Hi All, First time poster here so please be gentle! I have a bit of a dilemma..i've always wanted to do an MSc or PhD but once i started my NQT year everything happened so fast that i put those thoughts into the back of my mind. I love my job but recently ive had serious regrets for not having done what i wanted to do before i did my PGCE. Ive been in my school for 4 years (NQT + 3years) and have come across an opportunity that has made me consider taking a years break from teaching. I want to do an MSc and have found one where my fees will be paid and i will be getting a tax free stipend that would mean that i am about £400 less well off financially. This i can cope with, as i will be doing what i have wanted to do for such a long time and i feel that i would be so lucky to get onto the course and to have my fees paid plus pay on top is a major bonus. Ive always put myself last and not done what i have wanted to do because im afraid of making huge changes, so to even have got this far in terms of deciding i want to do this is quite major for me. I don't want to leave teaching and would most definitely return to teach once ive done the MSc (if anyone will have me!). Problem: School currently going under a restructure. I want to leave the path open for perhaps returning in future and i think they will be a bit miffed with me for leaving at this stage and feel that i'm not interested in what the school has to offer but the department is huge and there are way more members of staff with more experience who are realistically much more likely to get the posts that will be up for grabs. I'm a bit nervous about leaving a job at a school i love for the sake of this MSc but i feel its something i need to do. I also think it would make me more employable in future. I don't know how to approach my head about requiring a reference and to inform him of my plans, especially considering that the reason he gave for not putting me on a permanent contract at the end of my NQT and making me suffer for about 4 months into my next year of teaching was because he thought i was the "academic type who would go back to do further study" and that he wanted to be sure that i was able to see myself as a teacher for the rest of my career and that i was committed to the school. (I thought this was rather unfair and bizarre to be honest). If i get the place and hand in my notice, when does this need to be done by? Will i be paid up until the 31st august? Lastly, i do feel positive but what if it all goes to pot and i muck up at the MSc interview, and nothing comes of it..im worried that the head will take this badly and it might make things awkward for me at work, potentially preventing me progressing in future because the head feels my heart is elsewhere? Would really appreciate any advice.