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Has anyone packed in a permanent position to work on supply?(34 Posts)
Is it worth it? I'm struggling to keep my head above water. Supposedly work 0.6 but it's ridiculous how much work I'm doing.
I've been in the same job for nearly 20 years ago so moving on is going to be a massive deal. But I can't do it any more.
If I went to a supply agency what could I potentially earn?
Following this post.
I gave in my notice last month and will be supplying from January. I can't wait! I'm worried about taking a pay cut but my mental health/family life is worth it.
I am in exactly the same position as you, but not been in my job as long as you have. Also thinking of leaving my job to do supply so will be interested to see what others say who have done this!
I love the teaching, but the other stuff just makes it a miserable job. I need to decide if I can get the love of teaching back when in an unfamiliar setting.
I can't afford to lose much pay but would be open to more hours because I wouldn't be bringing home the same workload.
@Feebeela please keep in touch and let me know how you get on.
Are you going with a particular agency?
I did 7 years ago and worked as a supply teacher in local infant schools for 5 years. I was able to be employed directly by them and therefore was paid pro rata on my last salary. However that doesnt happen I believe.
Not sure how much my colleagues earn through an agency but they get plenty of work and none of them regret giving up their permanent job!
With supply you can decide whether or not to return to a school if you didnt like it!
Yes, the fact that I earn just over half what I used to is worth it for the enormous improvement in work/life balance, reduction in stress and the wellbeing that comes from people being delighted with the job I do every day. I’ve been doing it for around 5 years now and will never return to class teacher responsibilities.
Primary, through an agency, you earn around £110 or so a day. No sickpay or pay in the holidays. Almost every school round here uses agencies.
Check how you stand re your pension before you do it.
I know I was thinking about the pension situation. I didn't know if you could still contribute to it?
Do you get paid a flat rate or do they honour upper pay scale?
I suspect you can't pay into Teachers Pensions of you do supply for an agency. I did supply for our LA for two years after I retired, and I could still pay into TP. I have been told that it is all agency now.
If you are enrolled in TP you should contact them to find out the position.
Yes. Earnings are how long is a piece of string. School budgets increasingly tight. Recruitment agents will tell you they can get you work because they want you on their books. They are sales people which you need to bear in mind. Are you secondary or primary? Secondary shortage subjects are easier round where I am than primary, for example. If you can afford it, the lack of stress is most certainly worth it!
No, you are out of the TP scheme, you get the miniscule, compulsory workplace one instead. Wasn’t much of a concern for me a second I had 30+ ft years stashed and it was looking like I wouldn’t live to collect. Flat rate, but some negotiating room. But supply isn’t about the money, if that’s a huge priority, then stay in a permanent job.
The benefits are cashless, it’s the freedom, the choice and the joy of weekends and evenings. Not waking up in a cold sweat at 4am with your teeth clenched, or crying in the car on the way home. Not wanting to throw up at observations and pp meetings...all that jazz.
Pensions depend on who you are paid by, most agencies use a payroll provider, some offer pension plans, some just offer NEST.
If you are doing supply you are unlikley to be working much after May as once exams are taken schools can re allocate their own teachers.
Some subjects are better than others, if you teach English you will not be out of work.
SOmetimes I've had long term supply and been treated just like any other member of staff, others I have had to cover any lessons in any subject.
It's noce when the same school / college ask you back.
Wouldn't do it at the moment - there's no spare budget so schools are doing anything they can to avoid supply costs. I'm back on supply after being out of the classroom for a few years and I haven't had a sniff of work at all yet and I'm a fairly old-school supply so I'm used to September being a write-off, October only getting going towards the end of it - but even anticipating I was going to be waiting longer coming back as a new face, this is worse than I'd ever imagined getting to mid-November with absolutely no work.
I'm planning on doing some supply work from Easter until I can find a permanent job closer to home as my son is starting school next September. I did supply for about a year about 10 years ago. I remember September being non-existant, October picking up towards the end and November and December gradually picking up. From the January I had a steady 3 days a week. But school budgets weren't as tight as they are now. I'm hoping I'll get some supply, and I'll be available for 4 days a week!
I quit a permanent 0.6 post after 12 years. Did supply for 3 years. It's all about the teaching and nothing else. Learn so much in such a short space of time, mainly about thinking on your feet, turning your hand to anything, building relationships quickly - it was basically like a job interview every time I stepped into a new school and it makes you fearless. I loved it.
Back in permanent now though as my £15k compulsory redundancy ran out and I couldn't afford to pay the bills on supply sadly, even with tutoring and exam marking on the side. I'm UPS3 but never got more than £120/day on supply, and only paid M6 when on a long term after 12 weeks.
It does depend on where you live, how far you are prepared to travel and most importantly, how wide your skill set is and how versatile you are. September is thin on the ground, but I’m managing a mixture of long term and daily supply work, 4-5 days a week. Schools are very stretched, and budgets are tighter now than ever before.
Supply teaching is the teaching without the paperwork or staff room politics. I prefer it.
I left my school in July, I’d had enough of the commute and dissaproved of the way the HT had treated some staff members.
I applied for a job where the closing date and interviews were after May 31st. I took the gamble knowing I could do supply as I’ve done it before. But I didn’t get the job!
I have done supply twice before. However, this time is very much different. I can only take pre-bookings as I need to arrange childcare and although I’m in a major city, there has been hardly any pre-booked work available. They all seem to be paying the same crap day rate, in fact I got the same, if not more the last time I did supply which was 8 years ago! With the recent change in the law tto Agency Workers Rights, combined with school cuts, it’s more difficult for agencies to make there money and so it’s us teachers that are loosing out. The agencies make a very bare minimum of £50 profit per daily booking - most of the time it’s far more!
Thanks to the online dbs update service, I’ve registered with around 5/6 different agencies as some specialise in day to day and others, long term positions. You also no longer need to be paid through an umbrella company - even when registered with multiple agencies- in fact every teaching union advises against ever using umbrella companies.
If you are not reliant on a guaranteed income, then yes supply is a great way to cut down on your workload yet still do the part of the job you enjoy - the actual teaching. However, before you start, research AWR (agency workers rights) particularly the 12 week rule if you are undertaking supply for a single local authority or school (doesn’t matter that you are employed by an agency, just that you have worked in a single local authority)
If you are NUT member there is a FB group for supply teachers that is good for advice and sharing info on particular agencies.
Good luck! I still have my fingers crossed that it's not too late for me to find a January position! Maybe you just need a change of school?
If you’re on Facebook-join the supply teachers group. It’s very interesting. Lots of supply agencies seem to be really taking the piss. Teachers being booked for M2 rates or CS rates, or even being invited to work at schools for free so that the HT can see what they think of you first. Lots of pre booked work cancelled at the last minute too and things seem very quiet; there are a lot of people not getting much work.
I’m permanent but joined the group to see what the supply situation was like-I decided it wasn’t reliable enough for me to leave a regular wage tbh.
My school hasn’t used any supply since September, so I can see why it’s so quiet over there. We just don’t have the budget and all cover is done by the head or the HLTA.
Have a look and maybe ask on there if there is anyone in your area who can tell you if there’s much work out there.
Great advice - thanks everyone.
I'm primary so don't think the whole exams in may thing affects me. Will search out the fb groups - thanks.
I have been doing supply for for 15 years as it fitted in with family life at the time, it has changed hugely over the years. There used to be a steady flow of work and schools could employ you directly if you were registered with the local council and therefore you could actually be paid to scale. All that has stopped now, at least in my area and it is all done through agencies. Day to day work is thin on the ground and there is fierce competition for it. Unless you teach a shortage subject I would advise against going down this route and even more so if it is going to be your only source of income. At the moment it may seem seductive but the reality is quite different.
A friend and I both left in July without jobs to go to - same dept, same school. Go figure. Anyway, my situation more complicated so have been at home for a term - deliberately. Friend has been on a maternity cover since end of Sept. There has been a lot to apply for including two permanent positions. I'm starting a maternity cover in Jan. Secondary English East of England.
Update on how it's been this year for me. I've not had a single day's work in primary. I'm limited on the days I can work and need advance booked work to get around childcare - but there's just not the work out there, especially breaking into it and getting your face known to start back off with (I'm an experienced old hand at supply but after a career break trying to start off again). There's just no leeway in the budget at all - I know my kids own school has the Head doing some of the cover to try to keep the supply bill down.
OK so supply in primary seems like a non starter?
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