For any cover supervisor or school leader in charge of cover, we all know how pressurised early mornings can be. I should know. I got given cover on top of my many duties as Deputy Head Teacher when our cover supervisor left suddenly. It was only meant to be a short time but it ended being 3 years until I could hand over this challenging role to a new cover supervisor.
The task of finding cove
What ensued in those 3 years was, at times, a chaotic barrage of phone calls ringing round a myriad of agencies hoping that someone had anyone available. “We need a Maths teacher,” I’d say. “We only have a French Teacher but she says she has taught a couple of Maths lessons”. “Fine, I’ll take her”. Sometimes it was just a matter of having to accept a body in the classroom! Other times, no one at all was available and then I would have to brace myself for a union bashing and ask a colleague to do yet another cover. Or put myself down for cover and watch my workload mount up.
Simpler supply teacher recruitment
I reflect on this as teachethica would have been perfect for me. Amongst my morning routine, I was often caught by staff with all their worries and updates. Sometimes there would be a queue at the door waiting for me as I was about to solve the daily cover complexities! To be able to request supply without even picking up a phone would have saved me so much time. Plus it could mean that I could ease staff concerns or listen to their eager updates and give them the time they deserved. The fact that my school would have been at least £25 per supply teacher per day better off would be an added bonus given our crippling supply budget!
Favourite the right teachers for you
With my Deputy Head hat still on, I could have used teachethica in other ways. The noticeable absence of transfer fees offers a massive financial benefit. In my time we took on at least 3 agency staff full time and paid out thousands. I would have loved to have had the ability to scan through CVs after school to plot my next move in the transfer market. Being able to favourite on teachethica means that you can earmark the quality supply teachers that work well in your setting so they get the call to you first.
Likewise, if you feel a supply teacher is not cut out for your environment, you simply press “block”. Having brought in an independent safeguarding consultant, I’m also impressed with their commitment to ensuring all stakeholders remain safe. If all that was not enough, there is also the feel-good factor that the supply staff are being paid more for all their hard work. Colleagues helping colleagues!
Alas, this has all come far too late for me. But who knows in future roles whether cover might fall into my lap again?
If it does, in teachethica, I now have the best weapon to beat those cover morning blues!
Simon Raisey was, until very recently, the Deputy Headteacher of St Luke’s School, a special school in Swindon. He is now a behaviour management consultant and founder of Influence Education.
If you’d like to find out how your school could save money and ease pressure on cover supervisors, get in touch by calling us on 0800 061 4145 or you can register at www.teachethica.com here and find out more.
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