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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:00 pm 
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Just wondering how supply teaching works. Dd's teacher is leaving and she will be having supply teachers between now and September. I'm obviously really worried how this will impact on her 11 plus , as it's a bit of a crucial time. Does the head set the work? Do they try to have just 1 teacher for the term ? Someone please reassure me!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:23 pm 
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Location: Essex
I would assume that it would depend on what arrangements the HT was trying to make and the availability of staff. My mum did supply teaching for a while when I was young and it seemed to be mainly short-notice, short-term stuff, although one contract must have been for longer as I got moved to the school in question for the duration for logistical reasons.

One of the things we can't fault our primary for is a long-standing decision to have permanent cover staff; I cannot remember them ever needing to use outside supply teachers.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:56 pm
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I work as a supply teacher and have done for many years on and off. The majority of he work is last minute day to day, but I did get a longer term contract. I would imagine most HTs will try and find someone either through their own supply pool or through an agency to cover the time on a temporary longer term contract. There is a high chance it could be an NQT if it is through an agency as it benefits the agency to get them longer term positions.

When my DS was in Y1 his teacher had to have an operation so they used the ppa teacher to cover initially. Unfortunately she was not well enough after 2 weeks and was off for the rest of the year so they school employed a supply teacher to cover on a temporary contract, initially part time with the ppa teacher and then full time. At the end of the summer term a post came up in the school, she got the job and stayed with DSs class as their teacher in to Y2.

I would only get concerned if they start having different supply teachers on a regular basis. To do supply you still have to be a qualified teacher and should be able to plan, teach and assess the children.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:56 pm 
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Don't worry, I was worried too, but I'm not now. My son's got 2 teachers, but one of them left in October (due to illness).
The HT made sure that the new teacher was experienced enough to take the class over. I think he/she knows it's quite a crucial time for certain students.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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Oh that's a stress you could do without.

For a big gap like that our school tries to employ someone directly themselves without an agency. One of my children has been on supply since the beginning of this school year. It's two part-timers as neither of them want to supply teach five days a week. It's not too bad but it's not too good either ..... thing is though, it's really just the maths that is probably directly related to the Kent 11plus papers so hopefully you are not missing out on too much even if the supply is not as good as the current teacher.

I need some of your health days Scarlett - haven't done even one yet because too many other things are getting in the way of that.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:45 pm 
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That is a big pain! From the point of view of your DD's education, I'm sure what you're doing with her to prep for the 11+ must be even more helpful for her now. Hope you hear some good news soon.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
It will depend very much on the school. My school employs supply teachers directly ( I was one for 7 years). This better for the teacher , the children and the school as the children know the teachers, accept them as being a "real" teacher and the supply teacher knows the children and school policy. Some schools use agencies and they vary.

Apart from short term supply the teacher would be expected to plan the work, for shorter periods supply teacher would follow the plans left by the class teacher. Supply does not mean that the teacher won't be a good teacher. If you are concerned you could maybe ask to speak to the head.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:04 pm
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Our year 5 teacher of some years standing left with immediate notice at the start of our year 5. Everyone had been relying on her to weave her magic and get everyone up to speed, especially as all the exams are in Sept year 6. It was seen as a total disaster. There was a pretty awful meeting with parents and governors as the head brought in a new supply teacher to take over. It really was quite ******.

The new supply teacher was absolutely amazing, a real gift to teaching. His commitment to getting the children through the exams and beyond was fantastic. Ds's writing was levelled at 3A at the start of year 5, but at the start of year 6 he passed Wilsons and Wallington (both of which have creative writing papers - Wilsons had kept theirs secret but he faced a 60 minute writing exercise).

Sadly you won't get him as your supply teacher, but it isn't always a disaster. In part it depends on your head and governors - if they are committed to 11+, then they will be pulling out all the stops on this I'm sure.


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