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At what point did you/are you planning to start maternity leave?

(27 Posts)
obsessed1 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:43:09

I'm 33weeks pregnant and was planning to work for another month, but this is looking less and less likely. Im a ks1 teacher so constantly on my feet and in the last day or so I've begun to find the demands of trying to continue pushing the children to make progress/generally get everything done overwhelming. I just feel exhausted, which isn't helped by the fact I'm not sleeping properly anymore. But I don't want to have too long off as it seems like a waste of maternity leave, particularly if baby arrives late, not to mention money is going to be tight.
I was wondering how others have managed? Also any other teachers out there, what reasonable allowances have your school made? I'm not doing playground duty anymore, which is good. But I wondered if I should be doing PE? Just the thought of it exhausts me, and the health and safety side is worrying (e.g. Tripping up). I've not had any risk assessment done and I feel like no one is really making any allowances.
I'm feeling quite emotional about it today but I think it's hormones and tiredness getting to me. I don't want to demand anything unreasonable as it could be argued if I'm not up to it I need to start mat leave now? Please say what you honestly think because I'm not sure if I'm just losing the plot!!!

ExcitedMamaToBe Wed 18-Jan-17 21:48:15

I'm currently 29 weeks and plan to work up until I'm 36 weeks, I feel the same as you in that it seems like a waste taking time off before baby is due. However, I work in an office job so very different environment to you. I'd have thought they would have done a risk assessment for you by now? Is there any way you can raise the issue?

Naschkatze Wed 18-Jan-17 21:52:25

I could have written this, this week.
Nearly 35 weeks and starting to struggle. Also a KS1 teacher. I'm planning to work to the start of 38 weeks but have had chats with phase leader this week to put plans in place to reduce timetable for the last couple of weeks. I don't think admitting it's tough and asking for some help is a problem. If it's like my school it's easier for them to keep you a bit longer (with some support and allowances) than have you leave early and have to find full cover.

I'm trying to generally give myself a break: sitting in my chair and asking children to come to me; lots of verbal feedback to reduce lengthy marking; leaving early and not taking work home etc. There are obviously things that still have to be done but I'm trying to priorities the absolute necessities.
PE is taught by an outside provider - so not a problem. Can you teach PE lessons that are less physical and hands on for you, for the last few weeks?

You have my full sympathy!

Tickyboovicki Wed 18-Jan-17 21:52:38

I thought legally you had to have your risk assessment done? I've had two separate ones since informing work I'm pregnant?

obsessed1 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:53:35

Head teacher promised it months ago but it never happened. It's only now I'm getting really big that I'm getting more concerned. I raised it with him yday and he promised to get onto it today, but it's not been mentioned. He's very busy (and disorganised) and I know I will have to pester him. I also raised the pe issue with another senior member today and felt I was fobbed off. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and hoping she'll get back to me tomorrow with a more constructive answer.

Helbelle75 Wed 18-Jan-17 21:56:17

I'm a secondary teacher and had a risk assessment at 12weeks ish. To be honest, it wasn't much use, but that's because I'm classroom based and only teach French. You should have had a risk assessment by now, is there anyone you can ask about it?
I'mean going at 36 weeks, will hopefully make it until then. I'miss 28 weeks now.

DavidPuddy Wed 18-Jan-17 21:57:27

34 weeks, but in Germany you are obliged to go on Maternity leave at 34 weeks. That has no impact on how long you take afterwards.

At 34 weeks I was ready to stop, but my job was very draining and anaemia sucked up all my energy. It took me two weeks to recover before I could start resting.

obsessed1 Wed 18-Jan-17 22:02:52

Part of the issue with PE is that that floor is wet after lunch, a teacher slipped and fell yday. I raised it in relation to this. But they don't seem overly concerned. I'm annoyed at having to argue my corner about this.

lockie1983 Wed 18-Jan-17 22:04:11

I would advise to listen to your body. I planned on going full time to 38 weeks and actually dropped to part time at 36. Last day was Friday at about 37+4 and had baby on the Monday at bang on 38.

Not all first babies are late, looking back, my body was telling me to rest and stop for a few weeks before I did.

This time round I shall be going at about 35 weeks. Don't underestimate the benefit of a few weeks of rest to yourself before it all begins.

lockie1983 Wed 18-Jan-17 22:06:00

As for your risk assessment and PE I would raise it in some formal manner and have it noted for your employee file. Do it in a way which makes it sound like you're safeguarding them.

TheNewMrsGerardButler Wed 18-Jan-17 22:12:28

I finished last Friday (official date was Sunday though) but for me, it felt right as I work in home care in the community which meant starting at 7am, lots of physical work (and bending etc) plus in and out of the car all the time to different calls. It was draining.

Also different in my case as we are about to move house so it timed out well that I can spend some time getting settled in new home, fill the freezer, etc.

TheNewMrsGerardButler Wed 18-Jan-17 22:13:17

Sorry meant to add that I finished at 34+2. I'm 35 weeks today.

vfoster Wed 18-Jan-17 22:20:25

I'm a secondary school teacher and am planning to go to almost 38 weeks because that's when the last exam will be for my year 11 class. I don't know if I will be able to manage it but am going to ask if I can reduce my timetable at the end. I likely but worth a go!
You need to get your risk assessment done ASAP as it's a legal requirement. Very dodgy for your school if someonethibg bad happens. Mine haven't done mine yet and I'm pestering at only 14 weeks. Are you in a union? They are always useful to ask about PE and stuff....if it comes from your union I feel that schools act more quickly! Also, have you read up on your rights? I found going through the 'Maternity Matters' section of the Bergundy Book was really useful so I knew where I stood.
Hope you get it sorted!

Star8181 Thu 19-Jan-17 06:28:08

Wow, I've never had a risk assessment and I'm leaving tomorrow confused, not good is it?! I'm 35 weeks and I can't run round after my classes any more so I'm stopping tomorrow.
When does your replacement start? Mine started after Christmas so I've been able to slowly cut down as she takes over, what are they planning to do with yours?

Wait4nothing Thu 19-Jan-17 06:51:13

I was teaching ks1 before maternity - attempted to go to 39+1 but made it to 38 weeks. But I went back after Easter with the intention of 2 weeks - lighter duties (I was meant to be planning until the end of term and report writing) but even a short time in class was too much.
I'd say take the time you need, use holidays where you can (e.g. If you could get to half term don't start maturity til the first day back) and take it easy. I never sit to teach but did in the last weeks.
Email about the risk assessment and don't drop it. If there are wet floors after lunch just don't do pe - the kids may miss out for a few weeks but you have highlighted your concern to 2 other people so they should be sorting it - don't but yourself in danger. Weather dependent you could use pe time to go for a walk around school grounds - gets kids into fresh air, you on your feet gently and just explain your waiting for a response from her to anyone who questions it.
Your risk assessment should have been done by now and they have a legal responsibility.
Take it easy 😃

LemonyFresh Thu 19-Jan-17 06:59:39

My maternity started at 36 weeks but I was on annual leave from 32 weeks. I have a job where I'm continually on my feet so it was getting too uncomfortable, if I had a desk job I'd probably start mat leave a lot later.

I'm at 37 weeks now and getting a bit restless!

TopKittyKat Thu 19-Jan-17 07:02:01

I'm hoping to go until just before 38 weeks. I'll use one week annual leave and then start my mat leave a week before due date.
People keep telling me that I'll struggle but I'll rather have the time off with the baby.

TriJo Thu 19-Jan-17 09:49:47

I finished at 36+5 with my son and if it wasn't for the commute (fucking Northern line) I probably could have gone on to my due date. Had annual leave to burn though so I took 3 weeks of annual leave before formally starting maternity leave on my due date. I gave birth at 41+1.

Foggymist Thu 19-Jan-17 09:59:35

I'm self employed, finished up at 32 weeks, he was born at 36 weeks.

Sunshinie Thu 19-Jan-17 11:59:45

Another ks1 teacher here. I'm off today, having been awake all night with a headache. I'm only 21 weeks but have just had to tell my head when I want to start maternity leave so this is interesting reading. Your HT should definitely have done a risk assessment as soon as you told him! He has a duty of care and would be in trouble if you were to slip or anything. I think you should send an email asking again for your risk assessment, so that it is in writing. A wet floor is unacceptable so just don't go into the hall. If you can get there when it's dry, I have been using the BBC school radio let's move dance sessions and then sitting down for a lot of it. I'm trying to get into the habit of sitting down as much as possible and getting children to come to me. I've also got a wheelie chair so I can whizz around the classroom and move it down so I can sit rather than crouch next to little desks. I've been trying to mark through the lesson too. I'm planning to go to 36 weeks as realistically I don't think I could manage any more. That feels like a really long way off now though!

SumAndSubstance Thu 19-Jan-17 12:40:11

I'm a KS2 teacher and have very bad SPD already at 21 weeks. I'm going at 29 weeks, as soon as I can!

buckyou Thu 19-Jan-17 17:43:45

I'm 37+3 and still working.. I finish next Tuesday. I work from home and sit on my bottom a lot though.

obsessed1 Thu 19-Jan-17 17:47:14

Thanks so much for all of your replies. It's definitely interesting hearing what other people's plans are regarding mat leave, as well as how far others have managed to go. After another sleepless night, I'm pleased to say there have been positive developments today. The person I talked to yday has raised the issue and I will now not be teaching PE. Also she reminded ht of risk assessment, and he is going to do it tomorrow. I feel so much better, like the issue has been taken seriously. He also reassured me that I won't be in the classroom after half term, which is when my replacement will start. So hopefully I can manage to cram in another week or two! People keep saying about making the most of mat leave before baby arrives, but I think for me it'll just make time drag!

MiniMaxi Thu 19-Jan-17 17:49:13

Planned: 36 weeks.
Actual: 33+6 when DS arrived 6 weeks early smile

WyfOfBathe Thu 19-Jan-17 17:52:15

I worked up until 39 weeks, but I think that I probably should have stopped at about 36/37 weeks as I was so exhausted and stressed at that point.

I'm a teacher as well, but at secondary so there's not as much standing up. Can you try and give some more jobs to the pupils so that you aren't wandering around the classroom as much, e.g. get someone to hand out worksheets, pair up older ones with younger ones to help them with things like scissors.

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