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Discussion in 'Independent' started by zoomzoomzoom, May 15, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I winder if some wiser souls could help. I have been offered a job in an independent and was told when I accepted the job verbally the conditions would be burgundy book (I am moving from the state sector). On examining my contract they are only offering statutory maternity pay which is obviously not Burgundy book. I want the job and have no plans to have children in the near future but obviously this could prove significant in terms of my career in the future.

    Has anyone ever gone back and negotiated contracts in teaching? Its not the conditions I was told.
    Will I instill fear in them I'm going to run off on maternity leave in a few months which I certainly won't.
    Do I need to just accept it and say nothing for fear of making a bad impression?
    Do independents have a standard contract for everyone to sign.

    Thanks in advance

    Speedy replies very welcome as I have to resign soon.

    (sorry I use chrome so this does not paragraph)
  2. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    A verbal agreement is as valid as a written contract in employment law, but it suffers from the big disadvantage that it is very difficult to verify if there should be a dispute.
    I would contact the bursar and explain that you were told that the conditions of employment would match those in The Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (“the Burgundy Book”). However, you have since discovered that the contract does not match what you were told in terms of maternity pay. Go on to explain that while you are not expecting to draw maternity pay in the foreseeable future, you would like a written indication of any other conditions of service that deviate from those in the Burgundy Book.
    There's nothing wrong in doing this now, and approaching the bursar is probably better than approaching the head. But do do it, as confusion about conditions of employment could easily lead to disputes in the future.
    In general terms, there is no standard contract used across the indie sector, and some can be very dubious. In all three of the HMC schools in which I worked, the only form of "contract" was a letter of engagement from the head, in which (in one case) the main condition was that I was to fulfil whatever duties were determined by the headteacher throughout term time (presumably for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, had he so decided). I doubt that would happen now, but even so I think you need to be sure about the precise conditions involved.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Excellent answer here from Florian. I'd add that if there is only statutory maternity pay - what is the sick pay situation? And are you going to continue in the Teachers' pension scheme?
    Very important points.

    Best of luck


    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.

    do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the
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