Crucial to find the right agency

22nd December 2000 at 00:00
I write in response to Jean Webster's letter "When agencies don't pay" (TES, December 8).

In defence of supply teaching agencies I have encountered huge differences between them but that does not mean excellent ones don't exist!

First of all I must address your concern regarding police checking. Having joined a supply agency many years ago, I know that one of the first forms I completed was police clearance followed by many other reference checks and health questionnaires. The agency staff treated me with great respect.

Although I understand that I am currently paid less than I would be working via the local education authority, Iam happy to teach (and let's face it, supply teaching short term is just teaching, raw and pure) wherever I can, whenever I can. I have found LEA staff discourteous and unhelpful and I know for a fact that many schools find the same. Therefore they use agencies. The agencies provide a much better service for less money than the LEA, I get to teach and we are all happy. Not only that but I receive training, resources and advice.

I would urge young teachers to strongly consider joining supply agencies (but find the right ones). They can be just the right stepping stone into your career that you need.

Name and address supplied

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