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Pros and Cons of Working Part -time

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by yellow1, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. yellow1

    yellow1 New commenter

    I would be really interested in other people's opinions here.

    I currently work p/t. I worked f/t for 10 yrs before opting for p/t after my first child was born four years ago. So far so good. I wanted to work three days per week. The school could only give me 9 hours of work (0.3), really wanted 0.5. I am sure to many this number of hours sounds like heaven and it is but the salary is NOT. Also, school has said they can only ever guarantee me half a timetable over three days so will never get more than 9 hours pay over three days. Anyway, long story short. I have asked to go ft next year . with two pre school children husband working away regularly, house to look after, blah blah blah, am now not sure I will be able to cope. What do you advise? Seems patently unfair we are not paid by the day! Can schools legally say they can only guarantee you so few hours? Know why so many mothers leave what could be a brilliant profession! Sorry, am 'conflicted' and currently thinking of taking back my ft request.
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I am a tad confused on the scenario, so this is my reading:
    1) you wanted to go to 0.5 over three days
    2) School have turned around and said you can have the three days, but there are a limited number of hours available over the three days.

    Is working three days so important to you? I may be totally wrong in my reading, but would you be more likely to get what you want if you could do your 0.5 or whatever in any combination?
  3. iamsnotwhoyouthinkiam

    iamsnotwhoyouthinkiam New commenter

    One big con I discovered this year is that you can be required to attend extra hours for no pay on your part days you work (provided you have directed time left, which oddly always seems to be the case!). There is also the expectation that on your days off you can spend them preparing for the days you work. Also remember that you loose all those hours like lunch and after school you have when you work full time, so you will do more work at home. If parents evenings are on your day off you may be required to go in, I know you can't be made to do so but we all know what happens to those that don't comply.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    For some though it means that they can have more stable working hours throughout the week. Particularly for those with young families this isn't always a drawback.
  5. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    As someone in this position nearly 20 years ago (time flies) the problem is the cost of childcare.

    If the timetable is concentrated childcare is financially viable with one child. With two children it isn't really. (But if cost neutral might be worth keeping some contact with teaching. It's very difficult to get back in after a lengthy break). With one child paying for full-time childcare for 0.5 pay is likely to cover your travel expenses at best.

    I reached the decision to leave work for a while. Obviously, this is down to individuals but the finances for part-time workers are something to take into account.

    I think the situation has changed over the years so it might be worth checking out if you can claim various tax credits if they still exist.
  6. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    You both seem to want the school to pay you for doing nothing.

    The biggest issue with working part time is that you end up working as many hours at home. Teaching workload expands to fit time available! I think if you end up sharing classes you can also have as many different classes to plan for, plus you have to coordinate with the other teacher which is time consuming.
  7. iamsnotwhoyouthinkiam

    iamsnotwhoyouthinkiam New commenter

  8. yellow1

    yellow1 New commenter

    Thanks for all the comments. They are all useful even if they just get me to think...

    DYNAM067, yes, you're on the right lines. School only have a limited number of hours that they can guarantee each year. I would like to have more but know we live in the real world so my dilemma is whether to just bite the bullet, work full time and suffer the inevitable loss to work/life balance. I cannot spread part-time hours out over a whole week which would mean childcare costs of more than £2500 per month.

    Flere-Imsaho, I honestly do not expect the school to pay me for doing nothing! When you take into account the skills wastage in teachers and that a high proportion of new mothers simply do not return to teaching that the Minister of Education was highlighting a few weeks ago, the p/t conditions have a lot to do with it, imho. What I do expect is not to be paid a third of my salary for working three days per week in a PROFESSION. Hence, my decision to return to full time teaching. I just think it's a shame that you can't combine spending time with your children and have a professional career. Of course, I could work in another field as teaching has given me a lot of skills but my passion is still in educating children, just want to be rewarded fairly for it.

    It's a tough, personal decision and there's no right or wrong but thanks for helping me thrash out the issues!
  9. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    Just an observation, but £2500 seems a huge amount for two full time childcare places. Wouldn't that be almost all of your pay even if you were fulltime? Why work for so little money, and so little time with your children?

    Like I say, just an observation and I may have misread your figures.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    But you seem to think being paid fairly is 0.6 pay for 0.3 work - at least that's how your first post came across.
    I think the issue with teacher retention is wider than complications in returning after maternity. Workload in general is a problem, not necessarily the way part time hours are organised.
  11. yellow1

    yellow1 New commenter

    Childcare for my children's nursery is 65 pnds per day. Yes, it's astronomical. With childcare vouchers and 15 hours free soon, that helps a bit. Also, have husband who pays more than half... It's only for a few years in order to keep career going. If I worked ft with additional responsibilities, I would make some money but not a great deal. I would probably have to enlist my parents' help. Anyway, lots of people have it worse and I chose to have children...! Just know childcare is a lot cheaper elsewhere. Thanks. X
  12. Camokidmommy

    Camokidmommy Established commenter

    Fair enough! I realise how lucky I was with my childcare arrangements when I needed them. Good luck whatever choice you make.
  13. yellow1

    yellow1 New commenter

    Thanks, camokidmummy.

    Absolutely, flere the profession is definitely suffering from retention issues in areas and it is wider than new mothers but they are a large group. According to Policy Thinktank, one in four people who left the profession on recent years were women between the ages of 30 and 39. The Guardian has some interesting articles on this area from the last few weeks. Think retention issue is coming up the news agenda with the BBC also reporting on it.
  14. yellow1

    yellow1 New commenter

    As for being paid to do nothing, I think that is a comment that is more suited to aim at professional footballers, not hardworking public sector workers (like me!)

    As I said, system is unfair, I understand why as we live in a capitalist society but doesn't mean I should not express an opinion, as you can, of course too.
  15. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Will they even give you the ft hours back? They aren't obliged to.
  16. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Diffcult to make a case for hardworking public sector workers when you want 3 days pay for a 0.3 timetable. I'm sure we'd all like to be paid at that rate!
  17. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    After 1st I went back 0.4 - I needed 0.6 really to break even but the school could offer me full time or 0.4. After childcare fees I had about £50 over for the month. It was hard in many ways graft wise, leaving child wise and money wise. After 2nd and 3rd I gradually increased to 0.8 over 2 different jobs as with more than one of them in childcare I could not break even on less. It is no better with pre and post school care.

    I (personally) would go f/t BUT that is because my work is such a huge part of me. Only you can know what will be good for YOU!
  18. yellow1

    yellow1 New commenter

    You have really misunderstood the post, Flere.I want to be able to work more hours, not be paid for doing nothing.

    Senlady, thanks for your post. Spot on.

    The while thing might be a moot point as they might not be able to offer me ft. They arecwairubg to see if someone leaves, I think. He has had about 8 interviews this year.

    Thanks for comments anyway. I have nothing more to add.
  19. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    When I did this I asked to be considered first for any cover that happens during my trapped blanks. It still didn't work out financially.
    If you are really adamant about going back into teaching more than 0.5 after your own children are at school then it's worth it, if you're doing it for any other reason then it's not worth it.
  20. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I worked part-time, continuously, for a good 20 years - that must be some kind of record! Each of the 3 schools I worked in did their best to block my lessons so there was no trapped time. I lived close by, so I could go home for an extended lunch if it did happen, for example. My hours would go up or down each year but I didn't mind - as long as I had a job. You do have to be careful not to do schoolwork in unpaid time or you may as well teach full time. It's swings and roundabouts with p/t work but it suited me.
    If you can afford to be part time whilst the children are little, it gives you a lot more breathing space. I never regretted it, although it does impact on your pension if you do it for as long as I did!

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