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Going part time - do I have any rights?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jocool35, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. jocool35

    jocool35 New commenter

    I'm hoping someone can advise me on this. For various reasons I'm finding my primary school teaching job quite stressful, and as I'm at the top of the salary scale I've found it impossible so far to get an interview for any other posts that don't involve extra management (which I don't want). I've avoided taking time off so far for the physical symptoms of my stress, and obviously would like to keep it that way (I have an excellent attendance record).

    I am lucky enough to be in a financial position to work 3, rather than 5 days a week - at least at the moment, which would allow me to fully explore other career options, or perhaps 'work my way' into a more suitable school. I requested this sometime before Christmas at work, with a letter to the chair of governors, where I have worked for nearly 14 years and have a permanent contract. The head teacher has been very supportive and would very much like me to take over from another member of staff who is leaving soon and works 3 days a week in a slightly different role which I have done before, very successfully.

    Apparently the head has been stopped from arranging this with me by the 'School Improvement Officer', who, I assume because we are in Special Measures (making satisfactory progress, though...), seems to be taking authority over staffing issues. This person apparently has a problem with the idea - I'm not entirely sure why - but I have a few blots on my copybook due to the stress I'm feeling, such as not having very good progress showing yet in my class (though my progress was about average last year), and an 'advisor' or two who thinks that I don't 'engage' with them (by which I assume they mean I ask difficult questions, or I just keep my mouth shut and politely do as I'm told - my only two courses of action so far!). I'm puzzled about why this person should think that someone who is clearly struggling with the demands of the job should be forced to continue doing it until they do actually crack, and perhaps adversely affect the school in the process, rather than be allowed to change roles and reduce their hours when there is a golden opportunity for them to do so coming up which will save the school money and for which someone else would need to be found if not me.

    Does anyone know - does the school have any kind of duty towards me as a long serving member of staff in terms of well being? I wouldn't expect them to change the system for me or disrupt other people, but this job is going begging. I could end up in a position where I have to leave with no new job lined up, just to avoid being long term sick, or risking a bad track record in some other respect which would harm my future prospects. This solution would allow me to continue my other responsibilities in the school (both of which would be hard for them to replace at short notice) and do my job better - ultimately making me more useful to the children we teach. Surely that should be the objective here? Is there any sensible action I can take to help myself?

    Sorry, much longer than I intended - any advice very gratefully received.
     
  2. jocool35

    jocool35 New commenter

    I'm hoping someone can advise me on this. For various reasons I'm finding my primary school teaching job quite stressful, and as I'm at the top of the salary scale I've found it impossible so far to get an interview for any other posts that don't involve extra management (which I don't want). I've avoided taking time off so far for the physical symptoms of my stress, and obviously would like to keep it that way (I have an excellent attendance record).

    I am lucky enough to be in a financial position to work 3, rather than 5 days a week - at least at the moment, which would allow me to fully explore other career options, or perhaps 'work my way' into a more suitable school. I requested this sometime before Christmas at work, with a letter to the chair of governors, where I have worked for nearly 14 years and have a permanent contract. The head teacher has been very supportive and would very much like me to take over from another member of staff who is leaving soon and works 3 days a week in a slightly different role which I have done before, very successfully.

    Apparently the head has been stopped from arranging this with me by the 'School Improvement Officer', who, I assume because we are in Special Measures (making satisfactory progress, though...), seems to be taking authority over staffing issues. This person apparently has a problem with the idea - I'm not entirely sure why - but I have a few blots on my copybook due to the stress I'm feeling, such as not having very good progress showing yet in my class (though my progress was about average last year), and an 'advisor' or two who thinks that I don't 'engage' with them (by which I assume they mean I ask difficult questions, or I just keep my mouth shut and politely do as I'm told - my only two courses of action so far!). I'm puzzled about why this person should think that someone who is clearly struggling with the demands of the job should be forced to continue doing it until they do actually crack, and perhaps adversely affect the school in the process, rather than be allowed to change roles and reduce their hours when there is a golden opportunity for them to do so coming up which will save the school money and for which someone else would need to be found if not me.

    Does anyone know - does the school have any kind of duty towards me as a long serving member of staff in terms of well being? I wouldn't expect them to change the system for me or disrupt other people, but this job is going begging. I could end up in a position where I have to leave with no new job lined up, just to avoid being long term sick, or risking a bad track record in some other respect which would harm my future prospects. This solution would allow me to continue my other responsibilities in the school (both of which would be hard for them to replace at short notice) and do my job better - ultimately making me more useful to the children we teach. Surely that should be the objective here? Is there any sensible action I can take to help myself?

    Sorry, much longer than I intended - any advice very gratefully received.
     
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    What about if they look for a full time person to do the 3 day job and then this person does 2 days of job share with you? This would leave you in your current role for 3 days. As I don't know what either role is, I'm not sure if this would work - but a thought?
     
  4. jocool35

    jocool35 New commenter

    I'm sure that the head would consider any such compromise, as would I, but that would still involve me being allowed to go part time. Finding someone to work full time in those two roles who would be suitable would be very difficult, whereas advertising for someone to just take over my class teaching job would attract good candidates. The other job is a PPA cover role, which I've done before (with praise from colleagues) and I know most of the children and the school routines - so could slot right in.
    Thanks for your reply though!
     

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