1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Baby pre- or post- NQT year?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by DonwannaSay, Jan 4, 2016.


When is less-damaging time to have baby?

Poll closed Jan 11, 2016.
  1. Soon as possible after QTS, before any kind of employment

    0 vote(s)
  2. After doing some supply first but before any contracted position

    0 vote(s)
  3. During NQT year

    0 vote(s)
  4. After NQT year, once secured permanent post

  1. DonwannaSay

    DonwannaSay New commenter

    I turned to teaching during my maternity leave and consequently I am a current teacher trainee with an 11 month old.
    We are trying to plan for the future and can't decide when is best to squeeze in another baby. I know no time is ideal but we don't want to wait 5 years so I was hoping for thoughts on when people would think is best (or less-damaging should I say)?

    Should I get pregnant sooner rather than later and have baby #2 after QTS but before getting any supply experience or thinking about a job?
    Go on supply in Sept 2016, get pregnant and think about NQT/Jobs after baby #2
    Wait to secure NQT post and get pregnant then?
    Get NQT year out of the way, secure a permanent post and then get pregnant?
  2. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Is it that easy to get pregnant on cue?
    IceCreamVanMan likes this.
  3. DonwannaSay

    DonwannaSay New commenter

    Well that is something also in the back of the mind, I've been pregnant twice but the first time had a miscarriage :( It only took a few months of trying to get pregnant again but there is always the question about what if we struggle again. Another reason we don't want to leave it too long, I'm 31 so the clock is quietly ticking...
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Given how hard every, single NQT says their NQT year is (and it doesn't appear to get much easier in subsequent years), I think the "damage" to yourself and your family caused by the enormous stress and pressure of doing this job and coping with one small child, let alone two, is very difficult to quantify.
    Lalad and IceCreamVanMan like this.
  5. hogglepop

    hogglepop New commenter

    I would say that it depends on a variety of factors, many of which will be personal to you and your partner. For example, will money be a big issue? If so, waiting 'til you are in a position where you have paid maternity leave will be a big bonus. Likewise, does your other half work long hours, or is he able to look after two children whilst you are completing your NQT work - would it be better to wait 'til his hours lessen?

    Of course, this all has to be balanced with the over arching principle of what is best for you and your family!

    Good luck with your decision - I know from personal experience it can be a complicated one with lots of competing interests to take into account :)
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  6. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I agree with the above assertion. It is hard to give advice without knowing you or your family.

    My personal view, in an ideal world (ignoring that getting pregnant isn't a given) would be to get the NQT done. I would say the same to those ITT students who talk about going travelling post- PGCE etc. You are then fully qualified to find a job at worst, or you will have had paid maternity leave hopefully if in a permanent job.

    You could go for it at the end of the course if 1) you can afford it 2) you are prepared to be on the back foot with regards to jobs when you look to return. Especially if you take several years away.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Lots of very sound advice there!

    Trying to have a baby before the NQT induction year may just not work out - as @lilachardy says, it's not pre-programmable. Imagine this scenario: Start induction 1st September, discover you are pregnant 1st October . . .

    In my view it is always best to get your induction year done and dusted.

    Best wishes

  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Quite a few teacher mums who return after the first baby do not return after the second, particularly if they're fairly close together - the childcare costs for more than one under-three can mean there is very little financial gain. It may be sense to get your induction year sorted first.
  9. gooddays

    gooddays Senior commenter

    I waited until I had a permanent position and maternity leave before I had my first and even then I found balancing motherhood and teaching the biggest challenge I have ever faced. It's wise to give yourself every advantage, i.e. permanency, and then the easiest childcare arrangement you can make when you return to school, regardless of the cost. Think of it as an investment in your career. It won't always be that expensive.

    Another thing to consider with a second child is that it is nice for the big brother or sister if they are old enough to talk. "Send that baby back!" is easier on the new one also, rather than a whack in the head.
  10. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    I would personally wait.

    I agree, at first, teaching and motherhood and marriage was the worst combination as a new mum, a new wife at a new school, etc etc. It was all too much at first.

    But I've been teaching for 13 years now and I've got 3 kids. I had my first before I got into teaching. I then had my 2nd one when I was Ast. Sub Leader of a core subject. I'm now on my 3rd child (all three being 7 years apart) and I've managed (well). My first marriage failed because of the workload of being HoD (at the time), but now I have a beautiful fiance and a 3rd baby, about to be HoY and I couldn't be more happier!

    My life story is important because I'm trying to say - you just don't know what the future holds and that's completely OK. Yes it's good to plan out your future because it's important, but you just don't know what will happen. I will say this; with 2 kids - you HAVE to be really and I mean REALLY financially stable. I would say wait until you're actually comfortable with your teaching and you get used to it.
    Some mothers go off early into their maternity and then come back a year later and just loose touch with how teaching works and can't handle the workload.

    I went straight back into full time work as HoD after 6 months of my 3rd being born and it was stressful as hell itself! But, if you have support at home and at your school (which is why I say wait until you're settled). then planning for a 2nd one should be after your NQT.
  11. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    I'd go with that. IME, the last thing a teacher needs is a small child to look after.

    About the only way to teach and have a family is if you have an independent income (family trust? Income from Buy to Let, etc.) that will pay for your children to go to a good boarding school.

    Then they'll get looked after and you will only have to work 26 hours a day, not the 35 or more you need to do if you're teaching and look after your own kids.
  12. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    I think focusing at the moment on finishing your trainee year is the most important thing! Then, I would look to complete my NQT, then consider a second child.

    I had my son very late (at 44) with a miscarriage before that with possible IVF (we got incredibly lucky naturally); I moved from university/TEFL to secondary teaching when my son was about 1 1/2 and was treated as an NQT - last year was one of the most difficult of my life with all the new pressures and stresses and I don't think I could have handled two children (!); I am now in a much better work-life balance (I moved from state/academy to an independent) but it is a very rude awakening the amount of work, stress, paperwork, etc., and I heard so many similar stories. I had fantastic childcare (a registered childminder), a somewhat supportive husband and good subject knowledge, but I simply could not have handled two children. Furthermore, childcare for the amount of hours for a full-time position for 1 child is almost a second mortgage (the free hours don't kick in until they are three) and trying to manage financially is very hard with two under 3s.

    Good luck with whatever you decide, but 31? You have a bit of time!
  13. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Lots of different views - I would agree with those who say you should do your NQT year first, not least because while it is tough doing the NQT year with a small child at home, it's even tougher doing it with two or more small children at home!
    I did my NQT 'year' as a forty-something mother of four children under 13 but a) I did it part-time, so it actually took eighteen months to complete and b) I had a very supportive, self-employed husband who was able to work flexibly when necessary.
    There's no way we could have afforded a boarding school:eek:
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Get the NQT out of the way.

Share This Page