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Supply teaching and marking

(27 Posts)
SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Sun 27-Nov-16 15:44:57

Having always sworn I wouldn't do it having seen the way students can treat supply teachers, I've just signed up with an agency. I said I wouldn't take primary jobs as the contract says you have to mark work at the end of the day (this is for day-to-day work). Seems excessive to me. Has anyone experienced this and how long does the marking take? Can't imagine I'd do more than tick and flick!

CremeEggThief Sun 27-Nov-16 15:54:24

IME, you can't really mark properly as a supply teacher, unless you know the class quite well, through covering them often. Quite often, there are a couple of success criteria to highlight and then you just put a general comment, always positive, on the work. Ask what colour pen is used for marking , if there's a T.A. or paralkel teacher. If the work isn't up to scratch, I tend to put, "Is this your best work?" I also ask the T.A., if there is one, is this standard you would expect of such and such , and if it's not and there's enough time, I try to get that child to finish it off later. In my note for the teacher, I let them know who hasn't finished work. I'm always finished marking by 3.45 or 4 p.m.

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Sun 27-Nov-16 17:21:40

Thanks for that, Creme. So you're not marking everything they do? Are you primary trained? And do you enjoy supply teaching?

fruitpastille Sun 27-Nov-16 17:55:54

I would do as much as you can during the lesson while circulating and supporting (then chn also have chance to respond to it say if they need to do a small correction) and finish the maths/literacy at lunchtime. Then quick tick on any afternoon work (which might not even need making if pe/ict...) You could get a personalised stamp "Mrs Smith says well done" for example. Then any book scrutinies will show that it wasn't the usual teacher that day.

CremeEggThief Sun 27-Nov-16 19:34:46

No problem, SuperMoon. I'm actually early years trained and usually stick to Nursery and Reception, which is another way to get out of markingwink. That said, I don't mind marking when I do Key Stage 1. My ventures into Key Stage 2 are few and far between! Yep, I forgot to add, always put Supply or S.T. (for supply teacher) when marking.

Rainbowcolours1 Sun 27-Nov-16 21:33:27

I'd expect supply teachers to mark work if appropriate. I'm paying for a teacher so expect supply to do a teacher's job, as far as can be expected. Good supply teachers are worth their weight in gold. Someone who is out of the door marginally after the children would probably not be returning!

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Mon 28-Nov-16 07:58:41

Wow, thanks for that, Rainbow - bet they're queuing up to return! You know supply teachers get about half the pay of your regular staff, right?

Rainbowcolours1 Mon 28-Nov-16 17:44:55

Actually they are! We do set people up on our payroll if they are happy to keep coming to us and we are happy with them. That way we, and they, get paid the same as regular teachers. I do think that supply teachers often get a raw deal...that said I have had some who have been appalling, as well as many who are great. The bottom line for us is that the children don't loose out.

champersandgin Mon 28-Nov-16 17:52:10

Please, please, please mark the work you teach. Supply teachers not marking was a huge bugbear of mine. When marking is such a huge thing at the moment, it's really not fair for the class teacher to have to come back and mark the work.

We refused to have supply teachers back if the class teacher came back to unmarked work.

padkin Mon 28-Nov-16 18:01:56

It depends a little on the schools expectation and marking policy. I did supply for a short while and was very conscientious about marking, particularly as a Primary teacher who knows the trauma of book scrutinies.

But at one school I was in (Y3) the English was an unaided assessment write, and they expected me to complete a success criteria with about 12 objectives to mark against (met, working towards, not met) for each child, then add 2 written positives and choose an appropriate target for improvement. For 30 children! That's about 2.5 hours work! I marked til 4.30, then left with a note saying I'd done as much as I could. Now that is a bonkers supply expectation.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 28-Nov-16 18:07:54

In secondary, we pay extra for planning and marking, as opposed to turning up on the day and delivering a cover lesson.

ElegantDream Mon 28-Nov-16 20:31:34


If you have expectations like that, then pay them properly! Do you know how little they get paid? A UPS3 teacher can be paid £100 before tax for a day's supply. Why would they want to hang around? A quick tick, yes - but proper marking?

I wouldn't want to go back to your school!

storynanny Mon 28-Nov-16 20:42:44

I get hired directly by the school and as I am paid my high daily rate I expect to do all the marking.
I do it to the best of my ability, with limited knowledge of individual children, follow the school marking policy, put my name and supply teacher on each piece of work. This is in key stage 1 so I can do most of it during lunchtime or after school in less than an hour. In most of my regular schools, the LSA's mark and initial the work done by each of their groups during the lessons, so that means I don't have 30 to mark for each session.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Tue 29-Nov-16 06:10:23

I don't do primary for that reason - was suckered when I first started supply teaching, and just told the agency I would do secondary only. If everyone made a stand schools would either have to pay for the extra time spent marking, or instead set work that does not require 'in depth' marking which is entirely pointless if you do not know the children and are only there for the day..

Rainbowcolours1 Tue 29-Nov-16 07:00:33

As I said in my post...we usually pay directly so a teacher gets the same as regular staff...if they are UPS then that is what they are paid. When we are using a supply agency we ask for a break down of what they pay their staff after deductions etc. If they are paying below that of regular staff we don't use them. I don't think we can be much fairer than that.
We wouldn't expect in depth marking, but, depending on what has been taught we would expect more that a quick tick. To be fair we have very low staff absence and the supply we have are known to us and are happy to keep coming back to us.
We can't be that bad!

reup Tue 29-Nov-16 07:13:22

I do primary supply and sometimes the marking guidelines really piss me off. One school asked me to "now and wow" each piece of work. So for 5 lessons that is 150 books. I always mark work but I have no idea without looking through each book if the work is the best they've very done or not great for them. Looking back through the book the teacher had hardly marked anything but was expecting me to do in depth marking on everything!

LarrytheCucumber Tue 29-Nov-16 07:23:06

On my last ever day as a supply teacher (had already retired but did supply for a couple of years) I was there after all the staff had gone because I had received a message from the teacher to 'Mark please '
I agree that if you don't know the class it is really difficult to know what their usual standard is, and to some extent it is meaningless. On the other hand I can quite understand why the teacher didn't want to mark a load of books for lessons she hadn't taught, because it happened to me on a regular basis when the Head's best friend took my class and left it for me to mark, so I could see what they had done!

ElegantDream Tue 29-Nov-16 07:25:00

Rainbow apologies... I missed your second post... but you must be a very rare school to treat supply teachers like you do.

You should see some ridiculous mark schemes out there...

TenaciousOne Tue 29-Nov-16 07:30:53

Rainbow so you pay them during the holidays?

echt Tue 29-Nov-16 10:45:20

Rainbow are those supply teachers getting payments into their teachers' pensions?

MrsGuyOfGisbo Tue 29-Nov-16 16:53:39

I recommend approaching schools directly I did this last year (secondary) and had work nearly every day from them and only did a few agency days. The direct schools pay PAYE and TPS and a higher rate of pay than agencies, and they also pay less than they would to the agencies, plus they know and trust the supply teacher. Win/win.
One of them offered me a job and as it had not been advertised and they knew me form the ad-hoc supply days, I was able to negotiate my own terms so I get paid to teach, am in school only 8-4 with free periods for planning, marking, assessment, and don't have a tutor group, duties or clubs. Ironically, the subject I teach is not my specialism, but is a shortage subject and they had see me cover it professionally so was low risk to them and I have learned new skills.

runpenrun Thu 01-Dec-16 21:47:40

In my school, if you didn't mark you wouldn't be asked back. On the plus side, lessons are planned for you in detail, groutings are left, worksheets copied and the children are great. I even set up a folder on the school system (with navigation instructions) with all the PPTs, resources and hyperlinks for a supply that covered me on Monday. I think a little marking is only polite in return. smile

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Thu 01-Dec-16 22:54:18

Coming from secondary marking the work seems such an alien concept, and enough to put me off doing supply in primary. Not wanting to do marking is one of the reasons I don't have a permanent job!

runpenrun Thu 01-Dec-16 23:22:00

Marking in primary is relentless at the moment - everything that goes in an exercise book or on a worksheet is marked! Not sure of the value of it all if I'may honest.
If a supply ticks things, adds a comment here and there and writes supply, I'm happy.

SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Fri 02-Dec-16 07:15:41

Marking in secondary is also relentless, but they're not (yet) making supply mark work. As you say, getting supply to mark isn't a terribly valuable exercise (ditto for the endless reams of marking expected of regular staff IMO).

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