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Supply Teaching - Can you go private with schools?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by rahmara, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Hi Kyrie,
    I started doing primary (EYFS) supply teaching last year and from what I've been told, you have to be booked in through the agency. However if the school does approach you and they say that they are willing to pay you (invoice) then that should be okay.
  2. Hi. I think it depends on where you live. I've never worked for an agency and am employed directly by the LA. When I originally went on supply I sent a CV and a covering letter to all the schools in the county, I also went in person to visit the schools most local to me. For years it really paid off, I got loads of work, all paid to scale but, as you are probably aware, supply has tailed off massively. From reading posts on here, it looks like in some areas you have to work for an agency so it's worth finding out if your LA still has it's own supply pool
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Agencies are the newcomers in the supply teaching business.
    Go back about 12 years and most supply was done through Local Authority registration or from teachers approaching schools direct or by retiring teachers being called back when needed.
    You absolutely CAN approach schools direct with your CV and availability. They are more likely to be interested if they have a longer term position coming up (maternity leave etc) and have time to get you CRB'd. Only approach schools where you have not yetbeen introduced by an agency.
    It's actually the whole CRB debacle that has played into the private agencies' hands as they can offer teachers ready to start work. Individ ual teachers can't get a CRB clearance on their own, so they need a school, agency or LA supply register to process one instead.
    Some teachers have set themselves up as self-employed and invoice schools for their services but that is not standard and getting a CRB would still be an issue. If they used regularly at a school, they probably pay for the fee and get the school to process the CRB clearance periodically.
  4. Hi All, I get more work working for myself through schools rather than an agency. I now spend time at mainly the one school, but get work time to time from one or two others. I also have my name on two agency books. This has been since Sept with not a single phone call.
    I also dropped my CV and letter of introduction to every school in the area. I suggest you do this by hand then they have a face to your name. Down side every school you work at has to have a seperate CRB, but unlike the agencies you don't have to pay for them. Also I never turn down work even if I know the class is going to be hard, this way the school will always have you back. As some of you have already mentioned the pay is better . If I were to get agency work it would be just over half of what county pays me. Hope this helps. The leg and paper work will make it well worth while.
  5. Yep the CRB milarky has made the game more difficult.
    Of course you can go private with the schools.
    However problem, working the agencies, the agencies get you in the door, the school sees you perform.
    But then you can't go private with them.
    So it is, and I acknowledge some of my supply colleagues have been successful in operating without agencies. cold calling, but to operate without the backup of an agency. Then the school will have to CRB you.
    Perhaps offer to pay yourself, and wait a few months before it comes through!
    I am secondary, most schools and their awful LEA's have a designated list of 'Quality Mark agencies'
    Quality mark is of no consequence to actual supply teachers.

  6. I suspect that if you already have a CRB from another school, then (rightly or wrongly) a school will accept that on a short term basis - though I've worked in one Secondary school for 2 years now (through direct contact exactly as Robbo above described) and they've never re-checked me... [​IMG]
    Since returning to teaching a few years ago I've discovered that cold-calling (finding the relevant name to write to etc) works better than agencies. One particular agency offered me only 2/3 of what I get going direct to the school. It felt good just walking away thinking, no way, you're not having that!
    I did get 2 days' work from one agency last year - but I wouldn't go back for supply there; it's a tough school and without that initial personal contact it's very isolating.
    Once you're getting a foot in the door in a school, take in biscuits/donuts from time to time - for the staff. Everyone's so harrassed that such a gesture is received with genuine surprise and thanks. A small price to pay if you're going to get more work there...[​IMG]
  7. I've had a chat with so many cover "supervisors" (the people who sort out supply) and their attitude is disappointing. It's a case of "I get paid £6 an hour and I get a blank cheque book to play with, my job is that I get someone in here bloody quicksharp and if the biggest agencies are the best to use, as they'll have the closest member of staff, it doesn't matter what they charge".

    The fing is that (well, at least down here) in order to work for schools direct, you need to go "through the council" and have the council doing your pay stuff. This means that if you were a supply back in the day, before it was farmed out to agencies, the council very reluctantly allowed you to work "through them".

    If you approach a head with any bits of paper or whatever ********, they will pass it on to the jobsworth who doesn't give a f&^%. If you are a limited company with bits of paper showing what a wonderful box ticker you are and how cheap you are, they often won't give a ****, it isn't their money and it's much easier to use one service provider to get the job done. After all, if you are getting paid nothing, you might as well do as little as possible.

    Best of luck. I was in your shoes.
  8. Hi there,

    I've done supply in the past, the first time I registered with two agencies and one kept me busier than the other. Then I had another occasion to do supply work again when we moved into a new area on the boarder of two counties. This time I registered with the LEAs never really got anything and I approached the schools direct, I found one school liked what I did and I was often called back there, then I had another school offer me work that turned into a permanent contract.

    I am now due to terminate my contract with my current secondary school (have been there for some time and had a big fallout with SLT because I refuse to go full time) and am again looking for some supply work. I'd like to approach the schools direct again but not really sure what to write in my letter of introduction this time! Any ideas?
  9. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Some of the above posts are from a much older thread so a lot of the info. there has now been superseded.

    You can try direct but you'll find that in the meantime the agencies have found even more loopholes in the law and conned a lot of schools into so-called exclusivity deals. This means that they are contractually bound only to source their supply from R-nds-d or T--ch-ng P-rs-nn-l and the usual suspects.

    By all means write. What are you offering that the agencies can't? What is your selling point? What do you charge? Do they ,know you? What do you offer that they need?

    In the last couple of years, schools have cut back substantially on admin. staff so you might find that they don't have time to process applications for a job that hasn't been advertised as vacant. Furthermore, they probably already have an couple of in-house cover supervisors who work for something similar to national minimum wage.

    Your best bet is to enquire about PP tutorial or subject specific intervention work at a number of schools.

    There are a few people in this forum who have managed to get some direct work but I have drawn a complete blank in recent years.

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