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Would I be mad to leave and go on supply!

(32 Posts)
user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 18:52:24

I have been a primary teacher for 4 years and with the same school since I was an NQT. I have 3 very young children, my youngest was only 6 months when I started my NQT year. After my first year school agreed to a 0.7 perm contract. I have asked about the possibility of reducing my hrs but school can't reduce them further fair enough.

The school is good to work at with nice staff and a nice head. It is in s very deprived area and we are undersubscribed so we get really difficult behaviour... we get kids that other schools won't find space for. This can be emotionally draining... think several can in class in local authority care, others on CIN etc plus high levels of SEN. It is intense during teaching hours. I have had good opportunities for professional development and this has not been hindered at all by being part time.

In the last year my marriage has ended, my middle child has had mental health probs and my mum has been diagnosed with cancer, she is undergoing a tough course of treatment. I have no childcare other than before and after school clubs. I have been off for a term with stress but am hoping to go back at some point in the summer term.

Even off work I am exhausted with everything and am seriously considering leaving and doing some very part time supply whilst looking for a job about 0.4-0.5.

My youngest starts primary school in sept and will have to go to wraparound 4 days per week with his dad recently left and grandma very ill. I've also not been at my best this year.

I feel like I should leave to help the kids get through all that has happened in the last year but can't imagine I'll ever find such a perfect part time job again. It's even close to home (4miles).

What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
lavenderandrose Tue 21-Mar-17 18:55:08

I wouldn't.

You don't get any work or pay for school holidays.

You get paid well below your daily rate

The lack of knowing when work is means you are pressured to accept it on an as and when basis and if you say no too often agencies stop asking.

In primary you are still expected to mark.

It's lonely

Unless you have a private income I really wouldn't leave an existing PT position.

user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 18:57:04

Also likely to have OFSTED next year.

OP’s posts: |
user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 18:58:46

Thanks Lavender, I suppose that the uncertainty might cause as much stress as leaving wouldalleviate. Thanks for your thoughts.

OP’s posts: |
lavenderandrose Tue 21-Mar-17 19:01:37

I sympathise user flowers but think about it. At the moment you are off sick and, presumably, are being paid. If you go on supply and you are stressed, need to be with your mum, have a nasty fall and break something, you are on your own.

I know it's tough but I would never, ever advise a lone parent to young children to step away from the security of a permanent job for supply, ever.

wowbutter Tue 21-Mar-17 19:01:38

I have worked with teachers who have done this and they have all been much happier on supply.
No planning, awful children - never go back, in and out. It's the teaching fun with less stress. And so,e teachers get more on supply.
You need to do the maths, see what the agency pays etc.

soimpressed Tue 21-Mar-17 19:05:57

It depends how much demand there is for supply in your area. I gave up a job (that I hated) and found more than enough work doing supply. I loved it and was sent to the same school on a regular basis so got to know other staff and the children. The difference in stress levels was amazing. It also left me free to apply for jobs without having to worry about giving notice. I ended up working very part time in my current school and now work full time. However, there is a recruitment crisis in our area.

lavenderandrose Tue 21-Mar-17 19:10:06

The problem is, even if OP works every single working day available, which isn't what she wants anyway, that's still 195 days.

If she is ill, or her mum is ill, or one of her children is ill, she won't get paid.

So September comes and OP hasn't had any work or pay since mid-July and therefore is keen to start. There is no work for the first two weeks and then after that in it comes. OP needs the money so she ends up working five days a week, far from home.

That's far from what she has now.

It's horrible when you are stressed at work, but honestly, the only time supply is the answer is when you don't need the money, when it's a lovely extra but even without it the mortgage and grocery shop is paid for.

user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:18:21

I think you've summed up my main concerns Lavender.

I feel so guilty though because my kids are having such s hard time at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
phlebasconsidered Tue 21-Mar-17 19:18:40

I feel for you. I'm contemplating the Dr move. I'm 0.75 at the moment but I have an asd son who is not coping with ks2, a very poorly and infirm set of in laws to cope with, we've just gone into sm and are being academised, and my health is poor ( waiting on results for a serious problem). Plus I'm 45.

I'm fucked.

I would say though, that the supply we get in seem perky and happy and 100% happier than me!

user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:21:26

phlebasconsidered you have so much going on too flowers

It's a tough decision. Hope all is well with the test results you are waiting for.

OP’s posts: |
user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:26:17

Have checked out supply pay. Not as much as I'd hoped and l live a studenty are in the north east. Lots of cheap NQTs on the agency books too. sad

OP’s posts: |
GinSwigmore Tue 21-Mar-17 19:26:46

In your shoes, even with ofsted looming, nope.
A mori poll years ago said many teachers felt burnt out after five years. I left after six.
I did supply. I ended up with half wages: think about 18k a year from 35. I was on a £85 day rate then £115 later (this is going back fifteen years). It included special schools, hospital and primary, as well as secondary.
The problem is that:
You really need to be flexible
The day to day calls or longer absences can be schools which are very stressful or long way away. I was travelling anything up to 45 mins.
So you also have petrol and wear and tear on car.
Secondary work left was variable in its quality. Some schools it was just blood sport if you were supply no. 63.
Primary was a nice change for me but the expectations higher re you knowing how it worked iyswim. I was not expected to mark but did do stamps/stickers anyway.
The bottom began dropping out of the market when higher level TAs were being used to cover and when Learning Cover Supervisors were brought in.
Child care costs for me - and this was one child, term time only care - was half my wages.
That was a maternity cover. Day to day supply with full time child care so I could get a summer job/£ per hour, I broke even.
I had a partner/second wage.

You would be screwing up your pension.
You would be screwing up your CV.

I would only advocate it if the school you were in had shitty SLT or you wanted to test other schools in the area. If not, I would stay put.

user1490123259 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:32:17

many teachers do this, and find a far better work life balance, as they are able to say no to excessive tasks, and walk away if they are put under too much pressure.

Do you have a mortgage? If you are renting, you can top up with housing benefit if you don't make enough.

user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:32:27

Gin, thanks for sharing your experience. I think the fact that we have a good head and SLT is prob the main factor for not leaving... it makes such a difference to your day to day working life doesn't it

OP’s posts: |
user1463172942 Tue 21-Mar-17 19:37:49

I have a smallish mortgage but would get a fair bit in tax credits. We'd be skint but we wouldn't starve.

OP’s posts: |
CountryCaterpillar Tue 21-Mar-17 19:42:57

I've left and screwed up my pension. Many similar pressures as you but you can't keep on going until everything cracks.

Locally they are advertising a hlta to teach every afternoon!!! (ppa time) Im not sure if there will be.lots So many teachers are leaving, as sensible as it looks on paper to stay no job is worth your health.

leccybill Tue 21-Mar-17 20:55:31

I left, as I was in a really bad place mental health wise. The job was making me ill.
I had a local, part time job, in a v tough school with good opportunities for CPD, much like you, op.

18m on, I do some casual work in and on behalf of my former school. I also get as much supply work as I want after getting my face known in a few schools.

Only earn £120/day (I was on UPS2)
Some schools are far away
No holiday pay
No access to teacher's pension.

No planning and minimal marking
No targets
Can focus on the pupils

It's not for everyone but I love it, I really do, it has been a new lease of life for me and just what I needed. But I did get a £12k redundancy package which provided a buffer, and my mortgage is small (and I have a DH). Think carefully, op.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-Mar-17 18:58:48

Nope. I've been doing supply on and off while looking for a part-time teaching post in the North East since 2011 and I haven't managed to find one, even though I'm early years qualified, which is supposed to be a big advantage in this area.confused I've worked out that even if I worked every single day of the year, the most I could ever earn is £19500 gross and of course, there's not much work around in September or July, or either side of the half-terms and breaks. When I worked for County, I got TEN days work in the whole academic year. I get between 1 and 4 since registering with agencies, but the rate is a lot lower and there's no pension contribution.

CremeEggThief Wed 22-Mar-17 18:59:21

Sorry, should have said nope, don't do it, OP.

girlsyearapart Wed 22-Mar-17 19:05:35

How do your school cover staff for ppa time? I have been in and out of teaching due to having children and having health issues and one of the better scenarios was when I was on contract at my school doing ppa cover.
You get to know all the kids and usually can teach fairly ' low maintenance' subjects.
No parents evenings
No productions
No assemblies
Minimal report writing...

CremeEggThief Wed 22-Mar-17 19:14:39

A lot of the schools in my area use HLTAs or TAs or get sports coaches in to cover PPA time. I visited a school recently where the Head covers PPA herself usually.

IvyLeagueUnderTheSea Wed 22-Mar-17 19:24:02

One other thing to remember is that you get paid a month in hand.
If we assume you leave at the end of this academic year then you will get a final pay packet on Aug 31. Then let's assume you have work in September, you won't get paid for that until the end of October. So you'd have to go all of September and October with no money coming in.

leccybill Wed 22-Mar-17 19:51:47

Most supply agencies that I know of pay weekly.

IvyLeagueUnderTheSea Wed 22-Mar-17 19:59:56

I only went to schools directly. Stayed on the county payroll.

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