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Maternity leave - how many weeks?

(5 Posts)
steph0488 Wed 26-Oct-16 15:30:36

Hi, I am 24 weeks on Friday so have to hand my matb1 form into work ASAP (still need to collect it from the midwife) but debating when to go off on maternity. I am an early years teacher (reception/nursery mixed class) and am already starting to feel tired and not even in third trimester. Teachers maternity is 4 weeks full pay 2 weeks 90% 12 weeks 50% plus smp then just smp for the next 21 weeks.
I am the highest earner in the house so can't really afford to be on just smp for too long and don't want to leave baby before going back to work in September. Most people have suggested I go off after Xmas hols (about 6th Jan but il only be 34 weeks) then put start date back as first day of summer holidays (1st July as I am based in NI) but that means about 6 weeks smp only.
Basically wondering how many weeks people usually go off on mat leave? If I put 39 weeks or due date as date to go off can I change it closer to the time if I'm struggling? Is anyone else working with young children, do they think it's possible to work up to due date or will it be too tiring and sore on back with tiny chairs etc? X

twinmamma2b Thu 27-Oct-16 09:28:07

I'm a KS1 teacher due at Christmas. I put my leaving date as the end of term, which is the day before my due date. My colleagues know I've done this and are being incredible and can spot straight away when I'm struggling. It is definitely getting harder by the day, but I'm determined to keep going as long as possible.

MyGiddyUncle Thu 27-Oct-16 09:57:25

Have you thought about Shared Parental Leave, if you're the higher earner?

I'm taking off 6 months maternity then going back to work. Dh is then taking 6 months SPL so will be getting the statutory pay for three months and unpaid leave for the last three months.

PberryT Thu 27-Oct-16 10:30:15

I'm in almost the same position as you OP. I'm due mid Jan so officially leave on the first day back after Xmas which is 3rd. I'll go back mid July then and hope we can survive.

ChocolateBudgeCake Thu 27-Oct-16 10:35:01

I'm a teacher too. Ks2 with first baby (much easier!) and ks1 with this pregnancy.

1st time round I went at 37 weeks, this time 36 weeks. I would have found it very hard to go on longer. Plus it's really nice to have a week or two to rest and sleep before the baby arrives.

It depends a lot on your class - easy or hard?

Your colleagues - supportive? TA support in class?

Your work load- are you able to walk out the door at 3.30 in your final weeks if need be?

Your pregnancy- has it been easy so far?

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