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Offered £100 per day. Feel like a mug.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Anonymity, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    I need some advice.

    i only want ad hoc supply - I need some more money to cover the bills, but I don't want long term, nor to work everyday (due to family medical issues/ appointments etc.), so I'm looking at supply.

    I'm a UPS3 teacher...

    One agency said they could offer no more than £120, the other that they offer EVERYONE on their books £100 per day in order to get me work - they say the school's won't pay more (yet reading on here, it's them that would get less if I was paid less).

    I've had three jobs, one at the end of July and two this week. I was given no planning for the job today. I spent more time yesterday sourcing plans than I did when I worked full time (due to not knowing what resources there would be, nor knowing the children or their levels.

    is this right? My pay, once the childcare costs + petrol costs are removed is about £30-40, so yes I'm better of, but it seems disproportionally low for what I'm doing. I'm not expecting supply to equal my UPS pay, but I have so far been placed due to my experience - difficult schools and no planning. They want my experience, but don't want to pay for it.

    PLEASE does anyone have any advice? Or do I just need to suck it up?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    £120 seems to be the daily rate for primary around where I live unless you are on a long term contract. If you are doing day to day you should not have to do any lengthy planning. Tell the agency that you can't accept jobs unless planning is supplied for you. The agency will take advantage of you if you let them.

    Is private tutoring an option for you in view of your other commitments?

    Don't let agencies take advantage of you. Also you could try contacting schools directly thereby keeping more of the money.
  3. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Some agencies take the p*ss, as do some schools. Here in London, where there is an 'oversupply' of supply teachers, you can be offered nowhere near £100 per day. My personal nadir was being sounded out about a temporary job teaching AS chemistry on CS rates.
  4. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    £100 per day is now on the lower point at which a supply teacher will get paid where I live (South West) with the average being about £110. £120 is good.

    It is worth noting however those that pay less tend to offer more work during the quiet times of the school year (September).

    You will get difficult schools to cope with, it seems that the more challenging a school the more they need supply. But you will get some decent ones too. You will also find that very often nothing is planned, don't spend too long over planning (unless you get extra pay) but quickly see what the class did next and then move on to the next topic making use of any text books around. Its part of the supply teacher's craft to be able to knock up a stop gap lesson at short notice. Likewise don't spent too long marking, use self assessment or peer marking.
  5. tcoll123

    tcoll123 New commenter

    Since one agency is paying you more than the other I would tell the agency paying you less that the other is paying you £20 more and thus you are likely to prioritise work from them unless they are able to offer more. Reinforce the fact that after expenses you don't end up with much (and don't let them just use the 'you can claim expenses on your umbrella company' line, as this is tax relief, not a full reimbursement, and is thus just a form of tax avoidance).

    If you're feeling cheeky and you had one advance booking from the agency paying you less, then another offer of work for the same day from the agency paying you more, you could cancel the first booking with agency 1 on those grounds. It's not the most professional thing to do and I wouldn't recommend doing that often as they may just drop you as unreliable, but you have to play the game to some extent, sadly, and they may just offer you a few quid more to keep you booked.
  6. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Sadly as the contributors have said above, it's a shark pool.

    The best way to get a rise is to accept longer term placements as it would be expected then that you would be planning and marking anyway. Then you can ask for a whole lot more.

    At 12 weeks on the same placement, you are entitled under law to be paid your teacher's pay scale rate. Don't let the agency give you any flannel about school can't afford it, as most schools are still paying their teachers on the old pay scales.
  7. Anonymity

    Anonymity Occasional commenter

    Thank you.

    To be clear, I don't necessarily expect to be paid to scale - part of doing supply is to avoid the beaurocracy/ staff meetings/ planning for hours and assessing. I did expect to be paid more than and NQT.

    I also don't mind planning on the spur of the moment. When you are in the class and have the books in front of you it very quickly becomes clear what level the children are working at. You also can find out easily about the current topics. I haven't liked being expected to plan in advance for children I don't know (with no information about ability etc.) in a class I don't know with resources I don't know. Even in an interview lesson, you are given information about the class. Does that make sense?

    Interesting to hear what other people are being paid. The cheaper agency covers a better area for me (less travel), but I don't want to resent the work I'm given :-s maybe I'm being greedy.
  8. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Of course you aren't being greedy. Teachers who work for the few authorities who still have LEA supply pools are paid to scale.

    There is a principle in law of "Equal pay for work of equal value". The moral balance is in your favour.

    I'll tell you who's greedy, the agencies who charge the school about £180 - 200 per day for your services and then attempt to pay you £100.
  9. tcoll123

    tcoll123 New commenter

    Agreed, you are certainly not being greedy.

    To get an idea of the massive variations in pay across the country, take a look at: community.tes.co.uk/.../715102.aspx

    I started it so that people could get an idea of what they could expect given their experience and location and compare each other's pay to see if they could possibly expect more. It would be great if you could contribute too to build up the collection of information.
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I still don't really understand what your problem is with agencies taking their cut. An agency needs to pay for their premises 12 months of the year, when they only have a 10 month income-window at best. During September, July and August when there's little to no supply work available, the agencies still have to pay their staff a wage, in addition to all other expenses. And they have to pay themselves a decent wage as well, or else what's the point in doing it?

    There are also start up costs to think about, recovering costs of things such as computers, installation of phone lines, photocopying, postage costs...lots and lots of incidentals incurred by running a business.

    I'm sorry that you feel you are being jibbed, but I bet when you work out the actual figures, it's not actual as big of a con as you might think.

    Of course LEA pools can afford to pay to scale - they are run from pre-existing offices using resources that are already in place. And maybe that's what best. But I really don't get why there's so much venom against agencies who are simply trying to make a living.
  11. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    I'll refer you to the Secretary of State for Health on this one. Take it up with the Cabinet.

    "To kickstart that process, we have set out a new package of financial controls. We will wrest the initiative away from expensive staffing agencies that have been ripping off our hospitals with their exorbitant rates, and insist nationally negotiated frameworks are used instead, which make use of the NHS?s collective bargaining power." This is quote from an article in The Daily Telegraph entitled "It's time to crack down on rip off agencies"

    To be honest if the publication that is openly briefed from Tory head office thinks agencies are a rip off, I'm finding myself with some very unexpected fellow travellers on this.
  12. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I'm so sorry, but I just can't take that statement seriously given that it's a quote from a representative of the same company who de-nationalised teachers' pay structure. What makes you think they are suddenly going to do us a good turn?

    The quote is also in reference to the NHS, for which there is a national outpouring of grief at the moment. Naturally the government is coming out in support of something that the nation is in favour of retaining and supporting.

    But the general public don't understand what supply teachers are. As far as many parents are concerned (through no fault of their own), supply teachers are the ones that tell their kid off for no reason, and who aren't as qualified (otherwise they'd have a proper job, wouldn't they?) and who don't know their children. They are the ones who don't attend parents' evenings and aren't responsible for their child's progress. How do you imagine that a similar outpouring of public affection is going to sweep supply teachers up onto a shared pedestal afforded to doctors and nurses - people who the public understand much better?

    I think you may end up being a bit disappointed if you hope that this government is going to fight for 'to scale' payment for supply teachers. You know, the same ones who think that ex-soldiers are needed to control those naughty kids? Pardon me for having no faith.

    I hope I'm wrong, though. It would be nice to think that it became a national policy to pay supply teachers £140 per day+

  13. The general public may think so about supply teachers, but the non-general public who is educated to a certain degree and are above average IQ can tell that the problem is not supply teachers but the many class teachers who (through no fault their own and because of the failed education system) cannot or barely discipline their classes, therefore a supply teacher's assertiveness to keep those kids safe (when those classes become extra extra outrageous when a supply teacher is teaching them) comes across as 'telling off'.

    The general public also sees class teachers as those who are stuck in teaching because they cannot change jobs and therefore have to keep going in a failed education system by trying to teach 'horrible' kids. A parent has actually used the word 'horrible' for today's school children, not me. I have also lost the count of times the kids told me that their teacher won't care whether they do the work and learn or not. So if class or contracted teachers and supply teachers start finding fault in each other, there are always things to find.

    So yeah, the politicians, if it's left to them without campaigning for improvement, are not likely to do anything about supply teachers' pay and conditions. We know this because they allowed the education system to become what it is today.

    Let's face it, with all due respect ES, you wouldn't be saying what you are saying today, if the agency associated with TES didn't continue to provide you with work and you found yourself in the same shoes as majority of the supply teachers. Unfortunately, the rest of the agencies do not pay all teachers on their books to scale or almost to scale like the one associated with TES does. Considering even your agency is making profit, there is no reason why other supply teachers shouldn't be paid to scale or almost to scale even when working with agencies.

    Seeing this is ruffling some feathers and getting negative attention, I am certain those people and unions that are campaigning are talking sense.
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It won't happen as long as people continue to accept that agencies are somehow part of the national education picture. As the title of this thread indicates, teachers are being mugged.

    In any other sphere than education staffing, the role of a business, it goes without saying is to make money.

    Jeremy Hunt's comment has let the genie out of the bottle. The phrase agency rip off is now common currency in the cross union campaign to get agencies out of schools. The current government are clearly not going to embrace a move that goes against businesses making money. However, the context in which they are making money is significantly different from retail or services. You don't have to buy everything in every shop but you do have to go to school and you do have to pay tax to fund those schools. It's not a choice.

    If the only way to make profit out of schools is to drive down the wages of the teachers then you have consider the consequences.

    It's not just day to day supply teachers who are working with agencies. An increasing number of very long term jobs are now held by agency workers in schools. They are full time in all but pay and conditions. There are obvious disadvantages to schools only being staffed by casual workers. The rate at which this is increasing is accelerating fast. A few years ago 0% of teachers were employed by agencies but working full time in school, now it is 10%.

    You'd think that many supply/agency teachers, being experienced teachers would pick up on the fact that agencies are paying them less than they'd get if they worked directly with a school but many schools now prefer agencies because they have driven wages so low that it's cheaper. They'll never get taken on full time because the school will be required to pay the agency off and then pay the teacher and all their statutory oncosts.

    I don't this is going to be good for education long term.

    I also think that teachers who are full time employed ought not to be complacent about the security of their own jobs.
  15. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Let's face it, Alneidaa, you'd love to believe that's true as it makes your argument stronger. You seem to think that an opinion such as mine can only come from being in a more privileged position. As it happens, I haven't had any supply work this year yet. So I don't speak from the "cushy" position of one who is constantly in work.

    You also cast around words such as 'majority' as though you think the small amount of posters on TES some how represents the experience of the majority.

    I am happy with my situation because I did not go into supply teaching believing I'd match my full-time salary. I put things in place to make sure my income was supplemented. I work extremely hard (not suggesting others don't) but my financial position certainly isn't a breeze and my phone isn't ringing crazily with offers of supply work, so my opinion certainly isn't the result of my marvellous good fortune as you envisage.

    Now that's just not good business sense is it? Seriously...do you think agencies are charities? When someone goes into business, they have an idea about how much income they need/want to make. Agencies are not making millions. Their take home salary is relatively moderate.

    I'm afraid this victim-mentality whereby supply teachers feel badly done by because someone else is making money is one of the reasons why others dislike the teaching profession so much...quite simply, they are not living in the 'real world'. I know that Nearmiss also has a hated of 3rd parties being used for tax/expenses purposes, even though this is extremely common in the private sector.
  16. SARAHC3

    SARAHC3 New commenter

    Surely there has to be something wrong with an employment system that is still paying teacher's the same daily rate - £100 per day - as was available in 1995. I did some supply teaching back then, soon after qualifiying and £100 was the daily pay rate. Surely Eva Smith must admit that something is wrong if rates haven't rise at all in 20 years. Even the basic minimum wage has increased since then. There has to be something wrong in a system that allows wages to remain static for a professional group of employees, despite total inflation since then having risen substantially.

    Too many employment agencies are touting for a limited pool of work. Consultants have targets to meet and are quite happy to offer supply teachers at lower and lower rates in order to increase their market share. It's just a race to the bottom.
  17. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Supply and demand - if low pay is accepted= then it will continue to be offered. Mis out the agencies or become one yourself. Moaning isn't going to fix this.
  18. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    No, I don't concede that. Since the daily wage of a an average full time teacher in 1995 was £76 per day, the £100 figure was actually looking pretty good One might argue that as teachers' salaries rose, supply teachers' salaries stayed the same as a right and fair reflection of the greater workload of the full time teacher over the day-to-day, ad hoc supply teacher who goes home at 3.30pm and doesn't have to account for any results.

    Perhaps the "drop" (in relative terms) has happened because it isn't right that supply teachers earn more money for doing less. What incentive is there to be a full time teacher otherwise? What sort of nutter would willingly do all that work for less money?
  19. More than fair enough to be paid more for longer hours and more responsibilities. What about, the extra 170 days of salary in full for the days contracted teachers are not in school and surely not spending 6-8 hours of each of those days for PPA then... Disclaimer: not saying contracted teachers are not deserving of this but merely pointing out that they already in addition get paid their full salaries for the days that they are not working to reflect those longer hours and responsibilities during term times. Surely, we can all make sense of this, if not we won't.
  20. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Seriously? Teachers do not get paid "a extra 170 days of salary". You're making yourself look a bit silly by making that comment.

    You are confusing the words 'wage' and 'salary'.

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