- Often a ready supply of work especially if you sign up with the dominant agency in the area.
- Your marketing and advertising is done for you.
- Great for short-term jobs allowing you to get a feel for schools in the area.
- Will be able to supply you with a professional reference.
- Most will happily accept you on their books as long as you are qualified and able to represent their image well (i.e. lack of references or experience not necessarily a deal-breaker).
- Many agencies add an increment as ‘holiday pay’ in lieu of actual holidays.
- Many agencies provide CPD training to their members.
- Sense of community – you feel as if you are working with a team.
- You avoid the problem of ‘putting your eggs in one basket’. If you decide not to return to a certain school, or they stop booking you there are other options available.
- Short notice cancellations are honoured by the agency – you still get paid.
- You are paid directly by the agency – issues are quick and easy to resolve.
- Once you have been introduced to a school through an agency you are not allowed to engage in work with them directly.
- Daily rates vary, but they are usually noticeably less than you would get privately.
- Communicating through a 3rd party can sometimes have a ‘Chinese-whispers’ effect if your agency is poorly organised.
- The application process usually involves applying for a new CRB – at your cost.
- If a school you work for wishes to employ you full-time, an introduction fee is charged to the school by your agency.
- You lose ongoing teachers pension benefits.
- The pay is higher. Usually matched to your pay spine without deductions from an agency.
- You communicate directly with the schools you work with.
- You often get more notice about when you are required to work – bookings often happen days or weeks in advance.
- You are often included as part of the school community, and have a closer understanding of the mechanics of how the school runs.
- As a ‘regular face’ behaviour management and relationships can improve.
- There is no impediment to converting to a contracted member of staff.
- There are no application forms to fill in!
- Any new CRB cost is usually covered by the school.
- As long as there are no breaks of employment of more than 3 weeks, your teacher’s pension is unaffected.
- If your booking is cancelled at short notice, you lose out.
- Your pay is actually organised and issued by the LEA. This can be tiresome if/when anomalies occur.
- Generally, more is expected of you in terms of administration and paperwork. You role is considered to be closer to a permanent staff-member.
- Relying on private work can leave you exposed if it dries-up.
- It can be tricky balancing private bookings with working for a supply agency.