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Accepting another offer while holding and offer

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Siliaz, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Siliaz

    Siliaz New commenter

    Hi, advice needed. How bad is it to accept another offer while you are already holding another offer and have signed an letter of acceptance but not signed the contract yet? In other words, I have accepted an offer at one school but 3 months later found a job 15mins walk from home and have now also managed to secure the job. Can I decline the earlier job offer?
  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    No is the correct answer. You are contractually bound. You have to approach the first headteacher and ask to be released from your contact.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why on earth did you apply for another post?
    Your name is going to be absolute mud in one or other school.
    And, if the second school head speaks to the first school, you may well find that you have no job at all come September.
  4. Siliaz

    Siliaz New commenter

    Didn't have that high hopes for the job close to home but thought let's give it a go and cross the bridge when/if the bridge needs to be crossed! The first school is an hour from home and for a Head of Department post whereas the second school is where I got my QTS, I have very fond memories of it and it is for a Head of Faculty position. My instinct tells me that it is morally wrong but I wanted to check how bad it was from a legal and personal reputation point of view. I think I will ask the first Head and be totally honest and see what he says. Thanks for the advice!
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Do not ask the first head. You do need to send a letter stating your circumstances have changed and you are no longer able to take up the offer. Admit you have made an awful error and cannot do the job so far away from home. In other words the travel will be too much for you and deep down you have now realised it will be all too much. I would avoid phone conversations and stick to writing.

    This is an awful mess - and of your own making- imho. And it's a pity that it has happened this way. You have effectively 'played a game' - but to be frank, who wants an employee that does not want a job or plays with them anyway?

    So, I'd not mention securing the other job or seek the first ht's advice. They will be furious and most likely try and force you to follow through by turning up.

    People do change their mind- but you should have informed the first head sooner and before you started looking for jobs nearer home. The whole notion of your name being mud is short lived imho and especially when it is an hour away.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
    steely1 and phlogiston like this.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    What exactly are you expecting him to say? :confused:
    steely1, border_walker and TheoGriff like this.
  7. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    The first HT is going to be quite cross... but still has time to recruit for September.
    I think you better resign from that post ASAP and ask if you can be released from that contract before you start!
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Oh dear me...

    Excellent points here:

    Just one question.

    How would you feel if, in June, School B writes to tell you that they have just interviewed another candidate, and have decided that they prefer him or her to you, so unfortunately they are no longer able to provide employment for you in September?

    Do you expect them to continue interviewing after offering you a job?

    Oh dear...
  9. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    It seems like a very Siliaz thing to do.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    To clarify, when you say "secured" do you mean "accepted"? Which would mean that you have made two conflicting promises.

    If you have, you will need to get out of one of your commitments. Your name could become mud, but the sooner you are honest about it, the better. If not, you could ask the first school to release you before accepting the second job. They would be upset, but I doubt if they could do much about it, although, perhaps they might be able to claim the costs of another recruitment process from you. This is an area that posters on these forums disagree on, and I am not expert enough to say anything for sure.
    steely1 and border_walker like this.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    So many high horses!
    If you are looking for work and something suitable comes up, you apply for it because you don't know if anything more suitable will arise. You'd be a fool not to apply.
    And if having been offered it you then see something which is an absolute gift, you immediately think of how qualitatively you could do so much better.
    So you are prepared to let someone down.

    I cannot see how this is the same as a school saying they don't want somebody after all to whom they have offered a job-the inconvenience falls on one person who suddenly cannot pay their mortgage and may have missed the only decent window throughout the year to source work.
    If you let a school down, sure,.it's not good form, but there is a bit of over inflation in the thread about how serious that is. Schools are routinely let down by new employees. It is inconvenient and it can be costly, but equally they are able to divest themselves of somebody who just wasn't that into them for whatever reason. How long would they have stayed?

    Rather than moralising, it is probably better to manage it, like this-
    Contact the second school an ask what is the latest possible start. Ask how long they will wait for you before theyd atually prefer to find somebody else.
    Then contat the second school and ask them what to do-they have a choice. Either you start and hand in your notice immediately, or you dont start at all.
    Between the two answers and good communication, you ought to be able to move in the way you want to.
    The dilemma here is breaking a promise to do something you were never going to like much, versus losing a long term commitment to something you love.
    If that is the actual dilemma, then it can be presented to the schools as such.

    Just in future bear in mind that this sort of thing is too flaky to keep a school onside in the longer term; the longer you stay in teaching, the more burnable bridges you can spot.
    Ravenwaves and JohnJCazorla like this.
  12. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Why on earth would you want to live so close to your workplace? Most likely in the catchment area?
    no, no, no...

    read posts by MrMedia, caterpillartobutterfly & TheoGriff.

    As the employee you should show more integrity. As an employee you can apply elsewhere unless you get a "name for yourself" as someone who does not honour their intention to accept a post, in that case you find jobs offers are few and far between.

    Where did you get your degree, Kellogs?
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    No. You miss the point - the candidate has deceived 2 schools. And any 'high horse' seems to be your's imo. To manage it the way you suggest would ring alarm bells in both schools imho . And a utter and complete disaster. It would only prolong things.

    Far better to let the first school go and accept the travel is out of the question. I wouldn't turn up to the first school at all but would give them plenty of warning in writing so they could re-advertize if necessary. The OP doesn't want the job and should have made it clear far sooner.

    To the OP, I wish you luck. But tread carefully. You will be letting one school down ( the first one) -so dont let the second school down too.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
    steely1 and agathamorse like this.
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    In terms of inconvenience, yes, it is worse for the individual than the school. But we cannot expect contracts to work just one way. If I commit myself to a job, both I and the school should honour that commitment. That is not to say that I am not entitled to ask the school to be released.

    By the way, if I knew that somebody went back on their word like this, I would not offer them a job. Somebody who breaks one contract is more likely to break another.
  15. Siliaz

    Siliaz New commenter

    Thank you everyone who replied. Chose to stick with the first school in the end after having further chats with ex-colleagues who are still in the 2nd school and they told me that the school has gone down hill in the time since I left. Definitely was a good choice to go with the 1st school. They now have a possible opportunity for progression which I'm not sure whether I should go for but I'll put that in a new post.
    Piranha likes this.

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