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Well that's got to top it all...!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by fantastischfish, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Strangest request ever from one agency yesterday: called at 10.30 to ask if I'll go to a local PRU to work as admin for the day answering the phones on reception. Apologies but... ***?!? I was already out and about for the day doing other things so I declined. It would have taken me time to get home and get appropriately dressed, then get to the school. At the most I'd have got about 3 hours pay and I'm guessing not at teacher rate!

    What are these people doing??

    I'm pretty sure this agency is getting rather peed off with me for turning tmdown their work, but this is a summary of their offers so far:

    - one day teaching English (my specialism) in an awful school
    - one day teaching English in a college
    - a day teaching in a PRU which said they didn't need me when I arrived.
    - a placement October to Christmas working as something called a "virtual school" which involved liaising with agencies to write IEPs for looked after kids (I have absolutely no experience doing this)
    - 1:1 tutoring with an excluded pupil who didn't turn up
    - an offer of teaching drama until Easter in the worst school in the area (which other agencies won't work with due to the frequency of supply staff being assaulted)

    All this on a lower rate than my other agency who sends me to decent schools for £140 a day. I'm pretty sure the agent is frustrated with me for saying no, but if she'd just offer me the work I've asked for instead things I'm not qualified for...bonkers!!!
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Some agencies (not all) absolutely do not care about where they send their staff. It is only to do with money and they don't see people: they see money making units.

    Of course not all agencies operate like the way you describe, but many do from what people write on these forums.
  3. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I spent the rest of the day laughing after that admin remedy. Seriously, this woman is have a laugh surely?? Why on earth would a school ring an agency and ask for a qualified teacher to come and answer phones? They and/or she must be mental!
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    *request...not remedy. Not sure why my phone made that replacement. Annoying technology!
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Some London boroughs use agency staff to do home schooling, offering only £10 per hour. Naturally, you get given the cases nobody else wants. I did this for a while but it actually lost me money, as when students didn't turn up, which was frequently, I didn't get paid and had to find my own travel costs. Some of the venues used were awful environments to try and get an unmotivated student to work, like public libraries.
  6. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Precisely, JR. I did one session of 1:1 at a child's new foster home in late November. I really enjoyed it and would happily have gone back. However, Monday morning, as I was halfway there (I'd been booked) I was called to redirected to another student in the public library in the town centre of another town 25 miles drive away. I arrived late, having had to go around several diversions on the ring road, plus find parking in a multi-story. When I made my way into the library, I asked at the desk where I might find the lady and student I was supposed to meet; the library staff had no idea what I was talking about.

    The student in question had refused to turn up and the agency did try to get out of paying me, though I pressed the matter and they agreed in the end. I declined further teaching of that sort on the grounds that teaching a 15 year old boy who'd be permanently excluded, in a public library space where the staff had no idea who I was and why I was there was somewhat unsafe. The agency struggled to see my point.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Thanks for posting JR and Eva

    I had no idea about such practices....meeting kids in libraries to teach? Yea right..kids who can't be bothered to go to school will turn up at a library. Unbelievable.
  8. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Pepper, in the fortnight before Christmas, I had a cushy little job doing 1:1 with a student who'd been excluded for no particular reason (he was a constant low-level pest; he and 3 friends had been excluded but the other 3 were pupil premium and SEN so were allowed back in). Anyway, the school wouldn't allow him on-site, but his managed move had failed so they elected to pay me to tutor him 1:1 for two weeks over the road from the school at the community centre. An appalling waste of money at £200 to the agency.

    It was pretty good actually. This community centre was a converted old manor house, previously belonging to a famous botanist in the 18th and 19th century. I planned my own day scheduled my own breaks, we had access to wifi. It was great.

    It's a shame that didn't continue longer to be honest. The kid was bright and, despite being somewhat angry at his situation with some justification, he was pretty keen to work and do well. He proudly took home his Romeo and Juliet essay at the end of the week because he didn't trust the school to look after it.

    Still a massive waste of funds and I could frankly have been doing anything over in that community centre! Luckily, there were staff members and other business owners around and we worked with our door open.

    I wouldn't be happy working in the public library though. Especially not with no prior arrangement so that library staff knew who I was and what I was doing there. I could be accused of all sorts and no-one would have any idea of the truth. If I was an excluded pupil who didn't want to do my 1:1, I'd probably make up a lie about my tutor.
  9. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I'm guessing that you wouldn't know why they were excluded (assaulting staff, sexually abusive to female staff?)
    but you're meeting them alone. Although you are in a library, who is there to witness what you (didn't) say or (didn't) do?

    edit: crossed posts with Eva
  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Disgraceful grammar resulting from lack of proof-reading! I'm dismayed at myself!
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Don't worry...we won't whip you with a wet noodle.

    A few years ago, I was at a school marking books and I misspelt a very well known word while marking some assessments. The mistake was on every student's work. I was very embarrassed, but what could I do?

    See I have made my confession.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  12. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    All the result of cuts to frontline services while wasting millions on free schools and academies who can exclude anyone. Disaffected kids have needs too. Treating them like they are a burden and putting them in a position where they are bound to rebel is storing up trouble.
    We see the shape of things to come as supply teachers. This cycle of ill informed, overpaid management, unconnected admin., casual staff is the new reality. It's creating a chaotic fringe which can't remain hidden for ever.
    Furthermore library closures and privatisation of community facilities leaves us with no places to teach SEBD kids.
    In the county where I live, the entire service has been cut. Kids as young as 8 whose chaotic home life is the cause of their inability to settle in school are now off the radar with no stable family support. It's pathetic and terribly sad.
  13. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    They've even cut the hospital teacher now, so kids are missing out on GCSEs unless their parents can go private. This is the result of privatisation of public facilities under the guise of reform.
    People still buy the myth of sink schools, weak teachers, bad local authorities when the truth is it was anti-teacher, anti-social services propaganda. The network was big and unwieldly but at least it existed and didn't discriminate.
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    We're all at home now because of this. We can teach. We're available but no, some money making academy chain or shareholder of a recruitment company knows better. Teachers are allegedly the problem. Not the lack of funding, not the punitive system, not lack of community support like Sure Start centres. We're classed as unemployable when it's clear we are not the problem but the potential solution.
    Lara mfl 05 and lizziescat like this.
  15. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    What drives me mad @nearmiss is the support for the junior doctors' strike today (which I fully support) whilst teachers were completely ripped apart by the public.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Maybe the doctors' strike will make give some motivation for teachers to strike, but I see what you mean about the public not supporting teachers.
  17. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It is about relentless bad publicity pre-dating Gove but massively inflated by him. All the cross party evidence, all the international evidence, all the current data clearly indicates that there is a crisis in Education. But it's not falling educational standards that are the problem. It's about running schools like factories. There is no evidence whatsoever that kids learn in a single linear trajectory and must therefore hit externally set, proscriptive targets in a given time frame. It's nonsense. Therefore, only those schools who cook the books reach the targets.
    You reach the targets, you must be cheating, you don't reach the targets, you're failing. Either way you're snookered.
    So the villagers surround the house with pitchforks and burn the witches.

    How much longer will people buy this primitive, illogical argument?

    There is a very convincing body of evidence that clearly demonstrates that redesignating a school as an academy has no more positive effect on its results than leaving it as it was. Try telling that to Nicky Morgan. Try telling that to the Press, most of which is owned by multi millionaire donors to her party.

    Not that the opposition up to now had any better ideas and look what the Press is doing to make them look like terrorists and a public menace now.

    The rules of the market place have no part to play in schools. Why does the Government need to put blatantly misleading adverts on the TV promising £65k salaries for good teachers? It's a lie. Only one in 1000 has that sort of pay. Most teachers earn less than a trainee manager at Aldi. Who do they think will respond to such a transparent bluff? It's not about making square bubbles (about 5 minutes of one lesson in a series of hundreds over the course of secondary curriculum). It's not about making a nice tribal mask or making something go pop in a test tube in some photogenic classroom populated by paid actors. It's not about the moments. It's about the long haul, the slog, the strategy, the planning, the marking, the correcting, the following up, the tenacity. This isn't a Robin Williams movie.

    Someone needs to explain why one of the teachers unions, (and it's not NUT, ATL or NAHT) has refused to protest with their professional colleagues. They are not doing their members any favours.

    We are in the middle of a very aggressive corporate takeover. We are figuratively going to have to stand in front of the tanks in a metaphorical Tianenman Square. This is very serious. This is the end of state education as we know it.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Just to clarify - academies cannot exclude permanently unless there is some alternative provision available.

    Don't know about free schools.
  19. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    So they get round that by not admitting certain kids in the first place. There is growing evidence for this too.
  20. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    LEA schools used to do managed move deals but academies are not part of that network so they don't have to take anyone else's excluded kids.

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