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Resigning a permanent post for supply?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by foxymox, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I am a class based deputy head and have been nearing the end of my tether for quite a while now. I am completely worn out and the thought of being in this situation and feeling like this for the next 20 years is unimaginable. The workload is immense and is having a damaging effect on my family life and relationships. In short, I don't know which way to turn.
    So.... I've spent some of this week reviewing my options and exploring the possibility of supply.
    Due to a change in my circumstances in a few months time, I won't have to earn as much as I do now and can afford to take a substantial pay cut because I am fully aware that the availability of supply is not what it used to be. However, I rang a very large and reputable local agency yesterday who provide supply to Catholic schools in the Midlands and surrounding areas and was told that there is no shortage of supply in this area and I could have as much work as I wanted. So I felt reassured by this.
    Am I mad to be even considering this? I realise it's career suicide but I don't want to be a Headteacher. I know this for sure. I just want my life back [​IMG].
    Any advice would be very welcome. Thank you in advance.
  2. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Your best bet is to try to get a class teacher post, maybe one with a TLR attached.
    Don't trust the agency - they may be saying they've got loads of work to make you sign up with them.
    Getting a class teacher post is hard when you're expensive but I have one (although it's only a temp one) and that's despite walking out of a job mid year and doing two years on supply. I do know of one or two former HTs who managed to get jobs as class teachers as well.
  3. I think it is always worth writing speculative letters, especially if you know the heads there, but you may not get much response from them. But you certainly have nothing to lose and if you can get work that way at least you'll be paid to scale which you certainly won't if you go through an agency.
    Having the evenings to yourself is the best bit for me.
  4. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    I would say 'go for it' - you obviously need to weigh up the pros and cons of each role, but I sometimes find the responses to supply work/teachers on TES, unbalanced in a negative way.
    to quote:
    "Getting a class teacher post is hard when you're expensive"
    Is it? That's not been my experience and I have been teaching for 13 years!
    To describe it as 'career suicide' too I think is a little 'off'?[​IMG]
    While it might not suit everyone and I am sorry for anyone on Supply whose experiences haven't been positive, I have had an overwhelming positive experience of Supply work and would actually be reluctant to return to a full time post?!
    I've learnt more from my years on Supply, teaching Nursery up to Year 6 ( although initially trained as an Upper Junior Teacher) than anything from a permanent post, where you're 'interned' with ONE particular year group.
    I think each individual's experience will determined by their mindset and their approach.
    I think Supply Teachers have MUCH to offer, considering their flexibility, focus and 'freshness' to teaching. I think their are some GREAT class teachers, but ANY teacher loses focus and sheer energy, when it's 'day in and day out' with the same cohort.
    If you have other things in your life that you want to focus on, additional work in another field, or just a hobby that you want to pursue with the extra time, why not?
    While some may wish to look down their noses at Supply Teachers, that's their problem and if you're HAPPY, that's something noone can take away from you.[​IMG]
    The head of my current school, has once said "Teachers are Teachers" in an encouraging way - as in, we are all teachers and how professional or not depends on the individual. I may be
    'just a supply teacher' in some people's eyes, but I know I am ENJOYING my teaching and putting more positive, creative energy into it, far more than ever before.
  5. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Obviously 'there' not 'their' 'there are some great teachers....'
    and 'will be determined'
    typing too fast! whoops[​IMG]
  6. There is one thing for certain - you will be enticed to go into the salespersons office to register where they will ask you to cough up for a new CRB in each and every one - in some cases up to £55 in my experience. They will give you all sorts of flannel about how much work they have and then - YOU HEAR NOTHING. So far this year I have not had a single day - although to be honest since November I've told agencies not to ring with day to day as I work at Asda. But there is nothing long term either although I might not be getting the calls because I refuse to day to day.
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It always amazes me when teachers are considering going from permanent to supply teaching that their fiurst port of call seems to be private agencies, where they will be underpaid and not be able to contribute to the Teachers Pension Scheme.
    I'd do the following:
    Decide when you want to leave and contact schools directly, whilst still in post and thus still covered by your LA CRB, touting for long or short-term supply teaching from date X;
    Contact all the LAs in your travel area and find out if they still run their own supply register;
    Consider applying for a p/t permanent post and then supplementing it with supply work if needs be.
    Often, when agencies talk about having lots of supply work, they don't necessarily mean supply teaching work. They probably send out more people as Cover Supervisors these days, even if the worker is a qualified teacher. CS placements, where they say that you are not required to teach, might pay as little as £50 per day, with a possible long journey to boot. £50 per day for 190 pupil days = £9,500 per year and no pension. I'd rather work in Tesco and get share options on top of pay!
  8. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    If they don't know you it could be a waste of time. However, you mentioned contacts - if you know people then get in touch with them. You may stand a chance.
  9. Hi Foxymoxy
    First of all my deepest sympathies. I can really empathise with you as a few years back I was in a similar situation - 100% DHT and 100% class teacher plus a demanding Headteacher. In 2005 I cracked-up and went off with stress. My Head quickly moved to dismiss me and I took the opportunity to jump before I was pushed and took compromise deal.
    Without the pressures of my DHT post I quickly recovered and became a supply teacher. I registered with 2 LA agencies and for the next few years made a reasonable living as a supply teacher. I love being a supply teacher and say that it is teaching as it was I first started as a teacher - no boring paperwork that no one reads and no boring meetings that achieve nothing.
    As others have said previously there is the downside of often being treated as a non-entity by schools and their staff but I learnt to live with that because of my greatly improved quality of life. Gone were my headaches, upset stomachs, sleepless nights, weekends and early mornings of paperwork.
    I made a good living as a supply teacher as can be seen from following figures. Academic years 2006 168 days, 2007 144 days, 2008 142 days, 2009 105 days, 2009 105 days, 2010 111 days (2010 was almost entirely at one school with whom I had established a good relationship).
    In the last academic year, since Sepetember 2011 this has all changed for the WORSE. I have only had 10.8 days work in total since September 2011, ie, in half of the year. I am now signing on as unemployed and receive c£65/wk benefit and lose even that if I do any "bits" of supply work.
    Unlike you I am perhaps in a more fortunate position as my spouse has a good job, our kids are "grown and flown" and I am nearing pension age. In fact I am currently weighing up whether to take an actuarially reduced pension.
    My advice to you would DON'T RESIGN on the hope of getting enough supply teaching.to live- on as it is unlikely to happen. I don't base this comment only on my own experience but on the fact that all of the other supply teachers I know of are struggling in a similar way.
    I don't know if there is a possibility of you stepping-down to being an "ordinary" teacher but that might be worth considering. Your Union should be able to advise you and it would be worth your contacting them.
    Sorry that I cannot offer more positive advice as I DO know how you are feeling.
    Please post again if you have any specific questions that you think I can answer.
    Best wishes

  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    My last post disappeared.
    Why is there no standard for the amount of non-contact time allocated to specific roles?
    My sister is a nursery teacher ina Children's Centre and all teaching staff are employed according to Teachers' Pay and Conditions. The Deputy, as well as the Head, is full time in the role, with no contact time with the approximately 100 children at all. My sister was given 0.5 Acting DH for a time and had half the working week for the role.
    To the OP ... ditch your DH role and see whether that sol;ves your problem.
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    biliji, get Union advice on the pension. If with the ATL, you can get free consultations with Teachers Assurance. It may well be worth your while to take an Actuarial reduced pension withing a certain timespan, whilst your DH salary remains factored in as the best 3 years of the last ten for pension calculations. Those of us nearing retirement age are being safeguarded from recent pension changes.
  12. I resigned from a permanent part time teaching post. On paper it was the ideal job. In practice I was thoroughly miserable, crying before I went to work, sometimes during work, always dreading my days in work. After about a year of this I quit. The most significant factor in my decision was we were able to survive on my husband's salary alone.
    I've just started supply work - it's been consistently 1 day a week which suits me fine, but it wouldn't pay the bills if I needed the money.
    If your health and happiness are suffering, if you can afford the loss of holiday pay, sick pay, reduction in your pension and no guarantee of work then I would say go for it!
    When I resigned my relief was immense. I knew I'd made the right decision and haven't looked back. But I stress I was only able to do this because we didn't need my salary to survive.
    Would you consider staying at the school in a part time role? Doing PPA for example. You could also ask for a sabbatical or offer to take a year's unpaid leave if the school was amenable.
    It is career suicide - I realise how deskilled I've become. New initiatives are being introduced all the time and I've no idea what they are. Your position is one of responsibility and respect - as a supply you get neither!
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Be patient - in a few years the old initiatives will be round again in new packaging. Think Lion King, Circle of Life ;-)

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