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Supply TA, agency ins and outs for newbie

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by rizzrazz555, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. rizzrazz555

    rizzrazz555 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the teaching world, looking to embark on a primary PGCE in the Autumn of 2016.

    As a recent young (ish!) male graduate of two degrees in Biology and Product Design, with limited primary experience ( but currently working as a cover supervisor at secondary level ), I had recently obtained a connection with an agency looking to place me in a long term TA role within a primary school for the rest of the academic year. In the process, I'm hoping to obtain the vital classroom experience I need for my UCAS application. My alternative was to contact schools directly for voluntary work, in conjunction with my current flexible part time role, however that route proved fruitless at this stage.

    After trawling through the forums, I'm a little more clued up on the Umbrella payment method I was offered with the first agency, and not quite sure if it is in my benefit to sign up again. Understandably, I'm not an NQT or a qualified teacher, and perhaps I dont have the leverage of negotiating with the agency for a PAYE option. In addition, I don't have the luxury of telling the agency to stuff the UC and take myself elsewhere, as I need the experience.

    So my question is this - I intend to leave my part time job, and the first agency for which I am a cover supervisor to concentrate on the TA role as my sole job with the intention of gaining the classroom experience I need. The umbrella company offers a PAYE route as opposed to the standard expenses model they offer - which is better for me?

    In either case, am I liable for the employers NI contributions? Should I bite the bullet, and realise that at this stage I'm not going to reap anywhere close to the £65 a day offered, and be grateful for the work? I am aware agency fees apply, and the stated rate is a gross value as with all job adverts. I just wouldn't like to be unnecessarily ripped off or out of pocket, that's all.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You can insist on PAYE. If you are paid PAYE the agency will pay your Employer's NIC.
    If you are paid through an UC then you pay the NIC in addition to your own taxes ; and the result will be that you will be left with such a small sum of money. Of course as you say, you need to weigh that up against the experience you need for your primary PGCE. Although you are not a qualified teacher yet, you do have valuable classroom experience at secondary level. Even though primary and secondary are different in many ways, there are some similarities and you do have some skills that will be transferable, so you do have some leverage to negotiate. You are in a good position as well since this is coming up to one of the agencies busiest times and they will need people to fill their vacancies.

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