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.

YABU although it is annoying.

Think though, if you were in a certain position and offered a job so much better than the one you have but you have to wait another 7 months before you can leave??? Not really on is it. You really think a teacher is going to do a good job teaching your child if they are at that school against their will.

If they dont want to be there let them go and get in someone who does.

ballinacup Mon 18-Mar-13 16:35:56

Their career is not beholden to their students, in the same way that mine is not beholden to my clients, or a doctor to their patients, or a cashier to their customers.


ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:36:14

Yes, I agree with what you are saying but if new jobs started in say September each year and they were contracted for the full year, then it would be better all round.

But who is to say what is going to happen two months down the line let alone a year. No job would make their employee stay a whole year so why should a teacher?

Poledra Mon 18-Mar-13 16:38:09

But you can't mandate that all new jobs start in September! Your school loses a teacher because they (the teacher) are moving with their family to another area. So, your school should just manage without a teacher until Sept? Or with supply teachers, which means the class may not get much consistency depending upon availability?

Finola1step Mon 18-Mar-13 16:38:37

Yes, tend to agree. I am one of the people who then has to pick up the slack (and there always is no matter what the head tells the parents!). Teachers do have lives outside of the job but it is just much more professional if they move at the end of the summer term. Looks better on the CV too.

I do know lots of teachers though who have not gone for great looking jobs because it is a January or Easter start. The vast majority I know do commit for the full year. But some just don't see the impact of leaving mid way.

myheadwillexplode Mon 18-Mar-13 16:39:17

How would you feel if you could only leave at one point in the year? What would constitute exceptional circumstances? Would there be a list? What if you were just sick to the back teeth of the place you were working. It could be a heck of a long year (bitter experience speaking).

Sorry but YABU. At the end of the day teaching is a job and why should we not have the freedom to move on the same as any other career. YABU.

knittingirl Mon 18-Mar-13 16:40:48


Why should teachers only be allowed to move jobs at one point in the year? They are people, they have lives, sometimes they are unhappy in their jobs, sometimes a better job comes along - just the same as for all of us non-teachers. Seems totally unreasonable to want to restrict them to only be able to move jobs at one point in a year.

You say it would be "better all round" if jobs went Sept- Sept - I would argue that it although it might be better for the kids, it would be substantially worse for teachers. As ballina said, teachers are not beholden to their students.

married to a teacher

SuffolkNWhat Mon 18-Mar-13 16:42:52

I will leaving part way through the year to have my baby or should teachers only be allowed to have sex during September-Dec to ensure they give birth in the summer holidays?

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:43:38

Well it is the supply teacher until the end of the school year which grates me. Not one, but several, all not knowing where the last one left off and starting their own thing. I will give you an example. DS had a teacher to do Business GCSE, (exam taken last summer) She left, then no fewer than 6 supply teachers muddled through the controlled assessments etc, and hardly anyone got above D grade. Nobody knew what they were doing.

Luckily a great new teacher was found, and they are all retaking it. But it has been a shambles.

Talking to people from other schools, (teachers and parents) have said it can have a serious effect on the students with all the chopping and changing.

I do take your points about not wanting to have to stay but it does happen alot, and have been thinking aloud of how it would be better all round.

PipkinsPal Mon 18-Mar-13 16:45:15

YABU. I wonder if you expect teachers to have their babies in August or the last week in December and be back to school for the new term.

KC225 Mon 18-Mar-13 16:45:29

There are a lot of schools that are awful to work in. Heads that mini dictators with general politics and backstabbing that would make your hair stand on end. To move to a school where you are appreciated, supported and heard is not unreasonable

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:45:43

suffolk don't be ridiculous.

myheadwillexplode Mon 18-Mar-13 16:46:11

Well that is down to individual schools needing to take more care to find a suitable replacement. It is is no way down to the person who left.

I don't have a problem with teachers moving on, but I do have a problem with how a school handles it.

DD is stuck with a constant stream of supply teachers for maths and now a couple of other subjects. She has told me she is not the only one getting fed up with teaching at the school. For example she's just had supply teachers giving the exact same lesson twice in a row for one subject.

She is in Year 8, and one of her friends is considering asking her parents for a private maths tutor. It's a sad thing when a child is actually asking for that.

I am contemplating speaking to a couple of parents and arranging a meeting with the head.

Lueji Mon 18-Mar-13 16:46:36

Would you, if you had been offered a better paid job, or one closer to home, or in a better school?

SuffolkNWhat Mon 18-Mar-13 16:46:46

Why am I being ridiculous? I will be one of those teachers leaving part way through the year after all, what do you suggest for teachers who want a family?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 18-Mar-13 16:47:13

I'm on the fence with this one.

On one hand, they are employees like anyone else and have the same rights as anyone else, but on the other, they must know that a lack of continuity is not going to be good for their students. It comes across as if they don't actually care that much about their students education if they are prepared to leave them at a critical time such as during GCSEs or A Levels.

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

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:48:32

Because I said exceptional circumstance. I think having a baby would be that don't you? As in, moving house, illness, there are lots, but surely you know what I mean??? hmm

sleepyhead Mon 18-Mar-13 16:48:38

What are exceptional circumstances do you think?

- Pregnancy
- Illness
- Illness of a dependant
- Relocation of partner? Or should the teacher stay behind to teach your child, or should the partner also only look for jobs that start in September?
- Severe unhappiness with job (eg bullying, stress, realisation that they're not cut out for teaching)
- Any more?

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:49:28

Thank you clouds, you are saying exactly what I meant in my OP, but have a better way of putting it, clearly smile

Flisspaps Mon 18-Mar-13 16:49:40

Having a teacher who is unmotivated and really fucking miserable because they're stuck in the school for potentially another year, is not going to do the students any good.

Having a new teacher come in mid-year, with fresh eyes and enthusiasm is far, far better.

Only allowing staff to move schools in September is not the answer - schools appointing permanent replacements quickly or bringing in long term, specialist supply cover is a better solution.

YoothaJoist Mon 18-Mar-13 16:50:44

Haha! YABU and hilarious. Teaching's a job, not bonded labour. Teachers already have to give three months notice. If you had to give a year, it would be an even LESS popular career choice, and your DCs would be even less likely to get good teachers.

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:50:54

sleepyhead yes, all those.

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


SuffolkNWhat 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.


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?

Whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 18-Mar-13 17:18:32

If teachers didn't leave half way through the year, how would we ever replace staff that had to leave at Easter or Xmas or mid - term in some cases. We'd be stuck until sept with cover staff.
Most teachers change jobs in September but sometimes it doesn't work out that way.

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 17:19:12

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 16:55:17
Well, it looks like i've had my hat put on well and truly

again grin

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 17:22:43

grin So shall we listen now instead of ranting some more?

It does seem to be becoming the norm for teachers to leave when they can, and that is a change for all sorts of reasons over the last three decades.But the job has changed beyond recognition in that time too.

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 17:26:09

No longer ranting. But can you teachers see it a teeny weeny bit from the students point of view too. Just like I see some of what you are saying?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 18-Mar-13 17:30:20

We do see it a tweety weeny bit from the students point of view.

I try to only leave at the end of the year and have never left mid year (most staff do exactly the same as me).

however, life isn't always that neat and there are always some kids (because its a two year course or because they are in your tutor group) who you feel you are letting down.

annh Mon 18-Mar-13 17:30:23

Yes, I'm sure the teachers would agree that it is not ideal for them to leave mid-year but why would a teacher leave for anything other than exceptional reasons mid-year? If we are going to agree that pregnancy, illness, forced relocation of partner or family, promotion are all acceptable reasons, how many teachers would leave just for the heck of it mid-year?

doobeedee Mon 18-Mar-13 17:33:16

While we teachers can see your point of view, the fact still remains that we would potentially have to pass up an excellent job opportunity or house move or whatever else to see a whole year out. It's sometimes just not feasible. And font forget, there are plenty of schools who do organise suitable cover or a new teacher. The teacher leaving can't predict what their replacement will be like.

myheadwillexplode Mon 18-Mar-13 17:33:25

Yes I can see it from the point of view of the pupils but as I stated before that is not the problem of the teacher who has chosen to leave. It is due to the school not providing adequate cover. I've seen supply teachers just dumped in classes without even a class name list. How would they even begin to cover a course when they have no knowledge of what the kids have done before that point.

The leaving teacher will undoubtedly have left good handover notes. Decent handovers should be mandatory where this is possible but this is not always possible e.g. a teacher I knew broke her ankle in 3 places which forced her into early retirement (she was already close to retirement age but would have had time with her replacement if she'd not broken her ankle).

cricketballs Mon 18-Mar-13 17:33:43

so according to some mn'ers and Gove we should not be allowed to ...

1) have any lunch so we can run clubs
2) stay silly hours in the building so parents can see we work after the end of school
3) call every parent if their pfb dares to be told off at any point in the day
4) not question low attendance
5) don't tell off any child
6) not to give homework
7) give more homework
8) have psychic powers so we know everything that is going on with every child we might pass in the corridors
9) only change our job when it fits the parents

I'm sure I have missed some things grin but op - it is not the teacher at fault; it may be the management thinking they can continue until September when NQTS are more available and are cheaper, it maybe (as my school have done) advertised but the applicants are not acceptable, it maybe a dozen of reasons

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 17:36:56

'No longer ranting.'

Arse, I was meaning us ranting at you! grin

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 18-Mar-13 17:38:17

as it is, teachers can only leave at three times in a year.

That's fine if you are moving from one teaching job to another but less easy if you decide to go for a nonteaching job or if your partner is relocating.

ihearsounds Mon 18-Mar-13 17:38:40

The teacher might have had exceptional reasons to leave mid year.
I know a few teachers who have left within the last year, some around exam time. Unfortunate for the pupils, but they still needed to leave -
Serious illness of staff member.
Serious illness of family member who rely heavily on staff member.
Assaulted in the class and no longer felt safe.
Fed up of working in a school where management didn't give a shit anymore, and the needs of the students, despite the school motto, claiming the opposite.

None of these could wait to leave at a more convenient time. Not

EvilTwins Mon 18-Mar-13 17:43:15

I can see it from both sides. I'm a teacher, and there is NEVER a "convenient" time to leave. When I was teaching in my first school, I decided in the February that I was going to leave at the end of the academic year. I told the head, and also the students (long story- it was an appropriate thing to do) and despite the notice, people were still annoyed about it. I have only ever left at the end of the year (except with maternity leave) and leaving a KS4/KS5 class half way through a course can be managed to minimise disruption. So on one hand, I think YABU. However, the Head of a core subject at the school I currently teach in has resigned and is off at the end of this term. He's had enough- leaving teaching with nothing to go to. I think he's very selfish. The kids at school adore him, and he's one of those incredibly energetic and charismatic teachers who gets amazing results that you tend to see played by Robin Williams in films. He's ditching his Yr 11s just before GCSEs and they are properly devastated. I can't help thinking that for the sake of a couple more months, he should stay.

ChunkyChicken Mon 18-Mar-13 17:46:41

But where does staying for "continuity" stop? If you teach a group of students in every year, do you wait until the yr 11s have finished (mid-way through the term), the yr 10s take their exams (at any point if they're modular), yr 9s have finished their BTEC (can take 1-3yrs) or the yr 7s have finished their schooling??

Teachers can't leave mid-way through a term (new style one, 3 a yr) w/out a HTs permission so sometimes end up working a much longer notice period than some other jobs, which can bring with it a whole host of other issues.

And surely if lots of teachers are leaving & the school is having trouble replacing them, what does that say about the school? The HT is ultimately responsible for ensuring the students receive continuity in teaching, and if they are key examination groups that have lost teachers, the staffing should be rearranged.

Whilst your frustration is understandable, its not down to the individual to tailor their career to suit every single student they will ever teach...


morethanpotatoprints Mon 18-Mar-13 17:46:57

Many years ago we relocated 250 miles to be nearer to family it was feb when we moved. My dh had to stay where he was to complete the term. We were 3 months without him and we had 2 dc at the time, who really missed dh. Now he was happy to complete the term for the sake of the kids but would any longer have been fair?

YABVU. You might consider these circumstances as exceptional but you can't have one rule for one and one rule for others.

BertieBotts Mon 18-Mar-13 17:50:36

It might be annoying for your DD, but she's just unlucky - teachers leave mid-year for all sorts of reasons and one of their classes is always going to be a GCSE/A level/SATS/etc one.

I understand that teacher's have as many valid reasons for changing jobs/leaving mid-year as anyone else but I do think it's up to the head to minimise the impact on pupils.

DC4, in her year 3 transition year to a separate junior school, had no less than 3 permanent teachers (job share anyway but then a maternity leave, then covering teaching was ill for many weeks and finally the other original teacher was moved to a year 6 class when a teacher left in the middle of SATs) as well as a host of supply teachers.

In one week we counted that she was taught be a different teacher each day (most weeks it was at least 3 - some supply, some were other school staff.) It was really hard for many of the children in that class but for DD (who was an anxious type anyway) it was the catalyst for home-ed as she never really recovered her confidence.

I don't blame the teachers but I think the Head let the whole class down.

noblegiraffe Mon 18-Mar-13 17:54:55

I had a baby at the ideal time, in August, so I finished in July and took a year's maternity so I started back in September.

I still left an A-level class and a GCSE class in the middle of their courses. I also left a tutor group who were just going into Y11.

Whenever a teacher leaves, it's always going to be rubbish for some students. It just can't be helped.

shushpenfold Mon 18-Mar-13 17:56:48

YABU and ridiculous....

babybythesea Mon 18-Mar-13 18:00:22

cricketballs - I can add one (not related to the OP in the slightest so not joining in the general bashing!)

My sister (a reception teacher) has a tea-club that has just started up at their school to help parents out with childcare after school (and to ensure some of the kids actually eat tea as this is a concern). A nice idea, yes?
She passed two parents in the corridor who were loudly voicing their displeasure that the childcare wasn't available in holiday time because quite frankly, what is a parent supposed to do then??! So not being available to look after the kids in the holidays can be added to the list.

ArseAche Mon 18-Mar-13 18:00:28

yeah I know shush - read the thread!

weegiemum Mon 18-Mar-13 18:02:31

I think if you only let teachers leave at the end of the year, you'd have a lot more going off sick, thus necessitating that evil - the supply teacher. while looking for a job I did years of supply (always long term) and I'm not sure my pupils would have done better with the teacher who went off with "stress" the day after she didn't get a promoted post.

Teaching is a job. If you are lucky, it's a vocation. Less and less so these days though. We're not gods, or magicians, though ime I think that's what some parents want!

soontobeburns Mon 18-Mar-13 18:07:11

Whe. I was in school we have a different form teacher every year. When we where in year 11 (year 10 in englad) our teacher was offered a job in a much better school, better hours, better pay etc. But he defered it for a yeae to stay with us and show us some consistency.

I loved that teacher. So in my experience YANBU.

Crinkle77 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:09:00

You can't blame a teacher for wanting to move on. If anyone is responsible for the continuous stream of supply teachers it is the school.

SnotMeReally Mon 18-Mar-13 18:09:46

YABU - I have worked in 2 schools where teachers died suddenly and had to be replaced for the good of their students asap rather than limp along using supply staff till end of year.
One teacher was killed in an RTA, the other had a heart attack out of the blue.

We were lucky enough in both cases to fill their posts with high calibre candidates mid year. If you had been a parent at our school, you would have been pleased that the school did all it could for your child. If you had been a parent at the schools we "stole" teachers from, you would not have known the tragic reasons for those posts, maybe their ideal next career move, coming up.

People leave their jobs all the time, when it suits them. YABU to think it should be otherwise.

However, I have also known instances where schools have felt they HAD to rely on supply teachers for longer than was ideal, because they felt that the sort of teacher they wanted, was not the sort who would jump ship mid year and leave their GCSE classes in the lurch, and they wanted to recruit from the best pool possible rather than be left with a load of NQT applicants.

My DDs teacher has been in and out all year - I have nothing but sympathy for her, as her child has been in and out of hospital.

SuffolkNWhat Mon 18-Mar-13 18:12:26

I'd have dearly loved to time my pregnancy better, DD was perfect, due mid September so left in July and returned after one academic year. Unfortunately we encountered secondary infertility issues this time and it's taken a while to conceive.

I do feel for the pupils I will leave after a month (I'm due in November, planning on leaving at 36 weeks) into the new term but I do hope the school replace me well as they did last time (although I'm now part time and a completely different subject area!).

However, for me, my family comes first, my job second.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 18:12:47

Soontobeburns, how long ago was that?
As I said, it's an almost completely different job to the one I started with. The stress, expectations, level of interference and paperwork is beyond my comprehension on many days of the year.

ReallyTired Mon 18-Mar-13 18:15:01

Not read the entire thread.

Schools have to follow employment law, and prevents employers demanding unreasonable amounts of notice. As it is, a teacher has to give half a term notice of leaving which is more than most jobs.

If schools insisted that teachers stayed to the end of the year then it would become impossible to sack a bad teacher mid year.

Teachers choose to stay in happy schools.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 18:26:27

Poor old OP has realised she WBU twice on this thread and no one seems to have noticed. Well, except me. smile

dangly131 Mon 18-Mar-13 18:29:30

Supply teachers can have full term contracts and the reason they do not stay, maybe is not due to them being inadequate but maybe they find they also struggle to work at the school the previous teacher did. If this is the case and there is a high turnover of supply staff, then I would question how the school treats such visitors to their school. I have been a supply teacher and while some teachers/schools welcome you, others see you as not a proper teacher and have crawled out from under a rock. I have been subject to racial abuse, name calling and have arrived at a school on an emergency call where no plans have been available and 5 minutes to think of a lesson! Supply work very hard and it is a tough job when you are not appreciated.

TheNebulousBoojum Mon 18-Mar-13 18:32:41

I loved supply!
So many different schools, a choice about whether you went back there or not, very little paperwork no targets. I enjoyed it, but I needed a steady income.
Who knows, I may yet resign and return to being a wandering scholar when my children are earning.

LittleLark Mon 18-Mar-13 18:33:27

YABU for a myriad of reasons.

soontobeburns Mon 18-Mar-13 18:33:43

True Boojum my example was 7 years ago.
I also know someone who had to leave due to MH issues. So I do understand needing to leave to.

This is one of those grey areas for me and I do agree with special circumstances yes leave but if its just because you want to try something new its not good.

Molehillmountain Mon 18-Mar-13 18:50:09

Of course yanbu. Really, teachers should choose their first job carefully, so that they can stay in it until retirement so that until then no groups of children are ever disrupted. And not have children. But I do know how you feel-I had a moment of irk when dd's not yet year two teacher announced her pregnancy knowing then that dd would not have her the next year. And then I spoke most severely to myself.

Blissx Mon 18-Mar-13 19:14:57

Ok-playing Devil's Advocate here-so a teacher leaves at the end of a term from one school. Doesn't it stand to reason that that teacher will then go to another school and teach their new pupils and may be better than their last one? In an ideal world, that is what would happen. I believe your gripe should be more the fact that a good teacher cannot be found in a term to replace the old one and pay, not needing to be a qualified teacher, a school trying to save money by not replacing a teacher, media/uk society bashing teachers so it isn't an appealing career, are the areas you should be annoyed about, OP.

Snoopingforsoup Mon 18-Mar-13 19:56:29

So if teachers only start new jobs in September, can they only get pregnant in certain months too? How would life work around this?

MidniteScribbler Mon 18-Mar-13 20:21:51

It's up to the schools to manage staff movements effectively. Some do this better than others.

I was offered the "dream job". Walking distance from home (instead of an hours drive), as Junior School Coordinator, in in a brand new private school with deep pockets. They were willing to pay for me to get my Masters. I'd been angling for that job for two years. The catch was that I had to start mid-year as they were finishing off the build, hiring staff, setting up classrooms, making decisions on resources to purchase, etc. I took it. I had a two week handover with a new teacher at my old school, and never looked back. If I hadn't been able to start mid year, I would have lost the job. Sometimes you need to do what is right for you.

fairylightsinthesnow Mon 18-Mar-13 20:27:06

Also, given that GCSE and A level courses (from 2015 when they change it all again) are 2 year courses, actually then that nails us down for two years. There are already "transfer windows" in teaching - the TES jobs section quadruples in size Feb - April as that is when most jobs appear.If you get one in Feb, you hav work for 5 months knowing you are leaving - its hard to stay motivated and really give your all but you do it - can you imagine extending that period even longer? As someone said up-thread, its not about the teacher leaving, its about how they are replaced, and schools aren't magic, they can't conjour up a well qualified and long term replacement on spec. Supply teachers often like the flexibility their work gives them so won't commit. In my school we had a Head of Dept leave at Easter under something of a cloud, so we all re-arranged our timetables and took on extra work to teach the exam classes and the lower school were farmed out to non-specialists. It was A solution but some of the lower school parents weren't happy as you can imagine.

kim147 Mon 18-Mar-13 20:31:58

Think this is a problem? Ask your school if they use unqualified people to cover the lessons and for how long?

Or if they ask people in school who are not specialists to take a maths class for a term or two because they can't find specialists. People who've never taught maths suddenly being asked to do it.

You then have a go at the supply teacher - who is probably not being paid to scale because the agencies don't pay well and are finding it hard to get day to day supply.

The school then probably offers a temporary post anyway - and the teacher can be removed if their face does not fit.

Hulababy Mon 18-Mar-13 20:36:03

So OP - you've seen lots of good reasons as to why it should be allowed.
What would you judge as not being a good enough reason to change jobs mid year?

SE13Mummy Mon 18-Mar-13 21:53:17

I realise that the OP has already declared herself to be BU but I can't think of many teachers who leave jobs mid-year for spurious reasons.

In February last year I was offered a job at a new school. I accepted but didn't start until September which made it a loooong time to teach in a school where the Head actively and openly ignored me (in person and electronically) in spite of my role requiring regular communication with her.

Had I been able to arrange childcare differently prior to September I would have been sorely tempted by the offer to start at the new school earlier. It's not much fun working for someone who will blank you in front of your own class. Or turn her back on you when you take your own young DC to a joint schools summer 'fun day' but very obviously turn back to converse with the person behind you.

I didn't leave early because I wasn't being bullied by the Head. Two people left mid-year because she hounded them out of their jobs. Another seven of the teachers (it's a 2-form-entry primary) left in the summer.

BagWoman Mon 18-Mar-13 21:59:06


In many ways I agree with you.

BUT as a former teacher I left my school at end of autumn term- to get married and relocate. I gave 2 months' notice and decided it was better to leave then so my GCSE group had a new teacher for 2 terms than leave at easter when they would have had a new teacher for only a few weeks.

kim147 Mon 18-Mar-13 22:06:51

I'm at a school which is losing 2 teachers out of 10. But it's primary and not in year 6 so is this ok?

mrsjay Mon 18-Mar-13 22:08:59

It is frustrating whent hey get new teachers but YABU you cant dictate a teachers career

mrsjay Mon 18-Mar-13 22:10:13

dd had quite young women teachers who she loved but the selfish moos decided to have babies how inconsiderate of them grin

spottyock Tue 19-Mar-13 10:03:17

I agree that it's not the leaving teacher's fault if adequate cover or replacement is not found. 3 months notice is surely enough time for a Head to look?

I left my job at Christmas. It was a hard decision and I did feel guilty about leaving the children but after sweating blood and tears for that school for over 7 years, and putting it before my own family, enough was enough.
I have never been happier and the children, fickle as they are, love their new (supply) teacher.

ArseAche Tue 19-Mar-13 10:14:05

just come back to this to read all the replies.

So what we unanimously feel is it is not so much the teacher leaving, but the way the school handles the transition, which in many schools could perhaps be better? That is what I have come to believe after reading and accepting all the teachers point of views.

Astelia Tue 19-Mar-13 10:19:02

My DCs school is a British International school in Asia and if a teacher leaves mid year it can be hard to replace them. So to encourage staff to stay the whole year the teachers get a 20% bonus in August if they complete the year.

It works well, it is an acknowledgement of people sticking it out and yet they can leave mid year if they need to. It works- very few leave mid year.

OhTheConfusion Tue 19-Mar-13 11:46:16

A lot of teaching contracts are non permanent and therefore do not include holiday pay so many of my teaching friends apply for full time permanent contracts throughout the year.

DH left his teaching job at the end of December... he handed in his notice over the summer. Surely that is a long enough notice period to replace him.

OhTheConfusion Tue 19-Mar-13 11:50:52

Astelia, good idea but a 20% bonus would soon add up in a British school. The average bonus would be £6000 to £8000, then multiply that by 60 to 90 per school = £££!!!

Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 11:53:01

Abolishing Ofsted would help grin

cumfy Tue 19-Mar-13 15:06:48

Surprised there aren't bonus structures in contracts to encourage teachers to complete years.

cumfy Tue 19-Mar-13 15:09:43

Sorry Astelia, didn't see your post.

Confusion the bonus would need to be structured so it was revenue neutral.

ie Nationally same pay average.

maddening Tue 19-Mar-13 15:40:08

I think they are restricted enough - only able to take hols in school hols.

You can't dictate so deeply into their lives without paying for that loss of autonomy in one's life.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 16:03:49

Of course they should.If they are a permanent contract they have to give a huge notice anyway-I can't see why you want a teacher stuck there because they have to give up to a year's notice. They get pregnant at different times for a start! If a job comes up, in a school they really want, they can't be expected to to pass it up. A lot of teachers retire on their birthdays-they don't all have convenient summer ones.
OhTheConfusion explains it.
Other teachers can take over-the record keeping is all there-no one is indispensable.

I think we need robots for teachers having had
teachers shouldn't leave mid year
teachers should use some of their holiday to run activity clubs
teachers shouldn't have their own children in the school
and probably more!

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 16:08:52

teachers give a whole term's notice, the question is why can't the school get their finger out and recruit a new teacher in time? most employees only give a month and replacements are found.

exoticfruits Tue 19-Mar-13 16:15:29

I can't think why anyone wants a their child's class to have a teacher who is stuck and mentally marking time until they get out. Much better for them to move- and it is perfectly easy to employ a new one who is enthusiastic and raring to get stuck into a new job.

Siriusstar Tue 19-Mar-13 16:30:15

Badguider, I agree with you. I don't have issues with teachers who leave mid year, it's the leadership that should be the ones held accountable if a succession of supply teachers are used. For one thing, make sure they pull their finger out and employ a full time permanent or full time temporary instead of long term supply. But I would also have questions for the leadership if there was a stream of supply teachers filling in. I would want to know why they are managing the school so poorly that people don't want to work there?

Just be thankful they have to give a term and not a month.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 19-Mar-13 17:46:57

Sorry if this has already been said but we are contracted to work until the end of each term.

If we want to leave at Christmas, we have to hand in our notice by Autumn half term.
To leave at Easter, the cut off is Feb. half term.
To leave in July, the cut off is Whit.

Basically, a teacher can only leave at Christmas, Easter or Summer holidays. (Unless the HT 'releases' them under special circumstances).

I can't think of any other job where employees have to leave at specified times.

fairylightsinthesnow Tue 19-Mar-13 17:56:21

tbf to the school management, they have no control over who applies for any given post. Supply are a pain for the school (as they can need extra help, back-up etc) and expensive. Most school will advertise in the TES but you can't magic up well qualified staff. Especially in the current climate, people don't want to relocate, move, find their partners jobs etc so you get fewer applicants

Chandon Tue 19-Mar-13 17:57:40

It is only a problem because schools handle it so badly, and get strings of supply teachers in ( why not thae same supply teacher for a whole term?!).

The problem is not with the teachers leaving, but with how it is handled. Ideally a school should have a proper replacement organised, or use the ne ( one only) supply teacher until a permanent teacher is found.

In our primary one class ended up with 4 different teachers in one year, and the class suffered (y2).

teacherwith2kids Tue 19-Mar-13 18:23:24

The very fixed nature of how teachers can give notice is often a hindrance when it comes to replacing a teacher.

Say a teacher (me) gets a job in a new school starting at Christmas. As I have to give half a term's notice, the recruitment for my new job is organised to allow me to do so, and i am offered a job a couple of weeks before that deadline so I can resign on time.

HOWEVER, the school that I taught in until Christmas does not have the time to run a full recruitment round before the deadline. Therefore they cannot recruit an 'already in post' teacher to the vacancy my leaving creates, unless their school is willing to dispense with the usual notice period (the other school's willingness is often inversely proportional to the quality of the teacher, so actually the more you want a candidate, the less likely the school they teach at is to release them fro the usual notice period!)

So the school I am leaving has a choice - to find someone not already in a job (not likely to be the highest calibre of candidates) or to appoint a temporary replacement until Easter, by which time a proper recruitment process can be run and candidates already in post can apply and resign...

dangly131 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:47:22

Chandon, the school can get a supply for the whole term and quite often they are asked if they want a long term placement before they start work. However, supply teachers can refuse to work somewhere they are not happy and I have done previously. I was booked for a whole week at one school but was racially abused by the staff so much I refused to complete the week. I asked never to be sent to that school again. When speaking with colleagues, I found it wasn't a one off and so a complaint was made about the way I was treated. So maybe the reason that supply teachers do not work a full term may be due to how they are treated within the school.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 19-Mar-13 18:52:05

teacher spot on!

sunshine401 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:58:23


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