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Left school after half a term

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by keffin20, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. keffin20

    keffin20 New commenter

    Would really appreciate some advice. I recently left a new teaching post after just half a term. The situation in the school was not good and many other teachers had previously left very quickly (something I only found out after starting the job) I gave notice and was prepared to work my notice period (end Autumn term) but they managed to get a replacement and I agreed to leave at half term. The school I worked at prior to this I was at for more than 10 years and left with a very good reference. My main question is that now I want to apply for another post how can I explain my reason for leaving the previous school so quickly? I will obviously have to put them down for a reference and I know I can rely on my other school to provide a very good reference.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I'm sorry to read this.

    It depends on your situation. If you were there as a supply teacher, contracts end all the time (and 99% of time through no fault of the supply.) Leaving after half a term is easier to explain.

    However, if it was permanent, you are going to have to phrase it very carefully. You cannot criticise the school and you also can't leave it out of an application due to safeguarding. But there are HTs out there who do appreciate that some schools do not fit people once appointed.

    Have you consulted your Union? I ask as I'm a little concerned that you left at half term rather than Christmas. (I'm not suggesting you did anything wrong.)
    Gsr25 likes this.
  3. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    Hi Keffin20,

    Didn't want to read and run but I just wanted to say hopefully TheoGriff will be along in a bit to advise you further.
    As far as I know you have to put your most recent school down as a reference because if you don't it could cause problems as heads talk to each other and potential new schools may call them ask questions so it's best to be honest.
    However, Theo and possibly MiddleMarch will be able to advise further .
  4. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    The fact that you stayed in your previous post for ten years says something about your commitment and professional standing as a teacher. If you apply for posts in the same locality as the school you have just left, chances are that other heads have heard about the high staff turnover at that school. High staff turnover often reflects badly on school management.
    midnight_angel and Gsr25 like this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I am sorry to hear that you had such a difficult time in that school. But I am afraid that you are in a tricky situation now.

    There is no doubt that leaving at half term, rather than at the correct leaving date, is going to ring alarm bells in anybody receiving an application from you. I hope that your Union did their job in advising you on this. TIP TO OTHER POSTERS: it's always best NOT to leave at an unusual date.

    A school may suspect that you were asked to leave, or that you resigned under the threat of capability procedures. Or again, they may suspect that you actually threatened to break your contract if the school didn't agree to let you go, and thus may fear that you might just walk out on them.

    Unless you are a teacher of A-level Physics or Maths, you may well find it difficult to walk into another job easily.

    You will have to address this issue openly and clearly in your application letter or statement. You can't just hope to talk about it at interview; they are unlikely to shortlist you as they will be wary of your application, so you must reassure them right from the outset.

    What you say must be:
    • Clear
    • Honest and truthful
    • Not negative about the school in any way
    Here's a suggestion - make sure that it meets your needs, is honest etc, and don't just copy it blindly if it isn't 100% truthful.

    I am currently unemployed, having made the biggest mistake of my professional life in accepting a post in a school which was not right for me, nor I right for them. I quickly realised that my ethos did not chime with theirs, and spoke to my (HoD, KS Co-ordinator or other Line Manager) saying that I would be handing in my resignation at half term to finish in December. However, the school had a replacement who could begin after half term, so I agreed to leave then. Having stayed for 10 very successful years in my previous post at X School, leaving a post so soon was a very difficult decision for me to make.

    Something along these lines, perhaps.

    Everybody else: note my warning above . . . which also applies if you are thinking of this:

    Settlement Agreements

    Best wishes

    midnight_angel likes this.
  6. keffin20

    keffin20 New commenter

    Thanks for the replies. Yes, I did consult my union once I had made the decision to resign. They advised that I should write in my resignation that I would work my notice period until 31st December but would leave earlier if it was mutually agreeable. The school appointed a new teacher who was able to start after half term so I finished my contract then. I agree that I need to put this recent post on any future applications. I was wondering whether it would be worth putting down 2 additional references as my 2 previous head teachers are willing to give references for me. I certainly don't want to write anything in an application or say anything at an interview which makes another school look bad, but somehow need to put into words that it wasn't the right school for me (aside from the fact that there were a number of other issues that meant experienced teachers like me have not stayed at the school)
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Poor advice in my view. Very poor advice indeed.

    Absolutely. You could be dismissed without notice if you falsify an application by leaving this out. Same situation as this.

    Can I omit, on an application, a period spent teaching abroad?

    I have given my suggestion above.

    Never, ever, ever mention or even hint at this.


    Best wishes

  8. keffin20

    keffin20 New commenter

    Thanks TheoGriff, no I understand that I can't hint at any of the issues at the school. Your suggestion of what to write in an application is very useful and will certainly come in handy. I'm very aware of the serious decision I have made. At the moment I am prepared to do supply teaching and hopefully get to know some local schools as I also apply for future posts. Thanks again for the advice.
    Gsr25 and midnight_angel like this.

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