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Refusing a job offer

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by cherrylane17, May 11, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    has any of you ever accepted and then refused a job offer?
    How did you go about it? What were the consequences?
    Do you strictly advise against it?
    Thanks a lot!
  2. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Its usually not the done thing and some LA's will blacklist candidates who do this.
    I'd expect they'd want to hear a good reason why you have changed your mind. I'd call them and then follow with a letter giving your reasons why and apologising, if the reason is valid then I'm sure they will understand.
    Jobs are very scare this year particularly, think carefully before you do anything xx
  3. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    How would you feel if a school offered you a post then told you later they'd changed their mind?
  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I dont think there is anything wrong with turning down a job offer before an acceptance has been given - rather that than end up in a school you are unsuited to for whatever reason. However, I would not recommend pulling out of a job if a verbal acceptance has been given. It is bad form and it will not do you any favours. I had this dilemma last year, I accepted a job offer and was then contacted by a school I had interviewed at the previous day, which I wanted much more. As I had made the commitment I turned down the job I wanted.
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Exactly. It's decidedly unprofessional to accept and later withdraw your acceptance. Being a grown-up means making decisions and standing by the consequences of those decisions.
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Do not say yes then change your mind. You should be aware a contact of employment comes into force once verbal agreement is reached. The professional way is to be clear about whether you would accept beforehand so you are then prepared. if it is a school you are really not interested in and know you would not accept then withdraw from the interview.
  7. this has just happened to me and it's awful. the school phoned me and offered me an interview because this teacher had told them she had an interview somewhere else and said yes. 24h later she changed her mind and now there's no post available. she's got away with it because she had not yet handed in her written resignation. I find this highly unprofessional and I don't know how the school is still keeping her... teaching is not a joke, people should be a little more responsible!
  8. I'm not sure if it is the rumour-mill doing its thing again, but! If you accept a job & then turn it down at a later date (even if it within a matter of days) I believe that the school would be entittled to seek all costs of readvertising, interviewing etc etc.

    If you have been offered a job, but are still waiting to hear back from your dream job I would suggest being honest & could you have 24 hours to weigh up the job offers - obviously don't say that the other job is your preferred choice! Alternatively, you could just field the call..... not sure how that will appear professionally
  9. Two scenarios come to mind.
    You are offered the job say yes, then change your mind because of a "better" offer. Bad form, unprofessional and unlikely to do you any favours.
    You are offered a job and are unsure what to do as there is something else better in the very near horizon , 24-48 hours). Just explain that you'd like to consider a couple of things - you dont need to say what, say its personal (the school will guess anyway) and then chase the other school.
    Then make up your mind...and stick with it.
  10. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    As I understand it, there's no legal agreement until contracts are signed, so up to that point both you and the employer can walk away perfectly legally. It might be different, though, where there's no change of contract (i.e. in Scotland where the contract is with the local authority but you're moving from one school to another.) You are perfectly within your rights to consider your position for a couple of days or over a weekend, but I wouldn't risk leaving it any longer than that.
    In terms of a temporary contract vs, a permanent one, again it's the same position that nothing's legal until contracts are signed. I also think that, given the position in Scotland at the moment, most heads would be pretty sympathetic if a teacher accepted then withdrew from a temporary contract in favour of a permanent one, if that was the main reason.
  11. Peterke

    Peterke New commenter

    Not true amysda. A contract can exist and be legally enforceable in purely verbal form. So from the moment you say "yes" the contract exists in law. I'm refering to English law here, not sure about the case in Scotland, but I believe contract law there is the same. The problem with verbal contracts is that if it ever comes to an argument in court its hard for either side to establish what the terms of the contract are. That is why best practice is to say verbally " I accept subject to satisfactory written contract being recieved" or words to that general effect.
    Legal enforceability is not really the point though. It boils down to the practical realities. No employer would really want to insist on a reluctant employee fufilling their legally enforceable contract. So if someone changes their mind they are unlikely to be forced to take the job. The employer could, in theory, claim compensation, but again, what would be the point - such a proceeding would cost them money, probably more than they could realistically recover from a private individual. They want their position filled by an enthusiatic recruit. They arent interested, and probably dont have the management time to pursuing someone through the courts to bankruptcy. Given the permanent/temporary post difference the OP mentioned, then I would be tempted to call the school without delay and sound them out. They may well still have the other candidates on file and be able to call them back. They wont be best pleased. They may get grumpy, but permanent vs temporary is a serious reason, not a frivolous one for changing your mind.
  12. Just to add a different perspective...
    Yes - I agree that you should make a fully-informed decision and not then change your mind, however sometimes you're put in a stressful position and are forced to make a snap decision. Last year I was going to interviews for an NQT post and after much competition in my subject got to interview number 6 at a school with half a day's notice to prepare. With all the adrenaline to 'just get a job sorted' I went to the interview (which was quite a commute, but mid-morning did not consider the distance or time factor as much as had I done the journey at 6am) and was offered the job. My PGCE tutor had always advised to request some thinking time when deciding on an offer, however the panel would not allow this and wanted an immediate decision, so I said yes.
    However, on the way home I was researching the bus timetables from the train station to the school and discovered there was no service before 9am (and I do not drive / could not move), and the 40 minute walk plus the commute without the bus would have necessitated getting up at 3.30am. On realising this I knew there was no way I could actually ever sustain working at the school so I called to tell them I had to go back on my acceptance - had I had an hour to think through my decision I would never had accepted. Teaching interviews are very stressful and sometimes people make mistakes, but I do agree - I would never plan to accept and then just chnge my mind because I fancied something else.

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