Tes Editorial

Supply disgrace?

Posted by vforvendetta

To those of you who do not frequent the supply thread on this forum, may I be so bold as to bring to your attention the issue of retired teachers being parachuted into schools with no opportunity given to available supply teachers who are trying to forge a career? They are having their cake and eating it too!

Are they being greedy? Are schools too lazy to contact the LA? Is the system an "old pals network"?

Does this bother you if you are one of the aforementioned teachers? Does this bother you if you are the manager responsible? Are these schools trying to boost results by taking on retired principal teachers, depute heads and heads? Is this a disgrace? Comments please!

Posted by buffvasant

It's a disgrace! As Leonard Cohen said, "everybody's talking to their pockets". Greed, pure and simple.

Posted by st joseph

Last year we used supply teachers who are on our list. No retired teachers. It still does not seem a great system, though, for those who are newly qualified. I don't know what is happening in other schools, or regions, so I cannot comment on v's earlier points. Retired teachers should only be used as a last resort, which does happen, or when the supply teacher proffered is unacceptable, which occasionally happens.

Posted by mybabe

We use retired teachers because we can't get anyone else. Where are all the unemployed supply teachers, particulary science subjects? We are in Glasgow.

Posted by highlandfling

It's not just new teachers - it's all types with differing experience, and career changers who for whatever reason are without work. This problem has been brewing for years. It has taken a long time for people who are not in this situation to realise it.

Posted by davieee

In my last two schools the use of retired teachers was common. Teachers and unions did ask why new teachers were being used and were told that it was:

(a) the depute head responsible knew that the retired teacher was always available so didn't have to phone three or four people before he got to someone who was available (they didn't have time to look around), and

(b) retired teachers were a known quantity, in that they could be trusted to manage a class without allowing disciplinary issues to escalate.

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