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a sad state of affairs

(27 Posts)
mercifulTehlu Thu 10-Dec-15 08:44:40

Don't know why I'm starting this thread really. Just fed up and feel like a moan. Dh is a secondary deputy head, about to quit because he can't stand the awful stress any more, or live with the fact that his job basically entails data-crunching and making teachers do all the crap that they hate and quite rightfully complain about. In desperation he's applied for a job which will earn him approximately half his current salary. He's very worried about the decision financially, but this job is making him ill.
I am a teacher too. Teaching is all either of us ever wanted to do. I've been sahm and doing bits of supply, cover here and there etc but I'm going to need to go back full time if dh gets this lower paid job. I hate the thought of going back to ft teaching, the way the job is atm, but it's all I am really qualified to do.

Don't get me wrong - I know we are not on the poverty line and people have it a lot worse. It's just so depressing that the education system is haemorrhaging teachers like us, who were in it for life. sadsad

Youareyou Thu 10-Dec-15 08:47:26

It must be v stressful. Just to say you aren't alone though. I think
Most in the public sector feel the same. I know myself and dh do.
Good luck.

mercifulTehlu Thu 10-Dec-15 08:59:39

Thanks. I'm trying to stay positive and supportive for dh, because as well as the stress he's feeling so guilty that he'll be voluntarily giving up the job that supports his family. And on some level I think he feels ashamed - because he thinks he ought to be able to handle the pressure. I genuinely do support his decision, but the worry is beginning to take its toll. It's so hard. And he's an amazing teacher. Much better than me.

Shutthatdoor Thu 10-Dec-15 09:01:26

Most in the public sector feel the same

Not even just the public sector anymore either tbh.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 10-Dec-15 16:44:51

Take a look at the TES website and see how many stressed, disillusioned, unhappy and demotivat do teachers there are.

Anyone on the upper pay spine and over 40 has a very short shelf life at present.

Then there is the recruitment and retention crisis. It won't be long before schools are staffed by NQTs and unqualified teachers. It'll certainly be cheaper! And

SisterViktorine Thu 10-Dec-15 20:36:47

Would he apply for a deputy headship in an Independent? There are still pressures but it does seem better (DH is a deputy in a Public school).

MrsUltra Thu 10-Dec-15 20:47:04

Or maybe step down to a teaching role?

You haven't said what he is applying for, but the grass is not necessarily greener elsewhere. No-one has a job for life any more, those days are gone.
It is global workforce now, so many coming in wanting (and deserving) what we have - so obviously salaries are lower and performance expectations higher.
If you have a job, prob better to hang on t it, as you are known and valued, rather than chancing elsewhere.

mercifulTehlu Thu 10-Dec-15 22:32:44

He's applying for a teaching job in a special school! He just wants to get out of mainstream state education. He's great with kids with problems and, like many, he kind of regrets getting promoted out of the classroom. He'd consider a teaching role in an independent school but there are very few where we live. I'm hoping to get one myself really, but it's a long shot given the scarcity of independent schools here.

DitheringDiva Fri 11-Dec-15 09:36:03

As far as I know, there are career opportunities in special schools, so even though he's having to start again at the bottom paywise for this job, if he does get it, then he may find he can carve out a good career, and eventually be back on to a similar wage to what he is now. So all is not lost for the future at least.

I can see where you're coming from about independent schools as well. A lot of people will advise to look at independent schools, but only 7% of the population go to independent schools, so consequently there are far fewer schools, and far less vacancies in that field. And then, when a vacancy does arise, they are inundated with applicants. For the last private school job I applied for, they were advertising 2 posts, a biologist and a chemist, and they received 140 applicants!! I didn't get the job but I was impressed with myself that I even managed to get an interview!

fatowl Fri 11-Dec-15 09:54:38

Would you consider teaching overseas?
UK Curriculum International schools are mushrooming all over the ME and Asia.
Pressures are still there, but a better work/life balance.

I teach ESL at the budget end, but I'm on the Council of Governors for a top school in Asia, we recently recruited a new Primary Principal from the UK, and are still looking at recruiting another VP for Sept 2016. We won't be the only ones still looking for senior staff.
Or could be his chance to return to the classroom, maybe with extra curriculum or pastoral responsibility, eg Year Head?

mercifulTehlu Fri 11-Dec-15 14:16:00

I don't think we'd consider overseas tbh. We moved from S.E. to N.W. England last year when dh got this job. We don't regret the move geographically speaking - we love it here - but our parents were pretty upset at us taking their grandchildren 4 hours up the M6, so they'd be devastated if we went overseas.
Re the independent schools, there were loads of them where we lived before, but they are like hen's teeth up here!
DitheringDiva , you have a point about future promotions. Or indeed other career opportunities which might present themselves further along the line.
Dh is a bit worried about his reference from the current Head though (who is a bully and a tyrant and has been the catalyst for dh wanting to leave, although his feelings about being a deputy head in the current system are the real underlying reasons). Dh has had an absolutely spotless and glowing reputation at previous schools and has been relentlessly promoted throughout his career. It will be so unfair if his copy-book is blotted by this unreasonable man.

DitheringDiva Fri 11-Dec-15 14:46:27

I am in the same situation regarding references - the Head lied on mine, so I can sue him if I'm ever turned down for a job on the basis of that reference. Hopefully, the Head will give him a good reference just to get rid of him, and if your DH has done nothing wrong, then it would be difficult for the head to write anything bad anyway. Failing that, supply agencies will take people with a bad reference, especially if all their other references are good, so if he's really desperate to get out, he could sign up with some supply agencies, and see if they can secure him work. Supply work is very variable depending on subject and area of the country though, so I would only recommend that route if he could secure something before resigning. Even then, only in desperation, because it would only be temporary if through an agency.

The situation sounds awful, I hope it works out for you and your husband.

mercifulTehlu Fri 11-Dec-15 17:53:45

Thank you. I hope so too! Can't believe your Head lied on your reference!

cardibach Sun 13-Dec-15 23:26:09

I moved from state to independent last September - I love it. I get to actually teach and people trust my judgement.

MidniteScribbler Mon 14-Dec-15 06:02:19

They've been at me for years about applying for principal roles and I keep knocking them back. I love being in the classroom, I don't ever want to go back to being in an office situation. I don't mind TL roles, but never want to give up actual classroom work. There's nothing wrong with it, not everyone wants to be a head teacher.

mercifulTehlu Mon 14-Dec-15 16:16:05

I loved teaching in an independent school too, cardibach. It was a revelation after years in state schools. Dh would be astonished at the difference - he has zero experience of private schools. I am desperately hoping jobs come up for both of us in our nearest one!

spankhurst Mon 14-Dec-15 16:19:57

I teach in a private school, a prestigious one, and when I came for interview I was the only candidate! We sometimes can't fill a post for a while. It's definitely worth trying, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Finola1step Mon 14-Dec-15 16:32:30

This is such a tough situation for both of you. I'm currently on a "career break" while I focus on further training. Left a leadership position, 19 years teaching under my belt.

It really worries me how the profession is going. The stress and anxiety is almost contagious. For me, the job just didn't fit with having a young family. It is ironic that now my own dc are at primary school, I am no longer teaching in one.

My youngest dc started Reception in September. My dc go to a great school, well regarded. Even they are struggling to appoint. I know Heads who are now saying that recruitment is the biggest part of their jobs.

So your dh is doing the right thing in terms of his mental and physical well being. Its tough on you though. You moved for the job and now the goal posts have moved. Buy it will be worth it for you and dh to rebalance.

MidniteScribbler Mon 14-Dec-15 20:56:56

It really worries me how the profession is going.

I'm not in the UK, but it sounds like you guys are reaching crisis point. Barely a day goes by when we aren't getting hassled to come and teach in the UK. They've even stood in the staff carpark to catch us coming out of school. Free flights, free phone, free computers, all sorts of incentives to move.

MrsUltra Tue 15-Dec-15 18:44:02

Extremely worrying.
My own two DC are16 & 18 so nearly finished, were at an outstanding primary and now at world-class secondary - I would be very anxious if hey were now starting out- anxious for my (eventual grin) grandchildren.
I re-trained as secondary teacher a few years ago after a career in industry and decided after training not to do NQT as I had seen many near break-down, and as my DC are teenagers they need me more now (not that they know it.)
So I do supply which I love, go to lot of schools, but is obvious that the system is near breaking point.
I have the best of it, in classes with kids all day, but no prep, no data, no meetings, no appraisals, no stress.
I get repeat bookings because I am good at behaviour management and do teach the kids and care about their progress.
Am often offered permanent jobs - No Way!

MidniteScribbler Wed 16-Dec-15 00:09:01

I'd never want to teach in the UK (although I'd love to live there, the whole way that education is going makes me stay here). I love my job, but admin are a big part of that. They actually treat us like professionals and are reasonable about things. They're happy for us to switch around if we want to see children's sports days/plays/etc, and even give us a supply teacher for a day at report writing times where we are allowed to work from home to get our reports written. Being treated like a human being and not a machine makes a big difference to job satisfaction.

IHeartKingThistle Wed 16-Dec-15 00:19:18

sad OP.

I moved into Adult Education and Family Learning from secondary. It is a lovely job, more flexible and less stressful, but the money is awful.

You couldn't pay me enough to go back into a school full-time right now though.

I really hope it gets better for you both. You sound lovely.

mercifulTehlu Wed 16-Dec-15 08:54:26

Aww thanks everyone for the comments, both the practical and the sympathetic. I did a day of supply at dh's school yesterday, which wasn't bad (considering it's the last week of term and I was doing drama and music cover, which isn't my subject). Although the lesson which was a full hour of listening to a whole class all playing xylophones was... a little trying grin. It wouldn't surprise me if I ended up working at dh's school tbh. My dc will go there too, which will be a bit weird if dh has left under a cloud.
The Head has now outlined his plans for 'supporting' dh in his role up to Easter. If dh does not fulfil the Head's every wish, capability proceedings will ensue, though on what exact grounds I don't know. Hopefully dh will secure a job by then anyway.

Haggisfish Fri 18-Dec-15 05:17:57

How awful for your dh. I'm in very similar position-absolutely love teaching and am good at it, but currently awake and sobbing after crappy monitoring feedback. Just cannot hack the constant monitoring, shit paperwork and lack of positivity.

IguanaTail Fri 18-Dec-15 05:26:47

Could you not move back to the area with richer pickings with jobs and nearer grandparents? Another school can make all the difference. One capability proceedings start then they have to be mentioned on references. This is a big deal. A previous headteacher used to tell people as a way to make them resign which is of course illegal but at least they didn't have this on their references.

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