Class teacher is a supply teacher!

(27 Posts)
redskytonight Fri 04-Mar-16 12:36:49

It recently emerged that DD's class teacher is actually employed on a supply teacher basis (so she can -and does- take time off when she wants).

Why would the school choose not to employ a teacher on a permanent basis? (there are no primary school teacher recruitment issues in our area - teachers actually struggling to find jobs)

AlanPacino Fri 04-Mar-16 12:38:56

How much time has she taken off? Perm CT's have ppp and courses along with the usual reasons to be off in term time such as illness and so on.

redskytonight Fri 04-Mar-16 12:45:46

Enough time that DD said the other day that her teacher seems to be not there more often than she is there! And that she's getting to know the local supply teachers quite well because they are in so frequently ...

Does she have family issues that mean she would struggle to work part time, so employing her on a supply basis means she can have time off when she needs it (to care for a sick relative, or for medical appointments, perhaps)?

redskytonight Fri 04-Mar-16 12:52:21

I won't pretend to know the ins and outs of the teacher's circumstances, but some of her time off has definitely been for holidays.

She only started at the school in September last year so it's not a question of the school trying to find a way to keep on a valued member of staff - they have deliberately recruited a supply teacher!

Readysteadyknit Fri 04-Mar-16 13:01:18

School's in our area use long term supply for a variety of reasons - to cover maternity, long term illness, sabbaticals or because they are unable to fill the vacancy. Some schools also seem to prefer to employ new staff on a supply basis - 1 local school employs all their new staff from Canada via an agency - they have a very high staff turnover as a result.

Micah Fri 04-Mar-16 13:06:34

We had an issue where a class teacher went off on sick long term.

Problem is they can't recruit a new full time class teacher until they've gone through due process and the old one has been released from their contract- you can't just sack someone and replace them if they're genuinely sick.

redskytonight Fri 04-Mar-16 13:33:32

Hmm, I can't think of anyone on sick leave or maternity leave at DD's school (though I can see it would make sense to use a supply teacher in those instances).
As far as I'm aware DD's teacher was to replace one who moved to a different part of the country.

AlanPacino Fri 04-Mar-16 13:50:08

Some of the classes at ds's school have 2 different teachers because both don't want a full time job. Has your daughter suffered because of the set up?

redskytonight Fri 04-Mar-16 14:27:31

I think a job share is a bit (lot) different to a (supposedly) single class teacher that take a fair bit of time off and is either not replaced (so the class are given work and randomly scattered round the school) or is replaced by a succession of supply teachers who don't know the children.
It's bound to be unsettling at primary level where children are meant to have the benefit of a single teacher for consistency and have to continually get to know the new teacher's "ways".

On the plus side DD got "Star of the Week" 3 weeks running because it was awarded by 3 different teachers (though I suspect every other child in her class is now feeling aggrieved, DD was VERY embarrassed when she she got it for the third time).

AlanPacino Fri 04-Mar-16 15:29:38

Are you sure of these detriments or is it an assumption? You sill haven't quantified the amount she has taken off. If you have reason to believe your daughter is suffering because of this set up its the governors/HT you need to approach. I'm still not sure why you needed the exclamation in your title. She's a supply teacher not a psychopath.

redskytonight Fri 04-Mar-16 16:01:04

Seem to be missing the point of the thread ... I'm not complaining (as such) that her teacher is away so much. I'm simply asking if it's common to employ a supply teacher rather than a permanent member of staff. A couple of posters have pointed out that this might be usual where you have staff member off long term sick or need to cover something like maternity leave. And one poster suggested this might be the norm for new staff members.

And my explanation mark was meant to express surprise (because I'd assumed she was permanent, until the point at which I found out she wasn't, and can't understand the reason why she isn't.)

Whilst I'm sure the school is working to minimise disruption is is clearly more efficient for a class to have a single teacher (or 2 teachers on a job share) rather than a series of teachers who have no idea about the children's strengths or weaknesses, or what they might have done last week!

Orangeanddemons Fri 04-Mar-16 16:05:43

You can't employ anyone on a permanent contract unless the other teacher has left.

You can employ on a temporary contract but not always. It's particulately tricky when sick notes only run for a period of say 2 weeks. Often supply teachers are use on an ad hoc basis. The teacher is employed by the agency it the chocolate, and if she is employed on a week to week basis, she can ake holidays whenever he wants. Her loyalty isn't to the school really

Orangeanddemons Fri 04-Mar-16 16:06:50

Chocolate?!!! It should say not the school!

AlanPacino Fri 04-Mar-16 16:16:53

Freudian slip smile

RamblingFar Fri 04-Mar-16 18:00:43

Quite common here. Not enough applicants for teaching jobs.

jamdonut Sat 05-Mar-16 08:01:34

It might be because they know their staffing structure is about to change, or, they anticipate less classes next year, so it is easier to take on a supply teacher for a year than employ a teacher on a temporary contract? Whatever, I'm sure the school have their reasons.

3asAbird Sat 05-Mar-16 12:24:31

We just got unexpected letter yesterday
Dd 2 year 1 has job share teachers

One does 3days
Other 2days

Was same last year in reception job share
The 2day one has quit year 2 spend more time will family leaves in 2 weeks week before term ends.
So school covering rest if year with a long term supply teacher who has worked with school so familier face.
I guess hard recruit half way through year

The reception class lost their 3 day teacher immediate effect think due ill health so the one that does 2days agreed work all week rest of year.

At eldest school the had a disaster with year 2 Class
Teacher quit at Christmas refused stay on until end of year
New teacher taken on jan to july she decided quit as her previous school offered her permanent contract and she wasent too popular
New teacher taken on rings up 1st day term in September saying she changed her mind.

Luckily school had 1 extra teacher who stepped up and has been good this year hoping she stays as my son moves up a class.

The year 6 teacher is on secondment so no idea who eldest will have next year.

I agree constant supply is not great.
I'm not huge fan of job shares either
But relieved the 3days one staying

Schools sometimes have awful problems
Ay eldest 1st school many teachers were on long term sick thus resulted on lots teacher movement so no body could hues which teachers reaching each class

Supply must work out expensive.

Forgetmenotblue Sat 05-Mar-16 12:37:19

I'm a very experienced teacher who now works on supply for the flexibility. I do take days off occasionally (I'm doing a long term sickness cover at the moment) I've had two such days since September, to prolong holidays and thus get cheaper flights. I always leave work for my class and I've had no other time off. The school can terminate me at any time so they have no 'loyalty' to me, and so none from me to them. But I don't take the piss, wouldn't muck about the children, and I'm good at my job (offered permanent posts quite a lot) so overall it works for me and for them.

clam Sat 05-Mar-16 12:48:47

It's bound to be unsettling at primary level where children are meant to have the benefit of a single teacher for consistency

Since when? hmm Anyway, even if this was once the expectation, it certainly isn't nowadays, as the job-spec has increased to such a degree, and morale is so low that teachers are leaving in droves, there is a national recruitment crisis (even if you're not yet aware of it taking effect in your area), and anyone who doesn't have to work full-time will aim for part-time. I'm certainly never going full-time again, and the (few) full-timers on our staff are on their knees and a couple of minutes away from breakdowns.

I would say, be thankful you've even got a qualified teacher in front of your daughter's class.

Forgetmenotblue Sat 05-Mar-16 13:00:44

Totally agree with everything clam said.

Teachers leaving in droves and not coming back. TBH I can almost name my price and my terms when I take on work, they're glad to have me. But as I say, I don't take the piss. I work in local schools and know the staff well, and sometimes work in my kids' schools, so I'm often teaching my own or my friends' children, so I'd never take advantage.

mrz Sat 05-Mar-16 18:05:26

Nicky Morgan has promoted part time job share as a way to solve the reacher recruitment crisis (while not admitting there is a problem) and announced a working party to look at the possibility of flexitime working (anyone see a potential problem with that idea?)

spanieleyes Sat 05-Mar-16 18:16:34

I think flexitime would be great! I'm an early bird and start work at 7, so ideally I could finish at around half one. Not sure whether to make the children come in at 7 too or teach for a couple of hours without any children ingrin

Which do you think would suit Ms Morgan better????

mrz Sat 05-Mar-16 18:29:22

I'm an early bird too so was wondering about 6am - 6pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and 6am - 2pm Thursday then I can have nice long weekends and take my holidays when it's cheaper 😉

mrz Sat 05-Mar-16 18:32:06

This could work! Just think how much paperwork you can get through without children to teach!

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