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What are some things that irritate you as a supply teacher?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by andrew07, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. andrew07

    andrew07 Occasional commenter

    What are some things that really get on your nerves in regards to agencies and supply teaching. I will admit my agencies are very good and care about their supply teacher. However, I understand that other teachers have had no-so-pleasant experiences. How about sharing them.
  2. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hi Andrew07,

    1. no access to TPS, while CEO's of said supply agencies and shareholders fill their pockets.

    2. no free CPD from agencies


  3. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    3. no pay to scale

    4. Umbrella companies- even Tesco couldn't get away with dodgy accounting, how long before teachers are hounded by HM Tax Inspectors?

    5. Holiday pay?

    6. No clear guidance of professional indemnity or insurance. If it goes terribly wrong in a school the supply will be the first in firing line.

    7. A supply teacher got stabbed in Dixon's academy- is anyone liable to ensure he will be paid or have both the school and his agency done a Pontius Pilot and washed their hands of him?
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The worst part about being a supply teacher is being a supply teacher
  5. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    No parking. Especially if there has been no prior warning.
  6. RaggyBull

    RaggyBull New commenter

    When a teacher leaves a note (or sends a last minute email) asking if you could do something on 'prepositions' for example with no resources provided.
  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    No, no one is liable to ensure he's paid.

    He will, eventually be able to make a claim from the criminal injuries compensation board, and I've just run through an on-line calculator that I filled in based on my guesses about the extent of his injuries from the reports in the media and it seems he might get £3,500.

    Obviously he can take legal action against the child but as the child won't have any money, there's no point in that.

    I expect the school won't pay him because they simply don't have to and will say that they can't spend taxpayers' money like that. The agency won't pay him because they don't have to.

    I'd love to hear that my pessimism is wrong. If anyone knows if the school or agency actually is paying him, do please let us all know!
  8. andrew07

    andrew07 Occasional commenter

    You said nothing but the truth Paul. My pet peeve is the parking situation. I also don't like schools telling agencies that they "may" need someone.
  9. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    The worst part about being a supply teacher is seeing the position of supply teacher die before your eyes. Everyone wants a piece of the corpse, the schools, the agencies, every self-important one of them. Me me me, what I can get for me, looking good by spending less of the schools budget, looking good for my agency shareholders. Meanwhile, unions turn their backs in embarrasment. Schools harp on about their philanthropic engagement with communities by embracing local people to take on the role of covering classes....they too might one day get to be teachers.....look how good we are, investing in our communities....simper.

    I used to love it.... Supply "made" me the teacher I am and then after it was all said and done, the situation transported my by the aerial ropeway to the spoil heap, where I sit outside of the perimeter of the school, outside of the earshot of other colleagues, union officials and they can happily carry on deceiving themselves that there are lots of jobs, schools are crying out for science and maths teachers and poor old us, we are over worked and under valued.

    It is a sad indication of how things are when parts of a profession see that it is acceptable to see other parts beaten up and then cut loose. I am alright jack. The unions are alright jack as well. When our contracted colleagues experience the smallest thing, like only a 1% payrise this year (outside scale) we have strikes, people downing tools, filling their self important bins up with burny things and making a fuss.

    F&%^ 'em. Where is the solidarity? I was continually aware that a classroom assistant was higher up the food chain in the school than supply TEACHER me. So much for being a valued member of a profession. Then you have academies and the nasty party doing things to rip up the payscale and make being a professional irrelevant. Whilst this is an awful shame for the students, as far as I am concerned, the self-interested and selfish staff can all boil in the hot water they have facilitated the heating of.

    Last week, following a very long period of scraping like hell, my company made £10000 in 7 days. I do feel sorry for you lot still trying to cut it in the habitat which is hostile to supply teachers. I do very very much resent the fact that people are being herded through academia and equipped with expensive qualifications in order to join a big holding compound of people scratching their heads at where the jobs are. It is a shambles and all of the people involved in this process are complicit in allowing it to arrive where it has, thoroughly grounded on a reef, high and dry.

    Now, I wonder. Since everyone was too busy focussing on trivia and self, Academies were created and a massive massive oversupply of teachers created.....as well as a psychological schism between the perms and everyone else, now what was that about our contracted colleagues precious payscale being up for the chop.

    I imagine lots of you would quite happily work for £18k a year teaching. It is most certainly better than £12.5k at ASDA.

    Moany moany moan.

    To answer the question, What irritates me most?

    Wasting 4 years of my life training for a job that I was great at, having the misfortune of being on a temp contract and entering a dying supply reality when the music stopped in the credit crunch. I am very very very angry about the whole thing. The people "on board the train" treat those not on board it with utter contempt and at the very bottom of the pile, being trodden into the excrement are the supply teachers.

    What upset me the most?

    The continual hand wringing horror and dread of money worries.
  10. sopsychedout

    sopsychedout New commenter

    Things which irritated me as a Supply Teacher (I am not one anymore) were:

    1. Fake friendly 'consultants'.

    2. Constant e-mails from agencies long after i've stopped being a supply teacher and told them many times that I am no longer a supply teacher and do not need work.

    3. Consultants trying to bully me into being paid via Umbrella (which in my view is a pay arrangement which is criminal. Firstly because I believe the arrangement is verging on illegal despite what these consultants argue. Secondly because I don't see why i should pay someone to pay me for work that I've done. This is worse than working for nothing).

    4. Having to inform the tax office about my constant change of tax codes.

    5. Spending money I didn't have on travel fares for interviews and then hearing nothing.

    6. The constant demands to get a new DBS (or CRB as it was then) every time I spoke to an agency.

    7. Agencies who paid my fellow fully qualified teacher colleagues at poor rates.

    8. Colleges/schools who treated short-term supply teachers with less respect than other members of staff. E.g. Giving them badges saying supply instead of staff or referring to them as the supply instead of bothering to learn their names (fortunately, this never happened to me as I only ever did long-term supply because of my subject specialism and preferences).
  11. sopsychedout

    sopsychedout New commenter

    PS. the rigmarole of getting my weekly forms filled in and sent off to the agency
  12. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Lack of access to TPS! This would make me want to stay on supply permanently.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter


    Good news on your company's success.

    There are places where there still is a genuine shortage of Science and Maths teachers.
  14. Flapwell

    Flapwell New commenter

    After this week I just feel really sad for the children who do want to learn in the worst school I've been too. Yes it was in a fairly poor area but I've also worked in excellent schools in deprived areas,and I'm not talking OFSTED.

    Today I was at at lovely school and just found myself thinking that if the child in tears in the afternoon yesterday was there, he would thrive.
  15. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Don't believe it and I'll illustrate why with a story of two schools.

    This school year since Sept 2014 95% of my work has been in just two schools (lets call them A and B). Both are a similar commuting distance from my home and so should attract the same jobseekers. Indeed some of the kids in school B live very close to school A. There is no major difference in the local intake of students but school B does manage to attract students from well outside their area.

    So whats the difference?

    Both have advertised for Science teachers in the last year. School A received no candidates whereas B was able to fill every post from full selection boards of very suitable candidates. I do not believe that any of the failed candidates from school B has applied for school A positions even though they know there are vacanicies there. I do know that, at least, one unsucessful candidate told me there was no way he would apply for a post in school A and is still looking.

    So when a school claims there is a shortage of teachers they need to think just why is it there is a shortage for them but not others.
  16. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    The worst thing for me about being a supply teacher is not getting any work!!!
  17. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    Cheers Peakster....I will be happy when I have enough money to consistently live....not scraping and then winning the lottery and then back to scraping.

    I keep an eye on the jobs, I'm not sure why. it's like stalking an ex on facebook. I feel jilted by the whole process. The SW is same mess it has been for years. You've got the local SCITT, the local GTP and 2 colleges rammed with about 50 prospective teachers. Marjons boasts about how 95% of it's students got jobs*

    * In this case, a job can be defined as anything where the candidate is not on holiday, or benefits.

    The maths doesn't add up. You have about 50 prospective teachers chasing about 6 or so permanent jobs a year. What is more sick is that they are paying £9k to join this wretched queue. We will ignore those from last year. It's the same in every subject and the same across the country. "You could always go to London, after all, the streets are paved with gold and although it's difficult, they are crying out for teachers". Again, you've got training institutions providing many many many more staff than can be accommodated.....but they all drop out and are not teaching after 2 years. This is because teaching is so awful and no-one really understands what it's like to have a vocation, no-one understands how much energy it takes to CARE so much. Rubbish.

    What I got out of supply was an actual view of how the big picture is. I remember a guy called Dale at a Plimuff school. A really talented and well liked chap. The students loved him. I said "how's it going" and he told me a tale of being bullied, being told that he wouldn't get re-hired, because that was the decision of his HOD who was the bully. I noted so many sick anecdotes like a UN Scientist with a Doctorate from Oxford, who was incredible not getting re-hired and someone's daughter getting the job. <strong style="font-size:12px;">[This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines][/b]

    Following teaching in every kind of school imaginable, the learning outcome for me is that my own children, should I eventually be able to afford to breed, will not participate in the school system. It is utterly broken. On that note, I'll leave it there. !
  18. Jo Shmo

    Jo Shmo New commenter

    How long have you got??

    Not being paid to scale.

    Not being paid for the holidays.

    Not getting sick pay.

    Scarcity of work

    Not being respected for my 10+ years in the profession

    Children acting up because you're the supply

    Teaching assistants suddenly having a display that has to be finished urgently, in the staffroom, with a biscuit

    Senior staff telling children that just because there's a supply there's no excuse for poor behaviour, which cues up everybody to misbehave who hadn't thought of it already

    Being exploited by agencies and umbrellas companies and no-one giving a stuff, least of all the union

    Consultants telling you there's a school right around the corner, which means two buses and a train ride away.

    Consultants who say it's a "lovely school" based on a nice chat with the Head, but with no concept what it is actually like to teach there. Or anywhere, because these people don't have the backbone to teach.

    Finding that schools everywhere are engaged in the same time wasting beaurocracy.

    And for balance, a few pluses:

    Punching the air at 4pm because your working day is done

    Free evenings

    Free weekends

    No planning

    No Parents' Evening

    No reports

    No Ofsted

    No meetings

    Teaching a variety of age groups

    Of course, most of these benefits apply to daily supply, not long term.

    I think I'v ebeen in this game too long!
  19. teslagirls1

    teslagirls1 New commenter

    Jo Schmo your response was spot on and made me smile :) I get irritated by teachers who stroll in at half 8 when you have been there for 40 minutes, missing laptops or passwords which make the IWB redundant and the fact that no school ever seems to have written a single pe plan (of course I'd love to do benchball in a tiny hall, after wetplay with your off the wall Year 5's!). As well as all your great pros I love it when children are excited to see you on return visits and that feeling on a Sunday afternoon at around 4pm when u know you can relax and take a leisurely read of the papers! Priceless
  20. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I don't really understand why supply teachers are miffed about "not getting paid for the holidays". What are your agencies doing?

    My daily rate is far higher than the daily rate of a full-time teacher and because I'm employed term-time only, that daily fee includes money that covers holiday periods.

    I don't know about other agencies, but mine provides me with a pay slip that clear includes a proportion of my daily rate as holiday pay. So most recently, my daily rate was £145 + £17 holiday pay. I simply make sure that I transfers that £17 from each day I've worked into a savings account and that covers my holidays.

    I'm not sure why anyone would think a supply teacher would/should get paid during school holidays. You should be getting paid a daily rate that reflects the work you are doing. If you are going home at the end of the school day with no marking, no planning and you've attending no meetings/parents' evening, then why should you get paid in the holidays?

    If you ARE doing the planning and marking and all the extras, then your daily rate should be reflecting that and should be inclusive of the holiday fee. A full time teacher on UPS3 (like I was) would be taking home about £98 representing 1/365th of their pay. If I take home £145 per day, even if I'm not paid during the holidays, I'm on a higher daily rate across 365 days that my full time/permanent colleagues.

    Am I missing something?

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