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Leaving teaching for school office job - is this madness?

(52 Posts)
Grockle Fri 24-Jan-14 10:09:38

I've been a teacher for 10 years. I work 4 days a week in a very difficult SEN school where I get hurt daily (bitten, kicked, scratched, neck injuries) because of lack of training, lack of support...

I also have chronic illnesses that mean I suffer chronic fatigue & so have several weeks off every year. My work situation doesn't help my health.

There is an office job coming up at the same school. 4 hours a day, 5 days a week... would I be mad to apply?

Would I regret leaving teaching?

Taking into account benefits, I'd lose £120 a month, I think. To only work 20 hours & be able to pick DS(8) up from school every day.

slug Fri 24-Jan-14 15:20:51

Actually, as a teacher, especially one who has worked at the school, you are an attractive employment prospect. you know how the school functions already, know the key players, know how to arrange things to work best with the students and teaching staff and are used to the students, know their foibles and their parents.

The school would be daft not to take you on.

Shartibartfast Fri 24-Jan-14 15:25:32

I work in Admin for a school, and the last admin vacancy we posted (which was a term time only role) attracted a huge number of applications. Without wishing to dent your enthusiasm too much OP, you may find yourself with a lot of competition - term time roles are extremely attractive to many mums (and yes, it is mainly mums who applied to our role), many of whom may have relevant admin experience and qualifications. If you do decide to apply, you will have an "inner" by knowing the school, and you should give yourself an advantage by talking to the admin staff, finding our exactly what the job entails, and thinking how your previous teaching experience in that school will make you perfect for the role. Good luck!

Cherrypi Fri 24-Jan-14 15:29:21

I resigned my teaching role on Monday. Go for it. Life's too short.

Grockle Fri 24-Jan-14 16:01:16

I assumed I wouldn't get a job in a mainstream school...

By lack of support, I mean that there is never enough staff, head doesn't offer helpful suggestions but blames us when we get hurt then refuses to provide training, says one thing & means another, communicates poorly etc

For 4 hours a day when I'm not in a situation where my staff & I are being hurt all the time, I can deal with that. She'll retire soon anyway.

I am a single parent which is why my income matters.

I know there's be a lot of competition. I did speak with one of the managers on the quiet and mentioned my lack of experience & skills & she said 'You're a teacher, you have ALL the skills!' then listed my report writing, typing, communicating effectively, dealing with outside agencies, etc.

CherryPi, well done - do you have something else lined up? Do you feel amazing?

Cherrypi Fri 24-Jan-14 16:03:18

No and yes. I'm going to mark papers to pay the bills and live more frugally. Long term will get another job or be self employed but definitely not teaching.

Grockle Fri 24-Jan-14 16:08:14

I missed the deadlines for marking papers, unfortunately. Will have to look later in the year. Good luck.

Cherrypi Fri 24-Jan-14 19:16:49


LEMmingaround Fri 24-Jan-14 19:22:39

I think teachers are Gods!! I had a stint teaching at FE college and that was enough for me, not the students but all the bullshit that goes with it - it made me ill.

You know what - you've done your bit! Go for it - you could always supplement your income with tutoring.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Fri 24-Jan-14 19:27:36

If you can afford it, do it. I'm a cover supervisor at a secondary school, although i am qualified to teach. I may be paid loads less than teachers I go home at night, put my feet up and relax, whereas my colleagues go home, plan,mark and jump through hoops till they cry. If I could get paid similar without going into class I'd do it like a shot.

PatTheHammer Fri 24-Jan-14 19:32:07

I'm jealous OP.

I teach in really quite a a lovely school in comparison to yours and I've had enough after 12 years. I've been looking for something suitable for months that's the right amount of hours, term time only but also pays enough to cover my bills.

Be careful about notice. To start a job on the 30th April you have to give notice by 28th Feb, this effectively rules out any immediate start positions.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Fri 24-Jan-14 19:34:29

Oh and op, I'm in charge of cover and supply agencies love teachers who have worked in prus and such. Find a nice small agency, or approach other schools to see if they would give you supply work. Couple of days a week makes a difference.

Grockle Fri 24-Jan-14 21:23:50

See... I'm wondering if 2 days teaching a week would be better than 20 hours, 5 days a week in the office? I just don't know. It would mean some flexibility, potentially more income. But I really want a break from teaching, I think.

I get confused about giving notice... I was told it is a term I have to give? BUt then I thought it was half a term. I have no idea. I don't know where my contract is blush

Fairyliz Fri 24-Jan-14 22:36:01

Are you absolutely sure about the salary? Most admin jobs pay around about the £16,000 per year for full time (37 hours per week) unless you are a Business Manager in which case you will need specific qualifications/ lots of experience.
For 20 hours per week that would work out at about £7500 for 20 hours term time only, compared to about £24,000 per year for 4 days a week if you are on TMS6.
Both salaries gross of course.
Also remember school office jobs aren't an easy option, you generally work lots of unpaid overtime and having worked in a special needs school you still have to deal with the kids and are at risk of injury.

Fairyliz Fri 24-Jan-14 22:45:35

Sorry, can I also say that working in a school office is not just about knowing the school and parents. Do you know anything about accounting, using computer systems, HR, payroll processing,pensions legislation, Health & safety legislation, writing pay policies, sourcing supplies, putting in capital bids? (All things I have done this week)

I work in a school office but that doesn't mean I can teach children dexpite having a degree and professional qualifications in excess of most of the teaching staff. Likewise I don't feel that any of the teaching staff could just walk in and do my job and you are unlikely to get a lotof training by the sound of it.

Zaraorklara Sat 25-Jan-14 10:37:28

It sounds like you are ready for a change and slower pace.

If I were you, I'd apply for the office job but be prepared that the school may not be too pleased about your plan as they would loose a valuable teacher in the process. I think you need to prepare yourself very well for the interview and explain that you love working for this particular school but due to your health need something more mangabey and family friendly.

Once you have pocketed the job and you feel perhaps a bit under challenged you could always look at giving private tuition having an interesting hobby on the said.

Go for it!

Grockle Sat 25-Jan-14 15:52:34

Thank you.

I know it's not an 'easy' option but it would be less physically & emotionally challenging. I joked about applying initially until the senior manager said it was actually a really good idea. They know I may not continue to be there anyway - they are well aware of my health situation & know that a sitting down job with less pressure would be beneficial.

I know I lack skills and experience but they know I work hard, can learn quickly and am keen. I'll have a good look when the job description is written and decide if I really do want to do this.

Thank you for the support.

Grockle Sun 26-Jan-14 11:57:41

And, thinking about it, it's on a very small campus so only 2 people in office. Most of the work is done in the main office elsewhere so this is a very basic role, answering phones, typing letters etc. no big responsibilities.

manyhands Mon 27-Jan-14 06:53:01

If you did 2 days a week supply would you make a similar amount to the office role? Supply agencies are always short of teachers with a strong SEN background, in fact Axcis is an agency purely for SEN schools, you'd easily earn the same amount aas the office job but be out of the school.

Grockle Mon 27-Jan-14 17:24:48

Yes, I would. BUt I'd have to pay for childcare every day because I wouldn't know when I'd get work...

Not sure whether 20 hrs a week over 5 days is easier than 2 longer, more challenging ones. I need to be able to sit down and breathe. It's the running around & constant pressure that starts to make me ill. I'm shattered already & I wasn't even in class for more than an hour today - I'm in bed. This isn't manageable. sad

BranchingOut Tue 28-Jan-14 14:01:49

I say go for it, as you could always try supply teaching another time.

I left teaching and my stress levels are tiny compared to what they were - my most stressful work days are just about equivalent to the average day in teaching.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Wed 29-Jan-14 23:18:40

I would try and have a word with the office person who is leaving and find out exactly what the job entails and why they are leaving.
More and more tasks are being added to our office staff, and as we are at the bottom of the pecking order in school we don't ever get increased hours to match the workload. I know several school office staff who have left various schools because of the stress over the last couple of years.
You mention having to have several weeks off ill each year, do you think that will improve if you are not teaching, because as stupid as it sounds, it's easier to get a supply teacher in to cover teacher illness, than it is to get an admin person in to cover an office person, unless it is a really basic grade 1 job.
Saying all that I love my job (except the low pay) and would not want to be a teacher for any amount of money.

Grockle Thu 30-Jan-14 19:21:19

It's a new role and will be doing very basic stuff - typing letters, opening the door, answering the phone. Not much more because there are lots of other people to do that.

I could manage an office job for 4 hours a day - it wouldn't be nearly so physical as my current job, nor would it be emotionally draining or dangerous. So, yes, I do think I should be able to manage it without needing weeks off to recover.

ICantFindAFreeNickName Thu 30-Jan-14 22:25:33

In that case go for it . Just make sure they don't try and use you as a back up teacher on an admin salary.

BranchingOut Mon 03-Feb-14 16:15:57

any news Grockle?

Grockle Tue 04-Feb-14 16:45:46

Office job not been advertised yet but am debating staying in my job but asking to go down to 2.5 or 3 days a week... still very undecided and scared. But loving the idea of the office job still...


Thanks for asking smile

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