Really need advice, job related

(15 Posts)
MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 10:40:03

I currently teach in an independent special needs school and have recently had a lot of problems with management (mixed messages, changing goal posts, a lot of inappropriate personal remarks, seeing only what needs to be improved rather than what is going well). Don't want to go into specifics but it has been making me feel so down and anxious that I have been having diarrhea every morning for the last 2 and a half months at he thought of going in (only weekdays never weekends or holidays so I know it's not medical). I'm normally a very strong person and I feel that these issues have drained everything out of me. All the staff at school feel apprehensive every day that it will be their day to be 'picked on' (sounds immature I know but that's what it feels like to everyone). I'm currently on a one year contract due to expire start of next term and I definitely do not want to stay on. I can't handle it and want out. I don't know if they want to renew my contract or not. I could hear a conversation they were having about me last week (head teacher has a loud voice. I could hear what she was saying from the staff room so I wasn't eavesdropping) that basically said they have a lot of concerns that I struggle to restrain pupils (I have done team teach course and still not confident. Have asked for extra training in this to protect myself and pupils but it has not been forthcoming).
Now I have got myself into a problem. I'm pregnant, about 4 weeks. Working out dates I'm due around the middle to end of January. I was on the pill but due to stress with work I have been daft and forgot it a few days. I don't want to have an abortion. I know if I tell work hey will not renew my contract long enough for me to gt smp. I don't think I want it renewing either. I still feel I want out. My plan was to go back to supply teaching next year (enjoyed it last year and got work nearly every day) but I won't have worked there long enough for smp by time baby is due.
I'm married and husband works full time. We have one child. I don't need as much money as I'm getting now and we can manage on part time wages easily, but not if I've got nothing coming in for months.
Any words of wisdom or advice! Feel beaten down.

(Ignore bad spelling and grammar. On iPad and can't be bothered to check everything)

littlestressy Sun 12-May-13 11:44:44

If they wanted to renew your contract would you say yes? I think that you won't really know what to do until they offer to renew or say they are not going to renew it.
You say that even though you've found out you're pregnant (congrats by the way!!) you don't think you want it renewing, you still want out.
So.....I suppose your best bet is to go back to doing supply teaching while you are pregnant until you go on ML? I don't know what money you would get if you're not entitled to SMP from your employer, hopefully someone else is a bit more clued up about this.
But really it sounds like you don't like your job/school anymore and want out, even with the surprise pregnancy you still want out. Think about what is most important to you, health and happiness need to be near the top IMO.

MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 12:27:20

Thanks for the reply. Been looking a bit more and I would be entitled to maternity allowance (I think) which doesn't seem to be much different to smp except I wouldn't be entitled to the six weeks full pay at the beginning of maternity leave. We would be able to manage with that I think.
Don't know what to do about telling head teacher. Ht takes it very personally if people want to leave and knows that a lot of people want to and last week gave us a talk in the staff meeting about how it's apparently not illegal to give negative references! And ht doesn't want any of the other senior teachers to give references except themselves. I really don't know what ht will be like if I say I'm pregnant, I have to say something due to not been able to do restraints.

littlestressy Sun 12-May-13 12:53:19

If you're scared about restraining because you're pregnant (I don't blame you) then you just need to tell your HT. Be blunt, matter of fact and simply say "I am X weeks pregnant and don't feel comfortable restraining pupils". I think they might need to do a risk assessment about this. Are you with a union? Can you ask them for advice re: negative references and telling HT/risk assessments for restraining.
Don't let a mouthy HT bully you!!

MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 17:41:29

Little there's no way I would risk restraining now. There's plenty of people who can do it so I'm not risking it! Really dreading telling ht tho :-(

Speak to your union - I work in a mainstream school, but one that, although I love working there, has its moments! I wasn't allowed to do the teach first restraint training when I was pregnant and school just made allowances for that.

And I'd play the system! Tell them, if you're due in January go back to work on the last day if the summer term, get paid for the 6 weeks and remember that that counts in your 13 weeks back after maternity leave. So if you really hate it, go back in September, hand in your notice and leave at oct half term.

Rosesforrosie Sun 12-May-13 17:55:33

If your HT is that awful can you avoid telling her you're pregnant? If you tell other adults in your classroom (so they can keep you safe re restraint) would they be discreet?

If the school is as awful as you say, I wouldn't say anything about pregnancy if I could avoid it, not until they have told you whether or not they are renewing your contract anyway.

MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 18:01:30

It's a very small school and we do mostly one to one work. Doubt I id get away with not saying anything unfortunately although I would otherwise.

MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 18:03:14

Another question if the ht says they are not renewing contract, could I count that as leaving due to end of contract period or would it be classed as a dismissal?

I don't know about that - I think it would just be leaving due to the end if your contract.

Are you in a union? I think you need to speak to them ASAP

MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 19:10:03

I'm with nut. Have spoke to them about issues regarding this job before (there have been a lot). Another reason I'm worried is that ht has been sued for giving inflammatory references more than once! I don't know if I'm strong enough anymore to face that situation. I don't know what to do for the best.
This is in a supposedly outstanding school :-(

Rosesforrosie Sun 12-May-13 19:15:03

It would just be leaving due to the end if your contract.

BUT there is nothing to stop your HT saying why she didn't renew your contract in your reference.

IME/O a supply agency won't care what the reference says as long as she doesn't accuse you of breaking the law in some way. So if I could, I'd cut my losses, go back to supply and for future jobs use the supply agency as a referee and then someone (anyone) from a school you've worked at prior to this one for your second referee.

MrsJollyPostman Sun 12-May-13 19:31:07

Roses I think you're right. The agency I'd use is one I've used previously who I got a lot of work with. I have a friend who still works with them who has said her work continues to be consistent. I get calls every month from supply rep to see "how I'm doing" so I know they would have me back. I do wonder if for future job prospects I'd be better getting in first and giving in my notice at current job tho.

Rosesforrosie Sun 12-May-13 19:54:27

grin I'm always right I've drunk the best part of a bottle of wine

Good luck with the supply! Congratulations on your pregnancy!

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