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Primary teachers - a question about supply/hours/pay

(18 Posts)
Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 09:45:32

I am working supply at the moment (no jobs, am hoping it will pick up in the new year)

If you do supply, how many hours do you claim for if you work a full day? I am only allowed to claim 5 1/4, which I am a bit surprised by because in order to do the day's teaching I have to be in school well before the children arrive, to look at planning and set up, prepare etc, and I don't leave exactly when the children do as there is always tidying up to do, filling in reading records, leaving notes for the teacher etc. And lunch hour is unpaid, which I think is a bit odd given that I am in school preparing for the afternoon (especially when I have different classes in the morning and the afternoon).

Is this usual?

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 09:52:42


SavoyCabbage Wed 05-Dec-12 10:01:48

Not helpful as I live in Australia but six hours. The hours are the same in every school, 9-3.30 and you get 15 minutes at playtime and 15 at lunch as the teachers do lunch duty here.

willow777 Wed 05-Dec-12 10:02:58

I used to get 8.30 to 3.30 I think, it was set for days or half days anyway.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 10:09:45

Oh, OK. Six hours would be a bit fairer I suppose. I'm not being greedy, I'm just surprised as I assumed I would be paid for the hours I actually worked! When I temped for years i other jobs I filled in time sheets to say how long I worked and was paid by the hour, so this is all a bit unfamiliar.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 10:18:42

bump in case any other teachers about

I feel a bit cringy posting this, it feels a bit ungrateful, and I love the school I am working in , I would probably hang around for nothing if they let me blush

BUT my inner Wat Tyler is pointing out that if I actually only worked the hours they are paying me for I wouldn't be able to do the job at all!

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 10:41:19


Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 11:26:32

bump (but I am off out soon so it won't be popping up annoying people all day)

MyBoysHaveDogsNames Wed 05-Dec-12 11:36:53

I have just started doing supply and they pay me a day rate, which they advise me of before I start. I got to a school at 8.30am on Monday and left just before 5pm as I did all the marking and tidying up. I also worked through lunch preparing for the afternoon's lesson and then did playground duty in afternoon break.

My agency doesn't use timesheets - just pays either half day or full day rate which seems fair. I agree with you. If I had just got paid per hour and was only allowed to claim a certain amount, I wouldn't be able to prepare properly or do any marking. Although obviously I would do these things and just be doing them for free!

Are there any other agencies you can talk to in the same area?

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 11:40:14

This isn't an agency Boys, it's arranged with the school (and I love the school). I'm working this afternoon, I will be in school at 12.15 to prepare and set up my activities, playground duty and tidying up/writing observations/catching up with the teacher (who is on PPA) afterwards, so probably leave at about 4-ish if I am lucky. The set rate for an afternoon is 2 1/4 hours.

I'm not complaining about the work, I love it and feel lucky to have it! But it does seem wonky.

cornycarrotshack Wed 05-Dec-12 12:44:10

Are you spending too much time on the marking perhaps? Buy a stamp and stamp the books instead of writing a comment. Try to mark as the children do the work. If you're on supply you shouldn't be expected to mark as thoroughly as the class teacher. Although you say you're employed by the school which is a temporary contract surely? confused

when I did supply I spent less time 'working' outside teaching time than when I was based in a school, but it's very easy to get sucked in to doing too much.

Are the school giving you PPA?

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 17:35:06

I'm not employed by the school in that I don't have a contract - they ring me and give me dates to come in, which at the moment is working out at between 1 and 3 days a week depending on need. I do one afternoon every week for a particular teacher's PPA and the rest is ad hoc.

I don't spend much time marking as I am mostly in YR/Y1/Y2, but there are plenty of other jobs that have to be done in order to leave the classroom/outside area as I find it! And I do write down EYFS observations, notes etc for the teacher and do reading records/guided reading notes etc.

I'm not that bothered about the money really (not that we don't need it! but I love the work so much I would do it for less if I had to). It's more the principle, it seems wrong to pay someone for 5 1/4 hours when they clearly do more than that and wouldn't actually be able to do the job if they only did those hours, as it leaves no time whatsoever outside actual teaching time. And it seems weird not to pay for the lunch hour too when supply teachers generally spend much of it doing prep for the afternoon class, getting handover from the teacher who is going out/PPA, tidying up one classroom and setting up another etc.

BranchingOut Fri 07-Dec-12 20:20:42

Lunch has always been unpaid for teachers, as the school day is technically not a day but a morning and an afternoon sessions.

Teachers went on strike in the 80s to have the right not to supervise pupils at lunchtime. But many, many teachers do work through lunch as you describe - I almost always did.

I suspect that the school might be getting quite a good deal on this hourly rate versus paying an agency, but whether you want to raise it or not depends on whether or not this job works out for you in other ways.

BackforGood Fri 07-Dec-12 20:29:58

All supplys I've ever known work on a 1/2 day or full day amount, not 'by the hour'. Well, only exception I knew of was where a teacher came in and did literacy hour 'sets', so literally came and did 2 x 1hr each morning.
Everyone says when they first do it, that it seems more than FT pay, as of course you don't get the year's salary divided by 12 months, you get the year's salary divided by 195 days, so one days pay seems like a lot if you can put aside the thought of not getting anything in August of course.

BranchingOut Fri 07-Dec-12 22:17:49

The other thing they might be trying to do is reflect that afternoon sessions are shorter than mornings.

If you were an employed part time teacher who worked afternoons you would be paid less than if you worked mornings.

Ultimately, only you know if you are happy with what you are getting or whether you should maybe go back and ask for a bit more, maybe as PPA, because you are fulfilling some of those tasks. Whereas I have never seen an agency supply teacher stay beyond 15 minutes after the children were collected.

Greensleeves Fri 07-Dec-12 22:48:54

I see all the logic of your responses, but the fact remains that I have to write "5 1/4" on the claim sheet when I know full well that I worked more than 6 hours and couldn't do the job properly if I had worked 5 1/4. It's not that I want more money though, it's just my Aspie streak, I don't like things that are "wrong" blush

I've got a load of marking to do this weekend - school has a policy that the person who taught the lesson has to mark the work - and although I don't normally have much marking this lot is going to take me a while and will obviously be unpaid.

It grates when I see people on MN complaining that teachers are lazy or spoiled, and it grates when people make comments about "oh you're a supply teacher" or "oh you're an NQT" as if that renders my experience completely null and void.

<in a foul mood>

BackforGood Sat 08-Dec-12 12:58:55

Of course, it does depend on the hourly rate.
If they've divided a FT salary into 195days x 5 and 1/4 hrs, then actually, once again, your hourly rate will be about twice the hourly rate of a FT/permanent teacher, who gets paid "to do the job". If they are counting the job in terms of contact hours, and the hourly rate reflects that, then it will balance out IYSWIM.
You don't need to publish it on here, but have a look at the annual salary for wherever you are on the payscale, divide it by 195, and see if that's what they are paying you (before deductions) for the day. If it's the same, then you are not being diddled, it's just phrased badly - or your agency or the school hasn't explained to you clearly how their accounting system works. If it's clearly a lot less, then you need to think about going back to them and showing them the figures and discussing it with them. Do factor in though, all the things you don't do as a supply that they do..... reports, staff meetings, Parents Evenings, etc.,etc.

chickenk Wed 03-Feb-16 19:05:58

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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