I'm currently 33 weeks and not due to start maternity leave for a few weeks yet. Since going back after new year I've really suffered with my back, shooting pains across bump and pains down my legs. I can't manage being on my feet all day, up and down stairs and chasing (physically) after year 11s who still prefer to chase each other around the room instead of completing coursework (no LSA available). Bubs quite happily kicking / punching me at every given opportunity. Realistically I'm done. As I understand it I could get signed off until maternity automatically kicks in at 36 weeks but feel that this would be taking the proverbial. I'm going to be limited to about 18 weeks maternity for financial reasons so don't really want to start this too early. What to do? I have already warned school that I won't get to our previously arranged date, exam classes are all prepared with just revision left to do and I am more than willing to liase with whoever takes over to help them get my joyous coursework group through (will still be in with A-level group during maternity) so, although I will feel guilty about going early I'm not actually leaving the kids in sh*t. I am thinking about a compromise - getting signed off for one or two weeks and bringing maternity forward a bit. Do you think that is reasonable? Is it our right to take sick leave until 4 weeks before due date or just a loop hole that the school has to accept? Any thoughts or advice would be really appreciated.