About to start new job as TA but also offered Civil Service job

(28 Posts)
PlomBear Tue 14-Jan-20 11:46:05

I start a new job as a primary school TA next week. It’s fixed term until July. I’m thinking of being a primary school teacher but in two minds about this as all I read on Mumsnet is how awful being a teacher is. As of now, I haven’t got a PGCE course place yet either. There is no point in continuing as a TA if I don’t want to become a qualified teacher as the pay is so low and there is little career progression.

But today I’ve been offered two jobs in the Civil Service - the Ministry of Defence where I have worked before. I just need to decide which one to accept!

I’m guessing that security checks will take at least 3 months? It’s for SC as my previous SC has expired.

Should I take the TA job and see if I like it? I don’t have a job at the moment (moved location as my husband got posted here and also in the final year of a part-time Master’s degree) so can’t really just sit at home for another x amount of months waiting for a job to start.

OP’s posts: |
crimsonlake Tue 14-Jan-20 19:32:36

I think as you have already accepted the TA position surely you are legally obliged to start the job.

Mintjulia Tue 14-Jan-20 19:41:05

If you’ve had a previous SC clearance, the second one should be much quicker, a week or two. Mine took 9 days.

Isleepinahedgefund Tue 14-Jan-20 20:22:02

In civil service we’re used to it taking an absolute age to onboard people. Especially when they need clearance. We know the process and that people might be on long notice periods etc.

I would take the TA job because you don’t have clearance at the moment and if for some reason they don’t grant it you won’t have those MOD jobs will you.

I also think you should do the TA job so you can get a clearer idea as to whether you want to pursue teaching. It will either draw you in or entirely put you off, and I don’t think you should miss an opportunity like that - you will always wonder otherwise.

daisychain01 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:47:00

Same as @Mintjulia my security check was quick, about 3 weeks (mainly because my previous career had been in a high security sector so all the check they did on me came out clear).

So if you are keen to work for MOD, which is a great career move, I would accept whichever role you like, and get them started on your SC.

As regards being a TA, it doesn't sound as if your heart is in it, so I wouldn't advise you to start and then a few weeks later decide to resign. I would contact them if you have nagging doubts, and come clean that you are unable to start as you've had second thoughts. They would rather you are honest now than start and mess them about (not that I'm saying you'd do that).

PlomBear Wed 15-Jan-20 07:35:08

Thanks for the replies. Also, the jobs are E1 jobs. I have previously been a D grade and C2 so would be stepping down to a more functional admin role. I am on the reserve list for a D and C2 job.

I can’t say I’m passionate or excited about being an administrator. I know I can do the job to a high standard and get on with the people around me. The Civil Service has a very competitive maternity leave scheme which after working there for a number of months, I would be entitled to. And after passing my probation period I could apply for internal jobs at a higher grade.

So not entirely sure. Like most people, I need a job to pay the bills!

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crankysaurus Wed 15-Jan-20 08:52:51

Where would you like to see yourself in five/ten years? Which would be more likely to get you there?

PlomBear Wed 15-Jan-20 09:03:29

I did want to be a primary school teacher but I’ve been put off that.

I’ve never had a job I enjoyed. Most jobs have been fine with a couple of exceptions. I don’t want to work in office admin but not sure what else to do.

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 15-Jan-20 09:14:21

If you don't want to be a teacher, don't become a TA. The money is shocking! It's also really not fair on the children if you're only going to do it for a couple of months and then leave for the civil service, particularly if your role involves supporting children with SENs.

Take the civil service job, you know it's family friendly and work from there.

daisychain01 Wed 15-Jan-20 17:16:19

Even if you come in at E1 you won't stay long at that level. You will have your foot in the door and get visibility of internal opportunities at all levels. They are crying out for C grade roles but it does depend if you can evidence SQEP (to use a military acronym.!)

PlomBear Thu 16-Jan-20 17:07:56

Not sure which job to take: HR or PR/comms in the Civil Service?

I think the comms job might have more room for progression and may be mote interesting?

I’m still not sure about going back in as an E1 to be honest!

OP’s posts: |
NeedAnExpert Thu 16-Jan-20 17:09:56

I think as you have already accepted the TA position surely you are legally obliged to start the job.

Yeah. Prisons are full of people who have changed their minds about jobs. hmm

PlomBear Sun 19-Jan-20 13:50:33

I really don’t want to start the TA job tomorrow...but I can’t not go...can I? sad

OP’s posts: |
Frenchw1fe Sun 19-Jan-20 13:54:19

Yes. You can not go.
I really regret taking a job because I felt obliged. It was the worst decision I ever made and ruined the rest of my career because I lost so much confidence doing it.

MsTSwift Sun 19-Jan-20 13:56:03

I cannot imagine wanting to be a TA crap money and other people’s kids

emilybrontescorsett Sun 19-Jan-20 14:02:03

Why not start the TA job and see if you like working in a school.
Being a teacher will involve more hours and more work than the TA, but you will get to experience what it is like.
If you don't like it then take the civil service one and just hand your notice in to the school.

Pannalash Sun 19-Jan-20 14:03:40

Will you be able to have your C2 salary on ‘mark time’?

PlomBear Sun 19-Jan-20 14:06:20

No, I can’t have the C2 salary sadly. It’ll be bottom of the E1 payscale.

DH and family have advised me to start tomorrow and see if I like teaching so I know if it’s for me or not.

I have a university assignment due this week too, I’ll be home before 4pm after work but I’m just thinking how nice it would be to have all the free time during the day to do it!

OP’s posts: |
HarrietSchulenberg Sun 19-Jan-20 14:10:41

If you don't want to start the TA job then don't do it. You are not under any legal responsibility to start, although you won't be getting an interview for anything at that school ever again!
You could always do it until you are able to start your civil service job, if you want to.

Pannalash Sun 19-Jan-20 15:05:06

Is it a ‘reinstatement’ OP because if it is I would certainly query the salary.

Lailaha Sun 19-Jan-20 15:33:44

I would start and see how it goes - I wouldn't write off a career path solely based on comments on an anonymous forum.

PlomBear Mon 20-Jan-20 16:20:15

Let’s just say I’m not going back for day two! Roll on security clearance!

As I only survived part of the day I don’t need to put it on my CV or any future application forms!

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DICarter1 Mon 20-Jan-20 16:23:10

@PlomBear oh no what happened?

PlomBear Mon 20-Jan-20 16:30:14

The 1:1 SEN child has severe issues, these weren’t mentioned at interview. I was very honest and said I had never worked with SEN children. The job would be exhausting, running around after him as he assaults other pupils, throws things on the floor etc. I also didn’t really enjoy being scratched or kicked or told that he is going to kill me. For around £9.40 an hour.

One of the TAs said she was surprised I lasted until lunch! No training and I got the impression that within a couple of days I would be left on my own to manage him.

Not for me! Office work with flexitime seems safer!

OP’s posts: |
emilybrontescorsett Mon 20-Jan-20 22:06:23

Oh no PlomBear!
Oh well at least you now know working in a school is not for you!

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