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In maternity post but want permanent!

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by crunchynutter, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. 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. 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. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Your family are of course absolutely right. Your life has to be put ahead of the school's needs. They can always find another teacher.
    You won't be in breach of your contract unless you walk out without giving any notice. Look at your own contract closely; you'll probably find that you only have to give relatively short notice, but at the very most - if you're currently in a state school - you'll have to give only three months notice (i.e.resign by May 31 to leave on August 31st)
     
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I answered in your mirror posting....
     
  5. Thank you for a bit of reassurance. I just hate leaving people in the lurch/messing people about. I also wasn't sure at all on the legalities and knew about giving a terms notice on normal contracts but not sure on maternity contracts with no specified dates. Just saw the job vacancy and realised how many problems it would solve if I were to be successful and would like the chance to try and think it would be quite reasonable to give 5 months notice. Thanks for your advice.
     
  6. 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!
     
  7. In my experience in recruitment, references are generally used only to confirm that you have a good candidate after the interview process , as an additional check.
    I agree that you need to re-read your contract, because no contract will say that you have no opportunity to resign! It should state how much notice you would need to give, and 5 months is plenty for them to employ someone else if needs be.
     

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