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Pregnant HOD

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by SBW2009, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. SBW2009

    SBW2009 New commenter

    Hi
    I'm a pregnant HOD (not told anyone other than my husband!) but just wondering what type of things i should be thinking of to plan for when i'm off (taking max of 4 months). We will have an OFSTED next year and a departmental review as well as an NQT. Starting to get a little stressed as I know my head will not appoint someone for the time i'm off other than a supply teacher (i have someone in mind) but worried about the role as HOD not so much my classes.
    Has anyone got any advice / experience? For personal reasons i need to keep this quiet until 20 weeks if i can.
    Thanks
     
  2. SBW2009

    SBW2009 New commenter

    Hi
    I'm a pregnant HOD (not told anyone other than my husband!) but just wondering what type of things i should be thinking of to plan for when i'm off (taking max of 4 months). We will have an OFSTED next year and a departmental review as well as an NQT. Starting to get a little stressed as I know my head will not appoint someone for the time i'm off other than a supply teacher (i have someone in mind) but worried about the role as HOD not so much my classes.
    Has anyone got any advice / experience? For personal reasons i need to keep this quiet until 20 weeks if i can.
    Thanks
     
  3. Lottes

    Lottes New commenter

    Someone in the department currently will take the HOD role on for your Maternity leave?
    Start collating a detailled calendar for the time you're away with department meeting dates and suggested agenda items, exam deadline details, exam board paperwork dates...etc.. this can be shared with dept before your departure and enable the caretaker HOD to continue with your plan.
    Ensure there is effective mentoring/ support in place for your NQT.
    .... however, speaking from recent experience, there comes a point where you realise you suddenly have very different priorities!!!.... ENJOY your time off and don't worry about work - it will still be there when you return, and the person taking over for a while should earn their money!
    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  4. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Wow OP, that could have been my post! Good luck with keeping it hidden to 20 weeks, I just about managed it (though I would tell fewer people if I could do it again).
    I did exactly what Lottes suggests, wrote a very detailed calendar (under the guise of updating my SEF), one with the key events in the department (e.g. competitions, etc), the other with the key deadlines (exams mainly). I've made sure that I delegated as many of my little roles as possible, and ultimately either my replacement or my second in department will need to take the lead following the calendar I've put in place. I'm also planning to foward my mail to my private address so that A-level students can keep in touch with me. Thankfully behaviour is good at our place so it shouldn't go down the drain in my absence as HOYs will deal with it.
    There are things like Keep In Touch days which you can use for key things. You get paid to come in, I think it's meant as a way for you to get back in the game but I'm going to try and use some to come in and make sure that exams are dispatched properly or possibly to conduct oral exams.
    Essentially I'll be glad to be off. We are a three subject department and I'm only in charge of one, but I sometimes feel I do more than my fair share, so I'll be glad to pass on some of the pressure to my counterpart, if that makes sense? If they are not going to replace your TLR post then they need to expect things to go downhill - not your problem at all (other than picking up the pieces when you come back, but hopefully they should appreciate a bit more what you do).
    In my second year of teaching, my HOD was off unexpectedly on long-term sick for a while (a couple of months at least I think). Everything just kept ticking over, the second in department took over and because HOD was well organised everyone knew what they were doing. I was still very glad to have her back as things felt more in control when she was there, but the department continued to be good in her absence. Make sure you take as much time as you want and put your baby as your priority, not your department - I'm umming and aahhing about whether to take 5 or 6 months at the moment, but 4 seems quite short... I've read it's a lot easier to announce a long maternity leave and then change your mind and shorten it, than the other way round (something to do with contracts).
    Join us on the Pregnancy forum in Winter babies, you'll see it's great to be "out"!
     
  5. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    I speak as someone as a HOD currently on mat leave.
    First of all, the school should appoint someone to be HoD in your absence if they want the job done. That is the SLT's responsibility, not yours.In my case, I was lucky enough to have confidence in someone in the department to be HoD and she is doing fine. If I go back and things are a mess, I will sort it but I will not feel it is my fault for having taken and enjoyed my full leave!
    Secondly please do not rush back to work. The school, the kids and the department will survive without you.You, however, will never get back that precious time with your little one. 4 months is nothing. Mine is 3 months today and I couldn't imagine going back to work in a few weeks. Take the full leave and don't worry about work. Also, are you not entitled to your full maternity pay under the Burgundy book rules? Because I have found it quite generous and I will manage for at least the first 39 weeks.
     
  6. Lottes

    Lottes New commenter

    [​IMG]
     
  7. SBW2009

    SBW2009 New commenter

    Thank you for this - sadly we can't afford anything more than 12 weeks (due to sat maternity pay and the drop when go to half pay) at most as my husband is self employed but the recession hit us hard and we have sizeable debts trying to keep the buisness running (which we did). I've always known before getting pregnant i couldn't take anything longer and baby will be with hubby so I'm happy with that. Also i go back for 6 weeks before having a lovely 6 weeks additional off.
    I will push that they appoint someone - make it much easier if they do!
     
  8. Glad to see this as I'll be going on maternity leave from October half term. I have a relatively inexperienced dept so it's a concern but I imagine the deputy head will undertake my HOD role.
     

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