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Reason for leaving???

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by TyrannosaurusWrecks, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. TyrannosaurusWrecks

    TyrannosaurusWrecks New commenter

    I am tentatively looking for work, trying to pick myself up after a very horrible time. I had a breakdown 7 months ago (after struggling into work for a long time before then, in a school I had happily worked at for years before various changes meant things became unbearable). I was working towards returning when the school contacted me, just before my return date, to tell me that I would be expected to 'present evidence' to governors, and that my contract could be terminated. The school was going into a forced academisation and sweeping cuts were being made (support staff having to reapply for their jobs, hours being cut etc), not a happy place, and lots of staff left. My union rep advised me to accept a settlement, which I did (but have not yet received), I was still pretty unwell, at a very, very low point, and could not have 'fought for' a job which had absolutely broken me (I am still not fully 'myself' again, after 8 months of counselling and CBT) I have been struggling a lot with the emotional/psychological effect of this, and with what to do next- can't imagine not working with kids! And, I need to pay the bills... So, I am looking for part-time roles (hen's teeth...)
    What I am worried about is the fact my contract ended in the summer term, and not at the end of August, as usual. I know I have an 'agreed reference' but I feel so much like I'm in danger of being 'found out', that it is really obvious that something was not right, and I'm a bit worried about how to explain this gap in my employment. I know I can probably pull it off it face-to-face (what you carefully say-and what you pointedly DON'T say ...) but. I am currently filling in the first school application form, and am stuck at 'Reason for leaving' on the 'current employment' section. Should I just write 'resignation'? I am plagued by anxiety about this!! (Amongst other things!)
    Thanks for any advice on this. The form is due in by Wednesday!!
  2. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    "The school was undergoing a major restructuring process, including academisation, staffing restructures and forced redundancies. I decided to leave before that process began and I looking forward to a fresh start in a new school"
  3. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Or write nothing. Far better than the truth and a lie may come back to bite you.

    Of course this may count against you but there are 2 things in your favour.
    1. Your ex-school will probably be notorious in the local area by now so any problems there won't necessarily be a reflection there of your abilities.
    2. There is a recruitment and retention crisis, very few schools can find the number of applicants to make a worthwhile interview process. @TyrannosaurusWrecks or nobody is a good selling point.
    Another way in is via supply. Agencies will be fine with any reference that doesn't show safeguarding issues and you could perhaps ease your way in by trying that. Catch is it's the bottom-end schools that you'll end up in.

    All the best.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I wouldn't think there is anything like enough space to write any such thing!!!

    Why do you want the post you are applying to? Phrase that as a reason for leaving the old place.
    TyrannosaurusWrecks likes this.
  5. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I was in a similar situation about 10 years ago and I wrote something like this on the form. There is usually about 2-3cms, so it can be fitted in or word processed in.
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    If you started time off work 7 months ago, that will have been in Spring.
    The timescale of what has happened leads me to understand any "settlement" as paltry; given the nature of your departure and how it was preceded, it is easy to present yourself as "blameless" and therefore seek a settlement including pay extending to the end of the upcoming notice period. That places you unquestionably at the end of August.
    I do not understand why you had to depart mid-Summer term. It ought to have been fought for that your contractual end was the end of the year. And if the Settlement was later than I imagine, it could have spun out to December.
    Additionally the fact of you not having received the settlement payment yet is simply wrong. It ought to come either with or a month after your final payment.
    Somebody somewhere has made a pretty ham job of your settlement, and you need to get back to your union and sort this out. Why fgs have they not stumped up yet? Did you not sign a deal? If not, push them to act for you-it's what you have paid for.
    Your pressing question, how to explain your departure is easy, immaterial of when you left, you give the words already

    They are your words and they are true.

    This is not the drastic scenario that you fear-it is not uncommon for candidates to have such a recent history-it's not the main thing they look at in interview. It's about you, not what they did to you.
  7. install

    install Star commenter

    I would put 'To broaden my experience.' or 'Restructuring of school'. A reason for leaving is not a 'Reveal your soul' question. It is simply an honest 'reason' why you chose to leave . You clearly wanted something more. I wouldn't put 'resigned' because that is how you left - not the reason why you left.

    I would also seek further advice from your Union to clarify the best thing to write and why the delay in settlement :cool:
  8. TyrannosaurusWrecks

    TyrannosaurusWrecks New commenter

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply- very helpful suggestions.
    Thank you for your lengthy response.
    You are right, the union have not been spectacularly helpful. The rep's take has pretty much been 'you didn't want to go back' (I did, but was so devastated by their treatment that I felt literally unable to go back at that point- actually, I became suicidal) 'you're getting the money' as though that was so lucky for me (hardly a life-changing windfall, and as it has turned out, may not even cover the period of time it will take me to get well-or at least re-employed).

    It was never remotely suggested that the contract end date could be a matter for negotiation, I was just told the limitations on when I could take up new employment (pretty pointless, given how broken and shattered I have been by all of this, that I am only just now able to even consider looking for work- with trepidation!!! I'm still receiving treatment from NHS Psychological services) I went off in February, and this all happened in July (I was trying to get back before the holidays, to ease my return in September). Unfortunately, I have already signed the agreement, so am now bound by their terms.

    I have had no income since July, but am hoping to receive the final pay at the end if this month. I am looking forward to that!!!! Living off a credit card is not much fun- but thank goodness for it!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. TyrannosaurusWrecks

    TyrannosaurusWrecks New commenter

    Good point, Baxter, thank you. I did submit a request for a reduction in hours, whilst I was signed off. It was obviously 'lost' in all the carnage that soon followed vis my employment status! But the new role says 'part time considered'.... so that may work!
  10. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I do know of a school which brought in sweeping redundancies and restructuring, rather as you suggest. People left at odd times through the year. I think it is less of a problem than you fear.

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