Supply teachers need protection

6th October 2000 at 01:00
"AGENCY cut pay for supply staff' read your headline (TES, September 15). One Sheffield teacher with 10 years' experience lamented that her daily pay had been cut from pound;123 to pound;110, a drop of pound;65 a week. Sympathetic though I am, the situation is far worse elsewhere.

I joined an agency, not through choice but because in London and the Home Counties, agencies have an almost total monopoly. If you do not belong to an agency you do not work.

My local authority, Buckinghamshire, pays pound;124 a day for me. My agency pays me pound;90 a day. Therefore, I am charged pound;34 a day or pound;170 a week to work for it.

However, this is not the true profitto the agency. It charges schools pound;156 a day to find a supply teacher. Subtract the teacher's pay, pound;90, and the agency is pound;66 in profit. Work a full week and the agency gains - I refuse to use the term "earns" - pound;330.

Newly-qualified teachers can earn pound;85 a day. My almost 30 years' experience, the degree I studied for in my early 30s, various diplomas gained and courses attended, earn me an extra daily pound;5 above that of an NQT.

The "Bill of Rights" for supply teachers proposed by The TES cannot come early enough for me!

Rob Ian Smith

3 Cobbler's Close

Blackpool Lane

Farnham Royal

Buckinghamshire


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