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

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

  1. Lily, I was an employee at Enlighten for a bit and I can tell you now, what everyone is saying they are correct. Worked there on mininum wage, being treated poorly and trying to rip off the teachers. Would avoid this company like the plague (would probably prefer the plague than dealing with that company ever again). Never got paid on time, never had payslips and he wanted us to work our fingers to the bones for what???? After tax absolutley nothing!!! AVOID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. chekhuo

    chekhuo New commenter

    Anyone know any good agencies in Liverpool
  3. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    I know that Liverpool is a case in point of a rip off agency undercutting all the others and being nominated preferred provider. I know of teachers on fixed rates of £90, doing long term placements in demanding schools with no chance of ever reaching parity pay
    pepper5 and PizzoCalabro like this.
  4. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    I think it is worth revivg this old thread. TES editorial has named schools and academies WHERE THERE IS VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE that poor practice has occurred.
    So what is a rip off?
    Misdescribing a placement.
    Misquoting pay rates
    Verbal harassment (hard to prove)
    Misquoting the law in order to coerce schools and teachers.

    If you take a few minutes to confirm telephone conversations by email or text, you have evidence. There are hundreds of anecdotes of all of the above on these boards.

    Too many recommendations of so-called "good" agencies on public boards are subjective or just trolled by agencies themselves. Just placing you in work and not being rude are not valid criteria.

    Ask your union for advice on what your legal rights are. If they are being abused, take action and let others know.
  5. specialsport1

    specialsport1 New commenter

    Here's my story
    I was unfortunate enough to lose my job. I made a mistake after 15 years teaching. It was capitalized on by a horrible boss and used to get rid if me. That's how I came to be back on supply.
    I fought back, I gained favourable references and new employment history. Things were getting better. I worked DAMN hard for that.
    I registered with an agency in the north west, based in Manchester. They sent me to a special school in the region. Ask fine. All good. They wanted to give me a for month contact for supply. Excellent.
    Next day I went back, there was an incident, a student became violent and aggressive. I was told the student would stack staff and pupils alike. He did.
    He threw chairs and tables were tipped. He assaulted be heavily twice and injured me. The regular staff were nowhere to be found. Just me and two agency TAs who'd been there a few days days.
    I had to act, I had to do something. I ended up on the floor and I had to physically intervene. I uzed the absolute bare minimum of intervention I could. I had to.protect myself and the kids.
    Whole thing lasted no more than minute.
    Sorted came in, took over picked him up roughly under the arms and dumped him in a quiet room and shut the door. I want happy with that because it felt like seclusion to me.
    The day carried on nothing was said. Then 3 days later I was accused of assault by the agency and cut loose. They reported me to social services as well as the police. They came to my house they interviewed my children and inspected their rooms. It was horrendous. Three months later I was interviewed by the police. Out was quickly established the marks on kid that led to me being accused were caused by the school staff NOT ME. No further action, no case to answer. Likewise social services. I was completely cleared.

    I was angry at the way the agency behaved, no support no communication, no updates, no nothing. I told them add much.
    Their response was to conduct their own internal investigation with the LADO, with out even telling me, without even asking for my side. They then decided that even though I had been cleared they felt I had done it and they reported me to the DBS and NCTL and I had to go through the whole thing again. It was a nightmare.
    As a result I lost out on a permanent job. The offer was withdrawn.
    Next the other agency I was registered with, who id worked for 8 months with no problem, zuddenly droped me refused to say why, or who theyd spoken to ot what was said. Only they'd recieved "bad feedback"
    They had only sent me to one school, and that school had offered me a job. Who then withdrew it because of a bad reference.
    This agency will now refuse to talk to me, refuse to give me information, and refuse to supply even a basic reference so I can get work elsewhere.
    My career is in tatters. Because these bloody people think they're the b all and end all of education today. I would ban them all bar a few in a heartbeat. They produce nothing, they contribute nothing, they ride roughshod over proper procedure, they can blacklist you and get away with it, they're parasites.
  6. ultimatedingbat

    ultimatedingbat Established commenter

    I've been with good and bad. I won't name the bad who left me high and dry, but so far Tradewind have been very good to me good pay rates and supportive
  7. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Can you elaborate on "good" pay rates? How much is the daily rate? Do you know if this is standard for all teachers across their whole network of offices?
  8. ultimatedingbat

    ultimatedingbat Established commenter

    Their base pay rate I believe is £120 (at least it is where I am on the pay scale) compared to most other agencies that only pay £100. I am am more than this. I get between £130 and £150 depending on assignment
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I am truly shocked at reading your story. Can your union do anything at all for you?

    Teaching is now becoming dangerous no matter whether you work in main stream or in special units as it is possible to be assaulted anywhere.

    I am not sure how you can get back on your feet, but if you get cleared with the DBS perhaps you could get back to teaching through your own efforts without using agencies.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you will get some help from somewhere so you can get back to work.
  10. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    You can negotiate a better rate if you are with more than one agency. Surprised me tht people stick with one. If they have you dependent on them for work, why would they offer you a better rate, or the better schools? They have you captive. If they know you are registered with others certainly doesn't stop them giving you work which seems to be the fear some teacher have. If they book you for a day they get eh double whammy of the fee but also preventing their competition for using you that day. As well as my direct schools I also work for agencies, who all know I am getting booking from others. If they mess up my pay, as one did this week, they will rectify it immediately because I will not work for them again until they do....
  11. aathienitis

    aathienitis New commenter

    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2016
  12. ultimatedingbat

    ultimatedingbat Established commenter

    I would second the Protocol message as I was with them, fantastic
  13. ultimatedingbat

    ultimatedingbat Established commenter

    Avoid ITN Mark like the plague!!!
  14. gingerhobo48

    gingerhobo48 Star commenter

    I used to be with athona, they listened to me and tried to get me jobs within my preferred age range (KS1).They also tried to set me up with longer term placements which I repeatedly told them I didn't want to do but they did get the message. I grew a pair of b*lls with this agency, found my voice, started saying "no" and it was the 1st one that mentioned doing trial days for free (how I laughed at my interviewer when she mentioned that).They were quite personable, I had the same consultant for the whole time I was with them (unusual I know).
  15. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    The problem with endorsing any agency is that they have several branches, some of which are staffed with people who are professional and some are a disgrace. I know of agencies in East Anglia where the Chelmsford branch offers one rate of pay, Cambridge another and Peterborough yet another and within each branch, each desk competes with the other so the primary desk might well offer better money than the secondary who try to get teachers to work as Cover Supervisors.
    In general, the national statistics gathered by the teaching unions show that wages are drifting down.
  16. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    If anyone is looking at agencies in Cambridgeshire I would recommend Simply Education - they were really helpful to me and good people to deal with.
    ultimatedingbat likes this.
  17. books1990

    books1990 New commenter

    Anyone know any good agencies in Nottingham?
  18. languageswithmona

    languageswithmona New commenter

    Any good agencies in Bristol?
  19. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Just reading this old post with interest.
    Monarch is the worst supply agency that I have worked for (5 years total on Supply). Multiple last minute in-the-school-car park cancellations and payment via Umbrella only.
  20. jammie76

    jammie76 New commenter

    I only work for one agency because I prefer the catholic sector. My consultant is brilliant. I say when I work and which key stage. I'm always listened to and feel valued. Yes, sometimes work is slow but the agency is always honest. All agencies are there to make a profit remember, but not all are out to rip teachers off. Supply is never secure and that is why teachers must weigh up the advantages against money.
    schoolsout4summer and pepper5 like this.

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