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not getting work but others are, why?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by cliveceltic, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I just started at half term on supply after being made redundant in March. it took ages for my references to get through so I was a late started. Sing then I have had 2 full days and 5 half days supply. Last week I had none and this week I had half a day which was prebooked 2 weeks ago. I was in school today and there was another teacher from my agendcy there so I chatted to her, I like to find out what others are getting, and she said she's been in nearly every day since Easter, schools have requested her back etc. She seemed a bit gobby and even told me she was offered a job at a school in my town and told it was hers but she couldn't do it as it was full time and she didn't want full time etc - interesting as I know who got the job in the end too.

    SO I am wondering, do you reckon I am getting poor feedback, the agency don't want to use me etc? All my schools have been different ones and I have been really positive about it. The only real difference is I am KS2 and this other woman was EY/KS1 and some KS2. I don't do emergency same day but she said she hasn't had much of that and its all really been pre booked.

    I have ran out of jobs to apply for now for September so its looking like supply (I have an application in for a non school job but not heard about that yet) and I am thinking about setting myself up as a freelancer leading workshops in school and training (I am a music specialists). My JSA will run out in October and even before it does I am only surviving because I got 1 months wage from being made redundant and another month saved up - its lasted us 3.5 months so far so not using it as much as we thought due to my husband hitting his sales targets and working overtime, but he can't sustain that.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Sometimes it's not clear why some people get work and others don't.
    Availability, subject /year specialism, vicinity to the school may all come into the equation but really at this time of the year there is little work and schools tend to use 'knwon to them' people so I wouldn't stress out too much.
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    You could be at a disadvantage if you cannot do "emergency same day " work. at least half of my work comes this way and once you have a foothold in a school it often leads to more work.
    Don't expect much at all next week I'm sorry to say.
    Freelancing sounds a good idea.
  4. Not being available for a last call in the morning will always restrict you and that is it.
    Supply teacher gossip and jealousy. Take it with a pinch of salt.
    Eg, am in another school. Get chatting to a supply normal stuff, Where have u bin recently. I say such and such a school.
    She says really, I am the preferred supply for that school. She had a look of shock and horror that I had been in to the particular school.Seeing the shock and horror, I told her that it was subject specific (it wasn't), to placate her. She may be trouble in the future. A bit to much mouth for me.
    So take anything said with a pinch of salt and do a good job when you are in school.

  5. I've worked as a Recruitment consultant in a past life and have been a supply teacher now for over ten years. I know that as a RC there were particular workers that I always turned to which meant that they were always kept in work. It was nothing personal or deliberate, I just knew them better so thought of them first. If I was you I'd ring the agency every few days asking to speak to whoever it is that deals with your KS/specialism not just the office in general . Ask that individual if there is anything in particular that would make you easier for them to 'sell' you etc and you will stand out as somebody who is flexible and willing to tune in to the 'market'. Also ask them what your feedback was like in the past job. It makes you look as though you care and if it was good you will stand out in the Consultants mind as someone who is 'good'. Be quick in the phone call though, don't waste time and get to the point. Its in the Consultants interest to 'sell you' so help them in any way you can.
    I hope this helps a bit. Good luck with the supply in the short term as a perm will come up for you in time.

  6. If you dont take morning calls that's probably one reason for the lack of work. Even pre-booked jobs come a lot from morning calls, once you've been in once and they like you they'll pre-book you for other times. Also if you've only been with the agency a short time you havent built up a reputation yet with the agency. Only very rarely when you first start out will agencies pre-book you before the school's 'priority' supply (someone they've had in a lot). All schools unless they are new to the agency will have people they want as first call or request by name, only if all of these are already booked out or no one will take it will they look to someone who hasnt been there, in my experience.

  7. Perhaps this is good advice but I have found that I was making a dozen calls to various agencies in the mornings and more than that in the afternoons and there was never any work, even in central London. Sometimes the excuses given seemed very dismissive; 'we haven't placed a science/maths teacher for months'. Mostly, the phone was engaged or it just rang, for nearly a quarter of an hour on one occasion. It is difficult to make an impression on a school when you never get near one!
  8. Like what the other guys said, not being available for last-minute calls is putting you at a disadvantage. All of my regular places I went into originally as last-minute supply and then worked myself up to being asked back in advance (usually now I tell the agency!).

    Also, are you only registered with one agency? I am registered with several, and 2 agencies in particular get me more work and only very rarely am I rung by 2 agencies on the same day - so I don't often end up having to turn them down.

    I would say register with another agency, and make a nuisance of yourself in the mornings if you can do emergency same-day (i.e. calling up, ensuring they know you're available, it'll put you forefront in their minds) and if no work, ring in the afternoon (when they're less busy) to remind them that you're available the next day/days/week/etc! Also, I am secondary trained MFL but have covered any subject in the curriculum, and have also done some (limited!) primary supply, including 1 term in a prep (although this was in French so maybe slightly different). Say you'll do anything to start with - even if it means accepting CS or TA rates and doing a few days here and there that way, it's a good way in.

    Good luck!
  9. Thanks people, think I will do more ringing if them to remind them. The person I was comparing myself to had said all her work was pre booked and she rarely got a morning call. They know they can ring in a morning for an afternoon job, I just can't arrange childcare at 7 am for immediately. My husband works shifts so there is a pattern just not regular days that he looks after her and I arrange the rest of her care with relatives.

    Was going to wait til my last job application closed and then register with more agencies for September I think. I went with this one as they seem to get the work from the schools ( other supplies registered with more have also confirmed this). They are the cheapest though:(

    I have agreed to TA work but not CS as I don't want to do primary. I have said I will do middle schools though and as a music specialist I guess I am not hugely in demand.

    Thanks again
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I've told my agency that I've got a permanent postin September and that, coupled with it being so late in the term, had me thinking I'd have no work next week. Today I've been asked to work Tues and Weds next week and the school asked for me by name. Rather messes up my plans for the week but it would be churlish not to take it! Just shows there's still some work around!
  11. lrw22

    lrw22 Occasional commenter

    Most of my regular, pre-booked work has come from schools where I have been into for emergency cover.
  12. I don't do morning calls (I've told my agencies "you know I'm **** at ignoring the phone on a morning - up to you if you want to try") and I'm still kept pretty busy. I guess the fact I've known the consultant working my desk for 3+ years now and have a good rapport with him and a proven history counts for a lot, and schools tend to ask for me back - so I've generally had the luxury of avoiding the 8am phonecalls.
    Worked every day last week - was planning on a nice quiet week as well lol!
    • Flexibility is the key, especially at the start with a consultant or if the consultant changes. I have worked every day bar two since January in some way or another ( primary). Some of this has been 1 to 1 tuition , some half days , some late calls but quite a bit pre booked. As the agency have got to know me over the last three years the amount of late calls has decreased and the amount of pre bookings gone up but they know they can usually get me up to 9.15 and will do an afternoon if it is near and they let me know ealy enough. You have to go where the work is in this game , I have only refused to go back to one school although therere a few others I would prefer not to go to and will avoid if possible. Lucky next term though doing a one term cover , that may stretch to three.

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