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Any teachers gone back part time?

(33 Posts)
pudding25 Sat 06-Sep-08 22:33:01

My SMP runs out end of Dec and I am going to have to go back to school then. I am a primary teacher and have been teaching Year 1 so that is the job waiting for me.

I want to go back 3 days, ideally doing cover, taking out groups. I don't want full-time for all the obvious reasons - want to spend time with dd, ridiculous workload, chilcare costs. I also don't really want job share as I would still have class responsibility, reports, parents night etc etc.

I have a meeting with the head next wk to discuss coming back.

Has anyone gone back part time doing what I want to do? How did you put it to the school?

Anyone got any ideas as to what I can say? I know that I have to make it look good from the school's point of view.

Chuffinknackered Sat 06-Sep-08 23:02:00

not sure how successful you'll be. i teach secondary and 3 days. have reports, p neveniongs etc....all depends whatv your head is looking of luck!

Littlefish Sat 06-Sep-08 23:13:19

1. You have the right to request a part time contract, but the school doesn't have to agree to it.

2. Unless they have a vacancy for a PPA teacher or have already planned to employ a teacher to take out small groups, I would be surprised if they would create a vacancy for you as you would simply add to the salary bill for the school as they would still have to employ a year 1 teacher. Presumably, if they needed a PPA cover teacher or a teacher to take out small groups, they would have employed someone from September.

Did you discuss any of this before you left to go on maternity leave? Does the Headteacher have any idea that you do not want to go back to being a full time class teacher?

Sorry this sounds so bleak, but I really think you might have to consider leaving the school and going elsewhere if you want to be part time and don't want to be class based anymore.

Good luck with your meeting.

findtheriver Sun 07-Sep-08 00:00:42

Agree with Littlefish. Why would a school create a new job designed to your specification just to suit your needs? Sorry if that sounds harsh, but the only job you have a right to return to is the one you left. (And if you have taken additional maternity leave, you don't even have that right - the school could redeploy you in a job at the same level and rate of pay). The right to request flexible working arrangements is no more than a right to REQUEST it and have it considered according to strict criteria. It is NOT about re-writing the job description to someone that suits you! I can't begin to see how the school would implement what you're suggesting simply on the grounds that you want to avoid parents evenings, workload etc.

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 00:10:59

Sorry but I agree with findtheriver and littlefish

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 00:12:38

To me it sounds like you don't want to do anything that a teacher does but with all the benefits such as long holidays, pension etc. I think you need to consider supply or a another job.

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 11:45:32

Well, I nknow 2 other people at different schools who have done exactly what I want to do after maternity leave which is why I have thought of this (I cant get in touch with them at the moment which is why I posted here). In fact, both their schools did not want them to job share as it meant disruption for the kids. I will go back job share if I have to as I need to work.

*twinsetand pearls* and findtheriver I think you are being awfully harsh. All I am doing is making a suggestion about what I would like to do. I don't see what is wrong with that. Why on earth would I not want to see my baby as much as possible and not work every hour that god sends. As a full time teacher I worked so hard and really long hrs and put my heart and soul into the job. With an 8mth old baby, I am not going to be able to dedicate myself to it as much. It is just not possible without running myself into the ground.
Why on earth should I have to look for another job. I am trying to do the best for the school too, if they have the budget. If I have to work full time, I am not going to be able to work as hard. If I do, I will end up ill. I love teaching but I am trying to do the the best for me and my family. I don't see what is wrong with that.

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 11:48:24

Also, we have had teachers at our school before who have done 2 days a week cover and groups.

I have put my heart and soul into teaching. I presume that all of you are teachers and you know how hard a job it is. If you are not teachers, then I would definitely ask you not to respond any more as you have no idea what the job is like.

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 11:50:45

Forgot to add that we have a new head who has just started. Nothing was discussed with the previous head as it would have been a waste of time. The deputy has an idea that I want to go back part time. I work in a faith school where family values are extremely important and I am sure that the staff presume I will want part time.

peachygirl Sun 07-Sep-08 12:05:15

I work part time and have done so since returning.
My head isn't keen on part timers butI did the following things

I spoke to the head before I left (I planted a little seed in her head as to what role I could take on) -This obviously isn't practical to you but may be useful for other posters

Most importantly I sent a letter to the head stating what I wanted to do repeating this 'little seed' and I sent a copy of it seperatly to the chair of govenors.
I did this, as just before, the NUT magazine had featured a teacher who had written to her head and the naughty head hadn't shown the letter to the govenors, so the teacher hadn't got here part time hours. She did take the matter further and got them eventually.

findtheriver Sun 07-Sep-08 12:08:22

pudding25, I am sorry that you found my post and twinsets harsh. We have simply given the facts surrounding the issue and presented the employers pov. Yes, I am a qualified teacher. Yes, I know the pressures of the job. I believe Twinset is too. (I'm sure she'll correct me on that if I'm wrong!!). No one is suggesting that you don't want to see your baby either - of course you do, as do all parents!
I was making the point that if you want to change your contract in any way after coming back from maternity leave, you need to understand that it has to work from the employers's perspective, not just yours. I think there are a few myths surrounding the flexible working issue. I have heard a number of women refer to it as a 'right' (it isnt) and also I have known women basically try to rewrite their job description eg 'I want to work xxx hours on xxx days doing xxx'. At the end of the day, the employer is employing you to do a job that needs doing, not creating a job that you would like. A good employer will be open to the concept of a change in working practice as long as it doesnt impact negatively on the company/school/whatever, or on other colleagues. But they wont just create a new job that wasnt there before, simply to meet your requirements! Why should they? I manage a fairly large team of people in my job, and if they are good, I want to hang onto them, but I wouldnt go so far as to create new jobs simply to keep employees. There are plenty of other talented people out there who will do the job if they don't want it. I dont know the circumstances of your friends who were able to return to the kind of job you want. I do know that nearly every school I know works to a tight budget, and will not have the funds to create 'extra' jobs. If there is currently a teacher (not a Teaching assistant) who does what you describe - taking out small groups etc and not having responsibility for reports, parents evenings etc and if that teacher is leaving in December and you want to apply for that role, then that is fair enough. But I dont understand why you think a school would create such a job if it doesnt have one already!

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 12:45:30

I am perfectly aware that I have to make the idea appealing to the school. I am also perfectly aware that the school does not need to create a job for me and I realise that I may have to do a job share or go back full time (well,I would only do it for a term and have to leave as I could not cope with that). However, I was just asking if anyone had done this before and how I could approach the head.

I do not think it is unreasonable to ask the school to consider my requests. I am aware that they may not be met and I will have to deal with whatever they say.

I did not discuss returning to school before I went on maternity leave with the previous head because she a)was a totally unreasonable woman in so many ways I would need pages to list b) had no interest in the school any more one she announced her retirement ans c) would probably have told me to wait to speak to the new head anyway.

peachygirl do you think I should get my letter ready in advance of my meeting. I was just intending to have an informal chat to begin with, saying that I wanted to go back in Jan and asking what my options would be before mentioning what I would like to do. I was then going to put it in writing.

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 13:17:38

I am a teacher and have worked part time, although that was at the schools request and not mine although it suited me as well. I know how demanding teaching hence my dp works shorter hours from home so we can be good parents.

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 13:22:52

Of course you have the right to ask, and if I was not lucky enough to have a dp who was willing to take a back seat in his career so I could plow forward I may have to make such a decision. I think, although I perhaps was not aware of it at the time, I chose a partner who was more homely and less career orientated than me so I could focus on my career.

The fact of the matter is though that you have chosen to teach, a job that is not, IMO a job but a vocation and you have chosen to have children. The school has to put their students before your lifestyle choices.

ChipButty Sun 07-Sep-08 13:31:04

I went back part time jobshare (KS2) after having DS 6 years ago. Having a class suits me and because I work 0.6, parents' evenings and report writing are shared with my co-worker. I find I work long hours on my days at work (7am-5pm) but I can usually get by with doing very little school prep at home. Don't forget that you would still be entitled to 10% PPA time too. It's worth considering this. I hope you find a solution that suits you and your employer.

popsycal Sun 07-Sep-08 13:34:24

2 days after ds2
classroom primary teacher
some years on my own, others as a job share

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 13:54:31

My DH works very long hours as a journalist but unfortunately, does not get paid enough for us to get by on his salary so I have to go back,otherwise, I don't know if I would, or I would definitely take the full year.

I know that I have chosen a vocation which is part of the reason why I do not want class responsibility. I put my heart and soul into my job to ensure that the kids in my class are happy and well taught. With my own baby at home, I just don't see how I can work as effectively without running myself into the ground. Maybe, it will be easier than I think if I do end up jobsharing but I just don't see how I can dedicate myself to the class as much as I would before DD.

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 14:00:29

Have you not thought about supply? Loys of women and a few men I know did that when their children were little.

I suppose I was lucky that when dd was little I was offered part time which meant that although money was tight I could have school free evenings and weekends. I put dd into nursery every day and then worked every day on a 9-5 basis when doing a two and three day week.

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 14:03:20

My own experience has taught me that a full time teacher cannot have calm contented family life if their partner also has a demanding job. It should not be like that, of course, but without making huge demands on the tax payer I don;t think things will change.

Lucycat Sun 07-Sep-08 14:08:18

Do you know of anybody who you could suggest as your possible jobshare? That may well go some way to help your cause as it were, if the school realised that they didn't have to do all the legwork to find someone to fit with yur request then they will realise that you are serious yet still committed to the school.

twinsetandpearls Sun 07-Sep-08 14:10:57

That is a good idea Lucycat.

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 15:46:24

Well, I am thinking that the maternity cover teacher could job share with me if they don't let me do what I want. She was a TA in the school already (although she is a qualified teacher) and she has signed a contract to go back to being a TA when (if) I go back. I am going to suggest that. I think that is quite a likely option for the school actually.
A teacher just retired who was doing cover/groups and as far as I am aware, no-one has replaced her.

Pod1 Sun 07-Sep-08 16:15:11

I went back to work part time after having 10 months maternity leave. I teach Year 3, and work three days a week now. Like you, my job was my life before my daughter arrived. I was dreading going back and so upset at the thought of leaving my baby! However, I can honestly say that it can be the best of both worlds. You can still do the job you love but spend quality time with your baby too. Obviously it's hard work, and a real balancing act (which is why I haven't posted on here since I went back to work in Feb!) but it's definately worth considering. Good luck!

findtheriver Sun 07-Sep-08 16:30:38

Well that sounds as though you have several options pudding! I am surprised the teacher covering your job has already signed a contract to return to her previous job, seems a rather strange situation, but I would imagine if the school are agreeable to a job share in the first place, then they would release her from that contract. Check out whether the newly retired teacher is going to be replaced: I know of some schools where the group/cover stuff is a luxury and is the first post to go should the budget not balance.
The key thing is that is you are agreeing a change to your contract, you take on board fully the implications. (For example, as I just said, if they offer you group work, will this be a permanent contract, or is is dependent on number on roll, will it be the first job to be cut in a redundancy situation.) Obviously the first thing is that the school has to appoint you to a different job from your previous one, but following on from that, YOU need to protect your interests! Think carefully about the possible implications of changing your role. Finally, job shares can work very well, but again, it is up to you to sell the idea to the school effectively. The key thing will be wanting assurance about liaison/continuity etc. Two friends of mine went for a teaching jobshare proposal, and got a fair way towards convincing the governors that it was workable but then it fell apart over the liaison issue. The school obviously could not pay for 'overlap' time (flexible working arrangements must not be at the expense of the employer) and the two of them did not have watertight arrangements about how they would manage the necessary liaison.
Good luck anyway whatever you do!

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 16:44:17

Thanks everyone. I think that if I was able to go back after a yr, I would be happier about job sharing, or if I could do cover for Spring and Summer terms and then job share next Autumn. It is because dd won't even be 8 mths when I go back (she was over 2wks late). I just want to be able to spend time with her and not be stressing about work for at least a few months.

The other problem I may have about doing a job share is that the parents have been really unhappy with the cover's teaching and there were a lot of problems and (without blowing my own trumpet) I know that they are waiting for me to come back. I hope that will not sway the Head for making me go full-time.
findtheriver thanks for the info. I am hoping that there won't be any probs like that. Our school has recently become a 2 form school and is heavily oversubscribed so hopefully, there will be no need of redundancies.

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