In part three of our expose on why contract teachers are turning to supply teaching, we turn our attention to academy schools. We reveal why enforced new terms and conditions set by academy schools are driving teachers to rethink their careers.
teachweb supply teachers have been more than willing to share with us their experiences.
Many teachers told us they felt they were being taken for granted. Unfortunately, many also told us they had turned to supply teaching as an exit route from the profession.
It is a fact that academy schools are free to invent new terms and conditions for new staff. On a positive note, the majority of academy pay scales do not tend to vary much from national norms.
Yet worryingly, according to a report by the Times Education Supplement: “Some academies require staff to be available during school holidays, while others put no upper limit on working hours.”
According to the NASUWT, academy schools can propose all sorts of changes to pay and conditions.
Some existing academies insist on Saturday working, whilst others enforce longer school days and longer school years. In some, slightly more pay is offered for these extensions to working hours. In others, this is not the case.
Furthermore the NASUWT also states: “Existing staff who agree to a change of contract following conversion to academy status are bound by any new contract devised by the academy, which may not include provisions for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time.”
The NASUWT adds: “New contracts also rarely cover leadership and management time. Also new contracts can result in teachers being required to undertake a range of administrative tasks that do not require their qualifications or skills.”
For many of the more desperate teachers teachweb spoke to, the ultimate decision to leave the teaching profession came only after their contracts were changed when their schools turned into academies.
The majority of teachers found their teaching days lengthened by an hour. In addition they were required to cover after-school activities as well as to stay for meetings until 7pm on at least one night a week.
On top of that, teachers still had to find the hours required to complete marking and paperwork.
In conclusion, in many schools teachers who are already stressed and overworked are now essentially being forced to work an extra hour, every day for the same pay.
Therefore it’s of little surprise that changes to terms and conditions in contracts, applied by academy schools have been the final straw for some good teachers who choose to supply teach while they are retraining.
About the Author: Rick Smallwood is a former chemistry teacher and founder of leading London and the South East supply teaching agency teachweb. He has a proven track record of matching the right teachers to the right vacancy.