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Becoming A Self-Employed Primary School Teacher
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# 1
DazedByTheLight
Old 17-07-2008, 11:20 AM
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Default Becoming A Self-Employed Primary School Teacher

Hi, my sister is considering becoming self-employed as a supply teacher because the agency she currently works through creams off too much of the income received from the schools she works at. She is confident that she has enough contacts to continue to receive the right level of work.

Has anybody been through this process or can anyone advise us of the do's and dont's?

We are worried about CRB checks, whether or not she requires any insurance, and whether any schools could (unjustifiably) not employ her because she is working for herself rather than through a recognised organisation.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
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# 2
Conor
Old 17-07-2008, 4:10 PM
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How much are they creaming off? Is she taking into account that it costs them 21% more than they pay her just to cover her holiday pay and employers NI liability and that's before they start to pay for their offices etc?

Also, as it is LEA, she can expect to wait 2-3 MONTHS before the money starts coming in. So if she invoices monthly with the first one at the end of September, it could be the end of December before she sees any money.

She WILL require public liability insurance but more importantly, it's highly unlikely they will employ her because the council will have a set list of companies the schools can use.
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# 3
DazedByTheLight
Old 18-07-2008, 12:22 PM
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Hi, she does not work full-time for the agency and is not employed by the agency, they simply act as agents and therefore she does not receive holiday pay or employers NI.They take around half her earnings, and I understand how these companies operate yet this is a totally unjustifable amount.

I have had dealings with LEA's before and they will pay around 35 days after receiving an invoice, that is not a problem.

Interesting point about the 'approved list of companies' that you mention, I will have to chase that up.

Any other advice?
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# 4
Conor
Old 18-07-2008, 2:38 PM
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They're not taking half her earnings at all - that is just utter tosh. They bill the LEA an amount as the LEA is their customer and that's what they negotiated with them. She gets paid a certain amount as effectively a subcontractor. She deals with the agency, not the LEA. Her contract is with the agency, not the LEA.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF BUSINESS.

She knew what that amount she was going to get paid when she started. She was happy with that. Now she's found out what she could be earning, she's decided to take option three of the three options she had which were:

1) get narked, throw teddy out of pram and quit.
2) accept that that's the way the real world works and be happy with what she has.
3) decide that she's confident enough that she's good at what she does and would like a slice of that pie herself so cut out the middle man.

It's what I did with the agency I worked for but I didn't moan that they were taking half my wages because it was non of my business what they were charging their client.

Is she self employed properly, doing her own invoicing and books or doing it through an umbrella company who fleece you for doing this? She'd be able to make a fair few more quid by ditching the umbrella company if she continues down this path as umbrella companies really do rob you for what they do and the fees they charge.

Last edited by Conor; 18-07-2008 at 2:42 PM.
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# 5
DazedByTheLight
Old 18-07-2008, 4:41 PM
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Hi, I think we are getting caught up a little too much in the issue of how much the agency makes from her. When I said they take half of hear earnings I could have more accurately written that they pay her roughly half the amount which they get paid by the school.

Regardless though, she has made the decision that she is better off working for herself (option 3) and we will be going that route as long as we know there aren't any hidden pitfalls.

I have rung about ten different people at the council and nobody there, including the procurement team and human resources, knew of any conditions which she would have to follow.

Therefore I am really looking for someone who is currently doing the same thing and can advise.

Many thanks.
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# 6
Loonytunes
Old 19-07-2008, 4:25 PM
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I don't think you can be self employed as a supply teacher. As far as I'm aware, you either get paid through an agency or get paid directly by the LEA who will payroll your sister and she'll get paid to scale.
One word of caution though, in my area at least very few schools still deal with supply teachers directly, they prefer to just phone the agency because it means that they only have to make one call, rather than going through a list only to find people aren't available. Very frustrating but if she can find some schools who'll use her directly she'll be doing well. The other possible issue is that if she goes to a school where she's previously been via the agency, the agency might try to say they've "introduced" the school to her and want a finders fee. This is still the case for (I think) about 14 weeks after she'd finished working for the agency but get her to check her contract.
Its all very frustrating!! I'm in a similar postition myself - I can't stand the amount of money the agency creams off and hate the whole game that working for them is but can't get enough work without them to support myself.
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# 7
DazedByTheLight
Old 20-07-2008, 1:58 PM
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Hi, she has spoken to some of the schools she currently works for and they have said that they are happy to employ her directly but I want to make sure we have covered all the angles because she will be the only one who loses out if there are additional rules which she is unable to comply with.

She tells me that she left the agency to work directly for a school for a year or two but then re-joined the agency without signing a contract. Obviously I would have to check this out and I have recommended legal advice to her but if that is correct then the agency does not have any rights over her services.
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# 8
looby-loo
Old 20-07-2008, 2:09 PM
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Some schools only use an agency as a last resort.

Last edited by looby-loo; 21-03-2009 at 12:10 AM.
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# 9
Loonytunes
Old 20-07-2008, 4:31 PM
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[quote=DazedByTheLight;12650715]Hi, she has spoken to some of the schools she currently works for and they have said that they are happy to employ her directlyquote]

I'd check but I'm almost certain that this means she'd still get paid throught the LEA so wouldn't be self-employed. Glad the schools have said they'll use her though, that's great.
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# 10
dmg24
Old 20-07-2008, 4:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DazedByTheLight View Post
Hi, she has spoken to some of the schools she currently works for and they have said that they are happy to employ her directly but I want to make sure we have covered all the angles because she will be the only one who loses out if there are additional rules which she is unable to comply with.

She tells me that she left the agency to work directly for a school for a year or two but then re-joined the agency without signing a contract. Obviously I would have to check this out and I have recommended legal advice to her but if that is correct then the agency does not have any rights over her services.
The fact that she did not sign a contract is irrelevant. She knew the terms and conditions through previous arrangements with them, and she accepted those terms by conduct.

Agencies can be quite aggressive, and schools will quickly be put off using her if they are being chased for money by the agency. I would definitely check whether she/ the schools have any obligations towards the agency before moving forward with plans.
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