Choosing the Right Teaching Agency for You
Published: Wednesday November 09 2016 by justteachers
With a reduction in the number of graduates studying to become teachers, it is not surprising that schools and academies have turned to education supply teaching agencies to plug the gap. With over 500 teaching agencies in the UK, how do you ensure you choose the best teaching agency for you?
Here we look at four questions you should ask before you take the plunge.
Does the teaching agency supply teachers to schools or academies where you want to teach?
Sounds obvious but with a scarcity of available teachers supply agencies are ramping up their marketing budgets to attract teachers to register. The most common and effective candidate attraction tool aside from an agencies website is to use Google Adwords and in turn creating pay per click adverts that are generated from the words you enter in to your Google search . However, just because you get a list of teaching agencies to choose from when you search say “teaching agencies in Lincoln”, it does not mean that every teaching agency listed will have schools or academies that they supply to in Lincoln. Depending on the age range that you teach, ask which Primary, Secondary or SEN schools the teaching agency work with that are close to you. Teaching supply positions are often last minute and ensuring there are a good number of schools that you can reach in the morning rush hour will ensure you have regular teaching work.
Does the teaching agency pay you fairly and on time?
Many teachers are turning to a teaching agency because of a lifestyle choice but you still want your past experience to be recognised, however, pay rates can vary wildly between education agencies. Agencies that want to attract outstanding teachers to supply to their schools will pay you in line with your experience because they want you to deliver outstanding lessons and in turn be requested back by the school. Stay clear of teaching agencies that simply want to put bums on seats and pay little attention to what your subject or age range experience is. It makes little sense to register with a teaching agency where you are paid fairly though if you are not paid on time. Agencies that make it easy for you to be paid stand out above the rest, forward thinking teaching agencies have moved away from cumbersome timesheets to ensure you can focus on teaching, they check with the school where you have worked, you get paid, simple.
Does the teaching agency comply with the Agency Workers Directive?
The Agency Workers Directive (AWR) was introduced in 2011. One of the main aims of the directive was to introduce equal treatment for agency workers. What this means for you as a supply teacher is that if you are placed in to a school or academy for more than twelve weeks you are entitled to be paid as if you were directly hired by the school, often referred to as paid to scale. Although all teaching agencies should adhere to the legislation, not all do, make sure you register with one that is AWR compliant, otherwise if you are placed in to a long term supply position you could be losing out on a lot of money.
Does the agency charge restrictive temp to perm fees?
Supply teaching is a great opportunity to work in a number of different schools or academies. You will get to experience a number of different teaching opportunities and pupils will benefit from your teaching skills and experience. Often a successful supply job will lead to a Head or Principal offering you a permanent position at their school or academy. Teaching agencies know that this is part of the recruitment cycle but some may actually hinder this opportunity for you by seeking to charge an exorbitant temp to perm fee. A good teaching agency that has both your interests and the schools at heart will have developed an innovative solution to this. Such solutions include a transitional period once the school has indicated they would like to offer you a permanent job after the initial supply job. The added benefit to this is that it gives you the time to make sure that the school or academy is the right one for you, after an agreed time you simply transfer to the school on a permanent basis.
Make sure you get the best agency for you. To see how justteachers can help you find the perfect teaching job, register on line or call your local branch. We look forward to working with you to find your next teaching job.