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October 2018 - Supply team newsletter

26 Oct 2018

The first half of the Autumn Term is complete.  We are very grateful for all your support over the last 8 weeks and whilst we have remained focussed on promoting the skills, attributes, competencies and commitment to Schools and Academies throughout the region; we are conscious that for some the number of assignments offered has been lower than expectation.

Whilst September is historically the quietest month in the supply calendar, it would appear that as a consequence of budgetary pressures this slow start has continued. Schools and Academies, from necessity are being innovative; many now have a 4 ½ day school week with all PPA time completed at the same time for all staff; the weather has been kind; less courses arranged and more in-house cover provided by HLTA’s; Cover Supervisors and non-teaching members of SLT’s. All these factors have contributed to a reduction in demand and an increase in supply. In response we are in the midst of a campaign visiting every school to discuss how ESL and our team members can assist during these challenging times.

To increase opportunity give some thought to the following:

  • Update and refresh your CV ensuring the content accurately reflects your experience to support the roles you seek. We previously emailed guidance notes on “the perfect CV” and these can now be found within the members section of the website.
  • Consider accepting calls in the morning and seize every opportunity. You could be the member who completes a half day assignment which becomes two days each week for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Re-consider expanding the curriculum areas and year groups you are willing and competent to teach.
  • If you are currently only seeking day to day assignments it may prove beneficial to consider full or part time, long term assignments.
  • If you have only ever considered long term PPA roles, give thought to entering into a job share.
  • If using public transport, consider extending geographical areas to which you are willing to travel by using taxis.

Sometimes a marginal change may have a dramatic impact upon opportunities of available work. To all those members who keep us appraised of availability and approach to accepting work; “thank you”. This information greatly helps us in meeting school and individual needs.       

We recently offered a team member a two day assignment; whilst they initially declined (they had accepted one day from an alternate supplier) they called back to say that they had told the alternative supplier that something more important had “come up” and they were no longer available, they were now keen to fulfil our offer of work. We counselled them against taking this course of action for the following reasons:

  • In any relationship, trust is key. Our word is very much our bond and the truth will ALWAYS out.
  • You cannot put a price on integrity and integrity is very much a core ESL value.
  • Pupils at all schools deserve the very best.

Should you find yourself in such a position and to summarise, if I may:

Consider carefully your approach; be clear what you wish to achieve. Remember that you have already been offered and accepted an assignment from an alternative provider which you wish to relinquish.

Indicate that you have been approached by another Agency to cover an assignment which, for various reasons, (location, Key Stage; ease of journey, etc.) holds “greater value” and you would like to accept. When entering into discussion; clarity; professionalism; honesty and transparency are essential ingredients to help achieve the desired outcome. It is important that the original provider can replace you. If not, accept the situation by honouring the assignment.

Only you can judge whether the Agency in question appears unable or unwilling to co-operate with your request; however it is essential that reasonable time is given to organise a replacement.  The Agency may have to advise you that time (which should be shared with you); is limited, therefore options are few.

Your professional status will be judged whatever the outcome; however, be certain your integrity; honesty; loyalty and sound communication skills (by keeping all fully informed) remain intact. As a professional, by demonstrating these qualities, you will always be in demand.

Reasonableness generally, prevails. We, at ESL are never too busy to listen and support our STM’s.

Thank you for your continued support, hard work, commitment, dedication and loyalty. Enjoy your holiday. The office will be closed on 29 October 2018. For the period 30 October – 2 November 2018 the office will operate between 9.00 am and 3.30 pm. Normal hours (7.00 am – 6.30 pm) will resume on the 5th November 2018.



Committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all team members to share in and support this commitment.

Committed to Equal Opportunities in Employment and positively welcome your application irrespective of your gender, race, disability, colour, ethnic or national origin, marital status, religion or age.