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Seriously thinking of quitting to go on supply - advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by magic surf bus, May 8, 2011.

  1. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    It would be unwise to look on supply as a full-time job.

    The end of the summer term and the start of the autumn term are notoriously devoid of work, so any income from July-Sept inclusive will be a bonus.

    Daily supply opportunities have diminished because of the way in which Heads are using CS and TA staff to cover absence. The rules are being bent pretzel shape by some.

    The chances that you will be paid to scale are decreasing. Agency flat rate is becoming the norm in cash-strapped LEAs.

    Regardless of your qualifications, you may find there is only CS rate work on offer - not much more than minimum wage in some places.

    Initially I'd advise that you say yes to anything and everything that's offered. Don't assume you'll just go hopping from one maternity cover to another.

    On the plus side, you do still hear the phrase "We're desperate for quality supply staff" - the trick is to work out how you offer that quality, stay sane and still earn a living.

    If you're far enough NE to work supply in Scotland, give it some serious thought. They don't use CS staff there.
  2. janeygrey

    janeygrey New commenter

    (Here in my own area, day-to-day supply will cease as of September.....)

    Lara, this worries me, as someone who only cover day to day. Why exactly is it ceasing in your area - is there a policy?
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Agency work will mean being underpaid, having no pay progression and having no pension option.
    If there are no supply pools in your local LAs,find out if they have appointed an outsourced agency to run their supply service, paying to scale on the teacvhers' payscale and allowing contributions to the TPS. In Lancashire Reed do this under the name of the Lancashire Teaching Agency (LTA). Thy pass on the details of hours and days worked by supply teachers and the Local Authority pays the wage bill.
    In Blackpool, the LA outsourced supply but the agency Supreme/Best pay the wages based on the hourly, not the Daily Rate. You thus get only a part day's pay (for 5 contact hours only and nothing extra if you do planning etc on long-term placements) and can't pay into the TPS as the LA is not paying your salary.
    If there is no proper LA supply route, make your first priority getting work directly. Send out your CV and availability to all the schools where you'd be happy to work and be prepared to travel long distances. I regard the travel as a valid trade-off to having eveings and weekends mainly free of planning and marking and meetings.
    Ask HR at your LA how long your current CRB will last once you leave a permanent job.
    If you can get taken on as a CASUAL teacher at a school/s, they should administer any new CRB required and they'll process your timesheets through the LA for payment.
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    As one of the fortunate supply teachers who's never been out of work I'm now returning to permanent in September.
    Even though I'm always working, the uncertainty is not good. The lack of holiday pay too is not good.
    I may be working next week, but until next week is done I've no idea about the weeks following. I'd only recommend supply if you don't actually need the money. If you have no mortgage and a working, supportive OH then supply is great for a bit of pin money. It's not so good if you rely on the income.
  5. Thanks for your input everyone. It certainly sounds quite grim these days with lack of work. Definitely gives me food for thought.
  6. You sound in a really similar situation to me, although mine is more family health issues. I also live in the NE, and have handed in my notice with the aim to do supply from September. There are some horror stories on here but I still don't regret my decision. My friend has been doing supply here for 2 years and is getting work. I think it can very much depend on getting your name known and being praised in the schools you do go into. Seeing her happy and not being crushed by unneccesary stress definitely makes me feel I have made the right decision. Only you will know what's right for you. If you have the chance to move home too that would be a bonus in terms of financial security.

    Seeing as we're in the same position and area feel free to PM me! There are some good agencies up here, specialising in different areas.

    Colourful x

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