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in maternity contract but want a permanent post! help!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by crunchynutter, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. 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.
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Your head teacher is being a bit of a numpty. Apply and best of luck! You *must* look after your interests, and if you secured the job you have until May 31st to resign 'officially' for release by 31st of August anyway. Just one query... are the school you work at now going to pay you holiday pay for the summer?? They should provided you have worked for 26 weeks or more in your post there regardless....
     
  4. thank you so much. just feeling really fed up about it. My HT is lovely and thats why I felt ok talking to her today about it but I hate leaving people in the lurch (although if things go as planned that shouldnt be the case as returning teacher will be back when i leave) but when SLT mentioned legalities I wanted to verify everything as wasnt sure if the 3 month term applied with maternity. I understand it would leave them in a mess if she didnt return as planned, as they cannot advertise for a "maybe"job and so would have to wait til august or if she gave a definite date earlier. But as you said I need to put my family first. It's just really difficult as I don't want to risk a bad reputation, I'm very aware teacher's talk and mud sticks and I also didn't have a clue where I stuck with legalities. Will check my contract thank you
     
  5. sorry to bump this up again but colleagues have also advised me that this may be much more complicated because of the need for a good reference. I know that employers cannot give you a bad reference but in teaching it is very much about what they don't say as oppossed to what they do say. I feel completely trapped atm between the devil and the deep blue sea. If I leave my head in the lurch then I risk getting a mediorcre reference which pretty much guarentees me no job anyways. I'm really struggling and havent had much sleep this half term for worrying about it all. Any advice on where I stand or anybody who's been a head in this position?
    Thank you for all your advice!

     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You haven't left them in the lurch at all. You will be able to let them know before easter if you are leaving, giving them plenty of time to find someone for Sept. Take no notice of them and use your energies to apply. You would be mightily stupid not to apply.

    Your reference will be factual and so will not be a bad reference unless you are a bad teacher. You are just panicking. Stop, take a deep breath and get applying!

    If your current HT does not want you to apply for a post that is much more suitable for you, then you are best out of there. A decent HT would support you in doing the best for your career. Get applying and then get househunting!

    Best of luck...
     
  7. Thank you so much for your reply! and yep, I am just panicking, especially as there's no guarentee of a job anywhere at the moment! I just hate causing headaches for other people and it's daunting when you havent been teaching all that long! Thanks for your advice, I shall stop panicking now, and enjoy the rest of the half term! lol. Hope you're all having a restful one!
     

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