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What would you include in a code of conduct for agencies?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Hazel Catkins, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. I recently came across a list sent to me by an agency entitled Code of Conduct for Supply Staff. It includes rules on ID, appearance, punctuality, personal conduct, discipline and so on. For example:Appearance - Dress in an appropriate manner for school. Remember that appearances are important and that you should dress and act in a professional manner on all assignments. Jeans and trainers are not acceptable.Personal conduct - Be cheerful and polite. A positive approach will be recognised and remembered by your colleagues.Agencies seem quite keen to lecture supply treachers on how to be professional, without considering that it should apply to them. I wondered what you would include in a code of conduct for agencies. For example: Be polite, it costs nothing and remember supply teachers are paying your wages.
  2. Hi Hazel
    I am interested by this and by your excellent rant in the "What Supply Teachers Say" thread. I have joined three agencies and had work from two, the third have some idea that I can only work in my specialism and then only for KS3. They are terribly polite on the few occasions that we talk and have understood their mistake and promised to widen their horizons for me (six months ago).
    The second agency misunderstood my intentions when I asked about behaviour and conditions in a school to which they sent me so it was months before they were desperate enough to offer me more work but we seem to be OK now (if a little cool and overly polite).
    The agency I love the most, the only one actually recommended by a teacher, is superb in almost every way: they call as soon as they have a job and that is sometimes a week in advance; they are polite and helpful, they recognise "if I don't find you work then I don't earn anthing either!" and they always ask for feedback from me and from the schools. We have a positive relationship and it is nice to work woth them. I have met other STs who work woth them and all agree they are the best.
    They've never questioned my professionalism and I am keeping their name to myself because I am greedy and there's not much work around right now. My only complaint is that my daily rate is disappointing and I expected more.
    If I had a code for them it would begin with the reminders:
    <ol>[*]The paying client seems to be the school but they are actually the customer, as an agent you are representing the teacher, remember who is the true client and treat them accordingly.[*]When dealing with a school requesting the services of your client: ask for details of the work they should expect and pass those details accurately to your client (the teacher).[*]Make clear to the school the abilities and limits of the teacher you expect to send, especially if that teacher is not ideally suited to the role in terms of experience or specialism, key stage or age range.[*]At least on the first occasion any client teacher attends a school, call that school within 24 hours to confirm their satisfaction and the suitability teacher.[*]Following any first time at a new school, call yor client teacher and confirm their satisfaction.</ol>
    Did I miss anything?
  3. Bobsnephew

    Bobsnephew New commenter

    6. Make the school's "purchase" of a day's work irrevocable: if the training day that the permanent teacher was going to attend is cancelled, then use the supply to give management release time/previously missed PPA time/subject leader time. So many times Agency One has booked me for work on such and such a day, Agency Two subsequently ring to offer me work on the same day, which I decline, and then Agency One ring back to say that the training day has been cancelled. Grrrrrr.
  4. In addition, after the proportion of a day has been agreed it becomes irrevocable. In other words, a whole day should not be reduced to a morning at lunch time.
    Ensure the schools:
    - Leave plans and instructions which are written in plain English, ie. avoid abbreviations, acronyms and codes;
    - Leave work which is appropriate to the ability of the pupils;
    - Make the names of ability groups clear and the members of those groups unambiguous. Avoid ad-hoc agreements with pupils prior to the supply teacher taking the class. Avoid group names which could be confused with the tasks/activities.
    Or, should there be a code of conduct for schools too?
  5. Just - don't lie. We don't believe it, you know it to be ball-locks and it just makes you look like you think we're ***. The first week in July "we're about to get really busy" line doesn't ever make you look like you're not a lying pillock.
    Especially if we've been on supply for years and do it through choice and we know your entire twaddle repertoire.
  6. Yes, most importantly and the "bottom line" for me is student/pupil feedback which is easily obtained e.g. comments, questionnaire on performnace etc?
    Many excellent/good supply colleagues have got e.g. "Sir/Miss, you'te a legend...!", "Sir/Miss I've learnt so much from you...", "Sir/Miss will you be our 'norma' teacher?" etc etc l
    Supply teachers should be assessed in some way by pupils or at least have a facility whereby their teaching performance is in some way assessed?
    Too often supply teachers have suffered the unfair comments of bullying, backbiting, jealous and backstabbing adults with no supporting evidence.

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