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Going part time as a teacher damages your career. Time for national guidelines?

(58 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 12-Jan-20 12:36:04

According to 70% of teachers polled by Teacher Tapp, going part time will damage your career prospects.

Given that we are in the midst of a teacher recruitment and retention crisis, this would seem remarkably short-sighted.

At my school part timers are not allowed to apply for TLRs. Part time requests are granted, but then part timers are treated as an inconvenience who should suck up whatever timetable they’re given. I suspect that SLT, who are vast majority male, would argue that they actually treat part timers well.

I’ve found the Burgundy Book to be spectacularly unhelpful as it is written with the assumption that part timers have full days off. Part timers who have full days off can’t be directed to work an INSET day that falls on their day off or should be paid extra to do so, same if a parents’ evening falls on their day off. But if you are a part timer who works every day, then you can definitely be expected to work a parents’ evening/INSET on a day where you only work P1 and 2. You can be expected to attend meetings after school on a day when you finish teaching at lunch.

There’s absolutely no requirement to ensure that your timetable doesn’t have you teaching P3 and nothing else that day, which is a nightmare for childcare, or that you are teaching P1 and P5 with the rest of the day unpaid.

How does your school treat part timers? Should the Burgundy Book be updated to reflect the reality of part time working and to create national guidelines?

OP’s posts: |
absopugginglutely Sun 12-Jan-20 13:08:10

It depends on the school. I have not suffered career-wise since going part time and my Head has continued to fund my professional development. Maybe I’m just lucky.
I also quite openly talk to my union a lot!

noblegiraffe Sun 12-Jan-20 14:08:19

So are there part time SLT/HOD at your school?

OP’s posts: |
saraclara Sun 12-Jan-20 14:11:37

It will damage your career prospects if you remain part time. But a period of part time working doesn't affect things when you return to full time working, in my experience.

saraclara Sun 12-Jan-20 14:14:24

I do see the other problems in your OP though. It's much more straightforward being part time in primary education.

GrammarTeacher Sun 12-Jan-20 14:16:44

The main reason for my return to full time this year was that being part time was preventing me from progressing any further and the hours were suddenly available. I don't know of any part time SLT in our area. All the part time middle leadership were in their leadership position before they became part time.

SallyLovesCheese Sun 12-Jan-20 14:18:50

I was outright refused part-time at my last school and the head openly doubted I could do the job in part-time hours. So I left and got myself a different part-time teaching job. Their loss, as I'm an experienced teacher and they had very few of those on staff.

CuckooCuckooClock Sun 12-Jan-20 14:25:56

Yep at my school being part time is career suicide. No tlrs. Basically a second class citizen as far as slt are concerned. We have some fabulous part time staff in my dept. Really intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced teachers, with amazing ideas but no chance of ever getting extra non-contacts to do stuff (All that goes to the 25yo men over-taking the 40yo women).

LizzieVereker Sun 12-Jan-20 14:26:47

I’ve worked at three schools over twenty years, and seen all the noble, and I’ve watched many talented colleagues go by the wayside because they needed to work part time. No TLRs for part timers, ever. It’s been such a waste of talent.

At my current school two colleagues went part time last year, and were allowed to keep their leadership roles. Both are exceptional performers and were consistently graded as such in PM and observations etc.We were all delighted as we were thinking that this heralded a fantastic common sense development.

However after a year they were both told that they would have to return to FT in order to keep their position so both did. However for different reasons this makes their working lives untenably hard so one is now leaving and they other looking. Again, a huge waste of talent and they will leave a huge gap in expertise , which we will struggle to fill.

CuckooCuckooClock Sun 12-Jan-20 14:27:22

In answer to your question - yes the burgundy book needs to be re-written to reflect the talent in the part time workforce.

LizzieVereker Sun 12-Jan-20 14:29:36

* seen all the issues you mention, noble, not seen you. Although, who knows? I’d like to work with you I think. smile

PenOrPencil Sun 12-Jan-20 17:00:44

It is absolutely ludicrous that schools are wasting potential by not allowing part time or preventing part timers from progressing.
My current school has many part time leadership positions and is all the better for it.

noblegiraffe Sun 12-Jan-20 17:29:42

Thanks Lizzie! I did once have a colleague spot me on here blush

I looked at WomenEd talking about part time work and they were all about getting part timers into leadership, but that’s only one issue with part time work. Someone should also be looking at getting a better deal for all the women (and the few men) who are part time classroom teachers and are being told that that they can’t have a reasonable working pattern, or who aren’t allowed exam classes or (as I’ve heard in primary) have to do the full week’s planning/reporting/parents’ evenings as their job share is a TA.

OP’s posts: |
GrammarTeacher Sun 12-Jan-20 17:49:12

I wasn't allowed a level in the periods where a year coincided with mat leave or a return as my HoD didn't trust the ability of any cover. I love A Level.

GrammarTeacher Sun 12-Jan-20 17:49:40

I think in our case it's because parents complain.

TartanMarbled Sun 12-Jan-20 18:45:14

Same as in any job. Of course going part time damages your career prospects. Why wouldn't it?

GrammarTeacher Sun 12-Jan-20 18:59:06

Because it should be the best person for the role. There have been examples of this not being the case that I have known of.

newyearnewear Sun 12-Jan-20 19:09:09

In my experience (primary) schools don't follow the Burgundy Book when it comes to part time teachers. Most part timers are forced to do Parents' Eve regardless of whether it falls on their day or not. There's no pro-rata when it comes to INSET and staff meetings either.

motortroll Sun 12-Jan-20 19:10:40

I have always been treated very well with regards to timetable. My most recent job was treated as a job share which helped as I was doing 3 full days. Our timetable manager, however, was excellent in all ways with minimised split classes and all part timers work full or half days even if not job share. He would even go as far as to ask mums/dads with kids what days they wanted to save for activities eg baby sign, swimming lessons etc.

The after school meetings is tricky, I missed all dept and staff meetings other than start of year INSET for about 3 years as always on weds when I didn't work.

I always attended parents evening (also always in a non work day) but it wasn't expected and many others part timers didn't.

There were definitely opportunities in my school for part timers but I never took them because I definitely would have had to do most of that outside of paid hours.

I think I've been lucky to have a sympathetic management but that doesn't solve all the issues of being part time.

DrMadelineMaxwell Sun 12-Jan-20 19:13:42

Our deputy went part time after having children. She was prepared to have to lose her dept status if it was theonly way to get part time, but was able to keep it as the HT saw the advantage of having a job share dept. So a member of staff who is full time is TLR2 for 2 days and dept on 3 days.

Being part time certainly took away the chance to apply for career opportunities at my own school. I was given a TLR3 on a pro rata basis at my school while pt so not completely held back. Now on a TLR2 as a ft member of staff though.

Redlocks30 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:14:22

Going part time has been a nightmare for my career.

Because I’ve been teaching a long time and am expensive, my head refuses to let me increase my days so I’m stuck on part time. There are very few part time jobs advertised (to do a second part time job) and the full time roles advertised all say, ‘NQTs welcome to apply’ which is code for-‘We are skint and only want NQTs’. The head then fills these (primary) jobshares with HLTAs or supply teachers which is much cheaper for the school.

Where do I go now?

People talk about a gold plated teacher pension-I’m certainly not going to get one!

eldeeno Sun 12-Jan-20 19:19:46

I'm a part time HoF. In my last job, I was a part time HoD. I think I'm lucky in that both my current and previous workplaces were very accommodating in giving me what I wanted. However, I do work for more hours than I ought. I gave no problem in coming in on my day off. I try to make sure the school is better off if I want something, so it increases the chances of me getting what I want.

The only thing that irks me is that now I'm part time, I only get 0.8 of my tlr, despite the fact I do 100% of the work,

Piggywaspushed Sun 12-Jan-20 20:14:05

We have a part time AHT. She has always been part time. She did have to fight quite hard when she became AHT for them to accept it was possible. Unfortunately, it hasn't really proved trailblazing. We still don't have any part time HOFs or HODs.

TLRs recently became very controversial in terms of a discovery that some staff were paid 100% of theirs if part time and others weren't. To give more detail on that would definitely out me.

That said, I have ALWAYS been part time and have had enormous trouble achieving promotion to SLT myself so I think issues for female staff are more complex than solely the part time issue.

PenOrPencil Sun 12-Jan-20 20:51:50

You should definitely get 100% of your TLR unless you are not doing 100% of the work. Paying the TLR pro rata is outrageous. Push for 100% or only do part of the work!

likeafishneedsabike Sun 12-Jan-20 21:33:53

I have to admit that it never occurred to me that being part time WOULDN’T damage my career prospects. I am prepared to be told off for that because it’s probably very rigid thinking.
I’m 0.6 secondary and am hoping to increase next year because the ‘odds and ends’ class splits (plus a bit of out of out of subject teaching) are doing my head in. It’s not about the promotional prospects: it’s about having a proper timetable. I think that’s part of what you’re talking about.

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