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Supply Teacher Pay

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by danielmorgan12, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. danielmorgan12

    danielmorgan12 New commenter

    Hi all, Happy New Year!

    I am an FE qualified teacher working Supply in York, but looking to move agency as the pay is not what I would expect.

    I am currently working as a Cover Supervisor, which I am being paid £75 - more than what they tell me is normally paid for this type of work, and the very highest they can pay me for this role.

    I am told that some schools in York won’t accept me as a teacher as they need you to have a teacher reference number, so they won’t pay you as teacher. But if they send me to a school which do accept FE, then we can pay you £100 per day.

    However I just find it very strange that when doing the exact same role with another agency in Hull, I was paid much more. I just find it odd that schools in Hull who (some) have less money and resources can afford to pay the higher rate when schools in York can't.

    Although I don't have QTS - I am still a qualified teacher, and although my qualification is in F.E, I have still gained skills and knowledge in developing a curriculum, teaching and learning theory, current educational issues, and behaviour management as well as completing a placement and over 100 hours classroom teaching - as well as an MA - they are getting a highly qualified person for what is essentially peanuts, I just feel there is an issue with that.

    Can anyone help or advise me with this at all?
  2. agathamorse

    agathamorse Senior commenter

    It’s all about budgets, I’m afraid. I’ve been teaching since 1995, am a former HoD and on day to day supply I was getting £110 - £120 a day. On long term £120 - &130 a day before AWR kicked in at M6. Am on a maternity contract directly with a school this year, which ends in June and then will look at finding a job outside of teaching as supply work here in Lincolnshire is drying up.
  3. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    I am also qualified as an FE teacher, and don’t hold QTS but I have a teacher reference number...

    Some agencies list me as a cover instructor, some teacher, some as an unqualified teacher.

    For day to day, I am paid a minimum of £100 as won’t accept less on day to day. One agency tries to book me as a cover supervisor and pay £70 a day, they always fail to get me to accept. The only reason I am still with them is that they found me two short term cover placements in my own subject and paid my expected daily rate, but I didn’t have to plan or mark.
    Lara mfl 05, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  4. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Not all about budgets, in addition there's the factor Whatever the agency/school can get away with.

    I'm doing okay on £195 a day, long-term Maths/Science in West Yorks but @Jolly_Roger15 with a similar age and skill set to me is getting no work at all (or unpaid). Am I a factor of infinity better than him? Though the answer to that is obvious it could also be that I face a lot less competition as I work in bottom-end schools (the 'good' ones don't pay as well, presumably they can pick and choose.)
    Why register with just one agency? Get a portable DBS and sign up with as many as you can find. I'm with 6 and they're all useless apart from the fleetingly useful one that's got me the current gig. That's been true for the last 2 years with over 5 schools and 3 agencies for the long-term gigs.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. maggie_piano

    maggie_piano New commenter

    Its all about competition I am afraid, how many teachers there are with your skills, subject specialisms in your area, whatever the school and the agencies decide, the calibre of schools in your area and the availability of other work- and the number of agencies competing against each other, Some supply I know are registered with lots of agencies and ring them up every morning from 7am to get work . Some supply teachers will not work in difficult schools.

    Why are you not in a permanent Job? Honestly See if you can get something with better prospects. do you still want to be doing this in 20 years time?

    As a qualified teacher of Maths and IT with 30 years experience, I got a days cover which paid me less than I paid my cleaner at the time. All the schools say they are short of Maths teachers, but in some areas the job movement is slow or non existent. Lots of requirement for english teachers at the moment

    Remember you have the option of saying no and walking away. Hope this helps
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  6. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    There isn’t lots of requirements for English teachers, that depends where you are. For example, the north east has a surplus of English teachers. I’m one of them and whilst I’m lucky to be on a maternity cover there aren’t lots of jobs out there for us.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  7. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Lots of Supply teachers here in the West Country, combined with a much reduced requirement for expensive (to the school) Supply teachers.
    The result is less work for more people.
    Daily rates for Supply have increased by about 14% in over 20 years to around £100 per day fpr Primary. However Supply work is becoming MUCH more scarce and so incomes are falling/collapsing.
    Without income from a pension and/or a second job, it may be best to seek alternative, more profitable and secure employment elsewhere.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  8. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    It might not be an FE thing but rather a York thing - I'm not sure about York specifically but I know that in nearby towns, daily cover in secondary schools was only being paid at cover supervisor rates and teacher rates were only available for long term supply...that was a few years ago and things might have changed but I suspect probably haven't
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  9. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    That’s the same as in the north east. Even when schools are asking for specialists they’re often saying CS rates for daily cover.
    As I said to one agency, both schools and agencies should be ashamed of themselves. The only ones who lose are us teachers in the middle.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    I think, although this is probably an obvious thing to say, it’s usually down to agencies squeezing as much as they can out of the teacher. So, if they can find anything to make it look like a reason why you should be paid less, they’ll use it.

    I can’t be sure, as I have no knowledge of this but I have a feeling that when a school requires a teacher from an agency for daily cover, the same rate is paid to the agency and it’s actually down to the agency what fee they pay the individual - whether they call them a cover supervisor, instructor or teacher.

    If this is incorrect, which it may well be, and schools pay different amounts to agencies depending on whether they ask for a cover supervisor or a qualified teacher, then obviously I am wrong and happy to be told so!
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  11. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I have exactly the same feeling but no proof. At least I can afford to follow this feeling and always try push the rate up. I'm hardly ever rung (no coincidence that) on the few times I'm free for day-to-day but at least I know that they must be desperate so can still push.

    To contradict myself, there must be scope for schools to haggle, in the same way that there is scope for the supply teacher to haggle. However the Cover Organiser can't have much time and the agency is the best informed and the best hagglers in these transactions. That only leaves agencies undercutting each other and so giving a discount to the school which is possible. Of course no supply will even find about this discount, let alone get a piece of the action.
  12. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    If the role is purely supervisory, then it is acceptable to describe the role as CS. However, if you have to do any more than hand out sheets and keep the class in order, such as if you have to explain or demonstrate, then that's teaching. It is tantamount to fraud for schools to misdescribe a teaching role as supervising just to save money. Agencies can be in trouble for collusion, if they fail to verify what the school requires and deliberately downgrade the job description just to get the business. It's very prevalent now and the legality is pretty dubious. Equal pay for work of equal value is a tenet of Employment law. It's complicated if a candidate does not hold QTS but the practice of using qualified staff at half the going rate on false pretences needs to be challenged. If you are offered support work, which turns out to be teaching, involve your union.
    pepper5, agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  13. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    But the lines now are blurred.
    For example, I was in a school in October as a CS. I had to cover a physics lesson (I’m an English teacher) and it was supposed to just be complete the questions on the worksheet. However I ended up explaining to the students the maths/formula involved so surely I taught, even though it was out of my subject specialism?

    However unless it’s long term cover most schools aren’t willing to pay up for teachers and will ask for a CS, knowing fine well that more often or not they are going to get a teacher.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  14. HS65

    HS65 Occasional commenter

    More of us need to be open with schools about what we're paid ..... and schools need to be open those discussions too. I'm sure there are some schools where they know and are consciously trying to drive their costs down but there will definitely be others where they just assume we are getting the correct daily rate according to our scale. And I'm sure they think this partly due to the rate they are paying the agencies .... who are pushing at both ends.
  15. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    I said to the agency that they should be ashamed of themselves, touting out qualified teachers as cover supervisors. And I said that (if it were true that schools were asking for cover supervisors) then they should be ashamed of themselves if they knew they were getting actual teachers.

    The only losers in all of this is us, the supply teacher in the middle.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. HS65

    HS65 Occasional commenter

    Totally agree ...... my gut feeling is that generally the schools are fairly innocent in these situations, although could probably be doing more to ensure things a fairer in terms of what they pay and we get.
  17. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    Hmm not necessarily. One school I had an interview for admitted that if it's day to day cover, they'll only pay cover supervisor rates. They only will pay teacher rates for long term supply.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. HS65

    HS65 Occasional commenter

    Well, in that case lets hope they get a cover supervisor who just "supervises" then.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    There's a basic problem here.

    The Cover Organiser is is usually extremely over-worked and needs to find a body to stick in front of the kids. The HoD (also over-worked) needs someone to deliver a lesson and doesn't want to plan and resource it themselves. The HoD and Cover Organiser rarely have the time or inclination to communicate. Both know the school needs to save money. Throw in an agency which is after a large profit for itself then it can only be bad for the supply teacher.

    The only time CS rates are acceptable is when the proper teacher knew he was going on a course (or whatever) and leaves detailed work and resources. Of course this discount is very easily blurred with sickness absences and is abused all the time. Teachers should refuse such exploitation but that is easier to say than do, especially as you can be in lesson 1 before you find the horrible truth. And mortgages don't pay themselves.

    My solution to this is to stick to long-term supply and as Maths/Science I can get a high salary. But I'm hardly ever rung on my few unemployed days, almost certainly because I can afford to refuse the misuse above.

    This is all Secondary experience but I suspect primary is very similar.
    Rott Weiler and agathamorse like this.
  20. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Advantage of primary would be that you could justifiably go home without marking the books on a CS rate.... (not happened to me)..
    agathamorse likes this.

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