Last week my Director sent me this article posted by NASUWT, the subject line read, ‘do recruitment agencies really do this?’
This got me thinking about the attitude of recruitment companies towards payment of their teachers and charging their customers. There seems to be a lack of awareness amongst supply staff and so, I have decided to put together a handy reference guide to help you decide if you are being paid fairly.
The ‘Schools Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document’ (STPCD) states that a teacher’s daily rate is based upon their annual salary divided by 195 academic days. For example:
MIN MPS 1 (£22,917)
195 academic days = daily rate of £117.53 p/day
The hours spent on ‘directed activities’ often means teachers are not teaching for six-and-a-half hours and some recruitment agencies will argue that a teacher is therefore not eligible for their annual salary to be divided over 195 days.
If in doubt, your recruitment consultant should be able to discuss this with you so you know how and what you are being paid for.
The NASUWT warns that it is ‘concerned that some employment agencies adopt appalling and exploitative practices in relation to supply teachers and seek to engage in profit-making activities to the detriment of teachers and schools.’ This is down to teachers being stuck in limbo between national minimum wage and Agency Workers Regulations (AWR).
AWR states that until a supply teacher has worked at the same school in the same role for at least 12 weeks they are not entitled to receive the same pay a teacher who applied directly for the post receives. This often creates a huge disparity between what an agency will pay the teacher, more often than not below main pay scale (MPS) and what they charge the school. In my experience schools are often paying £200+ for teachers they assume are being paid to scale but, in fact, they are being paid far less hence, widening the recruiters profit margin.
Don’t be afraid to shop around for agencies and ask the question will I be paid in line with teacher MPS, or if you’re already part of an agency, ask your consultant how your rate is calculated, after all you have a right to know!
What do you think about the way teachers are paid? Do you have past experiences you would like to discuss or tips on how to make sure you’re being paid fairly? Join our teacher network on Facebook to connect with local teachers and share your ideas and advice.
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