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Will there be enough supply work to go round come January?!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by chouxbunsmum, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. chouxbunsmum

    chouxbunsmum New commenter

    I have resigned my post and will be embarking upon supply in January. My husband is concerned about the apparent mass exodus; worried that the supply market will be saturated. Surely, though, if so many of us are leaving, there will then become many, many, many daily, short-term and long-term options around.
    Anyone already got experience of supply? How difficult is it to get work right now if you want it please?
    Maybe I am stupidly naively confident...surely if you do a good job, you get asked back. By agencies and schools??!
    Many thanks.
    cat2611 likes this.
  2. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

    I did supply before and I was always popular with schools and I was always asked back. The staff at the supply agencies often seemed to be running around like headless chickens as they didn't have enough supply teachers on their books.

    I've resigned too and I will be going back to supply in January. In my current and previous primary schools a supply teacher has been asked back even though she doesn't mark the work. I was always expected to mark work when I was on supply. During one of my sick days this half term a secondary supply teacher taught my class. I think this was because no primary supply teachers were available.

    When I did supply in 2011 there wasn't much work going and a couple of supply agencies tried o get me to work as a TA. I always refused as the pay was half that of a supply teacher. I didn't see the point in travelling to a school for half the pay. Eventually the staff at the agency realised that I would only work as a teacher and they found me work as a teacher.
  3. chouxbunsmum

    chouxbunsmum New commenter

    Thanks for the reply. I am secondary, but still good to hear some positive stories.
  4. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    I'm a member of a quite busy Supply teacher group online-there are lots of people on there with no work or being offered TA or cover supervisor work (and salary). Check that out before you come to rely on supply as a good source of income.

    Agencies seem to be up to some pretty unscrupulous tricks as well-making you sign under their umbrella company and screwing you for tax or booking you for teaching work in a school nearby and then cancelling at the last minute, but offering you TA work miles away in a difficult school, knowing you are free. One agency told a supply teacher last week that they had some days unpaid work for her and it would be good for her to work free as headteachers would see she was commited to the role!

    I had thought about doing supply, but I don't think I will give up the regular salary just yet.
  5. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    If you're maths or science I can almost guarantee you work. The first Monday back I was looking at jobs outside of teaching and the phone went, agency said school needed someone next day; been there since and been asked to stay till xmas. Teachers are leaving in droves and schools are struggling.

    My min daily rate is £155 and claim expenses for lunch, mileage etc. I take home approx. £475 a week and they put away approx. £100 every week for hols. It works out nicely. Don't let the agency tell you £110 a day because they'll charge the school the same and just take a bigger slice.

    Supply's the way to go!
    hafsa and chouxbunsmum like this.
  6. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Just interested for the future. Will the agency pay you more for long term as it includes planning etc?
  7. Sunshineandrain

    Sunshineandrain New commenter

    I am also seriously considering leaving my job to do supply. I've spoken to a couple of north-east based agencies and was really impressed with how friendly and honest one of them was EYPS). They assured me the work was there and that committed, good quality teachers would always be in demand. I'll let you know in the new year how that's working out...!
    chouxbunsmum likes this.
  8. jp1208

    jp1208 New commenter

    I've been working on supply for a while now as a secondary Science and have never been out of work.

    I have had two long term placement interspersed with some day to day work. I personally find supply work a lot more convenient in terms of managing my work and life balance. As someone mentioned above a lot of teachers are leaving the profession (as am I in the next 6 months) so I think there will be still enough work to go around.

    Slightly off topic I know but a few people have mentioned that they have also resigned...I was just wondering your motives for leaving life as a full-time teacher? Is it the workload, students in general etc...
    mark6243 likes this.
  9. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    You can ask, but I can demand the rate I do because

    a) I'm a scientist
    b) I'm competent so have built up a rather nice set of testimonials, and schools often ask for me by name

    The only planning and marking I do is in free's; I have a substantial bank of resources and my attitude is, if it don't get done, it don't get done. I'm happy to walk at any time. If I come across as a little belligerent at times, it's because I am. Not to the schools, but to govt, Ofsted and pissants like the 24-year-old at my current school who's recently been trying to give me advice on how to manage in the job.

    Actually I have been paid more on a few occasions for late-notice day-to-day due to distance etc, but agencies I use know my min daily rate and why I can demand it. There are many competent teachers who have quit for their own sanity, after being slandered as inadequate by careerist tick-box monkeys with an agenda, for whom supply would suit down to the ground.
  10. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Have a browse through some of the top posts on Workplace Dilemmas. So many distressing and thought provoking stories.
  11. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I think if you are flexible and willing to travel then you should get plenty of work.
    mark6243 and chouxbunsmum like this.
  12. chouxbunsmum

    chouxbunsmum New commenter

    Management. Being harassed. Being told to fiddle data. Being expected to devote my life to it. Even though I have a young son. And certainly paid my dues, pre- parenthood. There is no pleasure in it now, because of the eroding of my professional judgement and integrity. At least on supply, I'll be able to focus on the children. What a joke that is.
    mark6243 likes this.
  13. chouxbunsmum

    chouxbunsmum New commenter

    This is exactly what I needed to hear. So many thanks for sharing your wisdom. I will make sure I am paid the daily rate I am worth...many thanks.
    mark6243 likes this.
  14. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    Chouxbunsmum, it's amazing how many schools recognize your skills and qualities when you're on supply. If you can turn up on time looking professional, maintain order in your classes, and maybe even do a little teaching, you'll be seen as a godsend because the cover lady will ask a very grateful Hod - who is able to get back on with their own jobs as they're not being dragged out to deal with behaviour issues at the class being covered - how you're fitting in. And they will ask you to be retained.

    I've even had informal (and sometimes distasteful) inquiries as to my future long-term plans from depts. wanting to keep me on when 'someone moves on'. I tell them no chance as in a permanent role I'm a loose cannon and a liability, as I tell SLT and Ofsted where to go.

    I really should grow up.:D
  15. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    The should be plenty of supply as there are loads of people resigning so quite a few long term vacancies.
    chouxbunsmum, snowyhead and mark6243 like this.
  16. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I've suggested to other posters, on another thread, that they apply to schools directly. If a school is interested they will carry out a DBS, and if you register for the DBS up-date service any subsequent schools that book you can access your DBS certificate on-line, free of charge.

    It's also worth registering as self-employed which puts you in control of the fee you charge for daily and long term supply assignments. If you invoice schools for the work done they won't have to pay employer's NI contributions, making you even more cost-effective than an agency.

    Once work starts coming in it's worth thinking about buying some sickness and unemployment insurance to provide an income (to cover main bills etc) in the event you are unable to work for a month or more.
    Marijke, pinkkaz and chouxbunsmum like this.
  17. mechanic291

    mechanic291 New commenter

    I completely agree, I clearly have not been in the profession as long as it sounds you have but everything you mention there are things that I am being asked to do also. The data fiddling in my school is horrendous to a point now where students are given (in a very very discreet way) exam questions before they are 'assessed' at the end of a unit of work.
  18. mechanic291

    mechanic291 New commenter

    I completely agree, I clearly have not been in the profession as long as it sounds you have but everything you mention there are things that I am being asked to do also. The data fiddling in my school is horrendous to a point now where students are given (in a very very discreet way) exam questions before they are 'assessed' at the end of a unit of work.
  19. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    The answer to the original question will depend on your subject, location and which agency(ies) you have signed up to.

    At best you may end up like Mark, commanding good money with almost guaranteed work. At worst, you will be sitting by the phone to get no work and occasionally being sent 30 miles away for a TA stint. The reality will be somewhere in between.

    What I would say is do not waltz into a supply agency's offices on Monday January 4th expecting to be at a school that day, or even week. Unless things have changed since 2012, the speed at which they process paperwork (CRB , references) is moronically slow and I would actually apply NOW so all the paperwork is sorted by then.
  20. mark6243

    mark6243 Occasional commenter

    Oh absolutely get registered now! Also, CRB no longer exists in its old form, it's now DBS, and there is an update service, which you pay £13 a year for, which means you get one DBS check done (the agency usually refund this cost to you once you've done x days work for them) and other agencies/employers simply put your DBS number into the system on .gov.uk and see all the info they need.
    chouxbunsmum likes this.

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