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Pro rata!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by cc2lwa, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. cc2lwa

    cc2lwa New commenter

    Hi, after a long payless summer, I started supply again last week for an agency, and all my work was pro-rated, so for example I worked periods 1,3 and 5 on one day, and when I was paid they only paid me for the hours worked.
    It's a national agency, is this normal now? So shocked/disappointed.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Not sure how agencies work, but years ago when I did supply (for an LA) you completed a form with how many actual hours you worked, excluding lunchtimes (unless you did duties). Sometimes schools would pay you for the whole day, even if you weren't used every lesson, but others would try to 'fill' your timetable and if they couldn't just pay you for the actual hours. Supply is very out-of-date and I think I was unusual in actually working out hours down to actual minutes, whereas other supplies did 'round up' their hours I know.
  3. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Don't use an agency. They are not there to be fair, caring and considerate. Their job is to get you to work for as little as possible using all kinds of reasoning and excuses, none of which you can confirm, while charging schools as much as possible. Start standing on your own two feet and work for yourself.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Do not go to a school for the whole day again and not be paid for the entire day even though you have some "frees". Tell the agency that if you go for the entire day, you get paid for the entire day. it is as simple as that. Once they know you won't be messed about or can't find anyone else to go, they will pay you for the entire day.

    As TFT suggests above, you do have the option of working for schools directly. How to do this:

    Make a list of all the schools in your area that you haven't gone to on supply for the last six months and contact them directly by letter and CV. You will have to check the terms of your contract with the agencies you are registered with to see how long you have to wait until you can contact schools directly.

    You can use a mix of using agencies and going to schools directly. I know teachers who do this.

    There are threads now explaining how to contact schools, how to set up as a sole trader or limited company, and keeping records. It is not as daunting as it sounds, so you should be able to do it quite easily.

    Thanks for highlighting this issue. Schools will try to scrimp and scrape and one easy target they see is supply teachers. Refuse to go and be paid pro rata for an entire day.

    If it comes to that for me, I will stop supply and stack shelves at Poundland.
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    This is a new one. Most agencies that I have experience of charge full or half day rate. Where are you in the UK? There are some areas where supply conditions are really harsh. I can assume that the school put the booking through as a half day even though you were actually out for a full day. Sometimes with timetabling, it's inevitable.
    I still don't think that is fair. It's not your fault that the school kept you there for a full day but had not got a day's work for you.
    The school could easily deploy you to other classes while you are there to support and coach. I'm not sure under law what the deal is on paying someone to work a half day but requiring them to attend a full day. If you were there because you had to be there and were not able to go out to other work and come back later, then it could be argued that you did a full day.
    Don't let agencies take advantage. Some agents will say anything to get a booking. They have sales targets and get bonus payments for all the little extras. You have to know how to play the agency game. I have found that being clear on the terms that you are prepared to work under gets results. The agency just has a few minutes to allocate the job before another agency scoops it and they lose the gig. Use that time to your advantage. I was given a last minute placement on Thursday. It was a bit outside my radius but I knew it was a nice school so I asked for and extra £10 because of the commute. No debate, I got it.
    Just ask your agency not to send you that school again. There's no need to give a reason and you must specify that you would prefer to take full day assignments. Check other agencies out too. If you have DBS they will sign you up.
    As TwinkleFT has said, also contact schools yourself and cut out the middleman altogether.
    There is some excellent advice on how to market yourself in this forum. Many of the contributors here are very knowledgeable so read the other threads for the wisdom of experience.
  6. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I bet the agency charged the school for a full day! The school may not be aware you were only paid for those hours. But schools are getting more savvy in their dealing with agencies, and as NearMiss said, the agencies are so desperate to undercut their rivals they pull all kinds of tricks. The agency should send you a confirmation email detailing the pay basis - in fact I insisted on a text message as well on a day at eh beginning of term when I was asked to go in for a few hours and told I would be paid a half day - if I hadn't had it in writing, you can bet I would have been only paid an hourly rate. Now that work has picked up again and I also have direct schools I will not accept anything less than a booking that is for a full day's pay. If you train them that you won't accept less, they'll stop trying it on, as it is waste of their time to call someone who won't play that game.
    As for the direct schools - I had a call on Monday from a school, and they said they weren't sure if there person was coming in, but if she did, they would find something else for me so that I would get he day's work..
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I'd contact the school and ask if they were invoiced a full day for your services. If so, I'd pursue the agency for your cut of that pay. If they don't pay up, let theschool know that the agency is employing teachers for part days and charging for full days.

    Under Teachers Pay and Conditions (not via agencies unless they're the LA appointed agency) trapped time in the school day warrants pay as you can hardly be hiring yourself out to another school for the periods in the day when not being used.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I would be very surprised if the agency was charging the school for the entire day, but paying the teacher pro rata. I know some agencies can be a bit slippery, but I would imagine the school knows they will be paying pro rata; it ha been my experience that schools can be the driving force of trying to get the cheapest deal possible and expect people to go in for even one lesson.
  9. cc2lwa

    cc2lwa New commenter

    I just think its unfair. Well they are the only agency giving me any work at present (Sunderland). I was stupidly feeling disloyal about taking up a guaranteed work contract in November elseware - now I realise I was being daft. I will be as sly as they are with me. Thanks for your comments everyone. I havent heard of anyone doing that self employed thing here Ior I would give it a go.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi cclwa

    Younhave absolutely nothing to lose if you approach schools directly. You can still stay with the agencies, but just approach schools they have not sent you to. Just write a letter and CV and post it to the Head. You might be surprised. Just because it hasn't been done yet where you are does not mean it can't be done ; you can be a trail blazer.
    snowyhead likes this.

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