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Thinking about going on supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Shabas, May 26, 2011.

  1. I have decided to offer myself as a supply teacher. Last time I did this I registered with the LEA supply list. This system seems to have changed, most supply teachers seem to be registered with an agency (who obviously take part of the pay for introduction to a school etc) Any advice on whether I HAVE to register with an agency, or can I just mail shot local schools?
  2. I am looking at supply for Sept 2011 if I don't get a long-term post by then...from what I understand so far, schools now work in different ways. Some areas still have the old-style LEA supply list. Some areas rely more on their local agencies. Some schools have their own supply list who they will contact direct. It's probably worth your while looking into all the options for your area and not putting all your eggs in one basket but signing up with more than one. Perhaps a few of your local schools would advise you which supply agencies they tend to use.
  3. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The trouble with only contacting schools yourself is the CRB issue. You can't get an enhanced CRB yourself so need the school to apply for one (they might do that if taking you on for a long-term post or if they intended to use you regularly), or the LA supply register or a private agency.
    Private agencies will charge you for the CRB and some will refund the charge once you've done a certain number of bookings for them. I paid for one last year and got no work; I paid more than the actual CRB fee as the agency added an admin fee for processing it!
    You can claim tax relief on any CRBs, which at least gets you 20% back in tax rebate or, if added to your current year tax code, reduces the tax that you pay in the first place.
    Check out the LA supply register first and if it no longer exists in its old format ask if they now have a nominated local agency and does it pay to scale.
    If there is no supply register, consider applying to an adjoining LAs register if travelling to their schools is feasible.
    Be aware that most of the vacancies that previously went to qualified supply teachers are now being undertaken by Cover Supervisors. Many supply teachers have had to capitulate and accept CS work and CS rates of pay (under half of official teacher pay). I have resisted b ut my recent P60 shows that I was paid just over £3k gross in the last financial year. In 2007-8 I earned well over £20k!
    Agencies are even haggling with teachers over their contracted hourly or daily rates!
    It's becoming a cut-throat business. Schools are only making part-day bookings (I've had mainly 2,3 or 4 hour bookings and very few full days this year) and require CSs to teach when it is not in their job description. Agencies are then trying to make more out of the employee by claiming that you can only get a morning sessional rate of 3 hours even when the school's timetable has 4 hours of lessons before lunch!
    My TA friend has been required to teach on several afternoons per week at her Primary school. In the last school year she was paid double for those sessions. This school year, she has been used for full days as a teac her and is only allowed to claim one extra hour of TA pay for those days!
    Everyone is expecting the lowest paid and those without contracts to take the hit for all the cut-backs in the system. I now feel I have little to lose and have been making waves with the people at the LA who are ultimately responsible for my outsourced agency (pay still comes from the LA).
  4. I have just registered with an agency as I did a bit of research in my area and found this agency was the one the schools all use (they pay the lowest rate too at £105 per day). I have agreed to take TA work at £50 as I think this is still more than jobseekers if I get 2 days in a week! On another note, my mum's friend, a MLF specialise in middle/secondary took her CV round to the local schools and introduced herself, even met the HT if she could, and the schools agreed to take her for supply freelance (although she is paid PAYE through LEA). I am thinking about doing this myself. She gets primary supply with the school (middle school) and teaches all subjects asked of her and her rate of pay is much better than an agency. On the plus side though my agency told me today that there may be holiday work for nursery assistants in day nurseries who don't follow terms/holidays, so at least I can get some work.

    Rather than mail shot I would definitely visit the schools, well dressed. Even if its just to speak with office the HT may ask what they thought of you.

    As for CRB you can get other organisations to do your CRB, my husband used to work for a staff vetting company and they take a small admin fee to do your CRB. Google staff vetting/crb. The local police sometimes can suggest who does them. My supply agency charged me the £44 when I registered to have it done. ALso get it done before the before the summer influx of NQTs as the current wait isnt too long.

    Some schools use agencies for all work, some ask you back individually once you have been through the agency one (not really encouraged but they do) and others will take freelancers.
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You may well be able to get a CRB through a vetting company but that's no guarantee that the LA or schools will accept it.
    I have a CRB with one LA and it's useless for getting work in the neighbouring LAs. I had one CRB with the LA outsourced agency ina neighbouring LA and it was not acceptable for working in the same LAs schools if not sent by that agency.
    Once 3 months have passed and i've had no work from my LA, my CRB is deemed expired. I have to push to get any teaching work, even just an hour, in July or I need a new CRB in September when hardly any supply work is on offer.
    My private agency got me no work last year and my CRB with them expired after 12 months. They all have their own rules on when to 'risk' employing you and when they need the reassurance of another CRB.
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    If you're very lucky there will still be a few schools in your LEA who pay you to scale, whether arranged by an agency or not. You should be aware however that an increasing number will only pay agency flat rate (a variable rate from one agency to the next), or Cover Supervisor rate, which is basically abysmal but better than nothing at all.

    In short, it's a lottery and a bloody mess.

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