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Working conditions for supply teachers are getting worse

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by TES_Rosaline, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Do you feel welcome where you work? It seems that supply teachers feel less welcome than they did a year ago. Many teachers have reported their experiences in this forum, but why do you think teachers are being treated so badly when they work in supply teaching?

    ‘Research by the NASUWT teaching union has revealed how working conditions for supply teachers in schools have worsened since last year, with less access to the staffroom, food and drink facilities and even toilets.

    The survey, of 830 supply teachers across the country, also found that the number of supply teachers reporting they are “always made to feel welcome” in a school has fallen from 61 per cent in 2018 to 37 per cent this year.’


    What are your best and worst experiences working in supply teaching, and what do you think should be done to improve you and your colleagues’ working lives?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Regarding food and drunk - a growing number of schools have cashless catering which seems unable to cope with a guest provision

    I have turned down work in such schools on a morning call because of this as I will not have had time to sort lunch out - these schools also seem to be The ones who need the most supply teachers - you would have thought they would have sorted out a system but they haven’t so I never worked there Unless I was pregnant booked
  3. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Should say pre booked not pregnant booked - I am male!
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Some schools are very welcoming, allow free access to the tea/coffee etc. Greeted by the HT or other SMT. Others can be quite cold. You sit in the staffroom and no-one comes near. In some schools I think this is because the staff themselves are so busy that they don't get time to relax. If they use the staffroom it is just to grab a drink, scoff their lunch then off again to mark or prepare. HT and SMT are remote figures who don't even speak socially with their own staff let alone 'the help'! In my experience (3 years and counting) the friendly ones outweigh the cold ones. Being ignored wouldn't stop me returning to a school as long as the money goes in my pay packet each week. I can always take a book to read!

    One trend I am noticing is that being in my 60s I am often the oldest in the department, sometimes by a generation. Had a few schools now where pupils I taught are teachers or support staff in the school.
  5. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I was at a lovely school today. Friendly staff, good SLT who took the time to come and speak to me. Lovely children although some were challenging.

    I have just had a phone call asking me if I could return tomorrow. Of course I said yes.

    It is my choice as to which school I work in. If the school is unfriendly and SLT unsupportive then I do not return.
  6. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Today I was at a school with some slightly tetchy staff. Just getting annoyed at the smallest things. Probably won’t go back.
    I always take a packed lunch, coffee etc. I insist on finishing all classes on the bell so i get all my break. This is extremely important.
    I just refuse to teach in bad schools.
  7. speechcompanyinfo

    speechcompanyinfo New commenter

    The creepy kids in a recent school found out my pre-married surname and are now stalking me on FB. I only know this because these "teens" came up in my "friends suggestion" banner and a I recognised them. I blocked them at once and de-activated the account. Luckily I have nothing political on FB. I use it to keep in touch with friends and family overseas.

    I usually teach under my married name, but this school decided to use my pre-married name as a Login, and this is how the creepy kids found out my identity. Now, I'm sure you will understand if I don't take this up with the school, because quite honestly, nothing would happen to the creepy stalkers at all. That's why they do it.
    They know they can get away with it.

    But - I do think that Supply Teacher MUST INSIST that they have some sort of protection. The depts. in which I taught weren't filled with nasty people at all - they just didn't really understand that Supply teachers are treated badly in their school, and therefore must be protected. So I think the entire episode can be put down to "rose tinted glasses" syndrome.

    I don't want to do Supply teaching anymore. Its creepy to think that you have only ONE class with difficult kids, (the rest were great), and then you have to deal with this sort of thing.

    Perhaps the main members of staff should be told about the creepy stalkers, but I doubt if they will do anything about it, and so long as I change my FB account/de-activate, I assume it will all stop.

    If I thought the school had some idea of how to handle these type of kids, then yes, I would do something. But they don't.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  8. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Twaddle from NASUWT.

    What matters to supplies are:

    availability of work
    attitude of school when supply challenges poor behaviour

    All else, surely, is peripheral. One spends time, one gets paid.
  9. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    NASUWT do not have a supply rate of membership
    That’s why I left them
  10. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    At some Primary schools I go to, I am the oldest by 30 years!
  11. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    My supply tip when living off the morning call is to make a cheese sandwich the night before. If you get the call take it, if not toast it and have it for breakfast

    The Tesco meal deal is also always an option!
  12. speechcompanyinfo

    speechcompanyinfo New commenter

    I've done Supply at another grammar school, (not the one that just dumped me) in the good old days of the 90's, and it was like Shangri La. Vast beautiful clean and interior designed staff room, a platter of fresh fruit and little cakes being passed around by dining room staff... all we had to do is sit on the leather sofas and say "Oh thank you." (We supply teachers)… Same at lunch time, we were invited to gather in the dining room and fed delicious food and drink, (free), sitting alongside salaried teachers, like we were.. sorta.. HUMAN and not supply teachers. And at the end of the day, instead of rushing off, people gathered in the staff room, sipped Earl Grey, and chatted with us.... again.. just as if we were Human beings. Not only that, but they gave us materials to teach from and showed us where we were in the scheme of work. Sometimes I wonder if I dreamt it all... but no... its true.. Its real. It did happen. For three week.. three glorious weeks, I didn't have to put up with nasty remarks behind my back, nothing to teach from... just a "there's the kids... good luck"... attitude.... For three glorious weeks I was able to do my job, with no stress, no mocking laughter, no idiot filming me on his phone and no computer register every lesson.
    It wasn't a dream I tell you
    It was REAL.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I am doing a long term supply role and the HOD does not speak to me at all. He seems me regularly but he he never says anything nice to asks how I am doing. I am usually blanked or receive a cursory smile.

    I don't feel welcome at the school and I generally don't have anyone to talk to at lunch time either. I find it very exhausting and feel very lonely in school.

    I have decided to try and go and sit in my car at lunchtime to get out of the school environment now and again just to get my head straight.

    I can't wait for the role to end so that I can move on back to day to day. I can then have the time to read a book or go for a walk at lunchtime.

    Here I feel trapped and nobody is that friendly.

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