Welcome to my Blog which combines the unlikely topics of supply teaching with progressive rock. Here you will find my ongoing 'Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher' and a variety of lists/ timelines/ articles on progressive rock.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher: a Flat Battery

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

t is just as well I was not offered work as my car would not start this morning, due to a flat battery, after standing for five days. When I called the AA Home Start, the mechanic told me there was nothing draining the power, the alternator was working and the problem was due to a faulty battery. Having bought a new one only five months ago, I left the engine running and phoned the retailer to ensure they had a replacement. They confirmed this, but claimed they needed to check the battery themselves. Eventually, one of their staff confirmed that surprisingly it was as much as 95% charged. This indicates that something is indeed draining the power. The following the morning, the ignition worked immediately, but I phoned an auto-electrician, to have the vehicle checked, as I do not want to find myself in the position where I am offered work, but cannot get there because the engine will not start. He returned my message the next day, but said he could not get to me until next Tuesday am 29th March. There was an outside chance he would call at 5:00pm on Friday. Fingers crossed!     

Wednesday 23rd March 2011

Rt. Hon. George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in his second budget speech that the tax-free mileage allowance will be raised from 40p a mile to 45p a mile on the first 10,000 miles. The rate for mileage beyond 10,000 miles will remain at 25p. This applies to contractors operating through an umbrella company such as Key. Mr Osborne’s increase in mileage allowance is the first since 2002, when the 40p figure was established, although I do not know the exact time and date when it takes effect. The Chancellor has also stated that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will focus on tax avoidance and, according to Danbro accountants, “He has highlighted schemes that have become prevalent in the contracting market.”

The personal tax free allowance from April 2011 will be £7,475 rising by £630 to £8,105 from April 2012.
The budget brought to mind that the agency workers regulations (AWR) are set to be enforced in October 2011.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

My agency phoned at 4:30pm to offer a day’s work at a local school for next Wednesday. She did not know the year group, but understood that the school intended to cover the day with ‘their own person’, who was no longer able to do so. Her voice was difficult to follow, because she sounded as if she had a cold. When I commented, she said, “I’ve got the dreaded lurgy. Schools are germ filled places.”

The origin of the term ‘dreaded lurgy’ can be found here:

Friday 25th March 2011

“Injured? Have you been left to cope with the costs? The NASUWT personal injury service will get you the right compensation for free?”

So says the leaflet, about making a personal injury claim, which I received today from my trade union. While this may, or may not, be useful to me as a supply teacher, I cannot help thinking there are more important things with which the union should be concerned. Employment law and agency practice spring to mind.

Originally posted on Saturday, 26th March 2011

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