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Supply costs and other solutions

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Bluelamb, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. Bluelamb

    Bluelamb New commenter

    Having just payed a large monthly bill for supply I just wondered how other HT kept supply costs down? The profits supply agencies make seem outrageous!

    Wouldn’t it be better to have a model based similar to a gym membership where you pay a fixed monthly/yearly fee and then employ staff at the going rate?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Insurance is available to cover sickness etc absence. We have been looking at this as it's expensive but at least a known, budgetable cost. Tends not to cover single days except at higher cost.
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Speaking as a long-term maths/science supply teacher who has received from agencies £195 or higher for the last 2 years (via an UC) but can't get any school to employ me direct.

    I find this is down to poor HR. I've sent out multiple CVs and buttered up numerous HR managers and cover organisers to discover that they can't be bothered with the extra effort to employ me direct (for around £180 net cost in my advertisements). They are quite happy to throw around £250 a day at an agency to get me otherwise though.

    Can you lean on your HR (or contracted HR services) to be more proactive in this area? I'm sure when you appointed them they didn't say they'd do the bare minimum to get by and even these can read CVs and do DBS checks.
    Flanks likes this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I suppose it's for another thread to point out that if you could manage to reduce the workload (and stress) you might not have such a large supply bill.:(
    Oldfashioned likes this.
  5. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Think about employing a forest schools provider to deliver PPA (cheaper than a teacher and so beneficial for your children).
    Pomza and digoryvenn like this.
  6. J.M.Powell

    J.M.Powell New commenter

    As a large primary, we have built in sufficient capacity in our HLTA cover time to mean we can often ‘juggle’ to cover absences as well as PPA and other planned release. Of course, HLTAs are a fixed cost which has to be balanced with the amount of supply you find yourself using. We find the impact on learning of using staff known to the children is certainly beneficial compared to supply teachers, even though some of them are great of course. The bonus of having surplus HLTA capacity is in either delivering high quality interventions or covering a teacher to allow them to do this themselves.
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Surely all those managers in MATs can organise a bank of supply teachers they can use just like the local authorities used to do.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  8. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You can also use sports coaches and music teachers to cover.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

  10. Supplylady

    Supplylady New commenter

    I loved those days when supply was council run. When I was a supply teacher, back then, the council paid into the teacher's pension scheme and allowed my increments to go right up to M6. Sadly this stopped and then my particular council only used teaching assistants because there was no real need for supply teachers anymore - most of it was done in-house. Such a shame. The agencies took over and schools could no longer afford them anymore.
  11. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    As a large primary school, we previously utilised supply agencies but as part of a cost-cutting exercise and budget review a few years back, we stopped using supply teachers and instead employed two full time HLTA’s who have QTS so that there resources can be used elsewhere when Cover is not required.
    Pomza and caterpillartobutterfly like this.
  12. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    That's scandalous. Using teachers as teachers but not paying them accordingly.

  13. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    They are paid at an enhanced salary.
  14. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Pile pressure on teachers. Micromanage them. Impose awful mark schemes on them. Expect them to be working 70 hours plus a week, then complain you have to use supply to cover absence. I'll call you an irony ambulance right away.
    JohnJCazorla and sabram86 like this.
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I know quite a few teachers who would really like this sort of role and a few who have chosen it.

    Far less paperwork and less pressure, but still teach the odd class here and there as cover.
    More security than supply and being part of a school team is also an advantage.

    The ones I know earn an HLTA wage for almost all the time, but earn a supply teacher equivalent for the mornings or afternoons they cover classes as supply.

    I find it hard to think of this as a bad idea, if it is what those being employed choose to do, as opposed to being forced into it by market forces.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  16. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    I was paid as a TA and only received HLTA pay when covering a class. I have OTS and worked as a TA as it fitted in better with my family.Through the years TAs were asked to do more and more "teaching" but for no increase in wages.
    I know many schools , primary, who use TA/HLTAs to cover PPA and absences.
  17. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    The only argument against it (from a school PR point of view) is that when parents question the six-month absence of a 'proper' teacher for their little cherub then the school can't really say, "We've had a TA doing it"
  18. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Only if the mat schools are close otherwise your building up a bank of teachers who will still need to sign upto other agencies and can't be relied upon.
  19. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    But supply agencies manage this problem of teachers who sign up with other agencies and can't be relied upon.

    This comes back to my bugbear (as a long-term supply) which is that HR is bleeding useless. A MAT must have quite a bit of HR resources available but these only just manage to sort out payroll and sit in on disciplinary meetings. How they can't seem to manage to step up to vet, organise and support a supply list that the (vastly overworked) Cover Organiser can access is beyond me.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Good plan. Adult knows how the school does things, kids get more done and good behaviour is maintained. Infinitely preferable to expensive and often disastrous supply teachers...

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