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Teacher redundancy and maternity leave
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PicturesOfLily · 12/05/2021 11:11

Hi all. I’m posting here as most of my dilemma is related to school/teaching. I’m currently on maternity leave, due back just before the Christmas holidays. My (independent) school had announced redundancies before I went on mat leave and someone in my department is being made redundant as her subject is being phased out plus the other teacher who teaches my subject is retiring so I was (am) very confident that there will be A role for me in January, albeit definitely on a lower salary. However, I’m also acting Head of Faculty and school are restructuring the middle and senior leadership teams, combining faculties and cutting roles. There is a HoF job I could apply for but it would mean taking responsibility for a core subject too which I just don’t want when returning to work with a baby and preschooler. It’s also less money than I was on before mat leave. School have said they will try to find alternative roles but nothing is guaranteed but they are offering enhanced voluntary redundancy which would give me almost full salary for 8 months from Jan and effectively mean I can extend my mat leave until dd2 is 18 months and find a new job starting next September. I teach a shortage subject so should be able to find a new job plus I’m not currently in the TPS as my school withdrew us unless we pay a portion of the employer contribution which I couldn’t afford on mat leave. So far, I think it’s a no brainier to take redundancy, have a longer mat leave and find a new school for next year.
However, there are a few things making me doubt that decision. Firstly, dh is on a temporary contact (not a teacher) due to finish next April. There may be more work available but not guaranteed so we could have no income next spring until he finds something else. Also, despite the redundancy/pension issues, my school is the nicest one in the area so I’d be looking at a worse school or a longer commute or both. I would be looking to leave in the next few years to get back into TPS but probably once both dds are at school. I currently have an easy 20min commute and dd1’s nursery is next to my current school. She starts primary next year so would be leaving anyway but I had planned on dd2 going to the same nursery, especially as they offer term time only places which saves a lot of money. The last issue is my dad’s health is currently going downhill fast and he’s waiting for a consultant appointment for possible Parkinson’s. My parents usually look after dd1 2 days a week and were expecting to do the same for dd2 but that might not be possible next year. I’m really torn. What would you do?

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EllieNBeeb · 12/05/2021 11:31

Do you want to only teach? Do you want an area of responsibility? Is your husband's career able to become more stable? Is your income more than his? Would you move for your career? I personally would look for a promotion at a more financially solvent independent, being quite happy to move to another area, if cost of living was suitable or housing provided with the role, unless your husband's career is capable of supporting the family in a stable way while you find a better role closer to home. I wouldn't stay at a school that is financially falling to pieces, as it sounds yours is, so I would take the money but also immediately begin job hunting, not waiting until mat leave is over, etc. But that's me, based on my values.

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PicturesOfLily · 12/05/2021 12:43

Thank you for your reply. I earn more than my husband and also have the better pension, which is one reason I want to get back into the TPS sooner rather than later. I’m might not teach forever but it seems counterintuitive to leave teaching (& the holidays) when I have small children who need holiday care so any change would be way down the line. I do want extra responsibility and I have been second in department for a few years before the temporary promotion. I guess I’m just worrying about not being able to find the right job at a nice school. If I take redundancy, I will be looking for jobs but I won’t start before next September to make the most of the time with dds, unless dh doesn’t get sorted with a new job/contract extension. I really enjoy working in an independent school but there aren’t that many in my area but I hadn’t really thought about moving. Thanks for your input.

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