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

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

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hi all,

    Today I have been run ragged by the agency.

    The agent texted to see if I was free to "meet" head teacher tomorrow. It sounded a bit odd- when do you get to meet a HT as a supply? So I telephoned find out more details- will it be an interview, should I prepare a lesson, do I need to take performance data from my previous full time post? I also inform the agent, I can arrange childcare at short notice, but would they text me the details so I can be sure to organise everything for the morning as the ex is to look after the kids. She agrees.

    I wait since 10.am - but nothing at all. I text at 4.45pm to see if there is any news. But no, agent replies "ht has been in a meeting all day and not read the email"

    So childcare arranged, ex inconvenienced all for nothing.

    Now I know- a "meeting with the head teacher" means there is nothing specific, I just thought I'd wind you up.

    How am I going to explain that to my ex- he's re-arranged his work to help me with child care on the basis I had a firm "meeting".

    Totally P!$$ed off.

    BPG
     
  2. Between them, schools and agencies seem to delight in messing about would-be supply teachers. Often the two of them are messing each other about, mainly by not communicating, leaving you on the receiving end of it all. Supposed meetings never take place; an agency sends you to a school, which knows nothing about it when you get there, etc., etc. It costs neither of them anything to shove you around like a pawn on chessboard.
     
  3. I have been with many of the agencies in Birmingham for many years and I experienced the same. The market in Birmingham seems to be so saturated with agencies that the competition for teachers seems to be relentless.

    However I joined an agency called Prospero teaching (plus points for the Shakespeare reference already) after one of their consultants found my cv online. I can not recommend their primary team enough! since working for Prospero i have been out 5 days a week every week and have been offered a guaranteed pay scheme for the end of September - The only clause is that I can not get booked out by my other agency which is fine with me as I would be paid whether they find me a days work or not! my consultant is really personable and she seems to genuinely want to get to know me which makes a nice change!

    They also have offices in London and Cardiff (as well as other places dotted around the uk and abroad) which is great for me as I travel between the two to see my son and daughter and they can have your file transferred if you decide to visit another part of the country but still want work.

    Great agency and honest staff which makes a refreshing change, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone to be honest.
     
  4. I have only had good experiences with Enlighten Supply Pool like I have said previously...they found me work and to this day the school I am at still use them. The school and the supply teachers that have come from this agency never have a bad word to say about them. It seems from what you have said that your rather bitter towards a company in which you worked for, therefore I wouldn't trust your opinion as you seem like your trying to destroy the reputation of this company. I have found very few agencies which treat you as well as Enlighten and I think it is very unfair what you are doing. I have checked along with other members of management at my school about the allegations you have suggested and it turns out they are untrue.
     
  5.  have only had good experiences with Enlighten Supply Pool like I have said previously...they found me work and to this day the school I am at still use them. The school and the supply teachers that have come from this agency never have a bad word to say about them. It seems from what you have said that your rather bitter towards a company in which you worked for, therefore I wouldn't trust your opinion as you seem like your trying to destroy the reputation of this company. I have found very few agencies which treat you as well as Enlighten and I think it is very unfair what you are doing. I have checked along with other members of management at my school about the allegations you have suggested and it turns out they are untrue.
     
  6. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    Anyone know any good Agencies in the Leeds area? I am finding the whole palava a bit of a mine field.
     
    educ80 likes this.
  7. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I joined Enlighten Supply Pool over a year ago, and I never heard anything more about it.
     
  8. I'm sure a lot of this must depend on the area you're in. I've been with two agencies for a while and one of them is Monarch, who have been good. I've recently signed with Hays but can't judge as yet. I do have to travel quite far, but I'm in quite a rural area.
     
  9. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    Neli - I'm registered with Protocol and Just Teachers, both of which were great and found me loads of work last year, although the work was with some of their other branches for Protocol. There are a few others but I don't know much about them.
     
  10. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    So maybe Hays Protocol and Just Teachers and maybe not bother with Enlighten, thanks guys :)

    Has anyone tried ITNMARK? I've just sent them a cv.
     
  11. sagesund

    sagesund Occasional commenter

    Hi Neli,

    I e-mailed ITNMark my CV a year ago. Haven,t heard a word since then!
     
  12. neli

    neli Occasional commenter

    Oh, thanks Sagesund, that sort of explains today. I e-mailed mine yesterday after them phoning me and requesting because I had registered on their site and,despite checking several times today, I have heard nothing back. I'm impatient after a day, a year would never do!

    Seems odd to be so keen as to phone when I simply registered and then not contact me all when I actually sent a CV :-/
     
  13. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    As others have said, supply work depends, to a great extent, on where you live. Where I am, NW London, 'you can't through a brick without hitting a would-be supply teacher', so work is sporadic, specially for secondary. I only joined a few agencies, only one of which, C*p*ta gets me the odd day here and there. ITN never bothered to get in contact and Hays (which seems to have a very bad reputation) were only looking for primary teachers. Protocol's Uxbridge office signed me up but did not send off for references, which they only told me months later.
     
  14. As an "experienced secondary chemistry teacher" I have been stuck on supply for a few years now and have become a bit of an expert, though I tend to prefer longer term roles.

    Best (for me) Just Teachers and Protocol, JT edge it as they pay more but Protocol are the easiest to deal with . JT do not like to give references to other agencies which can be a pain after a long term role.

    Celsian were okay but still used timesheets and lower pay, refused to join Teaching Personnel and Hayes due to low pay rate and general attitude.

    Just joined Ranstead, early days but have found me work quickly and high pay rates.

    That said, I find most schools in my area seem to have a "favoured" agency and so I tend to just go where the work is.
     
  15. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Snap, Leedsfan! Congratulations on getting a reasonable amount of work. Whereabouts in the country are you? Here in London, although not shocked at the lack of work, I was mildly surprised that, as a science teacher, I did not get a little more. There is too much competition amongst supply teachers, around here.

    I joined four agencies, with very little result, so I did not bother with any others. I know a couple of people who have joined a dozen or more without any of them coming up with much. Oddly enough, none of the very few days I have had was to cover science lessons: always general supply or other subjects.
     
  16. I am in the Yorkshire area, i tend to lose out on the day to day (too expensive probably) but pick up the longer term ones, work is steady, usually a struggle till October though. I seem to get alot of the "mess clearing" gigs but after all the false promises at the start of the contract, permanent jobs always seem to go someone younger and cheaper. I actually prefer it when the school is honest.

    In Yorkshire, the schools seem to deal with specific agencies only, to the point that an agency has rung me up to join at the request of a specific school. Unfortunately I am now stuck in this dead end career wise by the looks of it.

    Funnily enough I quit a permanent HOS position in London to move back up north after getting ill (non work related), my fallback was to move back down to secure a full-time role, bang goes that plan by the sound of it!
     
  17. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    In London to be a supply teacher is to be one of a very large shoal of fish swimming in a large pond. There might be more work down here but there are far more people chasing it. Not only does this make supply work sporadic, it has driven pay rates down to rock bottom. Teachers and CS roles have been amalgamated, so you can find yourself being asked to teach long term for £40 - 50 per day. Most disgusting of all amount of unpaid work, which agencies try to con you into doing. 'Supply and (lack of) demand', I suppose.
     
  18. Lilly86 I'm sure you are one of Enlightens staff!!! I haven't heard anything from them after I asked David (fake name, I'm sure) to explain me why did I got such a small amount of money for 3 days (for Cover teacher they paid me 8£/h!!!) their excuse was that in the contract is minimum of 80£ for a teacher but as I went as a cover teacher the rate is lower; where is that stated??? I've waited for 2 week for an additional act where is stated the amount for something else that a Teacher; I'm still waiting for that but I'm sure I'll never get it!

    Bunch of liers!!!

    Never trust this agency!!!

    I'll seek professional advice to take them to court!
     
  19. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Enlighten was one of those agencies you join and then they ignore you.
     
  20. lostre

    lostre New commenter

    I am in the Leeds area and have been doing supply work for about 14 months now. For the past 9 months I have been with Celsian. Now, I am not an easy case. I am available 3-4 days per week, I don't want long-term plus I am not willing to drive far (I feel I am the worst driver ever, no one would be safe with me on a motorway). I am very happy with Celsian so far. I have been given a lot of work since day 1. I do get work on all of the 3 days I am available per week and I am positive that if I wanted 5 days work I would have it. The staff are absolutely professional, they take my needs into consideration and rarely offer me an assignment they know I wouldn't want to say yes to. They also have dignity, they don't beg, they are not desperate so they don't make you feel awful if you say no to a booking. I am happy up to now. I believe it's not only the agency to blame when things go wrong (we are talking about decent agencies here). Also different people in a different phase of their life would make different conclusions about anything.
     

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