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NQT on long-term supply - stress...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by secretstar, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone, I really am in need of some support/advice.

    I am a primary NQT who qualifiedlast summer, but like so many others, didn't secure a post for September. Since then, I have worked for various companies/places including 2 supply agencies, a nursery and as a private maths tutor.

    The week before half term, my main supply agency range me during my morning break at a school they'd sent me to just for morning work, telling me that a job opportunity had come up - could I get to a school 50 miles away that afternoon for interview. I said yes, not wanting to pass up a job offer, and lo and behold got the job!

    So my situation is now this: I am employed via my agency at this school until the end of the school year in a year 1 class. However, I cannot shake the feeling of 'being pimped out'. The school is great and my class are lovely. However, my class are very behind where they should be due to poor teaching for the first half of the year (they had another NQT who left due to stress at the last minute, which is why I was hired quickly)

    I want to make this job a success but am already struggling and it's only the first week! The school is an 'improving school' and the head is exceptionally driven. The planning required is very in-depth and not only do I need to plan and deliver my own lessons, I also need to plan for 4 afternoons of HLTA intervention lessons a week for my TA to deliver.

    The head does not like the use of any worksheets in year 1 - mainly practical activities. I have spent my most recent student placements in KS2 and most of my supply is also with KS2, so I feel out of my depth teaching and planning in this style. I have a class assembly due to be shown in 2 weeks, along with APP assessments to be getting on with frequently! The school is 1-form entry so there isn't another year 1 teacher to have PPA with or talk to.

    My PPA is going to be with the year 2 teacher. She's very nice and helpful, however very busy herself... I can sense that the last thing she needs is another year 1 NQT to be aware of! I had my induction of the school with the deputy yesterday after school and feel overwhelmed with all the information and responsibilities. I found out that because I'm employed via the agency, I will not be starting my induction year (although I'll be at the school until July) and therefore will not be getting the extra 10% PPA time.

    Luckily for me, my class are lovely - I have a child with severe autism but he has 1-1 support in place and I have another TA who is always there in the morning and delivers intervention with the LA children in the afternoons.

    In 1 sense I feel lucky and pleased to have the guaranteed work with supply rate pay but on the other I feel like I have been placed in a position out of my depth and am being 'used' unfairly by the agency. I'm cross with the agency generally because my main agent there is very pushy, very quick to offer me her 'opinions', ie: I think you'd be making a huge mistake by not going to this school, etc etc and also very involved - she has been in touch 4 times since I got the job at this school to check up. I feel like she just sees me as a cash cow and couldn't really care less about where she sends me or what the conditions are.

    I've given up a good agency for this job, 6 children who I used to tutor in maths and a new role as letters and sounds coordinator at the nursery. The head at the school I'm working for has made it quite clear that the position really is temporary due to the large finders fee she would have to pay the agency to keep me. However, she has said that if I impress her she will recommend me to local schools who need NQTs in September and also that she will get in cover for me if I secure any interviews for a job in September.

    What do you all think!? Have I made the right choice in accepting this position? My friend who went to the same uni as me thinks the situation is outrageous and that I should be contacting the union about not having my first term of NQT induction. I think that if I do that, the school will simply tell the agency that I cause hassle and ask for someone else. Should I just suck it up and get on with it!? Will it get easier as time goes on!? Please help =(
     
  2. Hi everyone, I really am in need of some support/advice.

    I am a primary NQT who qualifiedlast summer, but like so many others, didn't secure a post for September. Since then, I have worked for various companies/places including 2 supply agencies, a nursery and as a private maths tutor.

    The week before half term, my main supply agency range me during my morning break at a school they'd sent me to just for morning work, telling me that a job opportunity had come up - could I get to a school 50 miles away that afternoon for interview. I said yes, not wanting to pass up a job offer, and lo and behold got the job!

    So my situation is now this: I am employed via my agency at this school until the end of the school year in a year 1 class. However, I cannot shake the feeling of 'being pimped out'. The school is great and my class are lovely. However, my class are very behind where they should be due to poor teaching for the first half of the year (they had another NQT who left due to stress at the last minute, which is why I was hired quickly)

    I want to make this job a success but am already struggling and it's only the first week! The school is an 'improving school' and the head is exceptionally driven. The planning required is very in-depth and not only do I need to plan and deliver my own lessons, I also need to plan for 4 afternoons of HLTA intervention lessons a week for my TA to deliver.

    The head does not like the use of any worksheets in year 1 - mainly practical activities. I have spent my most recent student placements in KS2 and most of my supply is also with KS2, so I feel out of my depth teaching and planning in this style. I have a class assembly due to be shown in 2 weeks, along with APP assessments to be getting on with frequently! The school is 1-form entry so there isn't another year 1 teacher to have PPA with or talk to.

    My PPA is going to be with the year 2 teacher. She's very nice and helpful, however very busy herself... I can sense that the last thing she needs is another year 1 NQT to be aware of! I had my induction of the school with the deputy yesterday after school and feel overwhelmed with all the information and responsibilities. I found out that because I'm employed via the agency, I will not be starting my induction year (although I'll be at the school until July) and therefore will not be getting the extra 10% PPA time.

    Luckily for me, my class are lovely - I have a child with severe autism but he has 1-1 support in place and I have another TA who is always there in the morning and delivers intervention with the LA children in the afternoons.

    In 1 sense I feel lucky and pleased to have the guaranteed work with supply rate pay but on the other I feel like I have been placed in a position out of my depth and am being 'used' unfairly by the agency. I'm cross with the agency generally because my main agent there is very pushy, very quick to offer me her 'opinions', ie: I think you'd be making a huge mistake by not going to this school, etc etc and also very involved - she has been in touch 4 times since I got the job at this school to check up. I feel like she just sees me as a cash cow and couldn't really care less about where she sends me or what the conditions are.

    I've given up a good agency for this job, 6 children who I used to tutor in maths and a new role as letters and sounds coordinator at the nursery. The head at the school I'm working for has made it quite clear that the position really is temporary due to the large finders fee she would have to pay the agency to keep me. However, she has said that if I impress her she will recommend me to local schools who need NQTs in September and also that she will get in cover for me if I secure any interviews for a job in September.

    What do you all think!? Have I made the right choice in accepting this position? My friend who went to the same uni as me thinks the situation is outrageous and that I should be contacting the union about not having my first term of NQT induction. I think that if I do that, the school will simply tell the agency that I cause hassle and ask for someone else. Should I just suck it up and get on with it!? Will it get easier as time goes on!? Please help =(
     
  3. Hi Secret Star,
    First things first - the school do not have the option to not offer you induction - if the placement will be for at least a term they are obliged to support you through induction - contact your union about this. Althogh the school may decide it would be better to offer the role to someone else if you kick up about this they are unlikely to want to have to replace you, as this would entail more disruption for the children and another interview process for them.
    It sounds like a difficult situation, and that you are not being given the support to allow you carry out this role effectively.
    I've recently finished a long term cover post and although the school didn't offer me induction (as they weren't sure whether I'd be there at least a term) they did offer alot of support. I had 2 other class teachers with the same year group to run things past, and to share planning with. The workload was still immense, and I did get dropped into things at the last minute (can you do a singing assembly in 10 mins time?!) but the support made it manageable.
    I would also be concerned that the previous NQT teacher left due to stress - that suggests that they did not receive enough support either. I think some schools want NQTs as we're cheap, but then are not willing to offer support to help us to develop as teachers (we don't have the experience yet to do it all by ourselves).
    I would suggest speaking to the induction contact person at the local authority and your union to ask them to speak to the school to remind them that they have to offer induction if they take on an NQT.
    If you manage to stick it out it will be a learning experience, and you'll have more to put on future application forms, but make sure you get some support to help you get through it.

     
  4. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I have no experience of Primary (other than being married to a Primary teacher) so I won't presume to advise you on any of that. However, I think you need to look at who's gaining from all this. Your pushy agent is gaining because your long term placement help meets her personal performance targets. End of story there. The driven Head is gaining because they've got a low cost NQT to plug the gap until they see what their next year's budget looks like, and by not offering induction they save on what are called 'on-costs'. These are the costs of covering the extra PPA and induction courses that would inevitably come with it all. Offering to recommend you to other schools is something they'd have to do anyway if you asked the Head for a reference, so I wouldn't treat that as a special bonus. It doesn't surprise me that the last teacher left through stress, and maybe the driven Head is gambling on you being more resilient in a tough situation, but if you're not (and many wouldn't) they don't have much to lose do they? They just get someone else in at little or no extra expense. If you're not being paid to scale they're already employing you on the cheap. As a general rule I have a deep distrust of driven Heads, based on personal experience.

    You need to weigh up the plus and minus points of this post and ask if you're personally gaining from it, because it's clear that everyone else is. Whatever you do, don't hang on to it out of a sense of duty to others - you can only afford such principles when you're permanently employed. Supply work is all about money - agents want to earn it, Heads want to save it, and Supply staff are desperate for it. If all that matters for now is a regular predictable income then stick with it for as long as you can stand it. If you want justice or fair treatment or career development you maybe need to look elsewhere.
     
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    i also am advising caution.
    Whilst this is a great opportunity to gain some experience Mar- July is 5 months work. If they don't offer to count it as induction & the '16 month rule' is still in operation, you're going to find it difficult to complete your induction period.
    I also wonder if the previous candidate left because of poor support or similar worries.
    I reccommend you contact your union & if necessary, either push for induction or if necesssary leave as you may be making more problems for yourself later on.
     
  6. veritytrue

    veritytrue New commenter

    The 100 mile round trip would be unsustainable for many if not most people - apart from the crippling travel costs that'll be completely exhausting especially given the other things you've mentioned like no ppa. You may want to rethink it.
     
  7. Hi secret star
    I have only just read your article and also feel this is outrageous! I am a retired teacher who has now been on the supply register for 4 years and have nothing good to say about agencies.Agencies are target driven and most employees are only interested in receiving their commission for that month. I feel that in your situation they are only interested in fulfilling their commitment as a good agency so that the schools will use them again. My supply agencies(i belong to 3) vary in professionalism. Strangely, there is one that is non-profit making and the only one that has a personal interest in their employees. However,one in particular has updated my details on various occasions over a three year period and still I talk to new employees who have no idea what my mobile number is or what key stage i teach etc. Overall i would say not at all caring or interested in the individual teacher. Sorry to appear so negative but this is my own personal experiences.[​IMG]
     
  8. Hi
    As an NQT you are probably desperate to complete your induction but be realistic are the school really going to provide you with a thorough supportive scheme? Everyone else will be under the same pressures as you. The only advantage of being a supply teacher is having the ability to choose when and where you want to work. Definately contact your Union and think about yourself, your wellbeing is more important you have no obligation to stay at that school and ultimately it will be a negative start to your teaching career.
     
  9. Sorry - I read this then popped to the student teacher thread and spotted a thread called desperate to start NQT year - I think you need to read it.
     
  10. rouseau22

    rouseau22 New commenter

    As some one who completed her nqt year in challenging circumstances, and then went on to work in a hell-school, i'm getting ' do not touch with a bargepole' vibes from this.
     
  11. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Hi

    I'll be honest, I've not read a lot of the thread but i've skimmed it. Unless you've gone in for a couple of weeks cover you should really be on induction terms as an NQT on supply. When I was an NQT on supply I was working day to day stuff, for p[arts of that I did have block booksings of a week or more at some schools, but that was purely doing lessons that had been planned and resourced by the teacher or a colleague. If you've not been given induction conditions and being put to the point of feeling this bad then you need to walk from this post, it's only a job and it's not worth your health like this!
     

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