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Changed role while on MAT leave

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by uwicstu, Dec 2, 2018.


Should I take this further?

  1. Yes - contact law firm

  2. Yes - push for union's legal advice

    0 vote(s)
  3. Going on MAT leave soon so just leave it

  4. Other - please comment

    0 vote(s)
  1. uwicstu

    uwicstu New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping to get some advice about my situation as my union have been pretty useless.

    I started MAT leave at the end of January and am due to return to work at the end of January. I've been trying to book KIT days for months and my HoD has been really shady / evasive which is not like her at all. Received a phone call from a Deputy Head last week to say I won't be teaching English upon my return (I've been teaching English FT for the last 2 years), but I will be teaching Drama and Dance.

    I did teach English and Drama when I first started there in 2013 but have since dropped the Drama to teach English FT.

    Is this allowed? I want to teach English but I've been advised I won't be teaching it this academic year and no promises for the next.

    I'm also a HOY and I know my role has been given to another member of staff who lost her year group due to school restructuring during my MAT leave. No comments about that at present but I have my Back to Work meeting tomorrow.

    To add another spanner into the mix, I have fallen pregnant whilst on MAT leave and plan to tell them in my meeting tomorrow.

    As I'll be going in MAT leave again in a few months, do I fight my corner and attempt to get my old jobs back? Or roll over and accept the changes as I'll be off again soon anyway?

    I'm finding it all incredibly stressful already. I'm not familiar with the new Drama spec and I have never taught Dance in my life.

    What's frustrating about the all, is that every female colleague who has returned from MAT leave since me being there, has returned to a changed role, lost their role / TLR and it's not acceptable. Everyone is too afraid to say anything and I feel it's about time somebody actually stood up for what's right! Am I the right person for the job?!

    Opinions please!
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    First off, go to your union to check out anything I or others say.

    If you take the unpaid bit of maternity leave, you don't necessarily get to return to the same post, but you are entitled to return to one that is equivalent in pay in status. (In fact, teachers don't usually have any right to teach the same subject/ year group from year to year anyway, so as far as timetable is concerned it's not necessarily a maternity issue.)

    Teaching drama - you've taught it before, there's little reason for you not to do so again. Teaching dance - if you've no experience, then raise that concern. Can they check whether there's an English teacher who does have some experience/interest who could swap it for some of their English? A long shot, but worth trying. Failing that, you need to make it clear that you need some training/support - that might begin with using a couple of KIT days to observe/meet with an experienced dance teacher. I think you probably just end up putting up with it this year. As for next year - you're presumably going to be off most of that year, and by the following academic year there might have been all sorts of shifts in staffing, so probably not worth worrying about. You might decide to go part-time, or even take a career break (perhaps when you see the costs of childcare for two under-threes).

    As far as the TLR goes, they don't have to give you the HoY back, but they do have to give you an equivalent TLR post. If there is another TLR available, all well and good, assuming it's something you could reasonably do. If there are now fewer TLRs available, it sounds as if they may have been evading having to make everyone reapply for the reduced number of posts and hoping that someone would leave by the time you came back. If that hasn't happened, then they may need to hold interviews now - they can't just make it be you who loses out because you were on maternity leave - that would be discrimination. An alternative might be for them to create a TLR role for you for the next couple of terms, and hope the situation resolves through natural wastage by the time you come back from the next maternity leave. If they do that, you might want to make sure the role is something you can make something of, to show career progression.

    I hope that colleagues who have been messed around previously have checked out with their union whether it was acceptable. As I say, if you take the full year, you're not automatically guaranteed to return to the exact same job, so it may have been legitimate, and loss of TLR is sometimes something agreed as part of deal on going part-time, so although there may seem to be a pattern it might not actually contravene rules.
    uwicstu likes this.
  3. uwicstu

    uwicstu New commenter

    Thank you for such an in-depth reply Frustum.

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