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Notice period for temporary teachers

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by GloriaSunshine, May 14, 2011.

  1. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Check your contract. You may not have to give full notice. In any case, it's sensible to negotiate with your school. You never know where you or other people may end up so best to keep things professional and leave on good terms. Also think about who will be paying you through the summer holidays if you were to leave before your contract ends.
  2. My contract states that I am employed until the 31st August (or until the post-holder returns) - I've been led to believe that the post holder will be returning a few days before this school year ends (to make sure she gets paid over the summer), therefore surely I will not be getting paid over the Summer by my current school?
  3. I am in a similar position. I have a contract that states I am employed until 31st August. The head has suggested that I can continue next year but this has not been properly discussed (about typical at our place but hey ho). I have been told I need to let the school know by May half term what my plans are. Tbh if I haven't got another job by half term I will go and discuss it with the head and will either give my notice and hope I get something during the second half of the summer term or I will stay for a while and continue to look for the right school for me (the latter seeming the sensible option as at least I would know I have a job and can afford to wait for the right job for me).
    I can see where he is coming from saying I have to let him know by half term as they want to sort their staffing out but as I haven't been physically presented with another contract I did wonder if this was the case?
    That said, I don't want any bad blood/bad references/to come across as unprofessional.
    I had a similar experience with a maternity cover at the start of the year. The post holder inisted they were coming back in Feb and I had a contract until Easter but the head said as soon as they came back I would have to go as the school could not sustain it (either side only had to give 1 week's notice on a maternity cover). She changed her mind and came back at Easter, so I didn't have to get another job at Christmas. In hindsight, another member off staff is now on maternity leave so I would have had a job for the whole year, but easy to say that looking back I suppose. Personally I wouldn't touch another maternity cover again unless I was desperate and there was nothing else left because schools often can't tell you what is happening (or choose not to) and none of us can afford not to be paid. That said, maternity covers must be a nightmare for schools in terms of staffing.
  4. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    It's unusual for a school to pay the permanent teacher and the cover teacher for the holidays. If your contract said 31st Aug, you'd be paid but you're quite right in assuming that the teacher on maternity will return and you'll only be paid up until your leaving date. This does seem unfair but it's accepted practice and experienced supply often negotiate being paid at a higher daily rate for the final term.

    As you have another job to go to, it would be sensible to negotiate a leaving date that suits you, the school and the new employer.

    If, as the other poster, there is no job for September, it would be more sensible to negotiate an extension or permanent post. If only an extension, it is reasonable to tell the school that you are looking for a permanent post and see if there is a way of agreeing a notice period that will allow you to start somewhere else in September. It does seem that there are fewer vacancies this year and a lot of schools are using temporary contracts and using existing staff rather than recruiting so, unless you can afford a gap in employment, you are better off staying in a less than satisfactory post than gambling on a vacancy coming up after half term. There are always a few because some staff resign at the last minute but there may not be many and they are more likely to be temporary because schools feel the best candidates have got a job and (again, perhaps unfairly) offer a fixed term contract so that they can readvertise.
  5. Your period of notice should be specified in your contract of employment. Given that this is a maternity cover it would not be unusual for the school to have a shorter notice period (e.g. one month) so that if the person on leave returned they did not have to pay two people for the same post. So you must check your contract and the notice period. If it is one month then you would not be bound by the 31st may resignation date and could resign at any point and take up another post earlier than September, but if your contract has the May deadline and the usual notice period that permanent teachers have then you would not be able to start until September - they would be no need to resign as your contract woulkd end on 31st August anyway. If you wanted to start a new post before the end of your contract then you would need to obtain early release from your current position and that needs to come from the head and govenors.
    It is not unknown for such temporary contracts to be with a supply agency in which case the agency is your emnployer and you need to consult that contract for your resignation period. It has been known for this to be a short as a week's notice - this is often because agencies provide dasy to day staff and so the terms and conditions of employemnt are different.
    In short contact whoever provided you with your contract of employment and it should state there your notice period and any conditions.
  6. My contract states that I need to give a standard notice period before I leave - does this mean therefore that my school needs to give me the same notice? Trying to figure out when I will stop being paid...
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    That is unusual for a fixed-term contract. My last one stated that I had to give a month's notice and the school had to give me a week's notice (if the postholder was signed by the GP as fit for work again).
    Ring HR at the LA and ask where you stand as regards the notice period that the school have to give you. Also,even though the contract states your leaving date as 31st August and specifies that you need to give a standard notice period, can the school still cease your pay as of your last working day in July if the postholder 'returns to work' on the first day of the hols?
    It may well be that 'standard notice' on a temporary post is not the same as the standard notice periods of a permanently contracted teacher.
    Your best interests will obviously be served by taking the permanent post at the other school and ensuring full pay from the changeover date.
  8. This is what I'm most interested in - I don't want to leave my Year 10 pupils in the lurch in the run up to their exams, however if my school will leave me high and dry (wages-wise) as soon as the established member of staff returns, well quite simple I may have to start thinking about being selfish....
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If you leave after half-term your Yr 10s will have covered most of what they need for their exams, surely? They go on Work Experience for 2 weeks as well. When are their exams?
  10. Good point. Time for me to stop worrying about them.

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