# Some schools expect too much from supply teachers

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by supplybychoice, Sep 29, 2010.

1. ### supplybychoiceNew commenter

Who do some schools expect too much from supply teachers ?

At the start of term I agreed to cover in a school for a teacher who was expected to be off for at least 2 weeks. I told the agency I would be happy to do it as long it wasn't for much longer as I don't like doing longterm work cos of all the extra stress etc.

I did the first 2 weeks and the school told me the teacher would probably be off until half-term so I told the supply coordinator that I would be happy to do another 2 weeks. I was planning the lessons, setting homework, marking books in my free lessons, which is more than I would normally be expected to do.

Just before 3 weeks was up I mentioned to the head of maths that I was finishing next week and she didn't take it well. On Friday she told me that I wasn't needed for the final week as she had asked a retired teacher to come instead. I didn't bother arguing (what's the point) but I was upset because I had given them plenty of notice whereas she had told me on Friday afternoon so I had to try and get other work for the following week. Next time I'll just ring the agency when I've had enough. I've worked in another school on Monday and Tuesday and having a day off today.

Why should a supply teacher have to do the same as a permanent teacher when I don't get paid to scale, or get pension or sick pay?

2. ### jubileeStar commenter

There's an ingrained antipathy to supply teachers in some schools. A lot of permanent staff think that we earn more than them for doing less and this build inso disrespect and resentment.
They think that we a re rolling in it because, before agencies and their cut-throat rates were in the equation, all supply teachers got their annual salary, divided by 195 for each day worked.
An M6 supply teacher would get &pound;162 per day on full daily rate and &pound;810 gross for a week's teaching.
A contracted teacher on M6 would earn &pound;31552 divided by 52= &pound;622 for a week of employment.
The contracted teacher then forgets that they get the same &pound;622 for every one of the 13 holiday weeks, whereas there is no way, except the Daily Rate to pay supply teachers pro-rata holiday pay.
If getting teaching work on 190 days when pupils are in school, an M6 suupply teacher would still earn &pound;815 less than their permanent colleague as no school will pay them to attend INSET for 5 days per year.
It has been known for teachers to tell classes that the supply will earn more than them of for children of teachers to promote the myth around school. I've been asked on many occasions why I get more than Sir or Miss when 'they're the proper teacher!'

3. ### Lara mfl 05Star commenter

I suppose it depends why you do supply- yo try to use it as a stepping stone to get a job or because you don't want all the extra work, stress and hassle.
My own opinion is that ;Yes; I will do all that a perm. teacher does, because I am being paid the same rate (just divided out differently) and I have been using it to keep in contact with schools with a view to getting some sort of longer term post and you have to impress if you want to be considered for that temporary post should it come up.
Surely this is exactly what one should be doing as a supply teacher-it is what we are paid for?

4. ### supplybychoiceNew commenter

That's what's expected from Long-term supply - that's why I don't do it.

5. ### jubileeStar commenter

If you are being paid the proper rate for the job, there can be no complaints about having to do planning and assessment. The OP,however, was not being paid on the teachers' payscale and had no employment rights (sick pay, decent notice period etc).
When you are only being paid for your contact time, and at a reduced hourly rate to boot, it's an imposition to be expected to undertake the full job description on short-term placements for no extra pay. There's enough to do as it is getting acquainted with classes and SOWs and discipline policies etc, all without the preliminary paid INSET and advance planning that a contract teacher has prior to the first lesson or two. The contract teacher can soft-pedal when starting a new timetable by spending time establishing ground rules, allocating seating and books etc. The supply teacher has to hit the ground running with lessons with unfamiliar classes.
The OP was committed to working for a fourth week and had it summarily withdrawn when they mentioned not accepting more bookings after the agreed 4 weeks.
Only when we have the same pay and conditions as contracted staff can we be expected to pull out all the stops. Consideration should be given for the extra demands made on supply teachers. I know a lot of contract staff who pale at the thought of going into a new school each day/week on supply.

6. ### Lara mfl 05Star commenter

I'm obviously a bit of an anomaly and slightly out of date (must be my age!) as I understand a supply teacher's job is to step into the teacher's shoes for the day, limiting any stress for pupils and staff until things can get back to normal. which means probably doing more than the normal teacher, as we also have extra issues to deal with.That's also probably why I can't get a full-tome job I'm obviously too nice and too useful to have on supply!?
Again I think it depends why one does the job.

7. ### ChrisTuff

Lara, how I wish you were in my area! I completely agree with your opinion on the role of a supply teacher, daily or long term. Keep up the good work.
Don't expect more but it is lovely that you are willing to put yourself out for the children. Thank you!

8. ### pedigree

Many of us qualified and highly experienced supply teachers give tremendous "added value" to schools. I know because I usually get and many of my supply teacher colleagues get lots of positive feed [absolute bottom line!] back from the pupils themselves ...
...but alas there are too many dimwit, jealous, prejudiced BULLIES ABOUT who can only wonder at our many classroom management skills and teaching abilities.
Stand your ground, speak your mind, refuse to be bullied and tell the SMT, cover manager or whatever trumped up self-important bully that NO ONE is ever indispensable to ANY workplace especially him/her that's causing the stress/anxiety!
Sock it to them babes clearly and in no uncertain terms!

9. ### ChrisTuff

There is absolutely no need for the use of such language, despite how much you

10. ### supplybychoiceNew commenter

As a supply teacher I plan the lessons and actually teach the lesson and mark the books which cover scabs don't.

So why the hell should I work as a cover scab?

11. ### Lara mfl 05Star commenter

Why thank you Chris. I wish more heads believed the same thing about supplies.
Come on you other supplies out there I'm sure I'm not the only supply who does the job for the children's sake.

12. ### supplybychoiceNew commenter

Can someone pass me the sick bucket !
Of course I hate kids and only do supply for the massive amounts of dosh I get.
If you love the kids so much why don't you work for free !

13. ### Lara mfl 05Star commenter

I'm sorry if my attitude upsets you, but yes I do do the job because I love children. Aand yes I do work for free sometimes if I haven't any work and do a day's voluntary, which nearly always has led to supply work.

14. ### pedigree

jubilee, thanks very much for the "terms and conditions"? of supply teachers' pay but I need to correct you abou MPS:
• Most supply teachers are literally forced to work for exploitative agencies who do not pay any sick pay whatsoever, have no facility for pension cotributions...
• Agencies will not NOT honour MPS pay rates at all and will only pay a daily flat rate with a take it or leave it attitude e.g. HAYS down in DEvon, Cornwall have been paying a maximum of &pound;100 gross per day for the last four years whatever your MPS point is?!!!
• Most schools only use agencies i.e. just 1 phone call to a "consultant" will provide many eCRB checked teachers etc
So as a supply teacher one is EXPLOITED AND EXPLOITED AND EXPLOITED ETC ETC ETC
but thanks for the financial analysis in better, fairer less exploitative times...but this is the current sorry and sad real world!

15. ### supplybychoiceNew commenter

The best part of the job is working with the children.

At my last placement a teacher introduced me to the class and told them to be nice to me as it was hard to get a proper maths teacher so I would stay longer.

I never have a problem with the kids, it's the other staff that cause the problems.

16. ### supplybychoiceNew commenter

The best part of the job is working with the children.

At my last placement a teacher introduced me to the class and told them to be nice to me as it was hard to get a proper maths teacher so I would stay longer.

I never have a problem with the kids, it's the other staff that cause the problems.

17. ### jubileeStar commenter

I'm aware of all that.
My illustration of the MPS rates for supply teaching versus contract pay was done to explain why the attitude of some permanent teachers to supply teachers developed (at a time when all teachers were LA employed).
Agency paid teachers' pay is undercut and has dropped substantially in recent years. I would resent doing long-term supply , with all the planning and marking, meetings, reports and parents evenings for a grossly reduced daily rate. It is iniquitous that a school/LA will pay an absent teacher full pay

18. ### jubileeStar commenter

..... whilst expecting the supply replacement to fulfill all duties (sometimes with no PPA time) for greatly reduced pay. That shows a total lack of respect for colleagues!
A neighbouring LA to mine no longer offers an LA supply service. they have outsourced it and advertise that pay is still to scale. It isn't, as I have written to tell them.
The agency use the annual paypoint of a contracted teacher to work out an hourly 'to-scale' rate by dividing it by 1265. They then give their supply teachers a daily rate composed of 5 hours' pay. I mentioned that I usually end up doing 5 hours of lessons on supply + 20 or 25 (or more) minutes of tutor time. Would I get extra for that? No!
If the work became long-term with all the other time demands on me, would I be able to claim for 6.5 hours per day approximately? No!
I asked why anyone would agree to take more than day-to-day work with them as I certainly wouldn't. The logic seemed to escape them.
I believe that I'm worth the full rate for the job, even on short-term work as I have to deal mainly with challenging classes (it's their teachers who succumb to stress) and have to put up with the boundary-testing that most pupils seem to feel is par for the course . Permanent staff have other demands but they can benefit from relationship-building and from the fact that pupils eventually tire of baiting the same teacher giving them fewer BM issues to deal with in the main.

19. ### stuart dann

You forgot to mention that on a long term gig, you will often be "used" on your frees and PPA wherever needed. I know we should all be so grateful as work is better than no work. I remember being in one long term place and getting the classes shuffled around and me taking other people's classes in my frees. I suppose if you have a supply hired-hand you may as well work them as hard as possible, eh?

20. ### purple sparkleNew commenter

I actually want a long term post just to get NQT induction out the way for a term. I would prefer it though if the school could offer me a contract once I find a place or an agency gets me an interview.
I have been in on a days supply today and the class teacher who I am covering wants me to do 2 practicals tomorrow with year 10 as I am in again. He has provided powerpoints and everything because they have a science specialist supply teacher. I don't mind it personally as I have to keep experience in practical work ready for when I am a science teacher again with my own classes. The only downside to day to day supply is that I very rarely ever get to do practical work with the kids.
I quite like day to day supply though...you can come home after work and relax.