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Worst Agencies...and Worst Agency Experiences...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by les25paul, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I think that you might be right about this MSB, and such naming and shaming could see this thread withdrawn.
    However I cannot see it being an issue if people commented on and named agencies that are doing a good job for supply teachers. The absense of certain agencies names would still get the message across as well as advertising those who deserve credit.
  2. You could be right reference the T&Cs relating to naming and shaming. That said, naming good agencies and good practice is deemed acceptable (as it should be) so alomost by defintion, peoples experiences with agencies that arent up scratch should also be stated...whatever, the rules say!
  3. janeygrey

    janeygrey New commenter

    Personally I wouldn't name and shame because I have to say that Monarch is one that I have only ever heard good things about in the Birmingham area and I often see their name in the visitors book, so they obviously are getting in the calls. I am not with Monarch but have been in the past, and i am not going to name my brilliant agency on this site, but I thought when i read this that it just shows that whilst one supply teacher might think a particular agency is good another might think it is the pants. So that is why I would never name and shame personally.
  4. I have a handful of agencies which are my WORST. SYNARBOR Australia or New Zealand - the agent [name withheld] interviewed me twice over the phone then arranged for an overseas Headteacher where I was to relocate to interview me over the phone. After that interview I never heard from her or the headteacher. They never picked my calls or returned my emails [considering that prior to the interview we have been communicated at least twice a day thru email plus by skype].
  5. Eff it I'll do it - if the thread gets pulled at least a few people might have seen some to avoid/go for.
    Obviously the big chains vary regionally - what is a good local office in one area, might be useless in another is the thing to bear in mind.
    Select/Ranstad - nightmare - lots of bully/armtwisting, no attempt to listen to you about the type of work you want, lots and lots of the usual lies "we're about to get really busy" first week in July - and their computer does the re-registration required every few months thing - which you invariably go through for one advance booking and then one morning call at the back of beyond that you can't get to in time - then nada. Got quite shirty with me when I said I wasn't going to bother re-registering for the umpteenth time.
    Supply Desk - go in phases - either get a lot of work and a nice consultant, or nothing at all and a consultant who obviously and openly really doesn't like me. Also send a lot of irrelevant/other end of the country/wrong phase of education "job of the week" type spam texts and emails (hate spam texts with a passion)
    Celsian - used to love these guys - they've gone off the boil utterly - I'm getting no work, but they claim to be really really busy (and they always used to be pretty honest about it being quiet times of the year and what-not)... now trying to get people to do the free-trial half-days (I've politely declined - lets see whether I get any more work at all for refusing to play ball on that front).
    Kelly - registered... never heard from again ever. Other people have said they're ok locally though.
    new career likes this.
  6. JJ Fox- who faffed over paying me for months, after I was summarily sacked from my FE post on being hospitalised with a neurological condition. They never even told me that I had been shortlisted by that college for a dyslexia post, and I only found out on being discharged from hospital some two weeks later.
    Boston Rose- who seem to make a habit of sending out poorly written adverts for posts which are in no way relevant to my requirements. I particularly detest the goofy, testosterone fuelled atmosphere at their office even when they are ringing clients
    GSL Education- who shamelessly sent me out to a school as a teacher only to gamble that I would stay there when they downgraded the post to that of Teaching Assistant. As ambulance chasing scum go, they take some beating
    Recruit- who sent me along as usual to a SEBN school only for me to encounter my replacement. Apparently, the middle class WASP female staff were in an ongoing dispute with the Irish RC priest running the place and I was as convenient a target at any.
    Not that tutorial agencies are much better. The top end of the market (KIp McGrath) blithely state that the start up cost for one of their franchises is over £25 k. Meanwhile, a 'company' calling itself Holland Park Tuition wants £100 to cover the costs of interviewing and police checking you, although the decline to offer any guarantees that you will ever see a return on the investment.
    In conclusion, I hope that new entrants to the profession are wary of agencies 'fishing' by offering non existant posts on sites like CV Library. As I am a specialist teacher, I often challenge them to explain what some of the terms mean, and I am often struck by their inability to do so. It also bears mentioning that they will never willingly disclose any information in advance of offering a contract, and being 'brought in' to their offices on a fool's errand is routine by these poorly educated, barely socialised apes!!! Needless to say the way in which politicians and unions acquiesce with this shameless exploitation of profession teachers would not be tolerated in any civilized country which truly respected the work that they do.
    new career and pepper5 like this.
  7. J J Fox, in my experience, are incompetent. Last year, they sent me for an interview at 1:30 pm, at a school about twenty miles away. As I was setting out, I received a call from them, asking if I could get to the school any sooner, as the school had mixed up the interview times. Being on public transport, I could not oblige them. When I arrived at the school, the DH was rather perplexed as to why three candidates, as well as me, had turned up nearly three hours late. She told me that she had told the JJ Fox 10:30. The interviews were postponed, as the Head and the Governor were no longer free.
    When I phoned JJ Fox to find out what was going on, they blamed the school. Needless to say, I heard no more about that job.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. Rip-off merchants for sure. Dishonest salespeople's who do not know how to think or listen. In my experience, they have very little idea about the teaching profession at all- they only seem to understand how to overcharge schools and underpay supply teachers.
    new career likes this.
  9. zippycfb

    zippycfb New commenter

    Is anybody on here signed with Lancashire Teaching Agency (LTA) and getting regular work? I'm in Lancashire and have only signed with one agency in my local town but I'm contempleting signing up with LTA (if they'll have me) who sort out the LEA supply I believe? They are always advertising jobs on the Reed website but I've become rather sceptical as to whether or not the jobs actually exisit!
  10. One agency I am with have this week advertised 4 seperate 'supply positions' in different locations, yet I have had no work for 2 weeks now. Without wanting to sound negative- the majority of the jobs they 'advertise' do not exist. They simply want to get numbers on their books. I know of local schools who are now banding together to share their own 'pool' of supply staff because they cannot afford to pay the over-inflated rates of agencies. In every single one of my supply agency interviews I have been on- the agent has sat there and said flatly that all NQT's are the same. I politely questioned this and have been told, by these all-knowing agents, that NQT's all get paid the same, have the same limited experience and so on. Shocking.
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. This is completely true. If all of the jobs that I have seen on agency websites existed then no teacher in this country would be in need of a job!
    speechcompanyinfo likes this.
  12. <font face="Calibri">After 2 years of reading these forums religiously this is the first time I've felt the need to comment&hellip; I work for one of those dishonest agencies that don't know how to think or listen, I spend my days talking to schools and teachers for 12-16 hours working my socks off for everyone's benefit, and the reason I'm still here after 10+ years in the recruitment industry is because I do what I say I'm going to do, I do take the time to listen and I do give my (informed) opinion to clients and candidates alike about the best option for them, I pay a better rate than my competitors and I make less out of my schools because of it, I'm not a charity so I won't pretend it isn't worth my time but you all need to know that for every consultant that can't do their job properly there are 5+ supply teachers giving the good ones a bad name.</font> <font size="3">Read these forums as closely as I do and you'll find 1000's of hard luck stories about teachers that think they're owed a living, people that genuinely believe if someone looks at them the wrong way it's time to get the unions in, "professionals" that plan their sick leave and compassionate leave (with the help of their forum buddies) to the maximum detriment of the schools and pupils within. </font><font size="3"> </font><font face="Calibri">This is a tough time for everyone, and whilst there will be some people than suffer through no fault of their own I'd ask the remaining 90% of you to speak to your private sector friends and family and judge how well you'd be coping in their situation. To the remaining 10% (especially the M5's and above), I'll have my fingers and toes crossed for you in what's going to be a decisive year&hellip; </font>
  13. decisive because supply agencies are in serious danger of all going under?
  14. The bad agencies will go under, but that's not a bad thing... it's going to be decisive because come January (AWR D-Day) it's going to cost schools significantly more to use M5/6 Teachers... not having an opt out (for the benefit of higher scale teachers who want to continue working) is not good news for the experienced teachers who would have been happy to work for &pound;140 per day but will suddenly be priced out.
    Schools will continue to need supply, LEA's will be unable to cope sufficiently (the sensible option) and agencies will continue to make a profit but being brutal this will be placing NQT/M2/M3 into work. We didn't make the rules, and for the record we aren't happy with them (as some of us do actually have a conscience)

  15. By cost the schools more, do you mean it will cost them more employing an M5 teacher through an agency, or via the LA?
  16. Depends on your agency, LA will charge 25% on top of your scale pay for pension and holiday, some agencies will charge 20% or less on top of scale pay, most will charge much much more however you're missing the point... some of my best teachers are M6 or above and have been working in the same schools all year long, perfectly happy with being paid &pound;130-140 a day, 5 days a week, all year around. Suddenly I need to pay them &pound;161 a day, over &pound;100 more a week per teacher per school, with no opt out... when I can supply a M2/M3 at &pound;150 a day (Charge rate) how can schools continue to fork out for Mr Experience?

    Regardless, this isn't an AWR rant, this was me just trying to balance out some of the critisism levelled at Agencies - don't get me wrong, there are plenty of idiots out there but you can't tarnish us all with the same brush... some deserve credit (just like 1 in every 3 of my supply teachers)
  17. is that hypothetical charge rate of 150 per day inclusive of VAT? I've not missed the point, I'm asking an honest agency questions.

  18. yes, but I'm not daft enough to think that's industry standard, we're one of the less expensive options... I'll happily answer any questions you have about agencies but I'm done for the this stint, still got a few jobs to fill...
  19. thank you. Enjoy the weekend.
  20. Ah I'm sorry I complained - was just sick of the phone calls I was receiving - I really appreciate what you do for us :)

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