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Leaving at half term

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by CRowntree, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Hi Guys,
    I would really appreciate any help or advice. I am in my second year of teaching, and all my reports and observations have been good. I have always achieved 'satisfactory' and even a couple of 'good.' I have however always struggled with the job and the workload. and considered quitting many many times during my NQT year. I did manage to get through it though.
    However, I am currently having a hellish time. The workload, and a difficult class have got me stressed like I have never experienced before, and I am so disillusioned with teaching its untrue. I am stressed and anxious on a daily basis, I have become extremely negative, and I dread coming to work every day. Even when I'm not working I can't stop thinking about it, and its affecting my sleep patterns, my social life, and relationship to some extent. It is starting to make me feel unwell.
    I went and told my Head all of this the other day, and saying that while I would always remain professional..... I had decided that teaching was not the profession for me, and I wanted to leave at the next available opportunity. He showed no sympathy and said that from my contract this would be handing notice in at the end of February to leave end of April, though currently I spend every day thinking about how I am going to make it to the end of the week.
    I asked the office for a copy of my contract, and it turns out they don't have one....as I have never signed a contract of any kind, temporary or permanent. I have also never been told about a notice period, or where to find one. It was only when my school realised this that they issued me a contract, which obviously I have not signed.
    I don't want to run out tomorrow....but my question is can I get out before April? My Union seem a bit useless and are saying I am probably bound by the terms of the burgundy book, which I find difficult to believe when I have never even heard of it or been told about it. Also I guess I could kiss a reference goodbye, though I know I wouldn't want another teaching job, and that I could get a good one from my team leader.
    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Thanks
    Rowntree.

     
  2. Hi Guys,
    I would really appreciate any help or advice. I am in my second year of teaching, and all my reports and observations have been good. I have always achieved 'satisfactory' and even a couple of 'good.' I have however always struggled with the job and the workload. and considered quitting many many times during my NQT year. I did manage to get through it though.
    However, I am currently having a hellish time. The workload, and a difficult class have got me stressed like I have never experienced before, and I am so disillusioned with teaching its untrue. I am stressed and anxious on a daily basis, I have become extremely negative, and I dread coming to work every day. Even when I'm not working I can't stop thinking about it, and its affecting my sleep patterns, my social life, and relationship to some extent. It is starting to make me feel unwell.
    I went and told my Head all of this the other day, and saying that while I would always remain professional..... I had decided that teaching was not the profession for me, and I wanted to leave at the next available opportunity. He showed no sympathy and said that from my contract this would be handing notice in at the end of February to leave end of April, though currently I spend every day thinking about how I am going to make it to the end of the week.
    I asked the office for a copy of my contract, and it turns out they don't have one....as I have never signed a contract of any kind, temporary or permanent. I have also never been told about a notice period, or where to find one. It was only when my school realised this that they issued me a contract, which obviously I have not signed.
    I don't want to run out tomorrow....but my question is can I get out before April? My Union seem a bit useless and are saying I am probably bound by the terms of the burgundy book, which I find difficult to believe when I have never even heard of it or been told about it. Also I guess I could kiss a reference goodbye, though I know I wouldn't want another teaching job, and that I could get a good one from my team leader.
    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Thanks
    Rowntree.

     
  3. A bit of a tricky one - and I dont know the legal answer, sorry. There will be plenty who do here, I'm sure. However if you havealready contacted a union and they have said its unlikely then it is probably the case. Although you have not signed a contract (which might be a loophole - I'm not sure) unfortunately in law, ignorance of burgundy book regulations is no defence (for example 'Nobody told me I wasnt allowed to kill people!' doesnt absolve you of guilt if you do.)
    It is, I think, technically your responsibility to find out these things when you accept a job, although in reality most people dont. You could try contacting a specialist employment solicitor. I have heard that they will often give you half an hour free to advise.
    I feel for you, as to be miserable in a job is soul-destroying. Could you suggest to your head that you will hand in your resignation now so he can advertise the post and if he can find anyone able to fill the role earlier than easter, then you will accept having the 'contract' cut short, and leave on whatever notice they can give?
    They may prefer to take someone on sooner rather than have a teacher who has lost interest in post for the rest of the term (because no matter how professional you are its VERY hard to maintain much enthusiasm once you have resigned). That way, you might still get a reference because you are appearing to be trying to help them out in a small way.
    In terms of references, a future employer <u>will</u> want your previous employer's reference (your team leader is not your employer, unfortunately) regardless of what job you apply for. Even supply agencies require this. Your HT is not obliged to provide one if you resign but if you offer to help them out by being flexible on leaving dates this might make them more inclined to.
    Hope it works out for you x

     
  4. Sorry forgot to say - if you are having a difficult time and your head <u>has</u> been made aware that it is affecting your health and possibly your ability to do your job, then he has duty of care to help you to carry out your job with some kind of a support programme, or by contacting occupational health.
    If he does not and you are off ill with illness/stress because of it all then he may not have been doing his job properly.
    There might be some information about this here: https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/264295.aspx

     
  5. You do have a contract. It is made up of the Burgundy Book and STPCD. The fact that you have not seen nor signed a document headed "This is your contract" is of no relevance. Once you accepted the job and a pay check, you have a contract.
    Under the terms of your contract you are only able to leave at the end of a term.
    HOWEVER; in reality there is nothing to stop you leaving when you wish. You understand that you would not get a reference from the school if you did leave before the end of this term. Theoretically, you could be sued for breach of contract, but you would be the first one ever! Teachers going early like this is not as unusual as people might think.
    If you decide to go earlier, make sure it is at the end of a month so you get your salary in the bank! It is really up to you and your conscience.
     
  6. The first step should be to see your doctor and get signed off as it would seem you are putting your health at serious risk.
    You are indeed bound by the contract and the terms of the burgundy book. This means that in theory the school could sue if you walk away early, but this has <u>never</u> happened as they can only claim for any extra cost ( if any ) that they would have to pay for cover teaching in excess of your salary. They cant even claim for the cost of advertising the post.
    The main hold is the reference issue if you want another teaching post.
    They cant chain you to your desk or force you work against your doctors orders. If you are not well enough to work your school might try for a compromise!
    Best Wishes
    Colin

     
  7. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I do sympathise, and I do advise seeing your doctor and getting signed off in the first instance before you do end up very ill with stress related illness. All teachers have the same resignation dates... and the next indeed would be the end of February to leave at Easter.
     

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