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Considering part time

(23 Posts)
Mummy0786 Fri 21-Sep-12 14:44:37

I have worked at my secondary school for a while now and really love my job, before I went on may leave I showed no interest in going part time. However my mil who was suppose to be taking care of our little one when I go back now needs to have 2large operations and won't be able to, now I really want to look at working 3 days a week we have worked out our finance and we can afford it.
I am terrified of asking school as don't think it will go down well as I have been told by colleagues that they intend in give me more responsibilty when I return and I think it will come as a huge shock to them.
Does anyone have any advice,it would be appreciated x

rufus5 Fri 21-Sep-12 19:11:25

Hi, it's hard to give advice because so much depends on your personal situation - for example, do you spend a long time commuting or with after-school responsibilities or can you get home quickly after school to spend time with you LO, is your DP at home much, or do you really rely on childcare to get you through a working day, is your LO starting nursery/school soon, or going to be at home for at least another few years?

However, what I would say is that I went part-time when I had my DS (now 3) and have NO regrets whatsoever. Part-time is the perfect balance for me - I love my work and love being in school working with the kids there, but I love having the chance to be at home most of the week looking after my DC. It means I stay current with the (endless) changes in education, whereas if I took a career break I would end up getting out of touch with the latest often pointless initiatives the government insist we teach.

I would consider going back full-time once my youngest child is at primary school, but when my DC are this young I find part-time is a perfect solution.

orangeandlemons Fri 21-Sep-12 19:13:40

But you can request it under flexible working.

I know very few teachers with young dc work full time, it is so knackering.

ash979 Fri 21-Sep-12 19:58:12

I've just gone back after maternity leave and doing 4days, its great. I had a right hassle to do it tho. I was only allowed a proper job share originally so 2.5 days but then luckily the girl who covered my mat leave got a part time job at another school and was happy to do one day for me so now I get a Friday off. It's worked really well, feel like its my class and can run my dept early years but also have x long weekend with my gorgeous daughter!

cece Fri 21-Sep-12 20:01:44

When I iniatally asked to go part time I was lucky as another member off staff was in exactly the same position. We met up for coffee and discussed hours etc and how it might work, then we met with our Head together and put forward our proposition of a job share. Fortunately he was happy to agree.

I have been part time ever since. It's fab.

Mummy0786 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:12:20

Hi thanks for the advice and your experiences, my little one will only be 6 months when I go back and mil is doing most of the child care but is also due to have a major operation! In my mind I have made my decision to go part time but am terrified of telling school as to how they may react! If I tell them soon they will have over half a term to look for someone else to cover my timetable and to sort it out
What do you think?

Dramajustfollowsme Fri 21-Sep-12 20:51:16

I don't think you can really know what you are going to want to do until after a baby arrives.
I, initially, thought that financially I would have to go back full time but was convinced that i wouldn't want to go back at all.
The reality is that financially things changed and I didn't need to go back if I didn't want to.
However, I found that I really wanted to go back part-time. Hats off to SAHM but I would have gone mental if I hadn't got back to work. It wasn't the bed of roses I expected.
I'm now do 3 days and this seems to be a perfect fit for our family and it's working for the school too. I love my job but my mummy days are so, so precious.

orangeandlemons Fri 21-Sep-12 21:18:22

Can I ask why you are so scared of telling them?

People drop and pick up days all the time in our school. It's no big deal for us.

bigTillyMint Sat 22-Sep-12 07:10:37

DH is a deputy in a comp and they have teachers requesting (and getting!) part-time all the time - it is in some ways easier at secondary although not so easy once the timetable has been worked out for the year. You have every right to request part-time after maternity leave, so do it!

I worked 3 days a week for the last 11 years - just gone back full-time as DS has just started at secondary school! I don't know how parents with small children manage full-time - I am barely coping now!

Mummy0786 Sat 22-Sep-12 07:54:49

Just scared as timetable has already been sorted and they have made all the moves without speaking to me to put me in the role of head of dep!
I just gave to remind myself family comes first and the worse they can say is no x

Born2bemild Sat 22-Sep-12 08:13:33

Perhaps just have talk, but if they can't get it in place now, at least get it confirmed for September.

handbagCrab Sat 22-Sep-12 08:22:04

I went back 3 days a week after mat leave in sep. so far it's working well! I sounded out the head before applying. He was very supportive. In my la I filled out a vey long form and then they had 28 days to confirm or not the hours. I could then appeal after that. At my school I know of 4 part time hods so it's not unheard of.

It might be worth thinking if you do want the extra responsibility of hod when you return. Hod by stealth will probably end up with you doing the work without the pay. Do you want the extra work when you'll be going back adjusting to being a working mum?

Best of luck smile

Knowsabitabouteducation Sat 22-Sep-12 08:23:33

Has the timetable been sorted for next year? Surely not.

If you return mid year, they may get your maternity cover to job share with you, or may be willing to give you a special project with very little teaching. You can then be timetabled according to your needs for 2013/2014.

I don't think I would ever want to work part-time because I see a lot of downsides to it. It's even harder when you are in middle management and your opinions and actions are needed on your days off. You have to decide whether you are one to be firm about your days off and do no school business at all, or whether you would do things like respond to emails in order to keep things ticking over for your department. How will you feel if you are undermined by decisions made without consulting with you because you weren't there?

The other things to think about is how they pay you for part time (this is a contentious issue in my school), and how it affects your hours in future years. My understanding is that full-timers are guaranteed full-time, but part-timers are offered hours according to the needs of the school. I don't know a lot about this, and I'm sure someone here will know chapter & verse.

Mummy0786 Sat 22-Sep-12 09:17:19

I am returning to work in January so the timetable for this year is in place. I am not sure if I want hod?
Think I am going to first speak to my hod and the head.
I really hope they can find a way to allow me to work part time x

noblegiraffe Sat 22-Sep-12 10:50:30

If you request flexible working then they can only deny your request if there are sound business reasons for doing so. If there are other part time teachers in your school then they pretty much have to allow it because if there were sound business reasons, they wouldn't allow any part-timers so to stop you would be discrimination.

I only decided I wanted to go part time while I was on mat leave, before then I hadn't even considered it. School were fine about it.

Surely they can't make you HOD (presumably with a TLR) without some sort of interview process, or your consent. Contact your union if they kick off about this.

I don't know what subject you teach so you have to be aware in secondary that it's not as easy in primary to get decent part time hours because of the timetable. I'm a part time maths teacher on 0.6 but I have to work every day. I get some afternoons off, but the blocks of time I get off with my DS don't add up to 2 full days a week.

VioletStar Sun 23-Sep-12 05:40:59

Noblegiraffe - that's interesting. My head said flat out No to my request to go down to 4 or 3 days, even when I said I could be flexible about days and half days. I didn't pursue it. My DC were in Y2 and Y3 then and I was struggling to find childcare. She said she'd support any application for jobs elsewhere though that allowed those hours. I'm UPS3 and they could have saved money as a colleague in same dept wanted to up her hours from 4 to full time and they said no to her too.
So OP I don't know if you will automatically get it. I was told they had to consider it, but didn't have to say yes if it didn't fit in with school plan.

Mummy0786 Sun 23-Sep-12 07:55:01

Thanks for all the advise,I have put together my letter and am going to book a meeting to see the head to give the letter in. I know I am make the right choice for my family but I don't think school will allow it , but I know I will have tried

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Sep-12 09:54:45

Good luck! I think to be an official request your letter has to contain specific details - an example of what you should include is on the TES forum here

The only reasons they can reject your request are:
burden of additional costs
detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
inability to reorganise work among existing staff
inability to recruit additional staff
detrimental impact on quality
detrimental impact on performance
insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
planned structural changes

In my letter I acknowledged the difficulties of going part time as a secondary maths teacher so agreed that I would work as many days as necessary to fill my timetable (turned out to be all 5) so long as I got reasonable blocks of time off.

I guess they could reject your request if you were asking for 1 day off a week as that would be hard to hire someone to cover, but if you're asking for 3 days and there are other people with similar arrangements at the school then it would be hard for them to argue against it. If they deny your request then you have 28 days to appeal and should get your union involved who would point this out to them!

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Sep-12 10:01:08

Sorry, 14 days to appeal from receiving their refusal. They have 14 days to respond to your request.

Mummy0786 Sun 23-Sep-12 16:33:47

Thanks, I teach dt, I have tried to cover any problems that may arise but the main one will be appointing someone for the two days. I am not sure if there is people out there looking for a part time dt post?

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Sep-12 17:16:01

You might not get two days off. They might expect you to cover a full set of exam classes whatever days they fall on and get a teacher from another subject where they are under their timetable to cover the DT timetable at KS3.
They might reduce DT provision at your school.
They might hire someone for the HOD position that you now don't want and use you to fill in the gaps in their timetable as they won't be full time, and then ask you to teach another subject to fill up the rest.

MistressIggi Sun 23-Sep-12 17:30:39

There are people looking for almost any job, I would think. Flexible working requests are hard to refuse in teaching, remember to make it clear if you are looking for this on a temporary basis. Having a child under 5 gives you even more chance of it being accepted, doesn't it?
OP I think you sound a bit defeatist in your approach - if it's what you want you need to go in firmly and confidently.
I have a temp 3 day a week job (0.6) - no question of going in for blocks of days unless I'd wanted that. It will be an unusual headteacher who is shocked at someone wanting part-time after maternity leave, it's so common!
And if the ht does say no, I really wouldn't leave it at that.

Mummy0786 Tue 25-Sep-12 06:36:36

Well I have done it I went in to speak to my line manager as the ht hadn't got back to me about meeting. Now I just have to wait to speak to ht and had my letter in but I know my line manager has passed on my thoughts and apparently ht is not surprised. I have already been asked if I have thought of taking a year off or only being pt till next year which I thought was a nice offer but sticking with pt while my lo is young x

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