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Breaking contract

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by sid1913, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    I moved from a great international school to a not so great one in a not so great country. Long story short - me and my partner are very unhappy and we are looking to swiftly move on.

    I have spoken to my work about my intention to leave but I wondered if anyone else had done the same?

    I have applied for jobs but used my last school as a reference and first of all, was wondering if this would look unfavourable on any application I do.
     
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    My advice would be to now stay at least to the end of the school year if you can. If you have a work visa, been paid, health insurance, livable accommodation and not in physical or verbal danger. If all these conditions are fulfilled then your next employer would judge that you should stay at this point.

    But once you have informed your school you are leaving, surprisingly you feel a lot better emotionally till the end of the year.

    Then place a Review in the ISR, you don't even have to be a member.

    I would also check with a local lawyer about your legal rights to resign. Here in China you may legally resign and not break you contract under Chinese labour law.
     
  3. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    It's going to depend on your current school's reaction to you deciding to go. Have they indicated that they are happy for this - they will let you leave? Have you discussed with your Head about this possibility? Some schools are quite pragmatic - if it's not working, then they'd rather let someone go who will see it out for the year - but others will be very much "stick to the contract". Feb 31 is right - check and double check your contract, and try to find out about legal rights. If you're in the Middle East that might not amount to much, though.

    It's also getting a bit late for jobs now, and the chances are that you might well be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Is it so bad that you can't suck it up for another year? You could use the time to start tapping up contacts, polishing your CV and getting everything ready for August / September so that you're amongst the early applicants for the better schools.
     
  4. Jason_Bourne_

    Jason_Bourne_ Established commenter

    Look at the terms and conditions in your contract. I know schools who don't look favourably on teachers who break their contract e.g. No summer salary, no flights, no shopping allowance, no gratuity etc.
     
  5. sid1913

    sid1913 New commenter

    All sound advice. I’m waiting to hear back about implications of breaking contract, apparently they can charge you for advertising on TES again. I’ve managed two interviews using my old references which are from a fantastic and well known International School in SE Asia.

    I think I disagree about it being too late, top schools still seem to be employing, but then again, I’ve never bothered with recruitment fairs.

    There’s certainly no lawyers in this country, it’s not that kind of place.

    I just wanted to know if schools look unfavorably on contract-breakers but my two interviews I got today suggest honesty is the best policy.
     
  6. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    "I just wanted to know if schools look unfavorably on contract-breakers"

    Good schools do, not so good ones don't care, in my experience
     
  7. colacao17

    colacao17 Occasional commenter

    In my experience, good schools understand that sometimes there are good reasons for breaking contract. Just don't make a habit of it.
     
  8. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    I agree with colacao. A good school would understand that sometimes these things happen. However, if you make a habit of it...
     
  9. GreenGlover

    GreenGlover New commenter

    Some school's safer recruitment policies will insist on a reference from current school, so you would need to ensure that person is aware. This means your current school and future school would be aware of the intent to break contract.

    There is also a complication if you are in China and looking to move to another school in China. The old school has provide a transfer document and I know of several heads who will not do so for broken contracts.
     
    Teachallover likes this.
  10. GreenGlover

    GreenGlover New commenter

    Some school's safer recruitment policies will insist on a reference from current school, so you would need to ensure that person is aware. This means your current school and future school would be aware of the intent to break contract.

    There is also a complication if you are in China and looking to move to another school in China. The old school has provide a transfer document and I know of several heads who will not do so for broken contracts.
     
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    As I have said before you need to read the local laws and get legal advice. In China you can resign and this is not regarded as breaking your contract under Labour Law. As such the school has to provide your transfer documents. If the school does not provide the transfer documents they are breaking the contract and you can take legal action against them at the Foriegn Employment Bureau.

    Good schools will understand the necessity to leave a bad school situation.
     
  12. GreenGlover

    GreenGlover New commenter

    Agreed schools must provide transfer documents, but they can say performance was unsatisfactory and so not recommended to remain in China. Also agree, you can take legal action, but courts take moths during which time your permit will expire, so you will have to have left
     
  13. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    In China the school has to maintain your visa and salary while the legal process takes place. That's why its essential to seek appropriate legal advice.
     

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