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Teachers - any advice re: asking to return part time after mat leave?

(8 Posts)
MayimBialik Sat 19-Jan-13 16:45:55

I'm a secondary teacher, due to go back to work in sept. ideally I would like to go part time, 3 days a week.

Does my head have the right to refuse me this? Do schools tend to be flexible with things like this? How do I approach my Head - email or face to face?

snuffy143 Sat 19-Jan-13 16:52:27

Yes, heads can refuse.

Whether they are flexible depends on the head. I worked in a school where the head objected to PT teachers so when one excellent RE teacher requested PT after maternity leave, he said no and she left. Very sad.

I would definitely recommend face to face and the sooner the better - lay your card on the table well before any timetabling starts. Ultimately, you have nothing to lose - you are entitled to your FT job back so it is always worth asking. Are there PT teachers at your school? If they have gone PT after maternity leave, ask them for some advice.

Good luck! I found PT for 9 years after I had my kiddos to be absolutely brilliant and totally family friendly and I varied the numbers of days I worked depending on how old the the children were. I also picked up extra days of supply if and when the GPs were feeling generous and were prepared to look after the children. Was great!

janey68 Sat 19-Jan-13 16:59:25

Not a teacher myself but SIL teaches secondary and returned part time after having children. In her case what swung in her favour was there was another teacher in her subject who also wanted to reduce hours (not ML but an older woman approaching retirement and wanting to cut down) so they job shared. SIL said it was either a job share, or the prospect of being P/T but having lessons scattered throughout the week, because it would have created too many problems splitting the classes among lots of other F/T staff, whereas because the two of them wanted P/T they were prepared to accept the planning together which took place outside school hours.

Is there anyone else in your subject who might be interested in that arrangement? Your boss is more likely to be keen if you;ve thought ahead to addressing any issues which might occur.

Bambi86 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:37:04


I'm a teacher, also returning in September. I hope to go from 5 to 4 days a week. Admin told me that the Head can refuse to let you go PT, as he has to consider what is best for my department. But legally, they are also required to take your request seriously as you have a right to ask. If your Head decides not to allow you to go PT, they will have to give valid reasons.

I'm going to enquire before six weeks holidays, meet with Head face to face to discuss options etc. Good luck!

Hoophopes Sat 19-Jan-13 22:01:07

Have several friends who have managed to get p-t, but obviously in secondary they cannot choose their days unless a job share and even then not always.

Main thing that helped them was asking before the timetable was written - as too late to move things around once it was written apparently, so if you know when they start the timetable then that may be the best time to ask. Also if they are positive about it but need to recruit, if you do not tell them until the last minute it means they cannot recruit so then you may be refused on purely practical reasons.

2kidsintow Sat 19-Jan-13 22:05:50

I've been able to return to teaching part time. I had a good think about my timetable, then had a chat to the headteacher. Then I put things in writing for the Govs. They were accomodating, although I know someone at the next school to me who moved schools because their request wasn't met.

Get over to the TES forums. There's someone on the pay and conditions area called TheoGriff who gives excellent advice. He also has a template of a letter for those who wish to write to their head/govs to request to return to work part time.

Good luck.

IHeartKingThistle Sat 19-Jan-13 22:05:51

I wrote a lovely polite, non-presumptuous letter. The Head was the type to respond well to that.

Good luck!

MayimBialik Sat 19-Jan-13 23:08:25

Thanks everyone for your advice and info. All very helpful. I shall get onto my Head straight away and look for the template on TES.

I am supposed to be going back as head of department in a very small dept. the idea is there would be me FT and another new member of staff (to be recruited in the coming months) who would be PT.

I'm hoping my Head would agree to me being a PT HOD and instead recruit a FT NQT. Would be cheaper for him and also I don't mind working (at home!) if needs be on the days that I'm off - it just means that I can also be with my son. So it's a win win situation as far as I can see grin

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