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I don't feel that I can go on leave

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by smartiemonster, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. smartiemonster

    smartiemonster New commenter

    Hi all. I just need somewhere to have a rant and vent my worries. I'm expecting twins in a couple of months. I have already had to have over a week off this term due to complications and I shouldn't be back at work at all really.

    I'm a HoD and the head gave me no say in the recruitment process last year so I have ended up with a dept of NQTs and unqualifieds as we're a small school and the head wanted 'cheaper' staff. I'm furious as she knew I was going to go off and we have ofsted due. I am so stressed with being asked questions all the time and being the only member in the dept that has any real experience. I am having to even fully plan all their lessons for them. I am set to go off on leave at 35 weeks in a few weeks time but they have dropped already and I know they'll be early. I should really be off now as I can barely walk and I am swelling up constantly putting pressure on nerves. If I leave the dept now there won't be one to come back to.

    I've worked so hard to turn this department around around, the head is self-sabotaging the school and making me ill in the process. What do I do? Get signed off sick and find somewhere else while on leave?
  2. dt201

    dt201 Occasional commenter

    I don't have time to write much now but GET OUT NOW! If someone else posted that what would you reply? The babies and you are much more important. See the gp today please. Xx
    smartiemonster likes this.
  3. Mazod

    Mazod Occasional commenter

    I know that seeing the department like this must be very difficult for you BUT honestly, there are other jobs and other schools. There is only one you and right now your priority has to be your own health and that of your lovely little babies.

    Get yourself signed off and forget about everything else but getting ready for your new arrivals x
    smartiemonster likes this.
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Smartie - Indeed - Your health comes first, and if no on at school is recognising your need for some support and care, then you must. If you should not be in work and things are tough (I'm a twin and we were 7 weeks early…) then you need to get signed off and allow your maternity leave to commence.

    As for the recruitment process - well - it's one of those curious things - very rarely does a HoD get any say in who is recruited and increasingly head teachers will brazenly go for cheaper options in order to balance their budgets. Regardless of the situation the department is left in when you go on leave, it is not your issue to manage. I would shuffle dance out of there without a care and leave it all behind while you give birth and get to know your the new little people you're about to bring into the world :)
    smartiemonster likes this.
  5. smartiemonster

    smartiemonster New commenter

    Thank you everyone. I am crying now because this is the first time I have had any real support in this (other than my partner and family).

    I got in today to be told that I have to give up my only break to show a visitor round and I am in the middle of year 11 coursework which I can't leave with the dept so I won't get to sit down all day again.

    I will go to the doc and get a note if I have to. They make me feel so inconvenient to them that I have to go for so many appointments. I started feeling like a burden rather than an asset which hasn't mixed well with being hormonal.

  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Smartie - You need to address this formerly and formidably.

    Write to your head. State that you are finding things PHYSICALLY increasingly difficult in school and would like to request a review of your risk assessment in order to facilitate you being able to safely undertake your job until you go on leave. Thanking them in advance for their understanding. Do this tomorrow.

    As for any appointments relating to your pregnancy you are legally entitled to time off to attend them and I would advise if you are made to feel in anyway an inconvenience, that you remind them of this.

    Pregnancy IS a delicate time physically and hormonally but you are totally entitled to feel weepy at their inconsideration regardless!

    Let me know how you get on.
    smartiemonster likes this.
  7. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I know it is difficult when you have worked hard to get a department running well, but if things go to pot while you're away, that isn't your fault or your problem. You have done your best and now it's time for others to take over. It doesn't sound as if that will be easy, as the other teachers aren't very experienced - but again, that isn't your problem.

    Take care and keep those babies cooking for as long as you can!
    smartiemonster likes this.
  8. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Saw this and had to reply.

    So stressed at running 6th form. I got tearful in front of yr7 and had to leave the class as I read another email saying something I hadn't done right. Feel so inadequate. My department are wonderful and supportive and they told me to go home/signed off as it's not worth it, particularly given my pregnancy.

    As others have said, you and your babies are most important. Take care.x
    smartiemonster likes this.
  9. smartiemonster

    smartiemonster New commenter

    Thanks all.
    Tried to get hold of my midwife, but she's useless and never gets back to you. The head thinks because she's had one baby everyone's pregnancy is the same and doesn't seem to realise that carrying 2 is 10 times worse!

    I already asked them to redo my risk assessment but they haven't adhered to it, changing the timetable and putting me down a to teach a subject at A level that I gave up when I was 14. Feel like I am being pushed out.

    The thought of going back fills me me dread and having suffered severe depression several times in the past I know when I am on a bad road. My partner has told me not to go back, but the maternity pay is so rotten there I am worried I will have to go back to work in January.

    What are the rules of contact when being on mat leave? To be honest, I don't want to hear from them until after I pop!
  10. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    The rules on contact are pretty vague to be blunt and don't extend beyond the statutory right for those on maternity leave to be kept abreast with school developments… Plenty of time folk on leave complain that they are not informed, kept in contact etc. so you can perhaps understand why a school often cannot do right for doing wrong here.

    My advice here is that if you don't wish to be in contact… do not respond to any. Vet phone calls (number recognition helps to note when school are trying to call) and do not reply to emails…. one caution being that if you open them they may get a 'receipt' and be inclined to consider you ignorant for not responding but reading… When you are ready, then reply, respond and engage contact. If you establish the expectation that you are 'busy' or 'recovering' so won't respond they will get the message. Take some inspiration from your unresponsive midwife… who, by all accounts, sounds pretty appalling. I would contact your doctor directly and state that you have tried to get in touch with your midwife and get some support there soon as you can.
  11. gadgetgirl123

    gadgetgirl123 Occasional commenter

    I am also expecting twins, and my midwife has told me I am crazy working until 32 weeks! Most people with twins are too uncomfortable by 30 weeks to do such a strenuous job!

    You need to put yourself and your babies first. It is not your fault of they have taken on NQTs. Stop thinking about WORK and concentrate on what YOU need to do.
  12. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    Put yourself first. Your health and babies are the most important things.
    If the department is going downhill then those decisions are being made above you. write down everything that's gone on (I think GL always suggests a notebook that shows if pages have been ripped otu) because if you're raising your concerns and they aren't doing anything, it may be pregnancy related discrimination.
    I fear you're right, it looks like you're being pushed out - which is awful. It may be if you can manage it that you look to leave before it gets worse.

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