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Had a child - Cutting to 0.8

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Cunni, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Hi guys,

    My daughter is now 2 years old and my wife and I are both teachers.

    My wife was without a job when she fell pregnant but luckily the money wasn't too much of an issue (not that we're millionaires!) so she had a full 18 months off from being pregnant until she started doing 0.4 at another school when my daughter was 7 months.

    This worked really well as covering two days 08:30-15:30 (I finished bang on the bell those days to get home) was a breeze with great support from the family on both sides. Naturally I missed out on a lot of my daughters start to life through working full-time and I've begun to realise that more and more now having had the whole summer with her.

    I'm due to go back to work tomorrow for another year and although I'm looking forward to it I'm gutted I'm going to miss out on so much quality time with my daughter and with my wife now on a 0.6 contract (she's desperate to get her career going again) covering three days a week is much harder - both my brother and her sister have had babies with their partners within the last 6 months and they were a major help!

    As a result of all this I'm desperate to drop to 4 days a week. I'm booked into go and see the head about it upon return tomorrow but I just want to know where I stand in relation to actually getting it to happen, I've heard rumors that they cannot refuse a request like this but I'm sure that cannot be the case?

    Just a bit of info about my department and precedent - My HoD had a baby 12 months ago and she's returning to work on 0.8 come Monday. I'm starting my third year at my school now and I joined there as an NQT. I'm in a department with 4 other women over 40, none of which are likely to have children again and to make up my timetable over the last two years I've taught between 3 and 8 hours of PE. This coming year I'm due to teach 3.

    Any help/advice on this situation would be great. Thanks
  2. Coolgiraffe

    Coolgiraffe Occasional commenter


    Good on you for putting family first!

    I believe you can make one request per year for flexible working arrangements but they can easily refuse to allow it to happen.

    I went back after maternity leave on a 0.8 contract and apart from getting one day a week off with my daughter I can honestly say it has been the worst thing I've ever done. This is due to how my school covers the one day off. They have covered it with a supply teacher so in reality I do 100% of the planning, organisation, data input, assessment, resourcing and responsibility for report writing etc. whilst colleagues on 0.6 have a proper job share arrangement whereby they are splitting the workload between two.

    I love having the one day a week off but mentally I'm still at school and I lose many thousands of pounds every year in salary to still have 100% workload.

    Please bear this in mind in case it happens to you too.

    The other thing to consider is that your daughter will be in full time school in a couple of years, would you still want a day off per week then?

    Ooh and one more thing, a 0.8 contract doesn't guarantee four days off, they might just cut certain hours off a five day week. You would have to put it in your formal request that you want a particular day off.

    Just a few things to consider anyway, hope it all goes your way, let us know how you get on!
  3. Thanks CJ.

    I will still want the day off yes as having time and enjoying my work is key to me, not the money.

    I'll be asking for either Monday/Friday but will accept any day in the week really.

    I'll keep you posted.
  4. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    You'll need to write a formal letter requesting flexible working. By law they have to consider your request, and if they turn you down they have to have a very good reason.

    I currently work 0.8 and I have Mondays off. In secondary it's fine as you won't come across the problems CG mentioned. Sure, I have some shared classes, but I don't have to plan for them.

    My youngest is 16 months so it's a while until she starts school, but I'll still keep my day off I think. It's the only day I get to take my kids to school and collect them.

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