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Self employed supply teacher? How do I do it? and how much do agency charge the school?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by rach1968, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    I don't think it works like that jonathan - I don;t work for an agency, but it is the LEA that pays you (not the school) and they pay you whatever is the going rate in your area. You may get some different replies but I think you might find this is how it is everywhere.
  2. Perhaps you could write to schools you haven't worked offering yourself as supply (& paid through the local authority).
  3. supplybychoice

    supplybychoice New commenter

    Search this forum as we have talked about it in the past.

    I think most schools wont deal with a self-employed supply teacher plus the tax rules have been tightened up.

    I looked into it a few years ago and thought it wasn't worth the hassle.
  4. I work in a school as self employed and invoice the school. I charge them what the agencies were charging for me before I started working for them, which works out more than m6 rate and I'm only an NQT.
  5. Shamshad, if you work in a school as a self employed teacher, do u need to be registered with the LEA?? And who is it who is paying you, the school or the LEA? Are you paid weekly or monthly?

    Also, if you work as a self employed teacher in a school are you allowed to be registered with agencies as well or can you not do both??

    Thanks any advice!!
  6. heartfelt

    heartfelt New commenter

    I don't think many do self-employed supply. I don't think you can start as self-employed, as you can't get a CRB done with yourself as employer. You could get a school to initiate the checks.
    Some have used CRB from LEA then pursued self-employed work.
    If you are an NQT and charging M6, you would be making something extra out of it, but you might otherwise be LEA registered and work directly with schools, and get pension contributions, which is just like being self-employed, but not for tax purposes.
    You can mix your employment by using agency, LEA register and self-employed, your constraint is not working directly with a school if previously placed there by an agency.

  7. Heartfelt, thank you so much for all your replies and advice. You always seem to have so much insight into so many different matters and this is always greatly appreciated.

    Wondering if u could also answer the following for me as I've asked various people before but no one seems to have/know of an answer.

    If whilst working for an agency, one of their local schools decided to offer you direct work as a day-to-day supply teacher, does this school have to pay a transfer fee to the agency? Or are transfer fees only applicable if schools wish to give you a permanent contract??

  8. Kinkerz, I am not employed by the LEA, I worked through an agency first and then told the school that I have my own company registered and want to work directly. They were ok with it. I approached schools directly and one of the schools told the agency, the agency told a few other agencies and I stopped getting work from them, one even said a school had rang them to tell them. However, one of the agencies I work for knows I work directly and also knows I run a small teacher supply agency even though I'm not placing anyone whilst I'm doing my NQT, they are fine with that and have offered me work before I started my NQT and always ring me up to check my availability for after September. I invoice the school, the school authorise and send it to the Council, the council pays it, its as simple as that. Ther school have done a CRB themselves for me. I think if you work with an agency and then start working self employed there are no intro fees involves because you in effect are an agency and not employed by the school.

    I get alot of teachers who know I'm self employed, ask me about getting paid through my agency. They contact a school and say they want to work through me and I already have the invoicing systems and BACS in place
    I pay them and only charge a small fee compared to the other agencies. I obviously do all the checks etc.
  9. "I invoice the school, the school authorise and send it to the Council, the council pays it, its as simple as that"

    Thanks for the reply Shamsad. I have my concerns about working directly for a school for day to day work as I have broken the 4-term rule and therefore do not wish to register myself with the LEA.

    So would u say that if i work directly for a school and invoice them, it's no riskier than me getting paid whilst working through an agency?
  10. heartfelt

    heartfelt New commenter

    Kinkherz, I've just picked up on your last post. I think Shamshad's experience is probably of more interest with this question than my own.

    It just wouldn't happen that a school would "buy out" an agency teacher for the sake of a few days supply, the buy out figures are relatively high. There is the ethical issue about being introduced to the school, then working directly, and the practical consideration that if found out, both the supply teacher and school risk being dropped by the agency.

    I've not come across anyone doing what Shamshad's doing. Sounds very enterprising.

    I. myself, work for both for LEA schools directly, and for placement agencies, ie all my work is paid through LEA payrolls.
  11. Shamshad, It's not quite as simple as that though is it? You need to charge schools VAT, pay your own NI as self employed, keep records for your tax assessemnt as a self emplyed person, arrange public liablity insurance and professional idemnity insurance. As a supply teacher you will already have business use insurance for your car.

    Operating as an agency for other supply teachers you will have to make simliar arrangments for them and ensure that your insurances cover both you, the schools and them. You'll also have to ensure that their CRB checks are current and that, if they come from abroad, they have the necessary visas and permissions.
  12. I find the way I am working quite unusual too, I can't see many schools accepting someone the way this school has accepted me but my school has. I don't charge VAT as I'm not VAT registered. have my own references which I showed the school. I had CRB's from other agencies but they did one too and that was it. opened a bank account, get some invoicing software and away I went.
    I do pay Tax, NI etc, its like a business , you work out your profit and pay tax on that, profit is wage received take away travelling expenses etc.I'm here till July, will try other schools in the same way from September. For the other teachers I have all the checks etc done as it used to be full time thing before I started here full time but still have the teachers on my books. I charge 195 per day which is what the agency must have been charging them anyway, seen some charge 205 per day and the agency only paid me 151.
  13. I've just found myself 2 days work a week with my old employer after working for years for supply agencies. They want to pay me through an agency but that would mean the agency getting a fortune for not having done any work! Would be very interested to either see if Shamshad could be my agent or doing what he has done. Are you "self employed" or do you have your own Ltd. company that employs you. Contact me kevin_veg at o2.co.uk
  14. nqt04

    nqt04 New commenter

    talk2me, you may find these two links useful:



    I have worked one day a week for a school on a self-employed basis; the crucial thing is that you provide the school with a contract for services (ie, you explain what you will do for the school), rather than the school giving you a contract to sign. You invoice the school for your services.

    The registration/tax/NI rules are all accessible from the links above. Setting up a company is relatively costly, unless you are planning to keep to this arrangement on a very long-term basis and with other clients/schools.
  15. ..... not a tax expert, but have had some dealings with the IT industry - in which many consultants were stopped from being employed this way by the Inland Revenue - specifically with regards to IR35. I would suggest that teachers trying out this route might be advised to take some legal advice on whether they might be contravening IR35 and leaving themselves open to penalties at a later date........
  16. What is the point of digging up 3 year old posts? Supply has changed an awful lot in that time.
  17. A company can use one of the Umbrella companies which exist for smaller companies to get CRBs.

    Individuals could set up a LTD company for about £100-150 plus VAT. They could then charge schools, LAs or even agencies for their services. If they exceed the VAT threshold then they would need to register for and charge VAT (but this is no problem as the customer would be able to reclaim it) and the Ltd Company can, of course, reclaim any VAT paid as part of their business. They could then claim all their business expenses before tax. They could pay themselves a fairly nominal salary thus avoiding much of the NI liability (note employee and employer NICs would be payable on any salary). The rest of the income is paid as dividends on the shares of the Ltd company.

    IR35 was created to prevent the above practice (mainly in IT) where an employee would resign on Friday and return to work on Monday as a contractor with a Ltd company and avoid huge amounts of tax and NICs - although it affected a large number of people who had not done this.

    IR35 only affects people where it is clear that the work is disguised employment. It would be unlikely to apply when a company has a number of contracts to supply services for many clients. What this means is that if you work long term for one school then it could (most propably would) be seen as employment and you would be liable for the tax and NICs. If you work for several schools over a year then it is unlikely you would be considered to be an employee and would not be liable.

    It isn't simple!

    Whether it is worth the hassle for teachers is a mute point. Contractors in the IT industry would be paid 3-5 times what a supply teacher might be paid so the tax avoidance savings could be and (before IR35) were huge the sums would need to be done for supply teachers then LAs, supply agencies and schools would need convincing that it was a good idea (which might not be so difficult as it would definitely be cheaper and more profitable for everyone but the govenment - and possibly the agencies).

    Note I have no opinion either way on the morality or otherwise of the above. They are just knowledge derived from past experiences.
  18. Hi,
    Just read your post.
    I've just agreed with a head of a local school that I will invoice the school and they will pay me directly to avoid using the agency.
    Do you have any advice? What did you do in terms of tax and insurance?
    Are you still working self employed? How did it go?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  19. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    ........................................................................................................................................................................................... Not come across this in the 12years that I have been supply teaching..............unless of course you work in a Free school or an Independent school ................these schools I believe can pay what they like.......
    NQT getting over and beyond an MP6 scale............. lucky you.............BUT I would say check that it is correct or you might get asked to reimburse them if they are mistaken with your grading.........................

    Also are they putting you through your NQT year?

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