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So the bullying culture is creeping in for supply teachers as well.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by andrew07, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. andrew07

    andrew07 Occasional commenter

    OK, I use two agencies. However, I told my agencies that I will not be available anymore until after half term. However, I get calls today about a particular school and one little twenty something agent asked me if I go into this school to cover an English lesson because they couldn't get anyone else to do it and also, he got loud as well. I remained pleasant. Keep in mind though, this was five minutes after I contacted this agency to tell them my availability. Has this ever happened to you?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Believe it or not I have worked for the same agencies for six years and someone called today and asked me to go in for one lesson. I had to try very hard not to laugh and just said no....he put me on hold and suddenly it turned into a full day.

    The agencies don't care and schools don't care...they will try every tactic to get people in on the cheap even to go in for one lesson. I need the money, but I am not that desperate. Pounland is starting to look very attractive.
    snowyhead likes this.
  3. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Not a pleasant way to start your day. The consultants have targets to meet and some do get a little shirty when agency workers stand up for themselves. They need you more than you need them.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You definitely have to have a thick skin and a forgiving attitude when dealing with agencies and schools if you want to keep working.
  5. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I have told my agencies repeatedly that I will only do a full day. But still last week one of them called me to ask me to got to a school (40 mins drive away) do cover ONE Secondary PE lesson)!. I actually did laugh out loud. ( I am not a PE teacher btw).
  6. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    However, I wouldn't call it bullying, since they have no power - nothing like a situation where someone is trapped working for a bullying boss - they are not your boss...
  7. cc2lwa

    cc2lwa New commenter

    Hi this was my rant last week - unscrupulous supply agency
    /school paying pro rata, I covered 2 hours in a school and was paid £25 gross, (it was a 30 mile return trip, no kidding. Nothing explained on why - just saw it on my pay slip
    I am not even going to enquire, but will cut lose as soon as I can. ☺
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Yes...cut loose from that agency if you can as they do not deserve to have teachers on their books to exploit.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I last worked for an agency almost a couple of years ago now but I never got the sort of treatment that has been outlined in this thread...times change obviously.

    I do remember going to schools to do a couple of lessons but got paid a half day normally. Lots of times when I got there I picked up other lessons anyway and then invariably got work for the next day as well.

    Times are tough though - at the start of this academic year the head announced that nobody was allowed to be ill (ahem !) and that the supply budget for the school this year was zero. So far it pretty much has been,,how long that lasts I wouldn't like to say.
  10. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I get silly requests to go schools, usually at some substantial distance away to do one or two lessons with the dubious reassurance that 'it might develop into a full day'. I would think that 'single lesson covers' would be very likely to disappear before you got tot he school, anyway. The number of requests for out-and-out freebies has increased, too.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Some agencies do attempt direct bullying by implying that if you do not accept a share of these 'loss-leader' jobs, you will go tot he bottom of the heap.
  12. andrew07

    andrew07 Occasional commenter

    Well, I am signed up to two agencies and the other agency has never EVER pulled this stunt before. To be honest, I have done favours for the agency that I was having a moan about, such as cancelling other things just to help them out. Yes, this really confirms that agencies and schools don't care about people, they only care about numbers and profits. It is really nice having you all so that we can share our experiences. No way would I EVER want to go back into long term or permanent teaching here in England.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have done a lot of favours for agencies, but they don't seem to remember them. I've shown up to jobs at short notice where other teachers have failed to turn up. I've worked in some really challenging classes.

    Don't do too many favours for agencies since it isn't often reciprocated.

    I agree with you Andrew: I would never take a long term assignment or permanent position in a school in the UK.

    Although some schools and agencies don't treat staff well, there are some that do, so it is important to remember the positives too; but I still would not work permantly or long term in any UK school.
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Anyone with no plans for Wednesday 28th October and who feels they are being ripped off, remember there is a lobby of supply agencies hosted by the NUT but open to all supply teachers. http://www.teachers.org.uk/supply
  15. emmalcm

    emmalcm New commenter

    Yes I've been there and I don't think it's uncommon. Some agencies just don't care what goes on as long as they get someone to do the job so they can continue getting work from the school. I've had the old 'you need to do this because we do you a favour by sending work your way' thing. I once had someone try to persuade me it was a good idea to drive approx 15 miles (so 30 miles round trip) to do 2 hours exam invigilation for £14 pay...because he was 'keeping me busy'...no thanks I don't work for free! (which is what it would basically be when I paid tax and fuel)
  16. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I don't think some of them comprehend English to be honest.

    I have one agency (I'm a member of a couple as I'm on the edge of 3-4 different LAs) that has so far offered me: a long term post teaching GCSE Maths to school refusers (I'm an English specialist), a day in a PRU which turned me away when I arrived, and then a half-term's stint working for a 'Virtual School' writing PEPs and meeting with various agencies. This last one was particularly interesting since they submitted my CV and secured an interview before even asking me if I was interest (I wasn't).

    Rep got rather shirty and accused me of "turning down everything we offer". I scoffed and suggested that they started offering me stuff I was actually qualified for.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  17. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    They don't seem to have much local geographical knowledge, either: that or they just don't care. You get offered half-day jobs at schools that would take you over an hour to reach, and twice that at rush hours.

    I've also had that same experience, at a PRU.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I've also had that same experience, at a PRU, when they discovered that I had not received training in some acronym.
  19. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    To be fair, the PRU I went to was great about it. I met the head ,who was a lovely lady, she apologised profusely and explained that the person I'd been booked to cover was herself a supply teacher (mat. cover) who'd phoned in sick so the agency had automatically sent someone else. However, they said they would usually just divide the kids up between other groups and cover 'in house'. She offered to pay me for a morning if I wanted to stay but that I wasn't really needed. Since I had work to do with my business, I politely declined and went. They were fine about it. My agency was rather annoyed.
  20. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Primary supply teachers are expected to mark all work generated using the school's marking policy (some of which can be four pages long). Some years ago, I experienced the wrath of a consultant when I turned down a half day, 20 mile away booking: I knew that the three hours paid work would generate another two hours of marking - which, of course, would be unpaid.

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