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What would you do if...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by jammiejimmy, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. jammiejimmy

    jammiejimmy New commenter

    Your agency had sent you to a School for the day and had failed to tell you that there were 6 hours of contact time instead of the usual 5 (so effectively you were getting the same rate for an extra hour of work)?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Make a note of it and if the agency asks you to go to the school again, confirm that if it is six hours instead of the usual five, then your rate for that assignment is x ( add on whatever you decide you want/think you can get). If the school won't pay extra or the agency won't pay more our of their share, then you either a. don't accept the booking, or b. you accept it.

    I wouldn't make a fuss over the extra hour on this occasion; but that is me - there may be others who would. Perhaps the agency didn't know it would be six instead of five.
  3. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    A difficult call, this one. The agency could be 'trying it on', deliberately sending you to this school to see whether you complain. If you do not, it will continue to send you there. If you do complain, the agency might move you down the pecking order, so you get less work. Perhaps you could call the agency and ask politely whether it would pay you any more for longer hours, and see how it reacts.
    pepper5, gingerhobo48 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    Is it me or are more schools introducing a period 6, the school I have been going to as a period 6 (which finishes at 3.30), but to be fair, if you are free and they do not need you they let you go after period 5 (the lessons are 50 minutes long) they also allocate you a single teaches timetable, and it is not uncommon to have 2 free periods, if that is their PPA time.

    I know of one school, now thank fully closed that taught from 8.45 to 4.30 most days, which meant the kids were bored out of their mind in the last hour.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Lead commenter

    You can't actually do anything retrospectively. You agreed to the day and the rate and that's that. (I know that the agreement was made under false pretences but there isn't any recourse that way).
    If the agency will pay extra then you should have been asking for it for all the work you do.
    Can you afford to take this risk.

    I'm trying to make the point that it is a jungle regarding supply pay and only hard bargaining from a position of strength will work. I can be smug about this as I'm long/medium term supply Maths/Science in West Yorks and seem to be doing well but whenever I'm trying for day-to-day I'm usually ignored as I've priced myself out of contention. Of course my smugness may only keep me going to Christmas (or less) but I don't have a plan B I can accept.
    pepper5 and schoolsout4summer like this.
  6. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    It depends on the wording of your employment contract with the agency. Mine said I was contracted between the hours of 08.00 hrs and 16.00hrs although I never actually worked those hours. Some schools had short days whilst others had slightly longer ones. I never got paid less for a short day and treated it as a bonus, so I just regarded the longer days as evening things out.

    You can ask for extra in advance if you know a day will be longer but not after you accepted the booking. I got quite savvy at learning what days in the week certain schools worked shorter or longer hours and used this to decide if I wanted that booking or not.

    I did notice in my later days as a supply teacher how "enrichment" or "extra year 11 classes" were becoming much more common. I got stung once with an extra two hours enrichment because the teacher meant to relieve me after an hour never turned up. But I made up for it the following week when I had a "free" the last lesson and got away quick before it was noticed. :)
    pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  7. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Depends on your relationship with the agency. My 'Handler' is actually a former pupil and for some placements asks me which rate I would accept and then tries to get it for me. Or if the placement is a bit far away will up the rate a bit to cover petrol costs.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Your consultant sounds very competent and I am glad you have a good relationship with them; as it is makes supply a bit more bearable. At least he/she tries to get you a fair deal.
  9. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    She is also quite pleased when having me on her books gets her foot through the door in other schools where they know me.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @les25paul: I have been stung like that, too. At one school, I found that my after-school 'enrichment' class had been merged with the department detention. Ninety minutes of unalloyed, unpaid joy. :(
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. jammiejimmy

    jammiejimmy New commenter

    Thanks for your replies everyone.

    I turned up on the day and asked the School how long the day was. They said they finished at 3pm meaning there were only 5 hours of contact time rather than 6 which their website led me to believe. Had they said 4pm, I would have phoned the agency and demanded an extra 20% or have refused the booking on the grounds that I had, through omission, effectively been misled.

    I’ve only recently started supply. Although I’ve been around long enough to know that it wouldn’t be a cake walk, I’m still shocked as to how much exploitation there is. I’m proud to say I always looked after supply teachers when I was in a permanent post but I’ve been on the receiving end of some very poor treatment over the last few weeks (umbrella agencies, condescending TAs and other staff- and don’t even get me started on the kids!) Luckily, I’ve secured a part time long term position which starts soon.

    Thank you for all your hard work.

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