Phased return after long time illness
BG2015 · 24/11/2021 19:32
I'm currently off work as I'm going through chemotherapy.
I'm an experienced teacher on UPS3 and have been teaching fulltime since 1996. Supported by my school really well. I teach KS1 usually and have two teachers currently covering my Year 2 class. I've been off since the start of the academic year, so have not taught this class at all.
My active treatment should end in March and I'm hoping to go back to work after Easter.
Occupational health spoke to me in September where the Dr advised I couldn't work because of treatment and Covid, he's going to ring me again in Feb/March time with a view to discussing my phased return to work.
Has anyone had experience of negotiating a phased return to work at all? I don't want to teach a class initially as my confidence is really knocked and I need to build that up again.
Can I suggest shorter days, building up to longer? I'm thinking that my head will suggest me teaching small booster groups initially but moving onto teaching a class occasionally but until closer to the time I won't really know.
If anyone has any experience of this I'd be glad to hear what you did.
Scarby9 · 24/11/2021 21:48
A friend on a phased return wanted to work the middle of some days eg. 10-2, as getting up and organised for work was a particular, recovery-related difficulty, and she wanted initially to avoid the chaos and parental discussions at the end of the day. She was told her phased return had to be in full sessions - so full morning, full afternoon or full day.
In the end she returned on one day for one week (which knocked her out for days!), two days (spaced) the next, three the next etc. Aim to be back full time in 5 weeks, but she ended up doing the final day in her fourth week. That was the first half of the 2021 summer term.
She has been back full time all for the term and a half since, but is dropping to 4 days after Christmas.
southchinasea · 24/11/2021 22:57
I had a phased return after a term off, following an accident and 2 operations.
Similarly to the previous poster, I did something like 2 half days the first week, a full day and 2 halves the next, 3 days the next etc. That all went well and it was lovely to be back. But then after 4 or 5 weeks I was in full time and I just didn't have the physical stamina or confidence.
I lasted a couple more weeks and got to about half term but then crashed out and had to have more time off. Looking back I went back too soon and would have been more use to school if I'd stayed doing the part time phasing in for just a bit longer.
I finally made it back properly 6 months on from the accident. Occupational health were helpful but be really honest with them so they can advise school realistically - and don't push yourself too hard. Schools are such busy places and once you're back it's hard to pace yourself.
Good luck with your recovery.
BG2015 · 25/11/2021 07:33
Thanks for your replies.
I don't want to go back too soon as I know it's going to be very hard, physically and emotionally. Will definitely use OH to support me.
grumpypug · 28/11/2021 19:38
I had a phased return last year. It was phased over 4 weeks, with the option of adding 3 more part time weeks but they had to be applied for and weren't given as standard.
I was basically told to choose how I'd like to return and my dr wrote it in my return to work note. My school were fantastic a d asked me to guide them all the way through.
BG2015 · 28/11/2021 19:57
Thats really helpful. There are 5 weeks in the first half of the summer term so I could do 4 weeks of part time, the last week full time and then at least I have a weeks holiday to catch my breath!
What did you teach during those 4 weeks?
Powertoyou · 03/12/2021 23:25
Why don’t you wait until next September to return to work? My doctor told me why was I rushing back to work. My school were very good and I did a short phased return. Nearly 6 years later working full time now and counting down the days to retirement.
BG2015 · 04/12/2021 12:43
I can't afford to stay off until September unfortunately, my salary goes to half in February and I'm the main wage earner.
I could possibly go to May half term but that would really knock my savings.
BG2015 · 04/12/2021 12:45
I'm 53 in February and I'm planning to retire when I'm 57/58 so really need to get as much into my pension as I can!
Getting cancer was not in the plan!
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