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NQT supply teaching day rate much less than anticipated

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by uu15926, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    I'm an NQT with QTS status, but I have not completed my induction year.

    My understanding is that my next job would "start at the lowest point of the main pay scale" which for Sept 2020 is £25,714.

    Supply teachers are paid pro-rata for 195 days work, or 25,714/195 = £131.86 per day.

    My agency wants to pay me £80 per day net which is nearly 40% less. What am I missing?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. educ80

    educ80 Occasional commenter

    Good morning,

    Firstly, the £131.86 per day is gross, ie before deductions such as Tax, NI, Pensions etc and the £80 is a net figure so its not that fair a comparison. Having said that the pay is still too low,
    Secondly there is no legality around agencies having to pay you in line with your Scale. As long as its above national minimum wage then its legal. Any agency paying you less than £110 per day (before deductions) as an NQT should be avoided anyway and you should do what you can to push that pay as high as possible by negotiating with the agencies. Alternatively, shop around and join other agencies. Also - dont join agencies that make you use Umbrella pay products as this will impinge on your take home pay figure. (Theres loads of advice about this stuff pinned to the top of this group)

    Remember as well, if you start long term work then after week 12 it becomes illegal NOT to pay you in line with your scale.......
  3. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    Thanks for that. My mistake, it turns out that the £80 is gross, so it is even worse than expected. I know it's not an umbrella company. I thought that around £100+ per day would be expected. I'll look around at other agencies.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    As an M6 with over 20 years' experience I was only getting £110 to £115 a day until AWR kicked in.
  5. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    Definitely exploitation, not to mention the loss of 23.6% employer pension contributions.

    So £131.86 per day plus pension contributions would be £162.98 per day.
    So getting an agency rate of £80 per day is like been taxed 51% before deductions.
    Jolly_Roger15 and pepper5 like this.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Unfortunately with the loss of LEA run supply, pay has dropped over the years and agencies pay whatever they think they can get away with. Barring the 12 week limit, when the 'in scale' rate kicks in, and sometimes it is at that point when one's services 'are no longer needed', many teachers joining supply are sadly disappointed at the rates.
  7. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Some agencies calculate the daily rate based on 52 weeks a year...It sounds like your agency is also saying 5 out of 8 hours a day.

    With The current situation some work may be better than no work..

    Try shopping round. I thought most agencies did £110 a day as a minimum
    Jolly_Roger15 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    Yes, work is better than no work, but that is no justification for exploitation.
    1. No 23.6% employer pension contributions
    2. Daily rate is nearly 40% less than a non-agency teacher
    3. Can't even claim travel expenses
    4. May not have marking to do, but student contact time will probably be full 25-hours per week
    5. No incentive for school to keep supply teacher on after 12 weeks.
  9. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    uu15926, that is the nature of supply, put qualified teachers into schools at rates, just above CS rate and they undercut other agencies and make a nice profit. Work is quite and as you sat work is work.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Sorry, I wasn’t intending to justify the unusually low rate. Though some people have had lower offers on here...

    Supply work is underpaid. I suspect there will be very little work this year. What work there is will be low paid. Demand for Cover Supervision rather than Supply Teaching will go up. (I would love to be proved wrong...)

    Schools were cutting back and cutting daily rates last year and that was pre-Covid outbreak.

    Try and sign up for other agencies. Apply for permanent roles. Some may be advertised once schools have a better idea what the situation is and if there is some stability.

    As an NQT you are in a much better position than experienced teachers. Schools opt for the cheapest they can find.

    If you are doing Supply for reasons other than temporary unemployment, good luck.

    If it’s because you need the flexibility be aware that there will be long periods of no work at all. Accepting lower rates can help get you known in a school and I did get some better paid work sometimes as a result.

    I hope everything works out. My Horrible day is a good place for letting off steam. We are a supportive crowd...

    Good luck. Let us know how you get on...
  11. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Just re-read your first post...

    I got to M6 over 20 years ago. In an SEN school (should be extra £2000 pa) I was paid £125 a day this year....but better than Cover Supervisor rate ...(and I liked the school). This rate was lower than previous for schools in that MAT. £110 is realistic (if you are in prosperous part of the country). With experience you may be able to get a higher rate.

    About 20 years ago I heard a Conservative Education spokesperson put forward the view that very few teachers were needed. Classes could be 100 in a room with a video relaying lessons.

    Whether or not they are still aiming for this I think the direction of travel is to de-professionalise teaching and make it a lower paid job.
  12. ChrisH77

    ChrisH77 New commenter

    One trick is, whenever you are asked to go to a new school, ask the day rate for this one, and whatever they say, ask for £20 more. Then it’s over to the agent to judge how much commission they are prepared to shed, for you, for this school, for this and future days. Once you accept a rate, it’s hard for them to drop it, but also hard for you to get a raise, so crucial to take grab each chance as it arises.

    Your chances of getting the ok depend partly on the urgency of filling the order, but also on your track record of good work so schools come to your agency for you, rather than going elsewhere. It’s a sort of performance-related pay.

    Mercenary? Maybe, but that’s the name of the game, I’m afraid.
  13. steviepal

    steviepal Occasional commenter

    Go for TES' own agency if they're in your area. They pay top dollar I've found.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Since the Nineties, supply teacher rates have decreased, not only in real terms but in actual amount. When I first became aware of agency supply teachers over twenty five years ago, they were getting £80 -100 per day gross. The difference in spending power between £80 in 1993 and today must be 'quite significant'!

    The advent of CAs allowed schools and agencies to blur the boundaries between these and qualified teachers, further depressing rates. Removing the need for 'teachers' to hold QTS certainly did not help!

    When I entered the agency supply shark pool eight years ago, rates were as low as £40 - 60!
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  15. BenjaminBoxer

    BenjaminBoxer New commenter

    Isn't the biggest issue here following the course that best helps the NQT pass their induction, almost irrespective of pay?

    Sorry I'm just too ancient to know the mechanics of passing your NQT year. If not in a union is it worth joining to find out? It must be pretty much cost free to an NQT. Agree with other posters that £110 should be the floor - if possible. I've never worked for less, living in The Shire. But again, as others have said, being in the right school is almost more important than pay. Getting about enough to get known but not being spread too thinly is important. You make your own luck. Hopefully, someone will hire you for that maternity etc leading to permanent.

    The key is to pass your NQT year to give you the option to stay or perhaps come back later

    As someone said, you have the massive advantage of being cheap so don't price yourself out of the market. Me, in my fifties, but with no great pension entitlement: I'm tired of living like this on daily supply. I'm looking for other things. But hey ho, someone fell ill and I have at least a month's work, for a school direct on M6. Make yourself invaluable. Be uncomplaining and as pleasant to work with as possible. Do little extras that supply don't have to do. Good luck!
    Deirds and agathamorse like this.
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    The obverse of this coin is that acquiring a reputation for being willing to work for rock bottom rates (or even for nothing 'to get your face known') can be a pit from which you can find it very difficult to dig your way out.
  17. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Yes, I think this is a danger zone. Why would a school pay you as a Supply Teacher if you do the odd day as a Cover Supervisor?

    I think the key is to get yourself known to your agency if you’re new - if you always turn down work they won’t call you, or remember you when they need a specialist in your subject..

    Also, the way things are, any paid work may be better than none, as long as it’s always short term so you’re free for something better.
  18. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I would agree with this, but the question was about pay specifically.
    pepper5 likes this.
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    There are so many QTs signing on with agencies, chasing what few scraps of supply work there might be, that whether you are offered any work depends on how soon after registration the agency gets you out into a school. As far as agency 'consultants' are concerned, 'out of sight, out of mind'; the longer you languish on a database, the more likely you are to be forgotten.

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