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Worried about September...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by TheOracleAtDelphi, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    It looks like I will be back on day-to-day come September and I am getting really anxious as all the chatter coming out of schools I know is that they've had to reduce costs by £x0000 this year, there's no budget to spend next year, they've had to lose support staff (with the threat of redundancies no doubt encouraging those who can get out to get out), there's no supply budget for next year, quibbling over pay points for new staff etc. ... Is there going to be any supply work next year? What are things like in your area?
    BertieBassett2 and pepper5 like this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You can't tell these things until September (which is usually a quiet month on supply anyway).

    We are still looking for teachers - the supply market has been really busy this year in my area (East Anglia)
    Chesters8 and BertieBassett2 like this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with peakster...you can't look too far ahead and it is useless listening to "chatter" and making yourself anxious.

    What I would, however, say is it never hurts to gain some new skills over the summer and have something else you can do if supply does dip or you decide you would like a change and that advice applies to anyone in any job as it doesn't hurt to be able to do one than more job.
  4. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Thank you for your replies.
    I know everybody - including me - is tired and on edge at the moment, which probably isn't helping. Three days to go! It's just not terribly reassuring when you are in staff meeting and the head says that there is no money for anything next year, other than what has already been bought/allocated and no budget for supply.
    I know I might stand a better chance if I went back to secondary as that is where the baby boom now seems to be but I've not taught the new GCSEs which would probably put most schools off and I don't think I can face the behaviour - it's bad enough in primary.
    I just hate the experience trap that you can't get a job unless you have already done the job previously...
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Yes, it is difficult to change paths, but not impossible.

    You could, however, take some time over the summer to look into what you would need to do to make the switch if you decide to one day.

    As I said earlier, it is always good to have more than one skill set no matter the job and no matter the age.
    les25paul and agathamorse like this.
  6. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I would agree with @pepper5 and try to develop other skills which could top up supply teaching. When I did supply I also picked up casual work in laboratories (I was an analytical chemist before teaching) and some office temping.

    I knew of other supply teachers who doubled up as driving instructors, outdoor pursuits instructors, aromatherapists and even film set extras. One lady I meet even had a small market garden business producing cut flowers and veggies to supply to local shops. I would quite fancy doing that myself.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  7. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your replies.
    I think in a way it would be easier if I actually wanted out of teaching, but I actually really enjoy lots of things about it...I even quite like some aspects of supply.
    The dilemma I always have at this time of year when I am not already booked for September is do I try and find a part-time or other job which would give me some income but would effectively rule me out from any whole-week or long-term covers or risk sticking with supply...it's such a gamble...supply after all pays better than the minimum wage, which is all that would be available, if I could even get that. I suppose as you say it comes down to trying and finding something casual to which one is not absolutely committed but can pick up as necessary. Something to ponder over the summer...
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. mrjack

    mrjack Occasional commenter

    If schools did not employ cover supervisors, HLTA's and other UNQUALIFIED staff to cover lessons we would all have nothing to worry about. It's awful how professionals are treated in the UK. I'm a teacher of twenty years now on the poverty line whilst doing supply after redundancy.
  9. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    I work throughout the year as an examiner (for the usual exam sessions) but also four times a year for two international exam boards. I also freelance for private clients in a marketing capacity too.

    I’m starting my Msc in October and I’m currently applying for part time roles in that sector, so that I won’t have to rely on supply during my course but I’ll be lucky if I get one of them, I think!

    It is possible to supplement supply income with other stuff although I appreciate that we all have different circumstances and taking on a heavy load of exam marking may not be viable.
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I used to do exam marking but in my opinion it is no longer worth it.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    I’ve heard a few people say it isn’t worth it, but I disagree with all of them. For me, the rate of pay and time it takes for me to mark is definitely worth it.
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I don't like the new online system.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    I still mark paper scripts for the majority of my work, only one unit is onscreen marking. I’d prefer all of it to be onscreen.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It's why I stopped doing it.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    I applied to do exam marking a few years ago but was never given a paper allocation in the two year window. Now, I'm no longer eligible owing to the having-to-have-taught the qualification rule. I did wonder about looking into marking year 6 tests but it is always a very busy time in primary (internal tests, reports etc.) as I've been on long term for the last three years at that time of year and I'm not sure how I'd cope with the extra workload as I barely keep my head above water at the best of times (Results are back before the end of term so I'm guessing marking turnaround times are also tighter)
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. thewritingsupply

    thewritingsupply Occasional commenter

    That’s odd - three of the qualifications/exam papers that I mark for my subject I have never taught, and hardly ever currently teach my own subject due to me working as supply so not sure why that rule doesn’t apply to me too.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    I generally mark three exam papers as well as (for the last three years I’ve done it) teach a full timetable. It’s exhausting but it sees me through to September and beyond.
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Maybe it depends on the exam board or subject? Or possibly how easy it is to find other markers? I know from colleagues who were experienced exam markers that the board operated an unusual approach to marking where you marked questions rather than whole papers - and depending on your experience depended on which questions you got mark.
    Green-eyes - I am full of admiration that you manage to cope with that much exam marking on top of teaching full time.

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