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Part time after maternity- what impact??

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ARGGHHH!, Feb 18, 2012.


    ARGGHHH! New commenter

    Hi all,
    A little bit of advice needed please. I've been teaching 7 years and am an improvement leader of a large primary school. I have a TLR for Literacy and am part of the SLT.
    I am currently 10 weeks pregnant with my first child and considering my options for returning to work after maternity leave. I just wanted to know whether it is possible to keep a TLR and my place on the SLT if i decide to go back part time or if im giving that up. I really dont know what i want to do yet but want to keep my options open and not jeopardize my career opportunities for the future.
    I also am considering having a second child quite soon after my first, maybe 18 months later. How would my choice to go part time or not have an impact on this??
    Many thanks in advance to anyone who is able to offer some advice.
  2. I found that the older they got the harder it got. I managed FT whilst at primary and early into secondary but teenagers don't go to bed at 8 and what to talk to you til late evening, then there was all the runs after school to pick up and collect ( we live in rural Dorset so no public transport) then there was just wanting to spend time with my young adults before they fled the nest ( they did but came back after uni!). It is hard to work FT and part time. Some people manage it admirably but it is hard. 4 days a week is perfect!
  3. I can't offer you advice about the children bit as I don't have any, but I know a lot of women who seem to have to choose between their career and going part time to spend time with children. The Head at my school won't consider a part time teacher having a TLR because she believes you need to be there all the time to do that. Others probably have a similar attitude. Whether it's right or wrong I'm not going to discuss, but I would think very carefully before you request going part time.
  4. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    That's up to your head. Your head doesn't have to allow you to go part time anyway (but if they say no they will have to give you a reason) but if they do let you go part time they can say that you can no longer be on the SLT or keep your TLR. I would recommend talking to your head.
    As you are 10 weeks pregnant you have time to think things over.
    I do understand Rowntreegirl's advice but there are issues to consider if you are going to have a baby and carry on working full time such as getting to spend time with your baby and accepting someone else caring for them five days a week.
    Re: a second child very quickly after - even more things to juggle whether full time or part time. Your childcare costs will double. You won't have returned from your first maternity leave long before you have to go off on your second one. You will have the needs of two children under two to think about!
    Lots to consider but best of luck with it all.
  5. A part time member of staff can hold a part time TLR (so if you work 4 days a week you would get pro-rata 4 days of TLR). However the school doesn't have to agree to your request to go part time and they may argue that your SLT role is not compatible with part time working.
    What is more important to you, reducing your working week or keeping your TLR and SLT position? Your thoughts on this may change as your due date draws closer, and may indeed change again once your baby is here. When the time comes, you could request part time and put on the form that ideally you would like to keep your TLR and you are confident you can make it work on a part time basis - but if the school can't agree to this then you would be happy to give up your TLR in order to achieve part time hours. You have plenty of time to think about what you would like, and you don't need to put your request in writing until after the birth, but as a Head I always appreciate staff informally letting me know if they plan on making a part time request before they go off on maternity leave as I can keep that in mind when making plans etc. I currently have 2 excellent teachers who are job sharing a classteacher post and a TLR role in school following their respective returns from maternity leave - this is working very well in our school and they have managed to divide the role and responsibilities very effectively between them.
    Good luck with your pregnancy [​IMG]
  6. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    It's a really difficult one isn't it, and one without any easy answers. I think the recent changes to pensions would make me disinclined to surrender either my TLR or my full time position. However, if I was having a baby I would ask a head to consider letting me return part-time for one year after maternity leave.
    I completely understand some of the points, but staying part time until children start secondary school (so twelve to fourteen years) would really shave a lot from a pension under the current system.
  7. Good point badger girl. If a flexible working request is granted then it means a permanent change in hours - there is no right to revert back to full-time or right to a temporary change to part time. If you cut back your hours and later want to go back to full time you may need to apply f/t posts elsewhere if your school doesn't have any extra hours going (or doesn't want to give you extra hours). It is a big decision and a permanent change to your pay and conditions so needs careful thought.
    Sorry I'm on iPad so no paragraphs but something else occurred to me since my last post. If you are set on trying for another baby fairly soon after this one then keep in mind your maternity pay will be based on the salary (including TLR) you earn in the months before you go on leave for the 2nd time. So if you have reduced to a part time contract you could potentially have quite a bit less maternity pay coming in. If you want to play the system consider going back full time between pregnancies and then requesting part time, perhaps surrendering your TLR and opting for less responsibility then too, as you wil have a very young family to focus on. Just something else to think about. If your timings don't go to plan (and as I am a long time member of the 'ttc for ages' thread on the pregnancy forum i know these things dont always turn out as planned!) and baby number 2 doesnt appear as soon as you hope then you are still entitled to submit 1 flexible working request per year, as the parent of a young child.

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