International Schools Review
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Substitution Survey

Substitution Survey

Postby StayOrGo » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:13 pm

Quick survey: How does relief/supply/substitute/cover work at your school?

Curious to see how my current school compares. Thank you!
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Re: Substitution Survey

Postby sid » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:50 am

It works however it works.
Local contexts are so specific that it is not really useful to compare schools.
In some locations, good subs are readily available and it is easy to legally contract with them on an as-needed basis.
In other locations, it is next to impossible to find a decent sub, and/or next to impossible to legally hire one.
Some schools have suitable size and funding to hire a FT permanent sub or two, but while that sounds great, it's never enough to actually cover all the absences, and it's very expensive to hire someone FT with benefits when what you really need is 4 people today and no one tomorrow.
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Re: Substitution Survey

Postby indogal » Wed Sep 25, 2019 11:28 am

I've had a lot of different experiences having been in several different schools. The really top tier ones tend to have a "sub pool" and will call on them when needed. The less good schools will make teachers cover lessons for one another occasionally and keep track so no-one is asked more than two times a semester. The really poor schools require teachers to cover colleagues classes fairly often, generally with no reimbursement. Some truly awful schools even expect teachers to arrange for their own cover.
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Re: Substitution Survey

Postby sid » Wed Sep 25, 2019 12:41 pm

A sub pool is great when it works, but it’s not always possible. Of my six schools over 25+ years, two were in places where we could only legally hire local citizens as subs, but we couldn’t find good ones. If they spoke enough English and were decent with kids, they could easily get permanent jobs.
In two other locations, with large expat populations and trailing spouses we could legally hire, it was dead easy to maintain a good sub pool and no one ever had to sub.
The other two schools were in the middle. We did some subbing but not substantial.
Two per semester seems quite posh and while I’d be happy to have that, I wouldn’t expect it.
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Re: Substitution Survey

Postby mamava » Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:11 pm

We have a sub pool, but it's all locals. Once in awhile we've had an expat parent who's subbed.
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Response

Postby PsyGuy » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:36 am

Usually its some combination of local DTs and trailing spouses. I concur with @Sid that if there English is good enough and they work well with students thy wouldnt need to substitute/relief teach they could get permenant appointments even if on an LH package and LH salary it would still be a good job. Trailing spouses are the other option, though proper work authorization can be a problem, most ISs that would have that issue can pay the IT with the work visa and the spouse teaching under the table as a substitute/relief IT. The other option is the IS will use a dispatch ESOL agency for a day substitute/relief IT. Lastly, there are ISs that recruit for permanent substitutes/relief ITs, they come in every working day get full salary and benefits, they are available for whatever reason they are needed or called on for whether its taking a class for a whole day, a class for an hour, or just to allow an IT to take a toilet break. If they arent needed they usually have a permenant assignment in the cafeteria as lunch monitors or as a playground monitor.
There are ISs where ITs are required to cover for ITs that are out typically over their planning/prep periods which can be as little as twice a term or much more often.
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Reply

Postby Heliotrope » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:42 am

We also have a small sub pool, but the regular ITs still need to sub sometimes if all the sub teachers are busy.
Subs are usually the half of a teaching couple that wasn't hired as a regular teacher, so fully credentialed. Sometimes this has led to a regular appointment, but usually it doesn't.
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