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Help me

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Teeacher12345, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. Teeacher12345

    Teeacher12345 New commenter

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me I appreciate it.
    I think this is the likely route I will take as it appears they will not reason with me regardless of my mental health state and nor can I continue this battle
  2. Teeacher12345

    Teeacher12345 New commenter

    You are so right. Thank you. I needed this
  3. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    OP- please just remember that in doing what you and others are suggesting, you are in breach of contract. I notice that you have made point to respond to sympathetic comment or advice supporting your stance. You might be keen to get out however you signed a contract, which clearly suited you at some point. If the school tried to end your contact earlier, I’m sure you’d not be happy. Contracts work both ways.

    I’ve not known a school to pursue breach of contract however you paint your school in a different light to most. If they have the legal means and the money, time and inclination, they’ll pursue. It’s typically time that will hold leaders back.

    The way forward is to seek early release with support of your union, citing MH and ‘threat’ of being absent anyway- pushing view you’ll be off anyway and they’ll be paying double. This might trigger a change in mind from the school as they’ll see either the fact you’re really poorly and not fit to work so will need to replace or will see you’re going to aim to get your wish. The union are clear though on breach of contract and working notice. You also say union say you’ve breached contract with them in seeking other advice because you did not like theirs. We all know in education that it is three terms. We call the breaks in-between half term breaks.

    You may be poorly however contractually you have obligations. If your new school see you breaching contract in current school it might make them nervous. If your new position is based on satisfactory references, you could end up in a tricky position if current school updates on how you’re ‘ending’ with them.

    I maintain that positive endings are best. Education is a small world. Even if you stay off sick through notice period at least you’re not in breach of contract and are covered by policy with your FTW note. However, again what might be the perception of your new school? If you’re within policy, you have stronger chance of explaining things and seeking their understanding. However, your new HT might be nervous. Do they have knowledge of your MH? Your current school also might start managing attendance procedures.
  4. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    While I respect your general advice and agree with much of what you say, I did find this part somewhat troublesome. Given that it is not uncommon for teachers to only receive their contract after they have started work, yet starting work is generally considered 'accepting the contract', they are very often in a bit of a bind if it then turns out that there are weird terms in the contract. Even if the contract is sent out in August, you are still a bit stuck given the perennial arguments about a verbal agreement. I know that independent schools often(? always?) have whole term notice periods and obviously the same applies to heads in 'normal' schools but otherwise I don't think it would particularly occur to me to check what the notice period is two seconds after being offered a job...
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well you should!
    The contract is bigger than the job.
    It's you safety net and it defines your level of commitment to each other
    Far more important than thinking "hurrah, I have a job, I'll do anything for you"
  6. Teeacher12345

    Teeacher12345 New commenter

    I agree with what you’re saying and completely understand I may be in breach of contract. However, this was a new contract given to me in September and I was told if I didn’t sign it I wouldn’t get my pay increase - it was not the original notice period when I started the job 2 and half years ago.
    I have pursued that route already, to be told that my mental health is less important than the safeguarding of kids and they can’t replace me and are not willing to take my health into consideration. In a big MAT, I highly doubt that to be true as I’ve seen before that they will move staff around if they see fit.

    My new school are informed of what has been happening and my current situation fully so I have kept nothing secret from them, but ultimately at this moment in time I am so unhappy both at my current school and at this time with teaching profession in general if I lost this next job I would be seeking alternative employment as I can’t believe I’ve sacrificed and given my all to a job that has left me broken and can’t negotiate a notice period that doesn’t trap me for another six months.

    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    My advice would be to go your gp and tell them how you feel. I'm fairly sure they will sign you off, as you sound very stressed and depressed.

    Then, do nothing but focus on your health.

    The school will no doubt contact you so you might want to set up an 'out of office' automatic reply for your emails, so you can either ignore them or just look at them when you are feeling ok and have someone with you for support. You could ask your union for help with this.Likewise with phone calls from school.

    There are plenty of threads and posts on here with advice about recovering from stress - have a look at them for good support on what to do while you're off.

    Hopefully, a break from school will (eventually) help you to think more clearly about what to do - at the moment you sound too stressed. It may also strengthen your case for early release. You will probably be referred to Occupational Health too.

    First priority is your health.
  8. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Just write again, confirming when your last day of employment will be and then leave on that date and start your new job. Nothing will happen and they’re unlikely to want you to stay employed by them anyway, considering you’re signed off.

    Relax and look forward to starting your new job.
    agathamorse likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    1) You are clearly ill. You have very good grounds to walk out and never return. Your current employers will have to deal with that. If you were in hospital bed they wouldn't be asking you to set cover or take emails. Ill is ill.
    2) Whatever your contract may say about you leaving is irrelevant. Hand in your notice and be off sick until you have officially left.
    3) Don't worry that this may be seen as somehow letting the profession down. Managers in good schools locally will know the reputation of the hellhole you came from. They will not be concerned that you had to leave. If every teacher who suffered WRS had to leave the profession, there would hardly be any of us left.
    4) Get well again. Focus on that.

    You have my very best wishes.
    agathamorse and Teeacher12345 like this.
  10. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    I'm sure you are right and this thread acts as a bit of a wake up call about some of the dodgy practices schools are slipping into contracts these days.
    Personally I think schools generally need a mega shake up about how they handle job offers and contracts and stuff. Slight progress has been made in the fact that most of the time you are not expected to hang around until they announce the winning candidate but no other job interview I've ever attended have forced candidates to answer the question 'if we offered you the job would you accept it?' during the interview and keep pressing if you attempt to give a non-binding answer. They might ask you whether you are still interested but that is a world away imo. I would like to know how you ask politely about notice though..."yes, I'm thrilled to be offered the job...when can I leave? " ;) There's also the changing contracts issue as employers seem to be able to do almost whatever they like then...
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I kind of agree.

    Until academisation, I think we could take it for granted that T&Cs were essentially standard. But these days, MATS particularly will slide in additional requirements which people don't expect. I've seen them put in additional hours (in one case up to a week more) and completely open ended requirements for covering lessons.

    Its fine to accept a job on the day, but then turn it down when you look at the contract and realize it's wage slavery. But most people don't actually look at their contract until they get bitten somehow.
    grumpydogwoman and agathamorse like this.
  12. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    They actually said that?!
    If only you had that in writing you could take them to the cleaners. Of course they won't email you that.

    Just to be clear, the safeguarding of kids is a collegiate responsibility. It's not yours alone. Management are required to ensure safeguarding is in place. This doesn't mean making it all your problem. In fact, this suggests that they do not understand their responsibilities in regards to safeguarding.
    Not being able to replace you is their problem, not yours.
    Staff can and do get ill. They can't require an ill person to work.
    Not willing to consider your health is a breach of employment law.
    These idiots are behaving in a way that is abusive. That's not a pejorative. This is abuse.
    You sound ill. Get signed off for as long as it takes to be well. This is not letting anyone down. This is an appropriate response to ill health.
    Best of luck.

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