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official school policy on supply cover

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by jubilee, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I met a TA from an MLD school at the weekend and she says that the new Head decided last September that whenever a teacher was absent, the TA would be 'promoted' to taking charge in the class and they'd buy in a supply assistant!
    The TAs get no extra pay for leading the teaching.
    She says that sometimes it gets very awkward as the supply assistant is actually a teacher and they have been known to interrupt and correct what she is doing. She accepts that they know more than her and has offered to swap places, but they decline on the basis that they're not being paid to teach (neither is she!)
  2. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    That just sums up the mess within our educational system, that is why we are dropping like a stone in the international education tables. It is not neccessary the TA's fault, because many are forced to do it by HT's. It is the HT's who are at fault, because they are putting financial interests before education. What a future for our children and it will get worse as academies and Free schools recruit more of the untrained none teachers to keep costs down.

  3. What an absolute shambles. Surely this mess can't continue much longer.
  4. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    No it cannot and that is due to the fact that there will be no supply teachers or very few left to actually go into schools soon. I am seriously considering my future.
  5. Yesterday I asked the mother if she knew who was teaching her children for all of their time in school and what the school's cover policy was (this was a Primary school) She did not know the answer to either question.
    I advised her that she was entitled to ask the school the answers to these questions since schools should tell pupils, staff and parents what their cover policy was. School web sites often publish their policies on such things as bullying but I have yet to see any school publish their cover policy on their web site.
  6. Yep schools do not like to be honest about things.
    The actual school policy in secondary school is only to start booking supply when their in house CS team are fully deployed (ie they are desperate)
    At parents evening they will not mention this aspect of what their instructions are to the cover co-ordinator.
    They will however display shining examples of how good their unqualified CS.s are and how they are contributing to the whole school community.
    Schools have a lot going for them in bull. Nobody (employed or supply Temping) can challenge them in the media as they can play the confiedentiality card.
    And work suicide for a supply teacher.

  7. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    Myself I think teachers should get back to teaching cover lessons sto
    save their jobs and ours... this fiasco of supervision, no matter how
    qualified or not, is just not great for education. As a supply teacher
    going into many schools I have noticed how behaviour and attitude to
    work without their regular teacher has changed over the last few years.
    I believe it is because of too many lessons a week having to do self
    directed learning.................. that is copying from books, making
    'quality' notes, lessons booked into the IT suites for researching on
    the internet. Why not the Library where they have to actually search
    for themselves? oh and revision posters, brochures, leaflets, or design
    worksheets for something they will never take further let alone make and
    not forgetting of course the wordsearch, make your own crossword, when
    this is general practice for many of their cover
    lessons................. I don't know about you BUT I think I would
    start to switch off and seek alternative stimulation.................
    yes you got it .what can I do next ...................phone out, ear
    phones in, more chewing gum, oh hungry ... lets have another snack,
    whats the latest gossip, Supply has certainly got harder and harder and
    I believe this is because teachers are dumbing down some of their cover
    work for unqualified staff to deliver, quickly and easily without
    enough thought for the need for it to still be a stimulating and
    interesting lesson.

    Parents have no idea what is happening in schools and how many self directed lessons their children have with cover supervisors a week. About time they did.

  8. vou


    Well, well, well!! Just sums it up. School can't be bothered to 'waste' money on a qualified teacher but is happy to employ a TA with a supply assistant who is actually a teacher!! Makes a change from a TA correcting a Supply Teacher I suppose.
  9. Hoookay. So, not to be naive here, but, how has this situation happened? I ask, because, I would not agree to take on significant extra responsibilities, particularly those well outside of my remit, for no extra pay, even if I was directed to by my head teacher. Outright refusal. So, have the support staff at this school had their contracts changed? Surely that cannot have happened because it would not be legal for their contracts to state that their role involves providing cover in the absence of a qualified teacher (unless they are also Cover Supervisors?). So, the support staff have simply AGREED to provide cover for classes with no extra pay? Have they been threatened with undesirable consequences if they refuse? Yes, school employees are to carry out duties as directed by the head teacher, but there is surely a point at which what you are being asked to do is unreasonable and you are well within your rights to refuse. School surely cannot dismiss employees on this basis. Or if they can, it's a clear case of unfair (and illegal no doubt?) dismissal.

  10. A local school to me, in fact my old 6th form had a science teacher pull a 6 month sicky and they covered it with CS. I know firsthand that members of the science dept know lots and lots of science teachers who are out of work. Whether it be black ones, yellow ones, left handed lesbian ones, the whole plethora. Yet they used CS.

    It is another barometer of the situation. As supply staff, we need to take notice of the indicators.
  11. It is illegal to employ some unqualified teachers to teach when there are qualified teachers available but it is not illegal to employ many support staff for teaching when there are thousands of unemployed teachers available.
    What sort of justice is that?
  12. There is no justice because there isn't a need for any. The whole education system is geared to those on board it. As a bunch of jaded supply teachers, you are as irrelevant as a student, a wannabe or anyone else. Unless you are on board (and you can be on board as unqualified staff) you have no voice, no union support, no LEA giving a toss, no super-head with your best interests at heart. You are on your own and against people with their backs turned away from you.

    The number of people who have trained and have not secured a place on the gravytrain is going up. It will be interesting to see what happens, as it's getting a bit big to sweep under the carpet!
  13. Note the deliberate mistake....sadly no edit button!

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