Hi, I'm due to be returning to work on September 1st (with going in a few days over the next 2 weeks to sort out my boxes of stuff from my old classroom etc. ) I'm a deputy head and have worked at my school for 6 years, having worked up to SLT which I started last September. I was signed off in June with anxiety following a number of months of panic attacks at work. I was an in class deputy in Year 6 and my confidence was gradually being worn away with increased pressures, stress and a challenging year group (important to note it was myself wearing away my own confidence due to my level of anxiety, I was still getting outstanding lesson observations). While I was off I crumbled into severe depression (I had been on antidepressants for a number of years to keep a low level of depression already there under wraps) and ended up being admitted to hospital for a month stay with a severe depressive episode. I was discharged 2 weeks into the summer holidays. I have since continued to attend hospital during the holidays as a "day patient" for group and individual therapies. While in hospital I found out from colleagues at the school that another deputy has been brought in for September, I can only assume to replace me (but that might be my anxiety playing up there) I'm due to meet my HT next week, a few days before term starts to discuss my return to work. At this point I don't actually know if my phased return will be accepted of whether I'm expected to go back full time. I know already that I will be an "out of class" deputy so won't have the responsibility of being a class teacher as well. I know for my own health if I go back full time straight away I will relapse and end up seriously ill again. What I'd like to know is the following: 1) Does a HT have to accept phased return recommendation given by doctor? My consultant at hospital has recommended that it takes place over 6-8 weeks but the council say its paid over 4 weeks. 2) What hours does a phased return look like? What do people generally start on? Is it 3/4 mornings a week for example and then leading up to full time? 3) If ofsted come calling (they're expected this term) do the phased return conditions continue or am I expected to work full time for those? 4) Do occupational health need to be involved before I return or do you see occupational health during the phased return process? I'm told my HT will consider the phased return and recommendations and occupational health referral at the meeting. Many thanks for your help.