the school. You don't want to find yourself in a difficult position if the agency is ever asked in the future "Have there ever been any safeguarding concerns about Mr/Ms bigbear?".
     
    JohnJCazorla and bigbear789 like this.
  3. bigbear789

    bigbear789 New commenter

    You're absolutely right and I have asked the agency to chase this up for me. The school haven't offered any further information as of yet and it's been a few days.

    The agency are fairly confident that it isn't anything safeguarding related because in their experience a school/LEA would be very quick to follow this up with them. The school in question haven't. Also, they let me see out the day rather than stop me at some point throughout the day. Another sign that this probably isn't safeguarding related.

    But I have pressed for an explanation just to rule it out.
     
  4. a1976

    a1976 Occasional commenter

    Hi Bigbear,
    I'm sorry this hasn't happened to you. I've been booked for days and then told before starting the new day that I was no longer needed either. Unfortunately, this has become common. I doubt you'll ever know for sure other than it wasn't a safeguarding issue. According to what you've mentioned, I doubt very seriously if it was a safeguarding issue. Maybe your face didn't fit, maybe some SLT member knew of a friend of a friend, etc. However, I think you definitely dodged a bullet because such an environment can really wreck your health. I did mine. I'm not able to do supply anymore, or anything that involves working with people face to face in any kind of environment (not at the moment). So, just look ahead. Best wishes as well.
     
  5. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Things like this are becoming increasingly common.
    You could have a look at the badly behaved, entitled thread...
     
    agathamorse, pepper5 and bigbear789 like this.
  6. bigbear789

    bigbear789 New commenter

    I've just had a quick read - seems that our experiences are very similar. I take some comfort in knowing I'm not alone in this, but at the same time I'm frustrated at the nature of supply. If this is how schools treat their guests, I dread to think how they treat their staff.
     
    agathamorse and tonymars like this.
  7. abwdSTEM

    abwdSTEM New commenter

    I wouldn't worry about it @bigbear789 . Some parents like to complain because they have nothing better to do and some schools are so poorly run that these parents carry more influence then qualified teachers.

    If the agency hasn't said anything then thats most likely the case in this situation.

    In the 20 odd years I did supply I can think of less then a handful of schools I wasn't asked back but at least 30 or more I was asked back by name. Oddly the few I wasn't welcome were ones I wouldn't have gone back to anyway.
     
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  8. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Hmmm bigbear, if, as a supply, you've ever been treated as a guest, you've been very lucky. In my humble, experience, as a supply, one is treated like a sub species.

    And yes, many schools do treat their staff appallingly these days. This is definitely a major cause of the current recruitment / retention crisis.

    Certainly in my most recent experience, this is not a school I would like to have worked in. Everyone, on reflection, was watching their back, terrified of upsetting any kids, always attending meetings, there was a large group of managers - sorry directors - this was an academy.
     
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Personally - I would count yourself lucky it wasn't worse and move on.
     
  10. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Sometimes it is a case of your face fits and you are asked back and on others it does not fit.

    My attitude is that you cannot please everyone all of the time. There were obviously no safeguarding worries so stop worrying.

    I’m sure that you have a good working relationship with the agency and they have no issues with you. I once walked out of a school at 9:10am yet the next day the school were on the phone offering work.
     
  11. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Love that Jesmond12. Can I ask when that was and roughly which part of UK you are.

    Actually I'm increasingly feeling like one of many dogs fighting over increasingly unappetising scraps.
     
  12. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Hi Tony,

    I posted about it recently. It was a primary school in Derbyshire last July. An awful Y6 class. I was not happy but felt that I had to make a stand against poor behaviour.
     
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi bigbear789

    Peakster's post sums it up really.

    Much worse things have happened to teachers both on supply and permanent.

    A lot of supply will be covering very badly behaved classes since that is a common reason that their permanent teacher is off.

    I would say what you experienced is very common.

    If you are not planning to return to a permanent role, I would say you might want to think about looking into moving into a different career.
     
  14. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    This is probably one of the most important things to remember as a supply..... ESPECIALLY if you are being asked in for a mid-long term gig.

    Which feeds back to what I've said before about taking on mid-long term roles.... YOU hold the cards and YOU dictate the terms..... you have to be prepared to say 'no' to a role if you don't get what you want.

    It is one of the many idiocies of modern education that instead of distributing all year groups and ability ranges evenly and fairly, a few teachers within the department are given most of the bad classes whilst the longer serving members get to cherry pick...... and thus the cycle of teacher absenteeism and ongoing (and largely expensive) supply is born!!!
     
  15. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    The tail seems to wag the dog in a lot of these places. The kids (especially the worst behaved ones with equally difficult parents) rule the roost. If something allegedly happens you are not even asked about it if you are on supply. You are not just guilty until proven innocent, you are guilty and out the door! In future treat the most troublesome little darlings with the same deference you would reserve for the trust's CEO!
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @bigbear789 : Unless you hear any more of this affair, I would take the 'parental complaint' excuse to get rid of you with a pinch of salt. It seems a fairly standard, and unnecessary, excuse to get of rid of long-term supply teachers.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. zarathushtra

    zarathushtra New commenter

    We supply teachers are on a zero hours contract. Long-term means nothing! We are being exploited more and more with each passing day by the schools and the agencies. It's high time we had more rights and something needs to be done to protect us and our right to be treated with fairness and dignity. Unions are useless too.
     
    Cazzita likes this.
  18. bigbear789

    bigbear789 New commenter

    Thanks for all of your comments. It has now been over a week since I wasn't asked back and the school have still not bothered to enlighten my agency as to what the supposed 'parental complaint' was and why it was enough to not ask me back.

    I think judging by the comments above I'm going to draw a line under this one and move on. I'm still none the wiser as to what I had done, but I don't suppose the school owe me anything, do they?

    My agency has since found me something else up until Christmas - a few days in and it's not bad so far *touch wood*

    Thanks again all!
     
  19. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The only good thing about the school not replying is that agency can safely assume it wasn't a safeguarding concern. The school would have had a general duty to tell them if it was.
     

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