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schools taking advantage of supply teachers

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by cocothedog, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. cocothedog

    cocothedog New commenter

    This week I managed to get my first supply work of the term, one day.
    The next day I recieved a phone call from the agency to ask me to work for one hour. As it takes 25 mins to drive to the school, I said it wasn't worth my while for an hour. The agency explained that they would pay me for two hours if I went in to do the lesson. I agreed to work for an hour and be paid for two hours.
    When I went into the school and saw the Cover Supervisor, I saw that I was down to do two hours, on the 'print out' a pencil written note asked me to 'help out' at another lesson. I explained what the agreement was with my agency. The Cover Supervisor said that the teacher would come and see me and he probably would not want me to 'help out' and the the teacher would come and see me, and the school's policy was to pay a minimum of two hours and they expected two hours work.
    At the end of my lesson I waited for 5 minutes and then went to the Office to see the Cover Supervisor to 'sign out'. The Cover Supervisor said
    "didn't he come to see you? Well you can find him with the class in the ICT room" .
    I reminded her the terms by which I agreed to do the supply and said I will have to speak to my agency to clarify the position. The Cover Supervisor's attitude then become almost aggressive and she said "Just go, it doesn't matter".
    I felt that I would not be asked back at the school, but if I had stayed I would have been angry with myself for being misled and taken advantage of.
    I know this seems quite a trival episode but I was wondering if anybody else had experienced similar examples of schools and cover supervisors taking advantage of supply teachers.
    I have posted this message in the 'Ue teachers' forum by mistake but will try to delete it now. So if you have read this message before, sorry.
     
  2. cocothedog

    cocothedog New commenter

    This week I managed to get my first supply work of the term, one day.
    The next day I recieved a phone call from the agency to ask me to work for one hour. As it takes 25 mins to drive to the school, I said it wasn't worth my while for an hour. The agency explained that they would pay me for two hours if I went in to do the lesson. I agreed to work for an hour and be paid for two hours.
    When I went into the school and saw the Cover Supervisor, I saw that I was down to do two hours, on the 'print out' a pencil written note asked me to 'help out' at another lesson. I explained what the agreement was with my agency. The Cover Supervisor said that the teacher would come and see me and he probably would not want me to 'help out' and the the teacher would come and see me, and the school's policy was to pay a minimum of two hours and they expected two hours work.
    At the end of my lesson I waited for 5 minutes and then went to the Office to see the Cover Supervisor to 'sign out'. The Cover Supervisor said
    "didn't he come to see you? Well you can find him with the class in the ICT room" .
    I reminded her the terms by which I agreed to do the supply and said I will have to speak to my agency to clarify the position. The Cover Supervisor's attitude then become almost aggressive and she said "Just go, it doesn't matter".
    I felt that I would not be asked back at the school, but if I had stayed I would have been angry with myself for being misled and taken advantage of.
    I know this seems quite a trival episode but I was wondering if anybody else had experienced similar examples of schools and cover supervisors taking advantage of supply teachers.
    I have posted this message in the 'Ue teachers' forum by mistake but will try to delete it now. So if you have read this message before, sorry.
     
  3. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    By cover supervisor, do you mean the person responsible for cover or a cover supervisor?
    Sounds like a sh1tty deal, by the way I don't blame you for being upset.
     
  4. janeygrey

    janeygrey New commenter

    I am on this forum as i am trying to find something on Seal for New Beginnings during break. I spotted this and thought i would reply. I am sorry but i think if the agency has agreed to pay you two hours money for one hour's work then I think you have shot yourself in the foot by not taking the two hours work offered by the school. From what i read on this forum, many, many of you are finding it hard to get work. I have said it before and i absolutely will say it again, the agency says jump and i say how high. Yes, I know that is controversial and many might think i am sad but that policy has ensured i get work practically every single day. I go anywhere and teach any class she has me booked into. I dont get involved in the politics of anything, I am simply thinking that at the end of the following week i have a healthy bank balance to sweeten the bitter pill of having had possibly a bad day on supply. I find that if i help the agency (and mine are absolutely the best) and they will then look after me totally and completely by giving me work. I know this might not be the answer that you were seeking and I do hope that the school might have you back, but remember superviors, like ta's in primary, are often the ones who have a say over whether you will be invited back into school or not, Please don't think that the school were taking advantage of you if they only pay for 2hours minimum then that is just how it is. Maybe the agency was being naughty and knew the score, but at the end of the day you cant afford to cut your nose off to spoil your face, as i think the olde saying goes.
     
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I don't think that this is a trival episode and you deserve to be treated like the professional you trained to be. Would you want to be asked back if thats their attitude?
    I've had instances where I've been booked for the day but on arrival been told that circumstances have changed and I'm only required for half a day. Its always been with apologies, I know how business works and can life with that.
    But what was unforgiveable was the occasion I received a morning phone call to do a days primary work. It was to cover for a teacher running a sports event, when I arrived I met the teacher who started to hand over the work when we were both interrupted and told because of the bad weather the event had been cancelled and I wasn't needed anymore.
    Not withstanding the fact the weather was bad when I was initially called, I had spent about an hour getting to the place and a further 30 to 40 minutes receiving the work. I had also lost out on the chance of a days work elsewhere.
    Credit to my agency though, they did at least refund my petrol costs.
     
  6. This is the second example that I have seen a bout a supply teacher being answerable to a cover supervisor (See Docked Pay) If it is indeed just a cover supervisor then it is completely unacceptable. I personally think that it is bad enough for an HLTA to have to undertake a role that involves making decisions on who does the cover in a school but asking a CS to do it is beyond the pale.
    Beware TAs and HLTAs; CSs may now be taking over your role as well as the role of supply teachers.
     
  7. I would normally side with the supply, but in this case my thinking would be that "I'm being paid for two hours so I am happy to work two hours", unless I had made a prior arrangement to do something else because of the original agreement. Is the agency charging the school for two hours? I was once booked to do a part session, the agency said they would pay me for the whole session, I told the school this and offered my services for the rest of the session without further cost to the school. On a few occasions, a school has made a mistake, double booked supply, and have honoured the original booking by finding work for the day. It's a bit of swings and roundabouts.
     
  8. I think that as the OP went to the office to see the Cover Supervisor, that is probably the administrative person responsible for hiring cover, not a CS.
     
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I'm sure you're right. The idea of a cover supervisor lording it over a tacher is too horrible to contemplate
     
  10. stigofthedump

    stigofthedump New commenter

    I think what we have to remember here is that a lot of Cover Supervisors are actually trained teachers who have to take CS work as there is nothing else about!! I agree we have are all trained teachers but due to current circumstances I personally am grateful to receive ANY type of work that has been offered to me!!
     
  11. I agree with janeygrey.
    I might have a terrible day in school (which happened to me yesterday!) I was called this morning... would i go back?? Absolutely!!
    I hate the situation I'm in, being so desperate for the work that i will take anything and anywhere, but in supply that's the name of the game unfortunately.
    You need to be extremely flexible. As a result I'm beginning to bet more and more work through my agency and schools are asking for me by name.
     
  12. I agree. I am getting a lot of requests for me by name now because schools know I'll go in and give a good day's work. On the plus side I can afford to say no to the one school which is really hell.
     
  13. Ooh, lucky you :eek:) The place where i have the most trouble, is the place that requests me the most!!! Though i must be doing something right i suppose...
     
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I think there's a misunderstanding her on what is meant by Cover Supervisor in different contexts.
    The most recent understanding of CS is someone who is not a qualified teachre but is used in place of a supplyt teacher.
    The other use of Cover Supervisor is the member of permanent staff in a school whose responsibility it is to organise cover for absent staff. That person might be a member of the admin staff or a senior teacher such as an assistant Head or a deputy Head teacher.
    It was this latter category of CS who the OP liaised with over their employment at the school, not an unqualified teacher drafted in for the day.
     
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Thanks for clearing that up jubilee. Have never actually come across one myself, but know they are commonly advertised in my LA for Secondary schools.
     
  16. The person who organises cover should be described as the supply co-ordinator to avoid confusion.
     
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    They were Cover Supervisor (supervising the cover staff) before we ever had the category of clssroom workers called cover supervisors.
     
  18. Unbelievable that <u>armies</u> of unqualified staff are actually performance managing fully qualified, highly experienced and registered teachers whilst the headteacher does not even care!
    What dreadful exploitative and totally unacceptable employment practices we now have in schools!!!
    Unacceptable and incredible...how low does the present corrupted system have to go before something is done???????????
     
  19. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I don't belive that unqualified CS <u>are</u> performance managing qualified supply teachers!
    As explained earlier, there are 2 types of jobs given the title of Cover Supervisor. One is a cheap alternative to employing qualified (supply) teachers and those CS do not supervise qualified staff. They are directed to supervise pupils in lessons where a qualified teacher is absent. Those CS are not in charge of any qualified teachers.
    The other CS is the person in a school whose duties include making sure that the school is fully staffed each day. They organise the booking of supply staff (qualified and unqualified). That one person who co-ordinates the cover requirements of the school may be a senior teacher (often a deputy head or assistant head) or a school manager. They allocate/sign timesheets for temporary staff and issue the daily timetables. If that CS is a teacher, they may drop in on cover lessons at times to check that eveything is OK; if it's a school manager, they have no remit at all with teaching and learning and just conduct the administration aspects of the role.
     

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