Sunday, June 15, 2008

No Coming Back

A few months ago Chalk Enterprises went through a bit of a bad patch, so in order to improve cash flow (ie avoid ending up on a park bench), I thought:

Why not go and do a couple of days a week on Supply? There's always lots of work and sometimes I do quite miss standing in front of a class talking to myself.

I phoned up St. Goodchilds and spoke to Mr Davis, a friendly man who still organises the Cover there. He told me that I would need a new CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau) before they could employ me in order to make sure that I wouldn't steal the tea money or take an over zealous interest in any of the pupils. When I asked how I could get one done, he informed me with a deep sigh that I couldn't do it personally, I would have to join an agency who would apply for one on my behalf.

I duly applied to the Council Supply Teaching Agency and filled out seven long pages of utter nonsense, none of which asked the only important question for anybody wanting to do Supply Work; which is:

Can you walk into a classroom full of unruly children running around causing mayhem, when there is no work left; they have had 4 different teachers in the last week and get them to sit down quietly and take their coats off?

A week later I received my reply. I had been rejected because I had not filled out the form correctly. I had not listed my 'O' and 'A' Levels, nor given sufficient evidence that I satisfied the Council's criteria for experience in diversity. Nor had I listed the courses that I would consider most useful to me. The fact that I had enclosed my teaching qualification (Maths) and had 14 years of teaching experience along with a reference which said that I wasn't the worst teacher they had ever employed, was apparently not good enough. Also, my answer of 'Please, please don't make me go on any courses' was considered inappropriate.

So now you have it. Next time you read of dire teacher shortages in my subject, console yourself with the thought that at least your offspring won't have me shouting at them. Mind you at least I never did this.

ps Chalk Enterprises is now back on its feet, you will be relieved to hear. If you were worried for me and were thinking of sending a donation to help out, then ignore this sentence and post the cheque to Dan the Publisher.


Anonymous said...

I'm amazed that some-one actually read your application.I tested my private theory this year (that the complexity of a form is in inverse proportion to the likelihood of it being read) by inserting similar sarcastic comments into my accreditation application.I was sent exactly the same form letter confirming my position as everyone else.Next time I intend to make it ALL up.

Anonymous said...

What ridiculous reasons for rejecting you! Around here (in New England) our supply teachers recently have been college students with little to no classroom experience at all.

jerym said...

good to see you back

Almost American said...

Maybe they knew who you were, and were worried you would write about the experience?

Anonymous said...

"Council Supply Teaching Agency" - you still have one? How I miss ours.

"...nor given sufficient evidence that I satisfied the Council's criteria for experience in diversity."

My son recently failed his one and only interview for being unabble to convince the interview panel that he had "experience in diversity" (their term). SO, living in Leeds for 23 years, having a best mate who's a Muslim and going to a school whose minority intake was white doesn't count as experience? "I take people as I find them" is apparently Not Good Enough.

If any of your correspondents know what the right answer to this is, having never been on A Course in the subject, please let me know and I'll pass it on.

Lilyofthefield said...

I'm not anonymous!!!

Lilyofthefield said...

Errr... well I am but I must have pressed something wrong.

Nev said...

"Experience in diversity" my arse.

Interviews are simply an excercise in being able to parrot the right script. I feel outraged that your son was denied the chance of a job on such trivial grounds. I'd wager that the members of that panel live in highly non-diverse areas to the north of Leeds...

some bloke said...

Hi Frank

CRB, we are all familiar with the doughty work carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau

"The CRB’s aim is to help organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable to work with children or other vulnerable members of society."

But what are this lot all about and what will they be doing that the CRB does not already do ?

Independent Safeguarding Authority

"The authority, which will vet those wishing to work with children or vulnerable adults, will begin work in October 2009"

These two snippets are good for a laugh.
* securely storing information about people’s ISA status for employers and voluntary organisations.

* The authority will be largely self-financing. Anyone wishing to take a job working with vulnerable groups will pay a one-off fee of £64 for the ISA work.

Anonymous said...

CRB - crazy reaction to bad-press

Yet again another piece of bureaucracy that serves no purpose. Of course if you say that then your clearly don’t care about the safety of children.

I just assumed that it might be sensible to check criminal records of people. Who would have thought that criminals may lie on their application forms!

Also why is it every time you change jobs it gets checked but you can be in the same job and never be checked again. Surely it would be easier to just give people a CRB and if they commit a crime it is taken away or is that too complicated?

Mark Brentano said...

Dear Mr Chalk

I was told by an agency that a CRB can be instigated by walking into a police station and giving them a tenner. Do you really have to join an agency.

Anonymous said...

You were misinformed. Anyone can apply for a CRB at their local police station (and only you can submit a query about yourself - not an agency).

You were rejected on grounds linked to an agency's application form. This has nothing to do with the school or the CRB checks. Choose a better agency in future.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why that teacher was sacked for taking his shirt off. That has to be the greatest discipline technique I have ever witnessed. Can you imagine his next line. 'If you don't sit down and shut up the pants come off next.'

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