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Supply - workload

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Nadine86, May 20, 2019.

  1. Nadine86

    Nadine86 New commenter

    I'm fairly new to supply and I have just been given a supply contract for one term. I chose to do supply, as I feel that permanent teaching posts are too stressful for me at the moment.

    I am a little concerned about the workload, as I am expected to plan lessons and mark books/assessments. I understood this when I took the job, however, I am regularly asked to cover lessons during my free periods.

    Thus, I am forced to stay late after school to plan my lessons and finish my marking. I am in the same position as I was when I was a permanent teacher but with less job security and unpaid holidays. Is this an issue that I should raise? Or should I just keep my head down?
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Unfortunately as you've found, it is quite usual, when doing long-term to do all the 'normal duties' of full-time teachers, but without job security or being paid during the holidays. However your rate of pay should reflect this and be slightly higher than ordinary day-to-day supply.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Lara is right...ensure you are getting a fair daily rate. It should be higher than a day to day rate.

    You have to stand up for yourself because if you do not no one else will as the school and cover manager are not showing professionalism by using you for cover during your free periods. The agency won't care since as far as they are concerned you are not a human being but a way to make them loads of money.

    Diplomatically perhaps speak to your agency and tell them you need your free periods like everyone else so you can plan appropriately and mark etc..

    If they do not then give your notice if you think you will find work elsewhere but it is almost the end of term then six weeks before summer by break. You need to be with more than one agency.

    Agencies and schools follow no rules and will use you and exploit you if you let them. If you dropped dead at the whiteboard from exhaustion, they would simply call someone to collect your body and then be on the phone for your replacement.

    Don't spend years like I did lining the pockets of agencies and being treated badly by some schools because I was too frightened to speak up because I needed the money.

    Yes, raise the issue and you can do it pleasantly. Just say, I am enjoying my placement, but I need my frees so I can plan and mark to a good standard.

    Try to get some additional knowledge/skills somyou can escape supply teaching if at some point you have had enough.
  4. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    As said above, usually when you take on long(er) term supply (I think that is considered 4 weeks or more?) then the school will expect you to attend all meetings, water the plants and check the tyres of the bus before going on trips.

    What you can and should do if your rate has not been increased is mention this to the agency. They have the comfort of a term's cut on your wages so should be prepared to give you more of it. (I think I got an extra tenner per day on long term).

    Also, remind yourself you only have to put up with this for one term so yes, do a good job but don't go all mad about being perfect. Bin what can be binned (about 90% of things) and let that side of it take care of itself.
    agathamorse, pepper5 and Nadine86 like this.
  5. Nadine86

    Nadine86 New commenter

    Thank you for your response! I am dying to escape teaching in general but I can't afford to take the courses that I need. The SL company does not fund a second degree and I am eager to become a Psychotherapist - I have no qualifications in Psychology. So I am a bit stuck
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Perhaps you could study for the qualification you need through the Open University. You might have to make a lot of sacrifices but if you are young then you could make the switch. It won't happen overnight but it is possible and perhaps there are bursaries or grants.

    Keep your outgoings low and save all you can even if it means living with parents.
    agathamorse, Lara mfl 05 and Nadine86 like this.
  7. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    When I had one longer term supply job, the school used me to teach, releasing their PPA teacher as they said I wasn’t entitled to the ‘frees.’

    They are paying a lot for supply, not always knowing that hardly any of it gets back to the supply teacher, so they want value for money. I get that.

    However, I always remembered I was getting sixty pounds ( net pay) per session ( even with a slight increase on day- to-day). I negotiated out of all but essential meetings, did all my marking while I was there and never stayed beyond 4pm. (Except on Fridays, when I did all prep for Monday so not to take work home.) When asked to do a scheme of work, one holiday, I asked the agency to pay me extra and they did.

    Surprise, surprise, I got glowing reports for my impact on the pupils and the year team staff. I just wished I had discovered that you don’t need to kill yourself to do a good job, earlier in my career.

    Look after yourself.
  8. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    This is great. Crack on or go and work at the local bacon packing factory. This is the nature of supply these days.

    I am of the estimation that some academies may be (and I haven't done the maths) paying for the very cheapest agency staff to get around all of their employers responsibilities. Several schools I've been in have had a significant percentage of supply staff. This wasn't the case "back in the day"

    Sadly, as supply staff, the door (exit to the world of unemployment and minimum wage factory graft) is there. There are a zillion supply teachers, due to the total oversupply of general teaching staff. The agencies could pay min wage and people would do it.
  9. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    Sorry you are going through this, I remember the days. Were you clear with them (or yourself) at the start what you would and would not do?

    At the end of the day you are not on contract so do not enjoy the same perks - therefore do not do all the things they do.

    Eg. mark 1 set of books a day, the rest peer mark or acknowledge. "So which books shall I mark today?" Is what you can ask during PPA.

    If you are expected to go to meetings, make sure you access training too, even in-house training.

    The more you do the more they will expect so do less - or do enough, not more. And I hope you're getting a good rate. Finally start to collect open references from now.

    Good luck.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi MsOnline

    Welcome to the forum.
    Nadine86 likes this.
  11. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Hi Nadine

    Yes long term supply is expected to do proper job for less money. Sorry.

    But you can probably pick and choose bits you’re going to do conscientiously- you can pick your priorities.

    What is your notice period? Might be worth finding out. A phone call to the agency “I’d like to give my 1 weeks notice, I can’t possibly do this job for £x per day....”.

    They might accept this or offer higher pay.

    In time you should be able to ask for higher pay anyway.

    After 12 weeks including half term you should be paid to scale 1/195 x your MPS pay. (Some manage to get UPR rate but I think that’s rare).

    Good luck
  12. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    Thank you.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You are welcome

    Hope you are enjoying the site. If you have time, you might like to get an avatar for yourself; that way, when people see it, they know immediately who is posting. Also helps when sending private messages since it ensures you have the right person.
  14. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    Hi, really useful. Sometimes teachers don't have / find the time to network - which can make things difficult especially as asking questions in you own can lead to gossip.

    They should promote the site to all new teachers.

    Might consider the avatar - yours is impressive I must say :)
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  15. hellyhoolie

    hellyhoolie New commenter

    Check online for MA psychology conversion courses. Student loans will fund a PG degree x
  16. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Is this the case with agencies though? I know councils do this if you work through them but I think with agencies it is down to you to argue for a better rate?

    Or maybe there has been a recent law change? (I have been away overseas quite a while!)
  17. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Ah OK is answered on TES:

    'The agency is still the employer, which means they are in charge of setting the rate of pay and the conditions of employment. But AWR states that it is the school’s responsibility to provide the agency with the most up-to-date information about their terms and conditions to enable agency staff to receive the same treatment as if they had been recruited directly. This can affect the rate that is charged by the agency, so be sure to discuss this before that 12-week mark is reached.'

    Still sounds a bit to me like the agency can do as it pleases and probably will but yes, that you can use this to exert pressure for a bit more cash after 3 months.

    And yes was law from 2010.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    In practice - it can still be very tricky to get additional money after 12 weeks.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  19. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    Or you could keep your head down but slowly back away and change your current working patterns silently. Unfortunately this is an all-too-common story but supply can be really beneficial if your boundaries are defined from the start.

    Are you planning to stay at the school in Sept? If not, start making moves now: ask for general references, join new agencies, start looking around and make a list of things you are willing and not willing to do, given the constraints of being a 'supply teacher'. Remember to put your goals first and anything that impedes that - try to address it.

    Good thing is that you'll have more expertise under your belt and money till the end of term. Not all supply teachers are even approached to take on classes.

    Send me a conversation if you'd like specific tips. Good luck.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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