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to think that unless it is exceptional cirucmstances, teachers should not leave mid-year?

(115 Posts)
ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:29:21

Fed up with this. Seems to be the norm these days that teachers just move on in the middle of some of the most critical years at school. Gcse, A level etc years and it is really quite unsettling for those about to take exams. Why not just see the bloody year out for the kids sake?

As I said, exceptional circumstances are fine, but just moving off to another school is pretty damn awful.

AViewfromtheFridge Mon 18-Mar-13 16:50:57

But then you've got the fact that as GCSE courses last two years, even if you leave at the end of the summer term you are, in effect, "abandoning" a class half-way through their course - if everyone thought like you, no one would ever go anywhere.

I agree that it very much depends how the school deal with it.

Finola1step Mon 18-Mar-13 16:51:26

All employees (including teachers) have rights regarding their employment and that includes deciding when to leave. It is however preferable for a teacher to leave at the end of a year rather than mid way for all year groups. Of course this can not be applied to maternity leaves (I have had two).

I did very early on leave my first teaching job in the December. It took me a good while to deal with the guilt on that one. I swore I would never do it again. Nearly twenty years later, I haven't.

KatAndKit Mon 18-Mar-13 16:51:40

So teachers could essentially be on a 12 month notice period? That is crazy. Teachers already have a longer notice period than many jobs and only 3 points in the year when you are allowed to leave. it is ridiculous to force someone to remain in a job for up to a year.
Many times, teachers leave in the middle of the year to begin a maternity leave. Are you saying that teachers may only have sex at certain times of the year?
I left my job in the middle of the school year due to a move to a different town. Sometimes these things are unavoidable. Obviously teachers in these situations are going to put the needs of their own families first.

Teachers are not generally contracted on year by year contracts. We tend to have permanent jobs that require us to give notice by half term in order to leave at the end of term. Usually teachers give more notice by this as they resign as soon as they have been offered a new post for the next term.

There is no way around this problem. You can't make them stay.The legal minimum notice to be given by an employee is one week. Teachers are giving far more than this already.

Flisspaps Mon 18-Mar-13 16:52:31

But aren't they the most common reasons for leaving a job mid-year anyway?

What are the reasons you wouldn't deem appropriate?

DontmindifIdo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:53:02

Yes but while the person being ill or pregnant might come under your exceptional circumstances, that means their job either stays empty for half a year or someone else leaves their current job to fill it, but then they wouldn't be leaving for an exceptional circumstance, more just because they fancied a change.

Most teaching posts do become available with a September start, and the vast majority of the mid-year moves are a chain of events starting with someone having an "expectional circumstance" and then everyone moving then to fill that role, then the vacancy that teacher leaves, then the next etc.

INeedThatForkOff Mon 18-Mar-13 16:53:07

YABU. It's tricky enough to secure a new post given the already stringent deadlines for giving notice (end of December for April I think, end of May for September). It's really tricky to actually get out of teaching, partly for this reason.

And how do you suppose schools would secure good appointments to replace those who have to leave mid-year, if they can only appoint someone not already in employment?

doobeedee Mon 18-Mar-13 16:53:18

So a teacher is supposed to pass up a good job opportunity to see the year out? If they did that, then the job would no longer be available anyway. It's not the individual teacher's fault. It is up to the management to find a suitable alternative. Teachers have to give 1 terms notice so in most cases it's ample time to find a new teacher or get a long term supply teacher in. You wouldn't expect anyone else in any other profession to do it so why should a teacher?!

myheadwillexplode Mon 18-Mar-13 16:55:02

''Rightly or wrongly, it would make me think a lot less of a teacher who did this. ''

I can't believe you would think less of someone for feeling it was the right time to leave a job. Leaving a job (no matter what it is) will always let someone down. What about the midwife who leaves half way through a mother's difficult pregnancy. Or a police officer half way through a serious investigation. Or a nurse who is in charge of an old man who will only speak to her. A admin assistant in a tiny company who it's difficult to replace etc etc.

You are being completely unfair. I can't think of many (or any) jobs that only have one leaving point in the year. Possibly football manager? Why should I have to stay in a job I hate? Why shouldn't I go for that job that doesn't require me to drive 1 hour each way? Why shouldn't I go for that job that is a promotion? Absolutely none of anyone's business except the teacher.

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:55:17

Well, it looks like i've had my hat put on well and truly grin

Speaking as an ex teacher, of course it is better if staff movements are confined to the end of the academic year. Anyone who argues otherwise is missing the point or deluded. It is better if children don't have to have their education disrupted.

But stuff happens. I, for one, did not scruple to leave a job at Easter because I was about to have a baby. It was a yr 6 class too - just about to take SATs. It must have been tough for them, but I couldn't plan my pregnancy around them.

That said, from a parent's pov, I know exactly where you are coming from ArseAche. My son, in the middle of Yr 12, has just spent an entire month without his Economics teacher because she went off sick (now resigned). The school have now got in 2 teachers to job share and cover the class, but if his AS level is not affected by this, it will be a miracle. Of course, I am sure the teacher concerned did not intend to abandon the class in the middle of Yr 12, and my sympathies go out to a fellow teacher, but obviously it would have been preferable if she could have left at the end of the year.

Maggie111 Mon 18-Mar-13 16:56:17

YABU.

SuffolkNWhat Belgium Mon 18-Mar-13 16:57:03

Ah, weirdly perhaps, I did not view maternity leave as exceptional. Given how female dominated teaching is maternity rates within schools are naturally higher than in other sectors.

stargirl1701 Mon 18-Mar-13 16:59:39

I don't think you can schedule pregnancy OP grin

INeedThatForkOff Mon 18-Mar-13 16:59:50

Obviously teachers in these situations are going to put the needs of their own families first.

Yes. And school SLTs will never put the needs of their staff first (as you'd expect).

poppypebble Mon 18-Mar-13 17:00:27

GCSE and A Level courses are two year courses - I'd never be able to leave if I couldn't leave mid-course. How would you ever find a job outside of teaching if you could only leave in July?

It is a job, not a life sentence.

YABU.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 17:00:44

You go where the jobs are, or you are TTC and that never quite goes to plan, or your family implodes, there are a hundred reasons.
Plus, the shittier the job gets, the less of a vocation it is and the more it is just jumping through hoops for so many people. So they leave when they need to and not when it suits others.

Viviennemary Mon 18-Mar-13 17:02:17

YANBU to be irritated by the inconvenience. However, teachers are entitled to leave at periods in the year by giving the stipulated notice. Other things can cause disruption too. Such as maternity leave, moving areas. And you can't forbid these things too.

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 17:03:59

When i said pregnancy is exceptional circumstances, it is exaclty that. Nobody would expect a teacher to give birth in the classroom, neither would anyone be expected to plan their children around the school year!!! I thought that would be a no-brainer, not have to actually spell it out grin Likewise if someone drops dead.

It is a subject I had never really considered until we have been on the receiving end.

poppypebble Mon 18-Mar-13 17:09:43

Well, I do sometimes think that the only way out of the classroom is to drop dead, so I'm glad you wouldn't hold that against me.

But do you know the exact reasons this teacher is leaving under?

fuzzysnout Mon 18-Mar-13 17:11:43

Rather than restricting even further when teachers can resign, perhaps we should be considering why there is rarely a well qualified, competent and enthusiastic replacement awaiting these vacancies.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 17:12:27

What about all the other reasons that have been given?
You are presenting your case as if the teacher is some flibbertigibbet who flits off on a whim.
Jobs are very hard to come by, the competition is fierce and no one leaves without a reason which to them seems a valid one. Teachers are also parents and partners, so we know the situation from both sides.
FWIW, we did split up when OH got a new job and spent the summer term with our family in two locations hundreds of miles apart, so that I could finish the term.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 18-Mar-13 17:16:04

Eh? Twaddle. Yabu gangnam style.

Inertia Mon 18-Mar-13 17:16:59

Teachers can only leave their job on 3 possible dates of the entire year as it is, and need to give 3 months notice for the August date. Of course YABU.

It is the responsibility of the school's SLT to ensure that they arrange a suitable replacement by offering suitable contracts - often they try to get cover on the cheap for as long as they can get away with by using cover supervisors and lessons which remaining colleagues have to prepare. Sometimes they get supply in but on very short term contracts so they don't have to pay over the holidays. Sometimes they don't plan - I gave my school as much notice as I could of my mat leave ( told DepH informally when 8 weeks, formal notice as soon as I got my MatB (20 weeks?) . They started looking for a replacement 2 weeks before my leave began.

VinegarDrinker Mon 18-Mar-13 17:18:00

My DH had his hours changed unilaterally by the SMT to ones he could no longer work due to childcare. So he had no choice but to leave (at Christmas). Is that exceptional enough?

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