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Short term supply... Changed my mind

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Alexandra1978, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. Alexandra1978

    Alexandra1978 New commenter

    hello everyone,
    I am after a bit of advice, in the sense that I am due to start a short term supply teachong position of a term teaching in a primary school , through an agency who found the post for me. I agreed , albeit being pushed to do so, to start the job in the new term in January. However i fear that i might have said yes too quickly, upon investigating the school further, I think this isnt the right school for me. I have to go in next week for a supposedly hand over day and training day. I guess my question is, if i dont like the schoo, when starting, can i leave after my first day or do i have to have some form of notice. I do not mind working wit that agency and they have been so unhelpful from the beginning, but do not want to look unprofessional to the school. The agency cant asnwer me properly without being pushy and rude.
    Thanks for your help
  2. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Somewhere you should have a copy of any paperwork you signed with the agency. How much notice do they have to give you to terminate a short term post? It should say how much notice you have to give. Give your notice. If there is a big discrepancy ( eg they give you a day's notice, you have to give a month's notice) you could argue it's an unfair contract.

    I think talk to them on Monday and say you do not want to do it. Stay firm. To show goodwill you could offer to do the first week. They have time to fill the post before the end of term.

    Talk to the school as well next week, if you are there on 2 days. Let them know you are having cold feet.

    Bear in mind that the school may not be as bad as any reputation it might have acquired. You might find next week that you like the school.

    Sorry for the contradictory advice. You really need to make your mind up to give notice by end of your time in school next week at the latest.

    Good luck.
    Alexandra1978 likes this.
  3. Alexandra1978

    Alexandra1978 New commenter

    Thank you for your reply and advice Deirds, I havent signed a contract as yet, so that might play in my favour. Will speak to the school as soon as i physically can.thanks again
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    As Deirds has pointed out, the amount of notice you have to give will be dictated by your contract with the agency.

    Do not hesitate to change your mind about this post since the agency still have time to find someone else. If you are not happynwith the agency's behaviour, find another agency that will treat you better; do not forget that you can also contact schools directly for work.
    Alexandra1978 likes this.
  5. Alexandra1978

    Alexandra1978 New commenter

    thank you Pepper5, you are right, thanks for your advice, it is reassuring to know there is a way out even before I start ! do I have to give notice for a job I haven't started? Cannot find the copy of my contract I sign with the agency 6 months ago (only now have they been able to find me work) but it is most likely a generic one, I certainly haven't sign a recent one binding me to this particular school. I am prepared for the fury of my consultant on Monday. thanks again :)
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Don't let the consultant intimidate you. The agency consultant will be hard nosed and will only be looking out for their own interests - certainly not yours. A good consultant will understand you may have changed your mind and it is best for all concerned that you are happy where you are at. Try to prepare what you are going to say in advance and remain calm. If the consultant becomes difficult, definitely look for another agency. Remember you are the one with the skills and teaching qualification. Stand up for yourself. People change their minds all the time about supply positions and if you tell them now, they still have time to find someone else.
    Alexandra1978 likes this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Can I add a note of caution here.

    The OP says "I think this may not be the school for me.....

    How do you know until you start working there ?.

    These are difficult times on supply - if you turn this job down without a good reason you are very unlikely to get another (at least with this agency).

    You are a supply teacher and not yet a permanent one (if you wish to be so) all experience is useful so you might like to think a bit longer before you jettison this opportunity.
    Alexandra1978 likes this.
  8. Alexandra1978

    Alexandra1978 New commenter

    Thank you for your advice peakster, true words your are absolutely right. My post should have read I know this is not the right school for me, poor ofsted which really I should have investigated before I said to the agency I would teach there. My mental wellbeing comes first as it would affect my family if I am unhappy at work. I just have to keep my fingers crossed to find a permanent job, and believe in myself and the fact that I am a good teacher.
  9. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    You are very right to research schools and to put your family and well being first. Having said that, from my experience there sometimes isn't a lot of stock in inspection reports as an indicator of what it's like to actually work there. I've found some 'Outstanding' schools have really been unpleasant to work in, because there is a sense that nothing you do is ever good enough. Similarly, other schools with a less than favourable report have been a lot nicer to work in. Behaviour may have been tricky, but there was a sense of 'togetherness' amongst staff to improve things. Everyone worked together, which makes all the difference. Some schools may just be 'Outstanding' or 'Good' at pulling the wool over Ofsted's eyes during inspection. You may be pleasantly surprised. All the best.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    When working for an agency you never sign anything contracting you to a particular school. You are only ever an agency worker withe the notice periods (either way) in your contract with the agency.
    Notice period is usually 24 hours.
    If you haven't yet started, you simply tell the agency that you've decided against going to that school. You ned have no more contact with the school itself.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    With a poor Ofsted inspection, the school may have significant issues with behaviour in the classes and working in some school like that is difficult. Some people can work under the pressure and thrive while others may break under the constant strain of keeping order and of course there are levels of challenging behaviour.

    Unless someone is up for a challenge and understands how hard it may be, they might well avoid working in schools which have received a poor Ofsted.
  12. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @Alexandra1978: Why not give it a few days and see how it goes. As others have said, despite its poor OFSTED report, it might be a reasonable place in which to work. I might go down better with your agency if you say you don't like it after you have tried it than if you say you will go and then change your mind.
    indusant likes this.
  13. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    It's understandable, but you will never truly know about a place until giving it a go. A lot of it depends on the classes you get. You could be just what they needed, and vice versa. If you don't roll the dice, you can't win. Of course, if it becomes clear that you have lost you can walk away. At least then you'll know from your own experience that it wasn't right.

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