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Disgruntled, not even close.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by amazingpurplecow, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. amazingpurplecow

    amazingpurplecow New commenter

    Last year I relocated to the North East to take up a full time temporary 1 year teaching contract in a nice semi-rural secondary school. After successfully completing that year the school decided to offer me a contract. I was excited, I'm 32 to, ready to settle down, commit to working in a "nice" school and earning a decent living to support my family (as the sole bread-winner).

    The email came, I skipped to the office in anticipation of congratulations and hand shaking.... I got a slightly shaky "We can offer you 0.6-1 FTE..... But definitely no less that 0.7 this school year", I did the maths and thought... It's not quite enough but it's close and I will likely get a full day off to pursue another day of employment to push me into the black. In the back of my mind the "this school year" comment raised an eyebrow but what could I do.

    Just before the end of term another email arrived, I was offered 0.83 FTE.... Better than expected, however there was a catch, "Your day off will be split across two days." Not ideal but what choice did I have, I could increase my commute time and work in inner city hell or just accept my fate. Here come's the kick in the teeth...

    The school had another position in my department which was also part time that they could not fill, they decided to convert the role to full time and then employ a supply teacher. Apparently the timetabling was "impossible". Disappointed is not the word. It get's better...

    You would think that the sensible thing to do (for the school financially, morally etc.) would be to add me on the cover team to make up the three, yes three lessons I need in order to qualify for full time. Apparently this is impossible (despite the fact that virtually every week since the start of term there has been external cover employed on my half days.)

    Last section of rant, I promise... Last week one of my departmental colleagues was off ill. What did the school do? Bring in a supply teacher who spent my PPA asking me questions and getting me to supervise young adults he had sent out, I could not resent him any more for being employed for the entire week when I was sat out home working out how I was going to afford Christmas.

    Disgruntled does not quite cover it. Now, I seem to be in school or working just as much as I was when on 1 FTE, getting paid less and being more annoyed than ever. This is my seventh year in teaching and all I can look forward to is retiring at 83.... That's another 51 years of disappointment, I'm not even sure I'm going to make it to next September, I'd rather work from home as an internet customer service advisor, no ofsted, no teenagers, relevent statistics based on facts and never needing to hold in a wee because you students can't be trusted.....!
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Your school is, I'm afraid, taking the ****. I used to advise people in situations a bit like yours to work with the school leadership and hope it will work out....

    I'm certain that this isn't any good these days. I think I'd plan an escape, in or out of education, then speak to your HT from a position of (some) strength and insist on a better deal. If they don't agree, leave them... Or resign yourself to being taken advantage of.

    Good luck in whatever you decide.
  3. drek

    drek Star commenter

    agree. The one day spread over two days because of 'time-tabling' sounds like they are treating you as if you are desperate to stay.

    Teaching is a non negotiable profession unless you know someone who knows someone.

    I would be looking for a new place immediately particularly as the North east sounds pretty dire and it may take a while to find what you are looking for. If they ask all you need to say is the truth. Your personal circumstances have changed and you are looking for stable full time work.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    The advantage to the school in having you part-time is that they can vary your hours (within reasonable limits) to suit their needs.

    Which they cannot if you are FT.

    It's probably too late now to leave at Christmas (unless your contract is another temporary one and has a short notice period, both for them and for you - check.) But you can start looking for Easter or September. Independent schools are already advertising for next September.

    Get the TES Jobs App

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    Get ready for the application season!

    Best wishes

  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Look for new jobs. Explain why. Of course, if you do leave at Easter, they may have to turn your post into full time in order to get someone - maybe you could point that out, and suggest that you'll be more likely to see out the year full-time.

    In the meantime:
    Have you made absolutely sure that whoever organises cover knows that you are willing and available for supply on your free half-days? Even if they won't add those lessons into your timetable, you might be able to pick them up as supply on some weeks.
    Or find something else to fill up your week - do some tuition, perhaps. You said something about family - if you have young kids, maybe an alternative is for you to take over at home on those half-days, and give your partner a chance to earn a little, if they would find it easier than you to find something.
  6. owltutors1

    owltutors1 Occasional commenter

    I'm really sorry to hear of the situation you are in! Luckily we are almost near the time where jobs will be posted online, and I hope you find something soon.
    I have been genuinely amazed at the number of teachers that are unhappy in their jobs (I thought it was only me!) and I have been recommending tuition to everyone I hear from as it honestly has been the best thing I have done in terms of revitalising my enthusiasm in teaching.
    I hope you manage to get something you enjoy :)
  7. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    But only if that is specified in the contract of employment, I think. If the agreed terms are "X hours per week, with 2 half days" or whatever, this cannot be varied without mutual agreement.

    I wonder if the Part-Time Workers (prevention of Less-Favourable Treatment) Regulations might be of use here? You must not be treated less-favourably than a full-time teacher, in every respect. This is going to be fact dependent, of course, but might be something to think about.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    One would hope that any variation in teaching hours would be by mutual agreement, of course, but that might not always be possible.

    You may be right, @GLsghost , although we were advised by HR that up to 10% difference in a timetable from year to year was possible.

    After all, if, say, you have someone teaching Greek pt, and one year there is no GCSE class, then the theory was that you could lower their hours as it would be unreasonable to pay a teacher who had nothing to teach. But only by a small amount.

    I believe that there was a case some years ago of a Drama teacher at an independent school in Bristol whose hours were cut drastically one year, and that was taken to court and found to be discriminatory as the reduction should have been shared out more equably among all the teachers capable of teaching the subject..

    Oh the delights of the legal minutiae!

    Best wishes

  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    If that were agreed custom and practice and everyone accepted that potential variation as an implied (or potentially even express) term of the contract, then there is no problem, @TheoGriff . The devil, as always, is in the detail!
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    As I said @GLsghost


    Best wishes

  11. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    ;) I have learned, from very early on in my legal career, to do that sucking in thing that builders do and say to clients: "Well...it all depends...!"

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