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Once signed up with an agency is it impossible to work otherwise?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Phillippo, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. I am signed up with H**** Education as a supply teacher and they have given me work in the past but not this term. I feel that they are not as proactive as they once were and I would love to work directly with the schools. In fact both the schools and I would be winners i.e. schools could ring me direct and there would be no need for any commission for my services! Hence the pay would be MPS and LEA based. But...????
    Question: Once employed in a school with an agency it seems that one is forever stuck with them. Agencies will always want their cut but is there a way of breaking free from their clutches?
    Have some colleagues broken free from agencies and are employed directly by the school and making a successful living?
    Of course going completely freelance has its risks but it's so depressing to be stuck and controlled by the agency?!
    Will the scenario change with more "free schools" coming on stream?

  2. This may be out of date but agencies can get pretty nasty if you start trying to go it alone.
    There will be something in the small print that forbids it.
  3. What nasty things have they done to supply teachers who simply wish to break free?
    Can you elaborate?

  4. Sounds like "work for Green Lane Primary without me and I'll send round the boys"
    I just know there is something in the small print. Years ago I worked in a school and then by chance ended up there through an agency. The school weren't impressed and tried to bypass the agency. The agency were snotty with me and said if I tried to go it alone they'd not find me work.
  5. I use an agency and also do 'private' work for schools in my area. The agency aren't very happy as it seems I get more work from schools without them so can't actually do days for them as I'm usually busy BUT there is nothing they can do about it! The only thing they said when I signed up was that I shouldn't go privately to a school that they'd introduced me to as I would be breaking my contract with them but this hasn't come up yet. If I get any permanent work with a school through the agency the school will have to pay a severence fee but again, this isn't an issue (yet?!!)
  6. I was told last summer by the dep Head of one school I supply at that from September 2010 schools would not be permitted to take on supply teachers unless it was through an agency.
    He said that his wife is a supply teacher and he often gets her to come in, but he won't be able to do that any more unless it is through an agency.
    I don't know if that's true, but that is definitely what he said.
  7. I am registered with the LEA and have a CRB through them as well as the agency. I've had no trouble getting supply 'privately' this way. Maybe different LEAs work in different ways? Where are you?

    ps It's really annoying going into schools where the PPA cover, 1:1 tunition etc is done by the wife / husband of a teacher there- it's not fair on other supply teachers out there trying to get a living legitimately without these contacts!
  8. I am in Blackpool and there is no such thing as LEA supply any more round here - not like it used to be anyway. Blackpool LEA use Supreme and Lancashire LEA use LTA which is part of Reed. The rates are slightly better than other agencies and they do work through the LEA but they are still private agencies - I am employed by Supreme Education, not Blackpool LEA.
    It may well be a local rule rather than a national law, I don't know.
  9. Absolute nonsense! Evil, exploitative agencies should ALL be abolished!
    WHO NEEDS THEM?????????????

  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Supreme in Blackpool supposedly pay to scale (it says so on the Council website)) but they don't pay on the annual salary divided by 195 as the Council supply rate used to be. They divide by 1265 Directed Time hours and then multiply by 5 contact hours for the daily rate. If you end up on long-term supply at a school and stay for meetings and parents evenings etc and do all the planning, you may not even get PPA time and will only be paid for 950 of the 1265 DT hours over a year's employment. Supreme stay as the employer so you can't pay into the TPS pension.
    Lancashire is different. Reed manage the Lancashire Teaching Agency as part of a consortium of reed, Lancashire County Counil and Edge Hill University college. They pay a daily rate of annual pay point divided by 195 for each full day worked. Work 195 days and you will earn the same a s a contratced teacher on your pay point. You can also pay into the pension because it's Lancashire County Council that continue to pay you, which means that you can also progress up the payscale every year and can also be assessed for Threshold if you work (even p/t) in 26 school weeks when on M5 and M6. tHE DIFFICULTY THESE DAYS IS IN GETTING ENOUGH BOOKINGS ON TEACHER PAY AS SO MANY SCHOOLS ARE ASKING FOR cOVER SUPERVISORS for odd days of cover work.
    To the OP: you can canvass any LA schools direct as long as you have not been recently sent to them by your private agency. The agency cannot stop you getting direct work from schools where they have never introduced you.
    Soem schools source all their supply from agencies but they can have a bank of staff who are put on casual (zero hours guaranteed) contracts, meaning that you are set up on the LA payroll, are CRB vetted and can be called on when requirred. You use LA monthly timesheets to claim for days or hours worked and are paid on the full supply rate model. I have been used directly by a school in Blackpool in the past after Supreme took over the register of supply teachers. I did register with them at one point and paid the CRB fee and then heard nothing more from them, which didn't surprise me as I was M6 and they'll have prioritised offering work to those lower ont he payscale so that they'd make more profit from each worker (I believe that they charge schools a flat fee.)
  11. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    There is usually a 4 or 6 month clause after which you are free to work in a school you have been introduced to. I suggest you hand in your CV to the schools you like and ask them to contact you direct.
    I did this and have never worked through an agency since. I sent CVs, CRB number and payroll number to local schools, not all replied but I have had enough work to keep me going from 2 where I work almost constantly.
  12. <u>COVER SUPERVISORS</u>...
    Weasel words, denial and hypocrisy etc by politicians, heads and
    others mean that the system is in COMPLETE DISARRAY.

    Hence the following
    has to be constantly repeated until the CS role is abolished:

    "Cover Supervisor", a fake job, a fake role
    which undermines, devalues and degrades ALL and more importantly
  13. Do you know where you'd find this information? i.e. I've tried looking through the contract, and it doesn't mention this?
  14. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    It used to be written in the small print of lots of supply contracts and still is in many industries. If it's not in a contract it would be fair to say it doesn't exist, ie an agency would be unable to claim a 'finders fee' and you would be free to work wherever you like.
    If it were longer than 6 months I believe it could be 'unfair restriction of trade'. It may be that it is in the contract from the agency to the school and it is well worth asking the agency what their time limit is - they will certainly have one for the reasons above.
  15. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I don't understand your comment.
    Supreme do use the 1265 divisor but then limit any claim for aday's work to 5 of those paid hours, when a supply teacher on a long-term placement will work the same 1265 DT hours per year as their contracted colleagues but will not be getting paid for 6.5 DT hours per day (on average). Neither will Primary supply teachers on random days of work be able to claim for the marking time that they are required to put in after the end of the school day.

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