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Qualified secondary teacher: primary TA supply?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Linda_Lou, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone, I'm wondering if this is a good idea for me, and if I'm likely to get any work over the next month or two?

    I am an experienced secondary English teacher who has been trying to get back into work part-time since 2007, after taking a career break to raise my child. Virtually no such jobs here. I had a string of temporary contracts at one school lasting a year and a half and then did day-to-day supply for a year. That totally dried up and I allowed myself to be strung along by promises from supply agencies that there would be work, but there never was; it was all going to cover supervisors. Seems I can't get work in my own field now either because I applied for two part-time jobs last spring and was not invited to interview for either. I'm aware that the GCSE syllabus has changed, and I haven't taught for 2 years now. It's been pretty crazy and frustrating, and money is a problem.

    I seem to be in a pool of people now who are on a waiting list for a job with the civil service. They didn't tell me that it could take 6 months or more after my interview to actually be asked to start, and now that I know this I want to do something to earn some money; I have no idea when I will hear from them again.

    Browsing job sites yesterday, I came across a supply agency advertising for casual short- or long-term teaching assistants for local primary schools. The pay would be a lot less than I got on supply as a qualified teacher but it's better than nothing. I don't really want to take half pay for doing the same job as a cover supervisor, which I found very stressful as it was. My daughter is in primary school, I've helped there sometimes, and I would enjoy working with the little ones. I have a CRB which is less than a year old from the last supply agency, which never actually got me a single day's work.

    Is there much of this kind of work around, does anyone know? I would still just want day-to-day stuff. I went literally for months getting up very early every morning with my daughter, getting dressed for work and ready to ring the child minder, only for none of my agencies to phone. It became hard to deal with and I'm not sure I want to go through that again. On the flip side, I'm out of my mind with boredom and money worries and it could be a few months yet before I hear from the civil service. I know I've passed their security checks but it's hard for me to completely believe that they aren't just giving me the runaround. Who advertises a position and then keeps the successful candidate waiting half a year?

    If I could do the primary supply work maybe 6 days a month, it would help a lot. But maybe I'd still be waiting around for a couple of months, because I know general supply work is thin on the ground when school has just started back after summer. Can anyone help? Thanks!
  2. Oh, and apologies for the huge chunk of text above. Yes I can write in paragraphs :) They just aren't showing up for some reason.
  3. As quite a few students, in my final year, I did the entry exams for the Executive grade of the Civil Service, just as a back-up strategy. Having got through the selection process (not very rigorous then), I received a letter telling me that I would be informed of possible vacancies in due course. Meanwhile, would I consider temporary positions at the Clerical level, to gain experience. This was in 1971: still waiting!
  4. Read my post Supply is dead! Long live supply! for the reality of the situation. 11 years on supply I've seen it all, done it all. It's not a nice business.
  5. Heh . . . let's hope things have changed since 1971! If they went to the expense of doing security clearance including CRB, then I would hope they'd want to make good on it. I'm actually re-training for a different profession altogether, but that's going to take 3 more years and my husband and I are not making ends meet. I have never liked supply teaching but it wasn't all bad, and the money was a big help. It seems a shame that that avenue is now closed to me. I'd be happy to help out with the little ones though, if work is actually available (not even worth asking the agency, they all say they've got plenty whether or not it's true). If a TA phoned in ill, I would have thought the class teacher would just get by on their own for a day. Why pay for supply support staff?

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