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The awkward moment when...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by emmalcm1, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    a school think they're doing you a favour by offering you longer term work at cover supervisor rate and expect you to jump at the chance.

    Today I had not one but two staff mention that they needed someone to replace a cover supervisor for a few weeks soon because they are taking the place of someone else who is going to be off. One actually interrupted a lesson I was covering to do so. On my way out, I was asked by someone in the office if I was interested and I felt a bit awkward being put on the spot. I didn't really know what to say for the best but told her I'd have to wait and see because being a teacher, if someone offers me teaching work with higher pay in the mean time I would obviously have to take it. She said she understood but I genuinely believe they think they are doing me a favour by asking and that I would leap at the chance.

    I had a teacher from the same school mention last week that they would need a CS for a few weeks soon as she would be off soon and she 'couldn't think of anyone better to cover it than me because I have a lovely rapport with the children' (she had clearly only looked through the window when I had the occasional well behaved class then!).

    This school only ever wants to pay CS rate and quite frankly the behaviour is appalling. I always come out stressed up to the eyeballs and with measly pay, therefore it is a school I will go to if I'm not offered anything else to pay bills, rather than one I would choose to go to.

    I don't know what to do if they ask again, whether to tell my agency I would want higher pay for it or whether to just say no bearing in mind the stress involved...but then it would be a few weeks of knowing where I am and not spending a fortune on travel because it is quite local. I also don't want to totally offend the school because it is a school I fall back on sometimes. Basically the school want me but I don't really want them! Has anyone else been this position or similar?
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    And guaranteed income. I think this is why they think they are doing you a favour, especially at this time of year.

    If you don't want to do it, say you've got something else lined up... although obviously if you do that, you won't be able to fall back on this school during the period you're supposedly "busy".
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi emm

    Don't accept the post at cover supervisor rates; hold out for a teacher' rate youndeserve better. Don't feel pressurised by the agency or the school and for anything long term at the school you mention with appalling behaviour you should avoid altogether. I know you have bills to pay, but something better will come along. The money you receive will not be worth the stress involved.
    Yoda- and emmalcm1 like this.
  4. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter


    If you decide to go back as cover supervisor make it very clear you will not be preparing work, marking, staying after 3pm or whenever,....

    You could ask for a Cover Supervisor's Job Description...
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You could ask for a Cover Supervisor's Job Description...

    To take all the worst classes because their teachers are fed up with them and are taking a day off to do something else less stressful.
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    OK, perhaps I asked for that, Peakster. Made me smile.

    When I did a long term supply over 20 years ago I had to attend a course. When I got back I had a puzzling conversation about my group with the teacher who had covered. Eventually we twigged that the HoD had taken my top set and got the teacher to cover his bottom set.

    What I meant was that by asking for job description Emmalcm1 could point out that for less pay she should be doing less work....or that they won't be getting a teacher on the cheap..
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  7. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    "You pay peanuts and you get monkeys" and yes I'm a CS. Eeeek!
    If the school wants you that much then make them pay for you. You don't have to put it that bluntly, how about "I'm free tomorrow but I can't commit further as a teaching job could come up."
  8. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    As for the 'you're better than our regular teacher' i hear that every day along with 'we havent had any proper teachers for ages'.. I really feel for them when they say that and you can tell they REALLY mean it. I have done 13 weeks now and kids keep asking me why I cant stay, that they like my subject now and that they have learnt more in that time than the last year.
    Its not awkwars, its a compliment and you should accept it as that humility. I do a good job and I may, just may, have changed a few lives in a short time for the better. What more can you ask for.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  9. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Accept it as that with humility....blooming ipad and fat fingers
  10. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    It sounds like they want a teacher 'on the cheap'. CS rates can vary widely; from £80 per day to £7 per hour.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  11. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    Thanks for your replies everyone. I am trying not to be pressurised by anyone but I feel pressurised/ stressed out in general at the moment by my work situation. I am trying to get out of teaching ideally due to total lack of jobs for my subject but I'm not getting very far and I had another knock back yesterday for a learning mentor job (thought I'd try something related but not actual teaching). My husband works full time so money wise that's something but I can't help but feel bad that he's supporting us financially a lot more than I am. Things are still not easy money wise even with his wages coming in and we're attempting to save a mortgage deposit as well because we feel like we're throwing a lot of money away each month by renting. I've reached a point where I just don't know how much more I can take and I can't see a way out.

    Back to the 'job'...I definitely have no intention of doing it for CS pay, the stress is just not worth it. They are talking about a measly £60 per day and I have to have some self respect. At that low a wage I'm not even sure they would be willing to negotiate anyway. It made me quite angry actually that they thought it was such a great deal when they know they're just trying to get someone reliable on the cheap.
  12. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    So as I suspected when I was asked to go the school for a day today (which I dd as wasn't offered anything better), I was hassled by school/ agency about it. I have explained to the agency and again to the school that I'm not prepared to commit to it because it would involve missing out on days elsewhere that are less stressful with substantially higher pay. The school had just told the agency I didn't seem very interested as if they didn't know why when I had already explained this to them. I also pointed out that I am already booked in for 2.5 days teaching my subject in a far nicer school next week and there was no way I was giving that up for CS in a very stressful school since they wanted the 5-6 weeks they wanted me for to start on Monday. The agency said they would speak to school and ring me back...that was at about 12ish and they haven't as yet so I'm assuming the school aren't prepared to negotiate.

    The really infuriating thing is that I spoke to a teacher from Ranstad there today and she was being paid nearly double what I was for doing the same job. Not only that but when I had a free lesson I was asked to go into her class because 'you know what you're doing and she doesn't'!

    There was also one point in the day when I was telling a child off just outside the classroom after asking them to leave the room for their awful behaviour. SLT happened to walk past and miracles they actually did something! Then told the child that 'Miss is not just a supply she is a valued member of staff who covers when teachers are off and has been coming here for longer than you have!'. I felt like laughing and asking why aren't I paid as a 'valued member of staff then?!'

    I reckon they can go and find some other mug to take advantage of!
  13. bonnie1

    bonnie1 Senior commenter

    I was told by one agency a couple of years ago that my pay was going to be less than I thought I'd agreed, I objected to it and they said they would pay me that day, but they couldn't put me in that school again as the school refused to pay what I wanted. I spent many a day at that school. I did find out though, that this school that wouldn't pay my asking rate was paying a teacher from another agency £30 more than what they said the school would pay in the beginning. I was very cross. We all fear not getting work if we ask for too much, but sometimes you have to negotiate, especially if you are asked back a lot.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  14. tcoll123

    tcoll123 New commenter

    bonnie1, just so you know- it isn't usually the school that decides your daily rate. The school pays the agency and then the agency, usually, will pay as little a they can get away with. If the other teacher was paid more it's not necessarily because the school was paying the agency any more (though they might have been) it was that the agency was giving up more of their margin to pay the teacher.

    Utlimately, you have to negotiate your rate with the agency, and it's usually rubbish if they say they'll "ask the school", because it's very easy to shift the blame to the school that way when they say no.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  15. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    Well I feel like I made a small victory today because the agency rang me again today with a much better offer that I've decided to take (in the same school, paid as a teacher but no marking or anything involved as will be doing general cover). The behaviour leaves a lot to be desired and ideally I'd prefer somewhere else but it does mean I have work paid properly right til the end of term. I could do with the couple of good weeks wage wise with the 2 weeks holidays fast approaching.

    I do get that impression sometimes! I've been told by a few people that certain agencies literally give you half of what they charge the school. A month or two back I was asked to go to a school for the morning and the agency randomly knocked down the rate compared to usual. When I complained they said the school had squeezed them down because they said they would go to another agency if they didn't send people cheaper. They said they'd pay me the usual this time because they had failed to tell me but strangely enough, when I told them I was not prepared to go back to that school if the rate was going to be lower, the rate went back to normal! I'm pretty sure it was just the agency trying to make a few more quid.

    Having said that, the school I was referring to in this thread must have only been paying for a CS because when I said to the member of staff who organises supply that I couldn't commit to doing several weeks for CS wage when I might be offered work as teacher elsewhere, she didn't question it. I do wonder though if sometimes agencies are being paid for a teacher but only paying out for CS? Who knows.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Well done emm

    It is great to hear that you have work up until end of term with a better rate. Always stand firm for the rate you deserve. Supply teaching is not easy and you will earn every penny especially if the behaviour is difficult.

    Thinking of you and wishing you all the best for your new job.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  17. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Good to see it worked out for you...
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  18. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

  19. bonnie1

    bonnie1 Senior commenter

    The point is, I had negotiated a general daily rate with the agency and they failed to tell me that it would be a little less that day until I was half way through it. That is very naughty! Now I insist that the job details and rate are emailed to me.Not that that did me much good recently when I was told I was getting a full day no matter what time I got there and was only paid a half.

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