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Supply or not supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by tigger1, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. tigger1

    tigger1 New commenter

    I have been 'laid off' as they say and I'm thinking of doing supply in Sept, preferably Harlow, Ware, Hertford, Hoddesdon, Bishop Stortford. Does anyone else do supply in these areas and would there be enough work for at least 3 days a week? I teach English. Any other suggestions would be great.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter


    No idea of supply in those areas unfortunately.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. missRV

    missRV Occasional commenter

    So sorry to hear your news.

    You need to join an agency. I am not from your area so can't advise
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    There's usually plenty of work in Harlow - for a reason, though! You might want to consider Primary?
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Its difficult to generally recommend an agency because their performance varies across the country and over time. So what might be a good agency in one area might be a poor choice in another. The quality of an agency depends almost 100% on the consultant you deal with and they tend to move between agencies.

    The best way to find out is to ask any visiting supply teachers you have in your school. Alternatively take a sneaky look in the visitors' signing in book or even ask your cover manager who they use. You will quickly realise that even though there might be a long list of teaching agencies in your area only a few are getting the work.
    pepper5 and (deleted member) like this.
  6. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Rather than find the 'best' agency just register with a few. Make phone calls and send emails to get the paperwork over and done with (and lose a day in the holidays) but at the end of it you'll have 4 or 5 at least spending a bit of time on getting you some work.

    All those bits add up.

    I'm Maths in West Yorkshire but the principle seems sound.
    PizzoCalabro and pepper5 like this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    With all the areas you mention, you are bound to get three days a week. Register with a few as the above post suggests. Ask any supply teachers who you see at school which agencies they use and which ones to avoid.

    Over the summer hone up on your behaviour management. Have you ever worked as a supply teacher?

    If you can get into schools where the behaviour is o.k. you should be fine. Also think about whether you want day to day or long term.

    Much of the supply work for English may be covering classes where the teacher is off because of stress. You may be covering their classes which are often challenging and low ability. Sometimes teachers take certain days off when they can't face certain classes and younwill be faced with those classes - the ones that have been dumped on the new member of staff or the NQT.

    Of course it isn't like that every day in every school but supply work can push you to the edge. You have to mentally prepare yourself and have a will of steel.

    Read some of the suggestion on the new to supply thread for further advice.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
    PizzoCalabro and lulu57 like this.
  8. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    As pepper says, you need a will of iron...the skin of a rhino and a heart of gold! (And a thermos mug;)).
  9. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Educationline, County teachers and 4my schools cover these areas but secondary work is thin on the ground in the Ware, Hoddesdon and Hertford areas. You might have better luck in Luton and Stevenage, depending on how that would be for you to travel.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    @lulu57 I'm using the £1 Starbucks one now, just in case I ever leave it at a school.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. bonnie1

    bonnie1 Senior commenter

    As long as it has a lid on it.:)
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Come on in, jump in the shrinking pool - the more the merrier (or sadder and poorer).
  13. is2

    is2 Occasional commenter

    I could not agree with this more. Billions upon billions of people are chucking away their careers to do supply everyday as they naively assume that work is plentiful and it is as close to heaven as one can imagine. WAKE UP THERE IS NO WORK AND IT IS A HORROR STORY. SOCIETY CANNOT CATER FOR THE COLOSSAL GLUT OF SUPPLY TEACHERS THAT IS GETTING GREATER EVERY MINUTE WHILE AMOUNT OF WORK IS SHRINKING DRAMATICALLY. DO NOT DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The population of the entire world is 7.2 billion.

    Are you suggesting everyone in the world is a supply teacher ?

    If there is such a glut how come we can never find them when we need one at our school ?

    Other than myself I've not come across anyone who gave up a full-time job for supply. I worked as a supply teacher for a year and had plenty of work. I could go back to supply tomorrow and be reasonably confident of finding something in a week.

    Whatever substances you're taking I seriously recommend you reduce the dosage.

    Oh....and while we're at it NOBODY ever forced ANYONE to become a supply teacher.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Most of the schools around where I live are desperate for teachers - supply or permanent. I have been working every day and I could be working in other places. This year did start out rather slowly, but it has been busy since January.

    I don't think any teacher would seriously think supply is an easy job.

    Most on this forum would agree that the amount of supply work available does vary across the country.

    Schools want to have their regular staff in school - supply work is, by its nature, very flexible and not secure. I can't blame schools for not having people off.
  16. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    To Supply, or not to Supply. That is the question!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Some schools in my area do seem to be 'desperate' for staff but only because they cannot, or will not, pay for them. Different placement agencies contact you about the same school but when you pop the 'how much' question, you get evasive answers, one of the worst being, in effect, it would like to 'try before it buys'.
    1 person likes this.
  18. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Curiously, I recently had an offer from an agency to do a try before they buy day - for freemans, obviously. I declined the kind offer. Is this something new?
  19. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @schoolsout4summer: Euphemisms for unpaid trial periods abound: 'a chance to get your face known', 'the school test driving you', 'refreshing your skills', etc. All of them mean the school and/or the agency want you to give them a 'freebie'. Recently, especially for we older teachers, schools are offering us an 'opportunity to put something back', meaning do the same job we had been doing for decades but this time for free. Agencies often try to convince you that unpaid work will lead to paid work, rather than just make you poorer, and look a mug.
  20. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    There's another con to get a freebie out of us mugs.

    Shortly before I was made redundant I attended an 'interview' at a school. Well it wasn't an interview but essentially doing a day's supply and be observed whilst at it "Chance to see the school".. etc.

    Only catch was the HoD only found time to meet me for a few seconds to explain that day's work. I didn't see her again until I went looking for her at the end. Of course I couldn't be appointed as unobserved and the school is still desperate for teachers.

    I was okay as my current school covered my pay anyway but I'm still not happy with the duplicity of it all.

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