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Can I decline an offer from a new school after having accepted it?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by richardsteinway, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. richardsteinway

    richardsteinway New commenter

    Hi all,

    I have a dilemma about my next career move.

    This academic year (2018/2019) I have undertaken a teacher training course in London (School Direct), getting the QTS and PGCE.

    For the next academic year (starting from 1st September 2019) I have received an offer from a new school in London. I have already accepted the offer (formally, by signing it. I have not signed the contract yet though).

    Few days ago I received an amazing job offer (to lecture at university), and I really want to accept it.

    The acceptance letter I signed with the new school says: "There will be a term's notice period following the completion of your probationary period and a one-week notice period up until that point". The probationary period is stated to be 6 motnhs.

    Can I decline the offer from the new school and therefore not start working there on 1st September?

    If not,can I start working there and resign immediately in order to leave after one week?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  2. tr6rv

    tr6rv New commenter

    Yes you can, all you do is write a resignation letter, that way the school can reappoint...
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You accepted a job at a new school - hence you're being made part of the team that will build the school from scratch. Yet you then went and hunted for a lectureship - this is what your post implies, unless of course it was a case of Uni contact ringing you in the chance you were available. But you weren't. You've accepted a post.

    The fact you've gone for the lectureship implies that you don't really have much interest in school teaching. So write to the HT, apologising, and hope that the HT doesn't send a let invoicing you for the cost of re-advertising, re-hiring, and a supply to cover you until they can re-appoint. Its July - and the end of the year. So, yep, expect a pretty ****** off HT to ring you. And if there is no backlash - you're lucky.
    foxtail3, Lilysowner, steely1 and 2 others like this.
  4. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    You are really letting the school down here and not behaving in a professional and ethical manner by accepting an offer of employment only to turn it down when something you like better comes along. Would you like someone to do this to you? To offer you a post and then, if a more suitable candidate comes along, change their mind and ditch you?
    You have made your bed. I’m afraid you need to lie in it.
  5. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    Of course you can resign and accept the other post. Your offer is 6 months probation, 1 weeks notice either way. Give your notice and go. It is meeting in full your legal and contractual obligation.

    Completely ignore the above comments, they are baseless. Good luck with your future role.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Of course you can.
    You aren't an indentured slave.
    However, as others have said, it isn't ethical or professional.
    foxtail3, Lilysowner and steely1 like this.
  7. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    Congratulations. It’s extremely tougher getting university lectureships than it is securing teaching appointments in schools. Go for the lectureship. It’s a gold dust these days. I’m sure the school will sort itself out one way or another. Write to tell them know you won’t be able to take up the offer (needless to state you’re going to lecture in a uni), and apologise for any inconveniences.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Because you have signed your acceptance then you are also bound to the notice periods. It doesn't matter that you have not yet signed the contract.
    I'm not sure that professionality or ethics need to come into it, since the base line in professionalty is abiding by your contract. In any job.
    Your contractual notice period of one week for the first six months is there for a reason. It's a contingency for them too. Presumably they foresee a scenario in this sort of role where they too may have to let a person go with short notice. So they are ready on paper for this to happen. And so you may choose to do the same. And fwiw, the loss of a School Direct presence to a school is not of the same impact as the loss of a fully fledged member of teaching staff. You will in fact be relieving somebody somewhere of quite a bit of paperwork involved in monitoring your placement. You already know you will also be relieving yourself of the potential of an esteemed and lifelong vocational qualification that you can pocket for future use.
    So you are quite at liberty to accept the University role-just you'd need to prepare for not being available until the second week in September-depends when they want you whether they need to know this.
    What is professional is to contact the school immediately and ask them what they would prefer you to do-work the first week or simply not show up at all. That is contractually their call. I'd be surprised if they did want you for that week, but you do have to ask that question, to acknowledge your contractual obligation. The only shame in this is that you have already sat on the offer for a few days, so I dont't know if your new school is already closed for the Summer. In case this is so, try to contact the HT directly,rather than any HR contact who may have thus far administered your papers. They are more likely to be at their desk at this point than any of their supporting staff.
    sabrinakat, steely1 and agathamorse like this.
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    The lecturing post may well not start until later in September, and given the short notice period, you would be entirely within your rights to turn up in September, teach for a week or two and then give a week's notice. There's a general rule that notice periods are reciprocal, which means that if schools want to ridiculously short notice periods for kicking you out, they have to accept that you can give them ridiculously short notice to leave.

    However you might do better to contact the school now, explain that you've been offered your dream job, and that while you would be entitled to give your notice after starting in September, you feel it is fairer to them to let them know now. You could offer that you would be happy to teach the first couple of weeks while they find a replacement, or not to start at all if they are able to put someone in place for the start of term, as obviously that would be less disruptive for the students.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    It’s unscrupulous of you to go to second interview. You’ve been disingenuous as you’ve sought out other opportunities using a teaching job and the kids who’ll now be disrupted as your back up...

    But. For some unbeknown reason, the school have gone for this odd contract what seemingly allows you out....

    If you want to be as fair as possible, and you owe this, ring now and tell them. If things get awkward, give your resignation fromday you start and work the week.
    koopatroopa and agathamorse like this.

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