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Leaving before notice period?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tigerlily2017, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Speaking from the viewpoint of an ex-supply teacher who routinely stood in for those who were signed off, two things spring to mind.

    1. The repeated fortnightly sick note solution works - I stood in for somebody in exactly that position until she decided to call it a day, and her resignation was approved well within the usual notice period.
    2. I have stood in for teachers who have literally had their contracts ended overnight by the HT at their discretion, when it has suited them to do so. The notice period can be waived in certain circumstances.
    jonwell675 and Timetoshine like this.
  2. clarefrankie

    clarefrankie Occasional commenter

    did you return to the school?
  3. hana54

    hana54 New commenter

    Thank you everyone. It’s comforting to know others have been in my situation and come out the other side- but also very sad that our education system has come to this I rang my dr and I can’t get an appointment with her until half term so I am just taking one day at a time at the moment. The thought that there is light at the end of the tunnel is keeping me going so far! So thank you.
    jonwell675 likes this.
  4. jonwell675

    jonwell675 New commenter

    Dear OP,

    I recently suffered through the same situation as you and know deep in my heart and bones how much of a pain it can be.

    Toxic colleagues, an excessive workload and a challenging class caused me to feel exactly like you and was signed off with Anxiety / Depression. First, the GP gave me the standard fortnight. Right after, I was given 2 months, which was the minimum required notice period I was contractually bound to give the school in the event of a resignation.

    Long story short, I had the same worries as you but I ended up resolving the situation by just leaving it all to the doctors, and then the HT has NO OTHER OPTION but to be understanding and accepting, or there might also be legal consequences for them as well.

    Follow this link for the sordid details if in the mood: https://community.tes.com/threads/w...p-sobbing-for-3-days-now-please-help.770024/#

    Hope this helps.

    THe gist of it is that you need to get signed off (and you will, with these symptoms, believe me!) and the school will either abide by it and pay you your Sick Leave entitlements until the notice period expires, or they will release you.

    Win-win for you ;-)
  5. jonwell675

    jonwell675 New commenter

    Are you not registered with your local surgery? I don't know if it's just a case of me being lucky but our surgery gives us the option to book the next available doctor (don't worry if it's not YOUR doctor, they will understand, esp. in light of the fact you are a TEACHER!) or, alternatively, you can ring them up at 08:00 in the morning and book a same-day appointment. The same-day slots are limited but if you persist, you will eventually do book one and freedom will be closer than ever.
    sabrinakat and pepper5 like this.
  6. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Yes you should be able to contact your doctors and ask for an emergency appointment.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I cannot disagree that sick leave might be an option for OP.
    But I'm going to also be annoyingly preachy about how you have presented this option. The whole point of sick leave is that you are given a cushion, a break, in order to recover, and, from the employer's perspective, in order to be able to return to work.
    But you subvert this in sentiment, and suggest sick leave as a means to making the HT become resigned to you not being there. It bothers me that not once do you mention that sick leave ought to be taken in order to get better.
    The difference is not so subtle when you think of the stigma that goes with depression and WRS. The more people who see sick leave as a means to forcing an exit, the more an employer is likely to think "well, they're not really ill, they're just taking what they can". This is the essence of your suggestion.
    Practically speaking, there is no difference, but psychologically, for somebody who needs a break and desperately wants to feel better in order to return, they are then going to return to an unsupportive ethos because of mistrust. There must be people reading this who have directly experienced the stonewalling that can come after prolonged absence due to mental health issues.
    So that's my preachy bit-if you are ill, take sick leave, but if you feel "being certified ill" is helpful and expedient, sure, that's your entitlement, but there are universal consequences of taking the p*ss.
    I've said this before, when somebody said "ah, go on, throw a sicky, you're allowed once in a while".
    OP-I'm not saying you're not ill, that's not my expertise. But I am saying that if you take illness as useful, it's not fair on those who don't.
    Only you know, I suppose.
    Sundaytrekker and 7eleven like this.
  8. jonwell675

    jonwell675 New commenter

    I think you have misread my post.

    In no part am I suggesting the OP - or anyone for that matter!- utilise their entitlement to Sick Leave / Pay as an exit plan or in order to take some justifiable time off work! I didn't do it, nor am I encouraging anyone to act in this, in my opinion, unethical way.

    All I meant to say, and I hope the OP does get this the right way, is that if someone feels so distressed by teaching that they think that hanging up their shoes is the only way to preserve one's sanity or really recover - that was my case!- then there is a way and it isn't as hard as it seems.

    That's all I meant to say! In my case, for instance, had it not been for the empathy of my GP and the understanding of my HT, I would be in a much darker place than I am right now. I really would be. And even though I have quit, never to return, believe me when I say I am STILL recovering. I am ill! I am depressed; and so seems to be the case with the OP. Of course I am not a doctor, but I felt the same way and that was the diagnosis.

    I hope this clarifies my comment.
  9. hana54

    hana54 New commenter

    Thank you, I can assure you that I am not taking the decision to go to the drs lightly, will not in any way be exaggerating my symptoms and definitely don’t see it as a ‘useful’ way to get out. I found everyone’s support on here very helpful though and it has made me look at my symptoms in a different light. A couple of days ago I got so worked up about going in I ended up sobbing uncontrollably for ages. You have helped me to realise that this isn’t a healthy way to live and it’s certainly not something I want my children to see on a regular basis. So thank you!
    jonwell675 likes this.
  10. Fer888

    Fer888 Occasional commenter

    Please do keep in touch and use this forum for support when you need to. My advice would be to go for an emergency appointment or see another Dr at the surgery. Wishing you all the best.
  11. AmyElaineT

    AmyElaineT New commenter


    I am in a very similar situation to yourself but without the child care problem.

    I have been to my gp today who has signed me off for one week only. In his words “do not let them beat you”.

    So I am now sat at home worrying about facing 9 more weeks teaching in a place I can’t bear the though of stepping into.
  12. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Established commenter

    Yes yes go to the doctors and try and get an emergency appointment. You can self certify for 7 days.

    I know how you feel. You don’t have to put yourself through this.

    If you are leaving and signed off until the leaving date, (it’s just a thought) maybe take your belongings home tomorrow.

    Myself and others have been in situations where we have been signed off until the leaving date but needed to pick up lots of things. It causes so much anxiety for people. I’m just thinking a head for you:)

    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Established commenter

    Go back after the week and really be honest with how it is making you feel. One week is not enough. The Gp perhaps things you just need some breathing space from school but if you are not ready then you need to see your Gp and tell them how unwell the whole thing is making you. xx
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. AmyElaineT

    AmyElaineT New commenter

    I did explain to my gp but he was adamant that ‘sick notes are toxic’. We have a phonecall appointment booked for next Friday.
  15. phatsals

    phatsals Occasional commenter

    If it's a shared practice, go and see and different gp, one you are more comfortable with.
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. AmyElaineT

    AmyElaineT New commenter

    Thank you I have considered this. It’s is a new surgery for me as I have recently relocated so Have never met any of them before.
  17. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    I'd like to think that what they meant is fit notes themselves don't make you better and they'd rather help you do this by exploring options next time they see you.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Established commenter

    No they are not. Seriously get another GP. Request to be seen by someone else. Most gps are extremely supportive and your Gp is in the minority. You may have to off load a little more at the next appointment for them to realise. It can be easy to hold it together but I’ve sat and cried infront of them before. He is not taking this seriously and that’s a real shame.xxx
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. I am also in a similar situation. I had no desire to go off sick but clearly had come too ill to continue; tears, breakdowns in school etc.

    Like many others, I feel unable to go back and am thinking of the need to leave teaching.

    Can anyone advise whether having this sickness absence on record would make it difficult to find new employment, teaching or otherwise?
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I had three months off a few years ago and left with an agreed reference, etc.
    I got the first job I applied for.

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