I took up a new job in January after a term in a maternity post came to an end. This job was two different roles, a job share for the first term and maternity for the second. I love the school I'm in at the moment but unfortunately there will be no vacancies following the return of the maternity teacher and so I have begun to think about what I'm going to do from September onwards. The teacher on maternity is due next month and is adament she is returning from September. I'm currently living in an awful area (after having no option but to move here last august) I've had my car and front fence set on fire, bins, violence etc. and my partner and I are desperate to move house, we've saved up a deposit but are waiting on me getting a permanent or at the very least a year contract to ensure we can make mortgage payments. I have seen a vacancy come up, in the age range that I prefer, and it is a permenent vacancy from september. It would be ideal and is in a school with a good reputation that I'm familiar with. I also remember when I was applying for jobs last year, I would say about 5 came up in the 7 months myself and colleauges were applying that were actually permanent and so I appreciate how few and far between they are. The problem is I have spoken to my HT who is unsure as to the legalities of my applying as my contract states "upon return of the postholder" and has said that it would leave them out on a limb which I fully understand. Obviously they, as employers cannot ask the lady on maternity for a definitive date in writing and she would only, by law have to give 4 weeks notice. Which means I could by all accounts get a phonecall in the summer holidays saying "we dont need you anymore, cheers" and be jobless. I know that under normal working conditions you would have to give a full terms notice, and as the interviews etc for this post would be well before easter that would suffice, but I am also aware that there are many grey areas with regards to maternity posts. This is evident by the mixed responses I have received from family members who are/have been teachers in different capacities. Clearly there is nothing to say that I would get the post, and if I didn't I feel I would have pushed a lot of noses out of joint and made a fuss over nothing but I feel I would really regret not having the opportunity to try. Family are telling me that I need to look after myself and my family and clearly that would point to applying for a permanent role as job security takes precedent, but I don't want to breech my contract or shaft a school that I really like and also gain a bad reputation to boot. The deadline for this job is also before the maternity lady is due to give birth so its difficult to hold on to "wait and see how she feels". Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I just feel like someone whose lottery numbers have come up and their dogs eaten the ticket! lol. Like I say, if I did apply I might not get it as theres lots of competition for jobs at the moment, but there will no doubt be more competition following easter when students start applying for jobs locally.