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Please help me decide

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by designergirl, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. designergirl

    designergirl New commenter

    I've been covering at the same school for three weeks. The school is very close to my home and convenient. the behaviour of pupils is okay but not brilliant, but most are settling down now that I've taught them for three weeks. The absent teacher is sending in sick notes on a two weekly basis. I believe he is off with stress. One of his colleagues mentioned that he might be returning next week. His sick note runs out on Monday. I wouldn't mind going back if I was needed though. He might be coming back on a phased return but I would only be willing to work there part time if I was paid to scale. (I'm on a day rate at the moment.) The Head of Department doesn't think he's going to come back at all.
    Meanwhile my other agency rang me and offered me a post in an Outstanding school with 91% A* to C about 35 mins away (up the motorway), starting on Tuesday and going on for two and a half weeks until the Easter holiday, but the teacher will probably be returning after that time.
    What would you do?
    I'm tempted to take the guaranteed work until Easter, as I can't just hang around waiting to know about the other school, BUT I don't want to leave them in the lurch either, especially as they are close by and handy if any more work came up.IF the teacher doesn't come back it might go on for longer also.
    I hate making decisions! Help!
  2. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Im in a similar situation and the phased return was very uncomfortable as the returning teacher had me shadowing him before going on sick again. Stick with the one that offers the longest term security or job satisfaction.
  3. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    Very difficult! I've been in similar situations myself and you can never really say what the right decision is. I agree with @splinters though, if you think one offers more security and/ or satisfaction take that one. I sometimes resort to writing a list of pros and cons for each and comparing, it sometimes helps.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. designergirl

    designergirl New commenter

    Today the school I'm in asked if I could come next week and support the returning teacher.apparently he has said he will try and come back. I don't know how I'd be paid for that. Then he might come back on a partial timetable. I wouldn't mind doing part time if I was paid to scale but I couldn't afford to on a day rate.
  5. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    It's your decision, of course, but I'd say don't let the label of 'outstanding' sway you. I have a suspicion that 'outstanding' schools are possibly not always very nice places to work.
    Landofla, les25paul, wanet and 2 others like this.
  6. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    I sometimes suspect that too...they can be just as stressful as schools with poor OFSTED results, just in a different way. I also sometimes wonder how on earth 'outstanding' schools got the grade they did.
    les25paul, wanet and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I too would ignore the "outstanding" tag. Its a just a label given by Ofsted and often doesn't reflect what the school is actually like. The 91% pass rate looks more promising but was that achieved through actual GCSE exams or is it an equivalent score achieved from BTECs (or cutting and pasting from Wikipedia).

    Likewise you cannot base your decision on any work being "guaranteed". You cannot really be sure how long either job will last.

    I would be tempted to base my decision on practical and tangible factors like; how easy is the commute, how much will I spend on travelling costs, which pays the best, which has the most convenient starting/finishing time etc.
  8. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Don't worry about leaving schools in the lurch. They wouldn't worry the same about you, would they?
  9. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Not always the case @Landofla, the schools I have worked in have been very professional regarding contracts and have only extended, never cut short, even when they could have done without me. When the teacher 'returned' I stayed on the same 'paid to scale' rate and they said they would use me for general cover for the duration of the agreed contract...when he went on sick again, it was obviously a good move on their part. They're not all bad.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    OP wasn't concerned with contract being cut short.

    I've not known schools taking people on surplus to requirements...
  11. designergirl

    designergirl New commenter

    Part of me thinks it's poor form not finishing the job off just because I got "a better offer" also the other job is only for two and a half weeks while the Head of languages goes for an operation. The man with stress might not go back.
  12. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I would just go on what you know. The 'what if' might not happen. Though it depends on how much you want to work at the sch.
  13. teacheramos

    teacheramos New commenter

    Better the devil you know :)
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    As you are employed by an agency, you cannot then acept work direct with the school (on to-scale rates). Your agency contract prevents you from dealing direct with schools where they introduced you.

    You could, of course, apply for any advertised job there if the teacher you are covering resigns in due course.

    I've covered teachers off with stress and then covered their phased return too. The worst 'kick in the teeth' was being called into the office at morning break to be told that the teacher had just seen her GP and was now signed back to work full time, "so thank you very much Mrs Jubilee but your services won't be required after the lunch break today as Mrs X will back in the next hour". That was after 5 months of mainly full time work ... at elast it was on the LA daily rate.
  15. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

  16. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    That was very mean, after 5 months you would have become part of the department and your colleagues within the department would have liked to sign a card for you (and maybe given given you a bottle of something nice :) )

    I have done many sick covers over the years and every single time the school has given me a week or so notice that the other teacher was coming back. Cards and booze usually followed.
  17. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    They either worked for it or someone made a deal with a crossroads demon......

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