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Primary Supply - what's the work availability/agency shenanigans like at the moment?

(8 Posts)
MiaowTheCat Wed 13-Dec-17 12:02:15

Trying to get a general feeling for how good/bad it's gotten before I even start contemplating next moves.

Used to do it about 6 years ago now - was starting to feel the pain back then over changes in class cover arrangements but had done relatively OK based on long standing reputation and links with schools. Agencies were starting to get ridiculous with requests to work for free as "taster" sessions and the like... kids came along so I just took a step back from it all.

Trying to work out a route back into teaching (yes I know - opposite direction to the general stampede) - working on getting back up to speed with curriculum changes etc already on my own at home - but I've obviously got a gaping hole in my CV and need some route back in. Not going to even think about trying to arrange childcare to push back on supply if the situation is still as dire as it was getting way back when though - but I do seem to fairly regularly get "do you have a pulse and could be a warm body to stand in front of a class? we need yooooooouuuu" type emails from agencies I was previously registered with so was wondering if it's the usual agency bullshit or if there is work out there these days?

East Midlands + Primary for relevance sake.

disappearingninepatch Thu 14-Dec-17 21:17:54

I think that there is quite a variation in people's experience depending on geography. I am in the West Midlands and am registered with two agencies. After a very quiet September, I have worked almost every day that I have made myself available this term. I am a member of a fb group for supply teachers. There are members there who have only worked one or two days this term.
I would not do a taster day without being paid, but it's not uncommon for teachers to be asked to do so. My main experience of agency shenanigans is being offered long term jobs that do not exist!

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone Thu 14-Dec-17 21:44:49

Oww I am East Midlands and Primary. I work with Connex and have since part way through last year. They have been great and I have been very busy (even in September). I normally have at least a days notice of where I am going although there have been some AM calls but that is to be expected. The work has been varied (some longer term and lots of repeat work at a schools request). I have only been quiet these past 2 weeks although I have a feeling that's down to schools covering Christmas bits and pieces with other staff as they are not teaching lessons. Feel free to PM me for more information but there is definitely work out there if you want it.

P.s: I have never been asked to do a trial day unpaid and to be honest I would refuse my time is worth something and if you are not going to pay me for working I would rather sit on the sofa eating biscuits. grin

MiaowTheCat Thu 14-Dec-17 21:52:56

Thanks - and yep to the refusal to do the agency antics (they wanted a pay afternoon get morning free thing once - I'm not a BOGOF!).

I know it's always very regional and circumstance dependant hence asking so thanks for the info... just trying to work out plan of action at present to get back into things.

MsJaneAusten Thu 14-Dec-17 23:14:45

If you want back in and would need to arrange childcare, would applying for permanent part time not make more sense?

MiaowTheCat Fri 15-Dec-17 07:06:39

I did supply for years before (mental health went down the shitter because of work stress) and hence have no real references to put on a job application at present - the heads I worked for were primarily older heads who've retired and generally died since then (not my fault!) hence I'm going to have to chip away to get back into things slowly - permanent part time is my ideal scenario but that's going to have to be a long game. At the moment I'm doing lots of voluntary helping in my kids' school to start to rebuild some form of referencing but the only way I can see back in is to get enough of a reference to pass supply agency checks and then work away at things that way.

Needs to all wait till we get through the diagnostic process for DD2's SEN anyway! Well with the way they keep raising the pension age I've got plenty of years left to achieve all of this.

Thehairthebod Mon 18-Dec-17 20:45:08

If you want back in and would need to arrange childcare, would applying for permanent part time not make more sense?

As someone who is just about the leave their part time teaching job because even that was taking over my life, I'm not sure part time is all that much better! "

ElfrideSwancourt Tue 19-Dec-17 09:48:52

@Thehairthebod I'm another part-timer in the same position- I spend my days 'off' doing planning etc. Am just working out whether to stay until the end of the academic year or go earlier.

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