Signed off work for stress

(14 Posts)
Lemonpop01 Tue 24-Nov-20 18:00:09

I started a new teaching job in September and was promised lots of support. I'm basically the HOD although not on paper. I have a line manager who is really sweet but has had a lot of her own issues to deal with so not the easiest to pin down or get advice from.
My department had been really neglected so I spent a lot of time over the summer going in an preparing SOW etc.
Right from the start of term I could feel the pressure building, I felt overwhelmed with no one I could ask for help who knew much about my department. It just seemed to get worse. I had a bit of a melt down at school and was told I would get help but over the next three weeks nothing changed. At half term I realised just how stressed I was and resigned from the job. Of course as it's in education I have to give 3 months notice. I went to see my GP who signed me off for 2 weeks. She has signed me off again but now it is coming to an end and I am trying to work out what I do now.
I haven't heard anything from my employers so it feels like nothing has changed. The idea of walking back into the same thing fills me with dread, I feel tearful and physically ill again.
I'm getting breathless, headachy, heart palpitations and stomach cramps. I wake up really early in the morning an it's all I can think about. I'm exhausted even though I've had 3 weeks off.

I feel so guilty too that they are all having to deal with the Covid situation as well as my absence. I can imagine that if I go back the reception I get may not be too warm.

My union aren't replying to my emails and not answering the phone.

So do I get signed off again? I feel so bad about doing it and I've got a lot of notice to work. I think the longer I'm off the worse it will be if I go back.
Or can I ask that they terminate my contract now. It would mean I don't get paid but I feel the stress isn't worth it. I'm not even sure if that is even an option.

Is there anyone who has been in a similar situation? Or can offer any advice?

Any help would be so appreciated.
Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
hennersley Tue 24-Nov-20 18:17:03

Could you have a chat with your GP? I'm not sure how it works but it would be good if they could sign you off for the whole of your notice period. Put your health first. I'm a teacher and we have so many off on stress at the minute, don't feel guilty.

Motherlandismylife Tue 24-Nov-20 18:30:37

Could you approach the union and or school to negitate being release early from yur notice on the basis its making you ill. It sno good to them forcing you to go in just to honour that nptice period if its having that sort of affect.
I expect you'd have to agree to your pay stopping at the point you do but worht it for your well being.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Tue 24-Nov-20 18:33:17

Who’s your union?

I’m in a similar place but been off since Sept.

All my communication is now via my local union rep. I just don’t feel well enough. Can’t even open emails tbh.

Lemonpop01 Tue 24-Nov-20 18:53:32

Oh you poor thing.
Have you been going back to your GP every 2 weeks?
Are you planning to stick at the job?
I'm with NASUWT.
They've closed the phone line and haven't replied to my emails.

OP’s posts: |
Lemonpop01 Tue 24-Nov-20 18:59:23

Thank you. I feel so bad for my colleagues. It's such chaos. Teaching is stressful enough but the Covid situation is impossible. My subject is practical and the SLT are insisting that those lessons go ahead even though class sizes are too big.
I've got a phone call appointment with my GP tomorrow. I'm just worried that they will think I'm taking the mickey.

OP’s posts: |
Lemonpop01 Tue 24-Nov-20 19:00:51

I think that might be the best solution. I hate letting people down but I don't feel like I could be an effective teacher right now. I feel so guilty about the students too.

OP’s posts: |
TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Tue 24-Nov-20 19:16:33

Can you chat to them via messenger? Or Twitter?

On their website it should have the local branch rep with a phone number. Who is your school rep?

I’m in NEU. They have a phone number for each area. I notice the NASUWT have an advice line number. Does that work?

I feel the same about taking the Mickey. But l think l am genuinely ill. I have a history though.

You absolutely have to get in touch with your union. But if you are leaving why do you need them?

Lemonpop01 Tue 24-Nov-20 19:44:22

I'll try messenger. The Union phone line on the website just tells you to email. I'm guessing they must be very busy. My school rep is my line manager so not a great idea. I want to speak to them so I can find out whether I have to complete my notice. Also to find out how the process of me going back to finish my notice would work.

I've just had no communication from the school at all. That is creating stress too. I don't know if they are just furious with me. Probably too busy but I think some communication would have helped.

OP’s posts: |
TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Tue 24-Nov-20 19:50:55

Good luck with it.!!

The NEU have kept their advice line open. How weird that the NASUWT havent.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Tue 24-Nov-20 19:51:57

Have you tried your regional office?

Viviennemary Tue 24-Nov-20 21:04:21

In your position I think it would be fair to be signed off till the end of term and then ask for early release from your notice period. Then you don't have to face going back.

MarieG10 Wed 25-Nov-20 06:02:46


*I'm with NASUWT.
They've closed the phone line and haven't replied to my emails.*

Great how unions are there to look after their members in time of national crisis....all they want is to shut schools and shut their own offices. Disgraceful

CayrolBaaaskin Wed 02-Dec-20 17:28:18

Get your fit note extended. Your GP won’t even need to see you

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