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Primary PE NQT struggling to get supply work

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by steve_hoskins87, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. steve_hoskins87

    steve_hoskins87 New commenter

    Good morning,

    I wanted some advice on my unique situation and the best way to increase my supply hours?

    I had a career change in 2016 and decided to retrain as a Primary Teacher with PE specialism after working in Sports Development for 5 years. I had lots of prior experience working with children delivering after-school clubs and school holiday activities. My background is in Sports Science and Coaching which I completed my degree in. In my spare time I coach athletes with a disability some who have gone on to compete at World Championships and the Paralympics.

    I qualified as an NQT in July last year after a challenging PGCE having to find another school to complete my 3rd placement. I am a wheelchair user as I have Cerebral Palsy. My first placement school were not very inclusive and saw everything as a barrier. My university however saw I was an effective teacher but wouldn’t allow me to take time away from the course, until I completed my second placement in another school and key stage, which went very well. After 12 months out I completed my final last year and graded a 2 overall against the teachers standards. They just allowed me to teach and worked with me to find other ways of doing things it’s a shame it wasn’t like that from the start.

    The issue I am having at the moment is having had 3 unsuccessful interviews in Northwest primary schools all with positive feedback, I am constantly being told the candidate who was successful has more experience. I can accept that.

    It appears to me the way to teaching is through supply. I have been registered with several agencies since September but I have only had 10 days work in that time. Unfortunately not all schools are accessible I appreciated that and I realise especially early in the school year demand for supply is low.

    There are 2 issues unique to my situation, the first is I have been booked for either a days assignment or a half term and on 3 occasions for no reason the school have cancelled the booking. One day in January I was booked to cover a year 2 class in a local school which as accespted, on the way there I received a call to be told the school have cancelled as they require a risk assessment ! To me that was complete discrimination. I understand head teachers have a duty of care to their pupils but I have done everything an able-bodied person would have to do to secure work. I have even discussed with the agencies prior to an assignment visiting a school so they can see I can get around school safely. It is a complete catch 22 I need experience but I can’t get hardly any supply work.

    I have contacted schools I have worked in and have been added to their supply list but as yet it has been very quiet. I would even be happy to work as a TA or voluntarily for a while but part of me thinks I shouldn’t have to prove myself and I know head teachers would think I am not confident if I accept TA work, basically I am over qualified for some work.

    I don’t know what to do, if it’s because I am older 32 or that schools have a I have a misconception of disabled people. I have given myself until July to secure work for September otherwise I may have to do something else. I realise for a permenant job it is important to find the right school that will support an NQT but I didn’t think finding supply work would be such a challenge. I think it would be a real shame as I think I would be a role model to children as they can learn we are all different and unique.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.


  2. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Nothing helpful to advise I'm afraid but I wanted to reassure you that the risk assessment you mention isn't to assess whether you'd be detrimental to the pupils, it's to ensure that your safety can be guaranteed on their site.

    Since you're a qualified teacher, offer to volunteer in your nearest school for half a day per week . Just getting into a school will be beneficial and this will give you current experience to talk about either at interview when applying for roles or to persuade schools to have you on supply.

    If you are with a supply agency, THEY should complete a standard risk assessment for you (If one is indeed needed) which can be sent to school the morning of your work there. This prevents the school from worrying and give you peace of mind.

    Sorry you're not having much luck but keep going.

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