what is better - term time only or 4 days a week?

(24 Posts)
mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 14:03:23

I have been offered a term time only job but have also asked boss in current company to reduce to 4 days a week. He's agreed. So is it better to have all school hols off or one day every week plus 5 weeks leave? Have two DS 6 and 9. Have been at company a long time so very settled if a little bored. New company not so stable I'd say. Was looking for jobs for a friend and when I saw this one in my field I couldn't resist applying. Otherwise wouldn't have been looking.

MummyNoName Sun 14-Apr-13 14:06:13

Term time.

badguider Sun 14-Apr-13 14:07:51

How will you feel taking 6 weeks every summer and going back in sept? In my job is feel 'out the loop' and get stressed about handover before going and catching up when back.
But it depends in you, the job, and your colleagues.

Gales Sun 14-Apr-13 14:08:57

I did a kind of best of both arrangement.

I worked 9-2 M-W term-time only and 9-5 T&F all year round. This was because the job was only attractive to me on a term-time only basis, but the company did need some coverage during the holidays. It was a good compromise all round (and they really wanted me in the job grin ) Would something like that be possible in either of the jobs?

Ultimately, the most important factor should probably be which job do you want most, but the hours are obviously relevant too. When my DC were small (pre-school) long hours over few days were best, but now they are at school having the holidays off is definitely best.

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 14:09:22

The term time one is school based so everyone would be in the same boat regarding being out of the loop.

TheFallenNinja Sun 14-Apr-13 14:10:07

If the job can stand for 6 weeks then it isn't a job. Totally unsustainable.

TheFallenNinja Sun 14-Apr-13 14:10:34

Or is it as as a lollipop lady ?

Gales Sun 14-Apr-13 14:12:45

hmm Ninja? OP's TT job is school based.

When I worked in the private sector, there was very little business about in Jul & Aug (or any half-term) as everyone was on holiday, or about to go on holiday, or just back from holiday so no-one was doing anything new, which is why my semi term-time arrangement worked.

oddslippers Sun 14-Apr-13 14:12:58

What is the term time only job? What are the weekly hours? Do you think you'll enjoy the job or is it just that the hols are tempting? Does it have any flexibility to take an odd day for school sports day etc? I do term time only and love having the time off when the kids are, am also extremely lucky that I can work my hours flexibly so can usually make any school events which is important

Downfall Sun 14-Apr-13 14:13:17

I would choose term time, but my company don't do it. My DS.s are also 6&9. I work 3 days a week, although I would like to earn more but can't as I don't have the childcare options for 4 or 5 days each week they are off school once my annual leave is used up.

amessagetoyouYoni Sun 14-Apr-13 14:13:18

Term time only, without a shadow of a doubt. Save shitloads on childcare and always have a break to look forward to <love working in education>

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 14:13:36

I feel quite excited by the prospect of the new job but tend to be a bit of a stick in the mud and not like change that much. I'm more worried that the long summer break will end up being purgatory with kids bored and me struggling to keep them happy.

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 14:17:43

It's a new position so unknown but of course there's the opportunity to make of it what I will. At the moment I have heaps of flexibility but really don't know how new job could pan out.

oddslippers Sun 14-Apr-13 14:20:32

Go for it, the summer hols are long but fun, you'll find plenty of people willing to lend you some playmates for a day grin

SunnyRandall Sun 14-Apr-13 14:23:53

Term time only. Definitely.

Gales Sun 14-Apr-13 14:24:27

OP, that is the one downside to working in a school. You get all the hols off which is great, but it can be hard to get a morning off if you need it for children's appointments or plays etc at other schools. Depends on the role.

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 14:27:52

Thanks. I'd say that's most if not everyone in favor of term time only. Good to get others' experiences.

MMcanny Sun 14-Apr-13 14:30:28

Your fear about the summer holiday purgatory is well founded. What are your childcare arrangements? Would you be paying to keep an out of school care that you didn't need over the summer? I guess you could just keep putting them in and take the seven weeks for youself! In the four day week job you still have the option of going back up hours if you decide you need more money at some point. This will be my second summer off and tbh I'm not looking forward to it. Having to plan and spend on outings or risk having kids bored at home/taking in all neighbourhood children/relatives onlies. Then when you get back to work it's suddenly a big inconvenience/drain on your time till you're back in the swing of it. I still do it though. But then I only work four days including weekend and shifts around kids school/sleeping so we don't use any childcare. I miss the two days OOSC they used to do which continued into the hols as their daytrips were part of it and I didn't feel obliged to fill other days with outings. Good luck choosing.

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 14:46:35

At the moment they go to holiday clubs when me or DH don't or can't take time off. They complain about it but I think they'd be bored without it. And although it can be expensive I get childcare vouchers so save up all year. Ironically they have really enjoyed the club they went to this Easter! They go to after school club and would have to continue with that whatever I choose. Is there anyone out there with teenagers who can give me a perspective? I know it's a long way off but given my dislike of change I'm hoping either option will last a long time so wondering about the teenage years. I know they won't go to clubs then but is it good just to be there in the holidays?

tiredemma Sun 14-Apr-13 14:50:42

Sorry to hijack. Can you explain to me about saving childcare vouchers for holiday clubs? Im currently using annual leave because clubs are so expensive. Could i potentially join a scheme through work but only use in holidays? Sorry

Gales Sun 14-Apr-13 15:00:19

Mine are older now and haven't actually been at home much for the last couple of weeks even though i have. They've been out and about friends, but if i was working they wouldn't be able to do that because they would have been with whichever family member would have them!

I also think childcare can get harder as they get older, they don't really want to go to gps, playscemes don't exist for them in the same way and whilst you might be happy to leave them for an hour or two, 8-10 hrs a day 5 days a week is too long

mydoorisalwaysopen Sun 14-Apr-13 15:28:38

My company is in a salary sacrifice scheme so I take £243 a month in vouchers which are credited to my scheme account and I use as I need to. I think as long as they're used within as year of issue it's OK. I set up holiday clubs as carers and pay them online. Most clubs are registered or will register if you ask them to. Most companies will set these up as they don't pay NI on this part of your pay. These are the schemes that the government is bringing to an end tho so hurry.

Downfall Sun 14-Apr-13 15:54:05

I agree Gales. Mine won't be at high school for another couple of years, but the thought of leaving them from 7am to 5.30 most days of most school holiday weeks is what is preventing me from increasing my days at work.

I was lucky enough to work part time and term time only when my DCs were small. Not a school, civil service. Now I am in a different job but still only part time.
It was overwhelmingly wonderful.
I loved being at home with them during the holidays and they very rarely had to go to childcare. Even now as teenagers it's far better having a parent at home.
If you can do it financially I can't think of any reason not to.

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