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Supply Teacher in London

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by albertdog, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Nice plug for this agency. However, I joined them in September 2010 and have heard nothing from them since. The online booking system just always says that there no vacancies. At the interview they stated that they paid a flat rate.
  2. I'm a secondary qualified teacher, and I have got the majority of my work this year through the agencies Smart Teachers and A*Star Teachers. They are both lovely to work for and communicate with and work with your strengths in my experience. If you PM me I can give you my full real name to use as a referral (cheeky I know!) as if you refer someone as they get work, you get £100! I'm also registered with PPA education who are quite persistent but seem to have more work than they know what to do with!
    As I said though, Smart and A*Star have been excellent for me, and they're small agencies so it's nice to get to know them. They also do social events on occasion for their teachers, which is quite nice.
  3. My experience is very different. I went to an interview with A star teachers in July 2010, and heard nothing more from them. I found out, months later, that the person who intrerviewed me had left without processing the paperwork. The only thing that was done was to cash my cheque for the CRB, which was never sent on to me.
    Smart teachers I joined at more or less the same time. After registration; nothng. Every few weeks, Smart sends an e-mail digest of all the jobs they have. For months, I e-mailed back, stating my interest in the vacancies but never heard anything. Once again, the only thing that was done was to cash my cheque for the CRB, which was never sent on to me.
  4. I made a nuisance of myself at the start, which probably helped. I rang up every single morning, and in the evening to remind them I was available, and e-mailed my consultant. I think they may have found me work to get me off their backs, but hey! If it worked, why not?! Especially because after the first couple of placements, I got repeat bookings, with schools saying "if blondiegirl's available... we'd even rather have her than an .... specialist." So make yourself the first person on the agency/consultants brain in the morning/ last thing at night, and make yourself a fab supply for the school.
    Don't be afraid of pestering them, because it's their job to get you work! I was lucky enough to become well-known at one school close to my house enough to get regular work there, and then the agency knew I was well-liked by the school and so were adamant to get me out somewhere long-term, and I ended up in my current placement, which has been lovely!
  5. My advice would be to sign up with as many agencies as possible but check the rates of pay as they tend to vary. The work will come in and if a school likes you they will probably ask for you again. Good luck.
    ... any tips for getting into HE ? [​IMG]
  6. I took your advice, John. Over the course of a year, i registered with over two dozen agencies; all accepted me onto their boks, but then nothing. At one point, I was making between 15 and 20 phone calls every morning, and even more in the late afternoon; nothing at all. Never tell me there is a shortage of maths and science teachers.
    Actually, a good proportion of the mornign calls that i did get got cancelled; I usually found out when the train came out of a tunnel and my phone could get a signal.
  7. I forgot to mention that I joined PPA last April. Apart from a pleasant trip to Farringdon and a nice cup of real coffee, they did nothing for me.
  8. I find myself becoming increasingly grateful that I found getting work so easy compared (ignoring January!). I think - having read your other thread - that my NQTness probably has it's advantages here if I have a lower daily rate, maybe your experience and associated higher daily rate might have an impact?

    Also I have NEVER had a booking cancelled after it's been made. Your agency should be aware of schools that do this regularly and tell them to get their *** in gear. I've been to schools where the person has shown up in the meantime, but the schools have just found something else for me to cover/invigilate - 1 school almost always books in advance, anticipating need, and I've gone and supported students in learning support for half a day and covered half, which is a very nice deal! Schools shouldn't be booking and cancelling in the time you take to get there. In London on the tube you're likely to be there before you get the message!!
  9. You have been very lucky, blondegirl. I ran a thread a few months ago, called 'Oh! What a beautiful morning', about jobs cancelled after the teacher getting the call and leaving home bt before or when they arrived at the school. It has happened so many times, usually at schools that are more distant. I suppose that when the schools phone their agencies the barrel gets scraped and I get called. Following this, another agency might find someone closer, who gets to the school before I do. In London, if this happens, you have to wait around until 9:30am, so you can travel at the off-peak rate: this cuts your loss on travel down to about £8, rather than £11.
  10. I drive to most of my jobs, which is nice as a) I can get to more remote places (I use the word remote in the loosest sense of the word in London!) and b) I can't be contacted while I'm driving so my agencies know I cannot be cancelled while en route.

    Can I ask why you're waiting til off-peak to travel? I would pay the £3 extra to ensure myself a day's work. Also I claim for my travel expenses via the payroll company, as the agency and the payroll people advised me, it's not much but it adds up as a bit extra and kind of balances out the cost of travelling to places further away.
  11. It's worth mentioning that some agencies incorporate working away from home allowances which include meals and travel costs so they appear to be paying more. Where travel costs are not offset against income tax you can claim this at the end of the tax year. The tax refund that this generates will help cover the lean times over the summer.
  12. The agencies I work for all do payroll through a payroll company - so I get paid through the same company regardless of who I work for - and the payroll company's website is really simple for filling in expenses - mileage you put in odometer readings, they automatically provide £16ish per day subsistence allowance, and you can put in for travel by public transport and (I imagine, though I haven't claimed for anything else) other expenses relating to work. I know that if you have clothes you solely wear for work I think you can claim for them (tricky area though!) and laundry costs for "uniforms" (i.e. PE dept).
    My payroll company recently decided you can scan in receipts, etc to make things simpler! This is probably super easy if you have a phone with a camera as you can just take a picture (I do this with all my timesheets).
    It's definitely worth seeing what you can claim for and how to do it!
  13. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I also registered with them 2 years ago and paid for a CRB and then heard nothing more.
    I joined because of the 'pay to scale' rhetoric as they were the new outsourced supply agency for one of my LAs. They are promoted on the LA website.
    They don't pay properly to scale, however! They use the 1265 Directed Tiem hours of a f/t permanent member of staff and pay supply teachers for 5 of those hours for each day worked. they don't pay more hours if you take on a longer-term placement thta requires you to plan and asssess and attend meetings and parents evenings and write reports etc.
    Also you cannot pay into the TPS . The LA saves a fortune by offloading the direct payment of supply teachers.
    My other LA has also outsourced the supply service to an agency but all work in the county is passed through the books of the new agency consortium witht he LA and is paid by the LA, at full daily rate (annual salary divided by 195 max working days), meaning that a day of work means being paid the equivalent of 6.3 Directed Time hours and thus getting pro-rata holiday pay in the same ratio as permanent staff do (work 39 weeks and get 13 paid holiday weeks). TPS membership is alos honoured.
    Your first port of call should be to all the LAs that you can easily travel to. Find out if they have their own supply pool and get registered.
    You could also circulate your CV to individual schools giving your availablity for daily or longer-term work.
    Check if your local LA has any refresher Courses for returners to the profession.

  14. ... my local supply agency used the umbrella company Giant to pay wages, including allowances for travel costs etc, but their weekly charge was more than the allowances! I am now claiming my own tax relief free of charge. There must be a case for bringing the agencies in line with set pay scales and allowances.
  15. Blondegirl, I wait until the off-peak period to travel home from cancelled jobs as, since i am not being paid for the day, I cannot claim it back on ISS, or the like.
  16. I doubt that umbrella pay companies give you any advantage. As has been said, the charges that htey levy are more than any 'savings' you might make and some make a weekly charge to remain registered, whether you have any work or not.
  17. Hi

    You say you are claiming your own tax relief? My agency told me that this was not possible and that I would have to use their umbrella company. I am reluctant to do so due to the company's weekly charges (40 pounds per week)
    Anyone know of a company to use that would charge lower than this?

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