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Requesting to go 0.6 contract

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mrGundam, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. mrGundam

    mrGundam New commenter

    I hope this is the correct place to post this question.

    I currently work in a secondary school that has a 2 week timetable. For a range of reasons I am looking into the possibility of working part time, ideally 3 days per week.

    Is it silly to request this part way through the academic year and best done when the new years timetable is being developed? I am aware that legally the school is only required to entertain 1 request every 12months, so it is best to get through this year and then request towards the end where it could be factored in possibly to the next academic year?
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Whenever you put in the request, I'd start with some research to see what's possible. Would you be happy with different days in alternate weeks (wouldn't work if you had another part time job)? How would your workload be asbsorbed - is there overcapacity, for example, or would someone need to be hired to cover? Could 3 days be timetabled?
  3. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Asking for 0.6 does not necessarily mean getting a 3 day working week.
    If they are going to accommodate you during the current cycle, the chances are it could only be 0.6 split over, say 4 or five days. Fitting nicely over 3 days is unlikely, unless they know they can employ somebody for precisely those two days with precisely your specialism, and that the kids wont suffer from such a split (some schools don't care, some schools avoid where possible)
    I don't know if you want to be 0.6 in order to decrease your workload, or to free up some week day time for yourself.
    If it's the latter, why not request "A day off per week" with a view to moving to 0.6 next year? Something about that request means you would be guaranteed a whole day for other things, and it's altogether less alarming for the school.

    I ask myself why you are asking here if you can ask there, when surely the more productive step is to just go on and ask there?
    Too many variables to really comment...

    Afterthought-It occurs to me there is an outside chance that you've done some maths and found that on 0.6 with working tax credit, you end up better off both money and time wise-that certainly pertains up to a certain point on the teacher pay scale. Not many people know that, but....ah ooops, they do now.
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You can always sound the school out before putting in a formal request. They're obviously going to prefer a change in September, though, so you might be best asking it without the "or shall I wait and ask for September", in the first instance.

    Some other things to consider:
    - What's the school's situation with regard to part-timers currently - do they have people job-sharing a timetable or do they prefer to timetable round part-timers to avoid split classes?
    - Would your current timetable split easily? If you can see a way it would split that would avoid too many split classes, then that might be a more viable proposition. (This is easier if you teach something that usually only has only two or three lessons a fortnight than seven or eight.) When you apply, you suggest how it could be made to work, so you can say "if someone else was employed on these days, there would only be two shared classes, and this is how these could be handled".
    - How much do you care about the structure? When you apply, you need to be careful about whether you're asking for 0.6 or six days a fortnight or (the same) three days each week. Whatever you end up with, you want that in the contract, because it's no use getting a Mon-Weds timetable this/next year and then discovering the next that they've timetabled you across all ten days. I liked working across more of the week and avoiding having any full teaching days, but if you've childcare or a long commute or something you want to do on other days, you won't want a bitty timetable.

    I'm not sure about skrobson's claim that it would have to be a bitty timetable midyear - they'd have to find someone to take the extra lessons, and unless there's a lot of spare hours floating around at the moment, that's probably going to be a case of taking someone new on, who will presumably prefer a reasonably coherent timetable - so jobshare is a more likely midyear solution. Of course, if there are people undertimetabled with the right specialism, then they might well be happy to siphon off some of your lessons.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you want to make a formal request, then these are the rules. https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working .

    @frustum's advice might be wise, as I suspect a request mid year might be legitimately turned down because 'the work can’t be reorganised among other staff'. Although perhaps offering to start at the beginning of a term might help. Perhaps getting union advice before going formal might be wise.

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