1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Supply agency teacher moving to annual LEA contract and having to work work a further 20 weeks in lieu of finders fee

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by dawnsusanwood, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. I've accepted a role as year 3 teacher this year ,on condition that it is on a contract with the LEA and not working for the agency.

    I worked at the school for three days then was asked to do an observed lesson. I passed the interview and the Head asked me 2 days later if i would like the job.

    I then worked in year 3 with full role and responsibilities until the end of term with the agency.

    I asked for a contract but was told I didn't need one at that point.

    I also explained to a member of SLT that I would only accept the role in Sept if it was on contract not agency as my annual salary with the agency is only £10K pro rata. I do an annual tax return.

    I was told to inform my agency via the 3rd person , the head wasn't contactable at this time , that the role would be with LEA not the agency. I was obviously overjoyed at this .

    I spent 6 days at 3/4 hours day during the holidays sorting out my new classroom and that of the NQT in the cohort. I did this for free .

    On Friday I was informed by my agency contact that I needed to register with the EWC and " had i got a DBS?" .Coincidentally I had already taken my DBS forms to the LEA to be done 3 weeks earlier, thank fully.AND that I would be working for the agency for a further 20 weeks BEFORE I am eligible for an LEA contract .. this is for a max of 16 weeks .

    I was told that this had been sorted out by the Director of the agency and the school during the holidays and I wasn't consulted.

    My question is this.. What if any legal redress do I have ? I do not want to take on the full role of year for another 20 weeks at the rate of pay I have already been paid and also no holiday or sick pay

    Its the same rate whether I do one off days in a secondary school , no planning marking or meetings etc.. I believe this arrangement has been decided in lieu of the finders fee.

    Please advise? I am not in the Union because on £10K I have had to strip out all my outgoings to a bare minimum. I have had no pay since the end of July and I am very upset about this.Im in school tomorrow for a training day prior to children arriving on Thursday .
  2. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    If it doesn't sound right, don't do it. Either you are paid to scale via a contract or via the agency or don't do the job, not with all it entails.

    Check with school tomorrow, if they confirm the Agency arrangement you must decide whether or not you are staying. Remember, on supply you don't have to go in again the next day if you don't want to, likewise the school can tell you to go. No committment either way.
  3. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Before you do anything you need to find out exactly who your employer is? Is it the agency or the LEA. It could be the agency made a mistake when asking for your details having forgotten you were on a contract or it could be you are still an agency employee and both the school and agency have ignored your conditions about being on contract.

    If it turns out to be the latter then don't forget that you can walk anytime since you have no contract to honour on your part. Ignore the 16 week condition that sounds like the agency is trying it on.

    Also you do need to be in a union, you might get reduced rates as a supply or part time. Also if your username is your real name you need to change it so you cannot be identified.
  4. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Further to what les25paul has written, I would add that it looks like the agency is still your employer. It is a great shame that people like you, who are doing a good job, are being bartered over like a used car.

    As for legal redress, it's likely that the agency is acting in compliance with Conduct of Employment Agency legislation. Just because supply agencies deal specifically with schools, does not make them subject to any education staffing legislation as they do not operate as education service providers.

    This is why the unions are campaigning for agencies to get out of education as they are actually losing jobs for teachers.

    Sadly, once the dispute is in progress and you have commenced independent negotiations, it is difficult for a union to intervene on a matter that occurred when you were a non-member. They don't ususally act post-hoc.

    One thing you could do is go over all their heads and take the matter to the Director of Education at the LEA and ask bluntly if this is county policy. What the school is paying to the agency is probably the same as or more than they would pay in wages and oncosts if you were directly employed. Point out to them that after 14 weeks of placement at one school, the transfer fee can be waived or renegotiated. Why has the school agreed to a further 10 weeks when the criteria were satisfied years ago?

    Ask the LEA if they have any idea how much the school has paid the agency over the years and if this surely more than covers and fees that the agency has claimed it is still due.

    The agency will no doubt try to bamboozle them with pseudo legal nonsense and sales talk.

    Dawn, you have to realise that agencies are profit-making businesses. Each branch has a target turnover and each branch is is competition with the other branches to get the most deals. Your agency has probably just got a bonus for extending the deal with your school.

    Even if you were to go to a union, in the first instance, they would simply advise you how to deal with the situation yourself. People imagine that unions have a massive local staff. In fact most of the reps are full time teachers in schools too.

    There is information for supply teachers which you can find on the NUT website


    It's not an easy choice, whether to negotiate and stick you neck out or whether to keep a low profile and get on with it. Whatever happens, you need to keep a written record of every conversation, only made requests in writing and keep copies of everything. I'm afraid your sterling efforts during the holiday were your choice and outside your contractual obligations anyway. It might sound militant to some readers here, but I feel that being aware of your contract and fulfilling your contract is all you need to do. Any extras are your choice.
  5. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    The contract you agreed with the school was to be on their payrole NOT the agency. I would ask them to honour this.
  6. bonjourmadame

    bonjourmadame New commenter

    Hi this happened to me a couple of years ago. The agency I worked for told the school they would have to pay a £3000 finder's fee if they put me on contract. The head then made an agreement with the agency that I would stay with the agency for the Autumn Term and the agency would not charge them the fee. I was not happy but there wasn't anything I could do. My head paid me supply for half term and put me on contract the week before the Xmas holidays so I would get paid over Christmas.

    I suspect this is why your school has "changed its mind" - they are saving money at your expense!!!

Share This Page