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Redundancies and second subjects

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Big_bang, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Big_bang

    Big_bang New commenter


    I am currently employed on a 50/50 split timetable in Maths and Drama. I'm a trained Drama teacher.

    My school has just announced that they will be making 1.5 Drama teachers redundant, however have a surplus of 0.6 in Maths (they haven't taken my current hours out, if I were to leave then they would have 1.1 left over in Maths). From a strategic point of view it obviously makes sense to pin me into taking a full time Maths role (this has already been suggested as a 'safety net' by a senior member of the school), something as a trained Drama teacher I am not willing to do.

    I guess my question is, can my school offer me a full time maths role even though it is not my specialism? and if I decline it will I lose my entitlement to a redundancy pay out? I intend to make it clear that at the absolute maximum I will teach 0.6 Maths. We are currently in special measures (this report was before I got to the school) with a terrible report about our Maths department so they will struggle to attract Maths teachers. The reason I was originally employed on a 50/50 split is because they couldn't get anyone to fill a maths vacancy, so I'm hoping beyond hope that this will play in my favour.

    Any ideas/input on this will be gratefully appreciated. I have contacted my union but have yet to hear back!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    What does your contract say?

    If it just says Teacher then I am afraid that you can be asked to teach any subject, and more especially one that you already have been teaching. And even if it says Teacher of Drama, if you have been teaching Maths then you have agreed to this change , , ,

    They could, of course, consider making only your Drama half redundant, leaving you with a part-time Maths post.

    Do talk to your regional Union office about this. It could well be seen to be reasonable to offer you a FT Maths post instead of making you part redundant.

    Best wishes

  3. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    The risk you run is that the school may argue that an offer of full-time maths is 'suitable alternative employment', particularly because you are already teaching 50% maths. If you refuse this offer of SAE, they do not have to pay you redundancy money because technically you need not have been dismissed.

    You would have 4 weeks to try out the SAE to see if it worked for you. If it did not, you could leave and claim redundancy.

    Good union advice needed on this one!
  4. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    As others have said if they can offer alternative employment then you won't be made redundant. As you are already teaching Maths, and accepted this as part of your contract, I suspect this will work against you. To be honest, you can resign, but I don't believe that you can be made redundant unless another existing teacher takes on the Maths role.
    GLsghost likes this.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    My guess (and i am no expert here, but i have been through the redundancy system) is that you would be turning down a suitable alternative, especially in light of you also teaching a 0.5 maths timetable. Therefore you are in effect resigning your position if you say no.
    GLsghost likes this.
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I am not convinced that this would even have to count as redundancy (although @GLsghost is likely to know more about it than me). There have been other threads about people being told to teach a different subject to their specialism, and the concensus has been that you can be told to within your existing contract - it is not redundancy followed by suitable alternative employment if it comes within your existing contract. The difference would be that you would not get a trial period. What do others think? Of course, the school may not go down this route, and I wouldn't tell them if they call it redundancy. In which case, turning down the Maths during the trial period might be a good option, depending on your alternative employment options.
  7. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I wouldn't count on it! ;)

    Quite right @Piranha: it wouldn't be a redundancy if the OP was offered suitable alternative employment and declined it.

    It is, as you say, dependent on the wording in the contract. If the OP is employed as a 'teacher', he can be deployed anywhere. If he is employed as a 'drama teacher' and drama posts are being made redundant, then he's in a redundancy situation. If the school needs to lose 1.5 teachers, then the selection pool could well be larger than just members of the drama department.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016

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