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Part-timers: are you sidelined in your school?

(44 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sat 26-May-18 11:54:52

Prompted by a couple of things. A comment on a thread a few weeks ago about how teachers in shortage subjects are lucky because they are more likely to be offered the ‘advantage’ of part time working, and the surprise greeted by my dismissal of whether being part time is actually a positive. Secondly, the recent thread by a teacher who will be returning part time after maternity and has been told that any promotions she had in mind would now be on hold as she was presumably prioritising her family.

So, is being part time the kiss of death for your career? Do you have to put up with a crap timetable? Do you get sent on courses and are you allowed to apply for promotion?

For me: completely sidelined, not allowed to apply for promotion and a patchwork timetable with lots of trapped time.
Obviously it has meant more time with my children and a job that’s actually doable, but it is frustrating now my children are at school to see far less experienced teachers being promoted over me and fellow part timers. It seems like such a waste of experience and talent.

What’s your school like?

OP’s posts: |
Childrenofthesun Sat 26-May-18 12:01:31

Yup. Life made miserable in one school because of being part-time but paired with a supply teacher so had to do all the work. Moved to another school near home but had to take a pay cut to be employable. Now being threatened with a cut to my hours because of "overstaffing" yet some staff members who are currently part-time are being allowed to increase their hours to full time, presumably because the school prefers full time teachers.

I like not having to work at weekends though and being able to take my kids to extra-curricular activities, which is why I put up with it.

CarrieBlue Sat 26-May-18 13:17:32

I was allowed to keep my tlr point when returning pt after ml and it was paid as a full point not pro rata so I was very lucky. But it was as good as I’d ever get because I’d never be considered for anything else and it was a very niche area that I had responsibility for. My hod thought I was a drain on the department because I was pt and stood up for myself in terms of only taking on my share of department stuff (ie the same percentage as my contract rather than the same as a ft colleague). I had shocking timetables though - working p1, then blank til p5. And I was asked what I’d be doing in the blank time (implying that I should be in school working) - err, none of your business!

noblegiraffe Sat 26-May-18 13:47:24

I actually had a nightmare last night about being given a timetable with P1 and P5 on it. I always find this time of the year waiting to find out how next year will look really stressful - I always have to end up fighting something. And we don’t get the final timetable till the last week of term, which is crap in terms of arranging childcare. If I didn’t have a super-flexible childminder, I wouldn’t have been able to work.

Timetables are really important to part timers because we have to arrange our lives around it. I don’t think that’s appreciated very much by the people who write them.

OP’s posts: |
AppleKatie Sat 26-May-18 13:52:33

The look of anger and disgust on my deputy heads face when you ASK what your days might be is shocking.

I don’t demand, I never have. But I would like to be told before the summer holidays so I can, you know, plan childcare.

FT colleagues repeatedly assume that any problem in their timetable is directly caused by demanding PTers being pandered too.

Being offered the chance to apply for promotion if I am prepared to be in school for 4 full days whilst being paid 0.6. This presented to me as if I’m lucky to be given the opportunity.

wine thank goodness it’s half term!

gingerbreadbiscuits Sat 26-May-18 13:56:09

Yup. Additionally it is only ‘fair’ if part time staff do the same amount or more duties, writing of lessons for non specialist, don’t get given key information or training and are always the ones that have to move around classroom (not maths). Part time staff are always at full allocation when full time often are not and don’t get any cushy mentoring or supervising isolation type things in their timetable.

We get our final timetable after 2.30 on the last day of term. SLT tell HOD to accept no complaints. Staff are told they can only speak to their HOD about the issue even when their HOD is not in school.

savagebaggagemaster Sat 26-May-18 13:57:03

When I was part time I was told it was because of people like me that the timetable took so long to create! My contract is still actually part time, even though I have been working full time hours for two years and will be next year. They wouldn't make it full time as my hours 'need to remain variable'. This means they want to be able to cut my hours if necessary. sad

noblegiraffe Sat 26-May-18 14:20:30

Wow, savage, that’s appalling! And what would they say if you needed your hours to be variable and asked for them to go down?

Ginger yes, I always feel out of the loop because of missing meetings and minutes not being posted. I’ve also not been sent on a training course since I went part time.

I’ve had to put up with comments in meetings about part timers causing split classes which are a pain for full timers. I totally get that split classes are a problem, but my timetable is shit to avoid split classes as much as possible - with the way our timetable works and the amount of contact hours our classes have, split classes are inevitable. It’s not my fault!

OP’s posts: |
keiratwiceknightly Sat 26-May-18 14:23:28

Yes. Returned after maternity leave to a p/t timetable so awful it eventually drove me out. Had a couple of years at home- have been 10 years back now and applied for 2 promotions both of which went to others (in fairness, the person they appointed was the better candidate in one case). Given up trying now.

hindall Sat 26-May-18 14:39:05

I'm in primary so didn't have any timetabling issues. However, I lost my TLR and was effectively told I wouldn't get a FT post at the school in the future as there were lots of younger, cheaper NQTs coming through. At that time we were getting 100+ applicants for posts.
I found it frustrating that the assumption was that as I was PT, I was having a bit of a jolly. I think the view in my school was that for PT staff (and there were only 2 of us) teaching was just a hobby, not a career.
I did go back FT a couple of years ago after our new head started to find it harder to recruit. I teach Y6 and am well respected in school, but I no longer have the desire to put the hours in to climb the SLT pole again.
I've decided to get out whilst I re-evaluate what I want from my career.
If I felt there was career progression (and respect) for PT staff I would be back in a flash, but whilst our profession has an all or nothing attitude it is losing a lot of talented experienced staff like myself - a crazy attitude in the current education environment.

gingerbreadbiscuits Sat 26-May-18 15:34:17

I have had the same comment about split classes. We actually have few split classes than when I was full time

savagebaggagemaster Sat 26-May-18 16:00:51

Quite, noble. As it turns out, the contracts being given to new staff have some dodgy stuff in them trying to direct time during holidays and change working hours to longer days, so I've decided not to ask for another contract atm and see what happens. I work in the indy sector and they seem to be able to do what they like! I left my previous state school job after I came back from mat leave to discover they'd given my job to someone else and I mo had to teach two subjects I was never qualified in! I was told that I was employed as a teacher, not a teacher of (insert my subject here) confused

MissMarplesKnitting Sat 26-May-18 16:11:40

Oh yeah, I was told I couldn't apply for promotion whilst on 0.8 a few years back. Clearly my brain fell out when I had a baby or something.

I'm not sure what second in a small department requires that's the difference between that and full time but apparently it's a leap too far hmm

As it is, I've seen enough of HOD and HOF to understand now I'd rather not be doing their job, as the £ is nowhere near commensurate with the stress and crap you have to deal with.

However, doing disproportionate amounts of meetings and duties (school makes all PT staff work Mondays, with meetings compulsory til 5) and magically getting fewer free periods too (FT staff get 4 hours, I work 0.6 and get 2?!) really grinds my gears. Then the 'oh you're so lucky to work part time' and I am very close to thinking it'd probably just be easier to be full time and get the money.


Trenter Sat 26-May-18 18:23:46

There are good schools though. Our timetable is built around the PT staff, of which there are many. Late start and early finish possible, although not every day. No splitting your hours over more days than is necessary, unless you want that.

noblegiraffe Sat 26-May-18 18:25:00

That sounds great regarding the timetable. Are they allowed to apply for promotions, Trenter?

OP’s posts: |
Trenter Sat 26-May-18 19:20:14

Well, yes if it's subject lead or 2nd or something comparable. SLT are FT.

Unicorndiscoball Sat 26-May-18 19:35:18

I was part time but a head of department and the only teacher in school of my subject. Worked three full days, was paid extra for inset undertaken on my days off and was also paid extra for coming in for school events on my off days as well (as music teacher you’re pretty essential for assemblies etc). So generally wasn’t treated badly.

I was 0.6 and had to run a club every day before school and every lunch time and do a duty every day I worked, and had about 16 hours of teaching over my 3 days. They really crammed it all in and I was exhausted. I eventually left because of the poor management. I was constantly getting phone calls and emails on my days off, about minor things that were escalated by poor communication. (My head once rang me at 5.45pm on a Friday and left a voicemail saying ‘can you call me back at once it really is most urgent’ and then didn’t answer when I returned her call 20 minutes later. She finally replied a couple of hours later-the crisis? Assembly on Monday was cancelled.)

Am now full time again, but struggling. Want to be part time and have no responsibilities for a bit! Sick of being a single person department and doing everything.

noblegiraffe Sat 26-May-18 20:18:26

Wow, that sounds terrible, Unicorn. Were full time teachers expected to do clubs and duties every day too?

OP’s posts: |
Unicorndiscoball Sat 26-May-18 20:59:57

Were full time teachers expected to do clubs and duties every day too?

No. They had to do one club per week and either two or three duties. The joys of teaching music...grin I never mind doing clubs, but my job was actually not possible in the time I had. Just as I left I managed to negotiate an extra 0.1 for admin, so my successor was on a 0.7 which I think would’ve helped. At least being full time I’m always in the loop, things don’t catch me unawares.... and the money is better, and in my current job I’m only on a 75% timetable, so it’s pretty much doable. Set to change in September, so we shall see...

MrsHaaHoo Sat 26-May-18 21:13:39

My place have been great. Was 0.6 and got a promotion which made me 0.8, my choice (could have dropped lessons). Part time staff have always been paid to attend INSET if on their usual days off, if they wanted to attend. I did (childcare permitting) and have stayed for odd meetings as I felt it was more valuable to attend unpaid than be out of the loop, but that's just me. It clearly depends on your place of work. I'm now full time as kids have got older, but again my choosing and by no means forced by SLT.

castasp Sat 26-May-18 22:08:38

I've worked in a few schools, and part-timers have been side-lined in every one. I noticed it whether I was part or full-time, although didn't realise the full extent of how shit it is until I went part-time myself.

It staggers me that it so blatantly goes on all across the country (and it's not just teaching), when it's supposed to be illegal (I think?).

I used to be a research scientist for one of the big pharma (a good few years ago now) and at the time they wouldn't even let people go part-time (never mind get promoted) - it showed a lack of commitment to scientific research and the aims of the company apparently.

Like a couple of other PPs I've decided to bite the bullet and go full-time (and change schools), now that my children are getting older, but it's so, so hard, and I'm not even on a proper full timetable until September. I do want to at least have the choice to go for promotions though.

xsquared Sun 27-May-18 01:07:12

In a college rather than in a school. My colleagues often forget that I am only PT and I often end up working far more hours than I am paid for, because my line manager seems to think I can do a full time job in the hours I have! angry

noblegiraffe Sun 27-May-18 11:24:34

Part time staff have always been paid to attend INSET if on their usual days off

This annoys me slightly, as because my timetable is crap and all over the place, I miss out on any protections for not being expected to work on your days off. I rarely have them!

I’m sure I read that the DfE as part of looking into recruitment and retention is hoping that schools will increase opportunities to work part time. If part timers aren’t valued and in fact are seen as a dead weight, how will this help?

PPs have said that they’ve gone back full time to get around this. I know colleagues who have gone part time even though they don’t have children or dependents, but simply because the full time job wasn’t doable. I can’t see ever being able to go back full time and maintain any semblance of a work-life balance.

OP’s posts: |
AppleKatie Sun 27-May-18 14:05:52

noble I know a part time member of staff who sometimes gets inset days off as they are only expected to attend say 60% of inset if they are 0.6 so regardless of which day they fall on they only go to 60% worth.

This seems good to me. Sadly not on offer at my school we do all the ones that fall on a working day and then get paid extra to attend on other ones (and we are strongly encouraged to do this).

Haggisfish Sun 27-May-18 14:11:18

My school has an amazing head who values pt as much as ft. About one third of us are pt incl men and non parents! Can apply for tlr if 0.8 and maternity etc never taken into account when recruiting or promoting. When asked about maternity, head said it’s part and parcel of recruiting talented young women. So refreshing.

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