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Resignation with debt

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by frankie_barr, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. frankie_barr

    frankie_barr New commenter

    Hi everyone

    after a really stressful and anxious half term I’ve decided to quit my position as an NQT. This is after months of being constantly criticised, made to feel like I’m not up to the job and being undermined at every opportunity.
    I’ve spent 80% of my week off in bed crying with a ‘fuzzy brain’. This is all after an incident with will 100% get blown out of proportion.
    The problem with quitting is that I’m £4000 in debt. I wracked this up when I had to pay for my dads funeral in December. I’m worried I’m going to end up further in debt if I quit with no job. But I genuinely can’t stay. It’s not fair on me or my children.

    Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
  2. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Training to teach is very hard work and can take all your physical and emotional energy. hard enough for a young singleton with no commitments, dependents and a supportive network. Even with these things in place many are leaving within a few years as a result of being overwhelmed by stress and workload.
    My point is that you have shown great courage and determination by choosing to become a teacher, the profession needs hard working and committed individuals, and, given your circumstances it seems a great pity that this school and your mentor have not been more supportive.

    You are suffering a significant bereavement and you need time and support to cope with this.

    First if you haven't already resigned then hold off on this, a few weeks on sick leave will help you to rest and there will still be some money coming in, See your GP and try to get some counselling to help with the stress and bereavement.

    Regarding the debt get advice and support - here are a couple of places to start.

    Schools, and by that I mean different HT's, behave differently. When my wife lost both parents in a short time of each other her school were very thoughtful and caring. On the other hand I had a colleague who had a lesson observation the day after his fathers funeral, his LM and the HT refused to postpone it.

    You have had a lot to deal with, I hope you can find the support and care you need.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I am so sorry you are in this situation. No help to you at all, I know, but your post has spurred me on to getting some sort of insurance for my own funeral, whenever it comes, so that my children don't get saddled with the bill.

    Other than that, I would only say get union advice and support, and see your GP
    HolyMahogany and agathamorse like this.
  4. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    If you are in a Union ,both the NASUWT and NEU have benevolence services which can be helpful ,with reference to your debt. You Union should also be able to give you some good advice about your situation. Ring their help lines or Regional Centres on Monday to make contact with them. Unfortunately you cannot Union now to access these services.

    If you are not in a Union I would contact the above links today.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Good advice above - if you haven't yet given in your notice, then hold off. See your GP - you sound to be suffering from real stress following your Dad's death. Your NQT year is always tough and made all the harder by having your own children and a bereavement while trying to cope with it. I'm sure your GP will sign you off, which will given you breathing space. You're half way through the year - is there any way you could get through it and then look for another job? Think about the reasons you went into teaching for - do they still exist? Talk to your NQT mentor at school (if that's possible) or to the person in your LA who is responsible for NQTs. There may be a chance of re-starting next year in another school.

    You are the most important person here. Take care of yourself - see your GP asap and follow their advice.
  6. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    @frankie_barr I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. And condolences on your loss, which sounds as if it came as a sudden shock.Try to get yourself signed off for a while, before you make any really big final decisions. Take care. Talk to the funeral director and ask if you can pay the costs bit by bit.

    @Corvuscorax, whatever you do, don't buy funeral insurance. It is a real scam - you will pay out FAR more than your family will ever get, and it may well not cover the funeral costs. Instead, go to your preferred funeral director and pre-pay. That way you will have paid for it all and been able to make decisions about what you want, so they won't have to. If the lump sum is too much in one go, most funeral directors will let you spread the cost over a few months. Honestly, funeral insurance is a real con - my m-i-l had spent well over £5500 on a £2500 funeral insurance plan before we froze it. She lived another eight years (which would have cost her many thousands more, with no larger pay-out when she died) so it was the right thing to have done. In the end, they paid £357 towards her funeral costs.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    thank you for that

    OP, sorry for the slight derail, but I hope you re glad to know your situation has made other families consider theirs
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    (With apologies to OP for further de-rail), to add to what mothorchid said there isn't any need to pre-pay funerals at all if you think that when you die you will have sufficient savings in a bank or building society to pay for it (say £4k - which is a bit more than the current average cost of a funeral). When someone dies banks/building societies will release funds straight away to pay the funeral director's bill even if your children (assuming they are your Executors) haven't yet got probate so they won't have to pay it out themselves.

    I looked at those funeral plans for my mother, pre-paying through the funeral director, and decided they weren't good value for money, also it wasn't clear what happened if you moved somewhere else before you die, and the funeral plans themselves are not currently FCA regulated so if they go bust with your money no guarantee you'll get it back. Some people buy them to reduce their assets for care home financial assessments (as long as you buy them well in advance when in good health and no reason to believe you will need care).
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Good points, @Rott Weiler though if you buy through a national firm, such as Co op, or Dignity, or through a big organisation like Golden Charter, you would be covered if you moved etc. and they are unlikely to go bust. Golden Charter tend to be happy to work with independent funeral directors and they will reallocate your plan if that company closes for any reason.
    The average cost only looks at cost of the actual service, though, not flowers or wakes or anything else. That can be expensive.
    And now I will stop de-railing the thread.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    Your dad has recently died and we all grieve in different ways. I wouldn't quit. I would see it through, get qualified. Only then - quit when the time is right and if you still want to.

    See gp asap. Do you have a support group of family /friends you can turn to?
  11. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Have I misread the post or has the OP already paid the cost of the funeral? If so then I don't think there's anything to be done about it.

    If that's the case then the OP needs to contact who she has her debt with and advise them of the predicament and try to arrange a debt payment solution. Don't leave it - it won't go away and interest added for non-repayment will make it far worse.

    There are other solutions out there for bigger debt problems - sorry - I'm not saying this a trivial one at all.
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes indeed. I referenced "average cost" which believe is average funeral directors' charges. As you say, doesn't include funeral tea etc. Banks will only advance the money to pay the funeral director's invoice (they usually pay it direct to the FD) not for the other costs.

    And now I will stop de-railing the thread too! But hope between us we've at least said something that some people will find useful.

    That's how I understand it too - mothorchd and me went off at a bit of a tangent.
  13. frankie_barr

    frankie_barr New commenter

    Thank you all for your helpful suggestions.

    the life insurance company my dad was with found a loop hole in his policy and refused to pay out which is why I ended up taking a loan out to pay for his funeral.

    The union that I am with need you to be a paying member for a year before you receive benevolent funds. So they won’t give me anything(I’ve asked).

    Unfortunately I’ve already had 5 weeks off. If I ask for any more time off I will be removed of my position as an NQT as where I live having anymore than 21 days absence results in your position being terminated and you having to start your year again (the school have the option to keep you on as supply but usually don’t). My ht has already been good to me and put 2 weeks of my absence through as other leave to ensure I could stay as an NQT.
  14. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    To the OP - don't resign but do take time off sick. You can use that time to really take stock of next steps, be it return to that school or resign and supply for a while.

    You are clearly unwell and aren't finding your school supportive. On that basis, take the time off until you can see clearly and make a plan, not a knee jerk reaction. I assume you have already had at least one term passed which is great, it hasn't been a complete waste of your time.

    In terms of a plan, you are already more than half way through the academic year. Autumn term is by far the longest and most challenging. From here on in, most half terms are about 6 weeks long, you have 2 weeks at Easter, a week and a bank holiday in May, then it's the final run. After you've had a couple of weeks off now to recuperate, see if you can envisage a way through these half-terms. Even if you resign now, you will still be there to Easter so it's worth thinking about.

    In terms of debt, contact Step Change. It is all online and you will find a great deal of useful information there, including how to create a budget sheet. Ultimately, if you haven't got the money you would approach the lender with an offer of even as little as a pound a month until things change. Step Change will explain how you approach them, ask to freeze interest and make an offer.

    However bad things seem today, they will get better. You are dealing with the tragic loss of a parent, caring for your own children and trying to build a career. You can only deal with all of this a bit at a time, you aren't superwoman. Go to your doctor, get signed off and give yourself a break.

    I am so sorry you are in this situation, best wishes for the future, but be kind to yourself. As a wise person once said to me, be your own best friend - what would you tell them to do.
  15. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    @frankie_barr I think some of the problem at your school is to do with a child who had an asthma attack, and you are worried about repercussions, as you have posted elsewhere? You don't know if there will be any, yet, do you? I wonder what makes you feel there will be a parental complaint ("You should have left our daughter to choke!") as your school have not indicated they were too unhappy with what happened. Is is possible that you have over-thought this, in the week away from school, and it is made worse by your fragile state following this bereavement?
    Honestly, take time, don't resign today. See your GP, get signed off, and perhaps (if you feel you can) talk to the school. Your mentor sounds a little over-zealous and maybe SLT will be more sympathetic?
    Contact CAB and Step change as well as the company you owe money to for the debt issue. There are ways around that too. You can pay slowly and halt interest, perhaps, so it doesn't grow.
    And get yourself into a union, if you aren't in one already.
    Sending support.
  16. frankie_barr

    frankie_barr New commenter

    Thanks for realising I’ve posted else where too. Yes it is. The parent is a notorious complainer and the school are scared of the mum. As said in another post my thoughts where dismissed when I thought their child was ‘at risk’.
    I feel there may be a complaint as the parent has previously complained when we have dealt with her child’s asthma. Her last complaint was that we didn’t give his steroid inhaler after administering his blue inhaler (we aren’t able to give steroid inhalers at school anyway) . She took it all the way to the la department and although it’s la policy the school were investigated for negligence. The school are so scared of his parent that they let the child be repeat a year of school, you must have slt present when you speak to the parent and under no circumstances is the school behaviour policy to apply to this child.(we use the traffic light system, the child is never allowed to be moved up. Luckily the child’s behaviour is impeccable).
    The school are somewhat supportive and have put some measures in place to support me. But when it comes to this parent they blame the teacher and can put enormous amount of pressures on you. The child in question has been involved in non-serious incidents thought-out the year ranging from playground scraps to being bumped in the corridor. Each time the mum has complained and each time I’ve had slt checking in for a week after. Each time the come in talk to me whilst I’m in the middle of teaching and then comment on my children not being on task (they were on task but I have a somewhat tricky class and they chat to their friends when they are not focused). Every time I am hauled into the office and told that the reason the parent complains is that I don’t have control do the children in my class and that’s why the child has been knocked or someone accidentally kicks him.

    slt weren’t happy because apparently I shouldn’t need to ask for help for a child with asthma as my training I had should have kicked in.
    I have been a registered first aided for 8 years in various jobs. I have never been pulled up for asking for help. At first aid training you are always told you are not a doctor or nurse you must ask for help if it’s serious.

    How I’m feeling today 100% stem from all this incident.
  17. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    You've already decided you're going to quit but you've missed the deadline to go at Easter but you could negotiate an earlier release with your headteacher especially as you've been off ill and things don't look likely to improve. Other posters have suggested you grit your teeth and see through your NQT year and there is that option. At least you would have completed your qualification as a teacher and then you could look for a post in a more supportive school. There are some out there.

    But if you are determined to leave then perhaps you could consider a return to a previous career or have a good think about what you would like to do and pursue opportunities in that area.

    You've decided to quit so now you must take positive action and look for a new job. Nobody's going to come knocking on your door and offer you the dream job, you have to get out there and fight for it. Get your CV brushed up and start applying. Remember that you have not failed, your current school has failed you and badly at that

    You say you can't quit your job with the debt you have so that makes it more imperative to get another job and the time to start is NOW! Get out of bed and onto the internet and start job hunting, put the word around on social media that you're looking for work and start approaching companies that do stuff you're interested in.
  18. frankie_barr

    frankie_barr New commenter

    Where I live I only have to give 4 weeks notice so there is plenty time before Easter.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Unless the OP is in a less than usual school, they still have the best part of a fortnight to resign to go at Easter.

    However, they should not resign as there are many other things to try first.
    1. Speak to the head (OP, you've said they've been supportive about leave) and talk through the problems of feeling not good enough and the stress this parent and incident are causing. Work with them to find a solution.
    2. Almost all classes are 'difficult' for NQTs and are off task at the drop of a hat. Mine certainly were and one was hardly ever 'on' task! It gets better and easier as you get more experienced...don't resign because tactless idiots have forgotten what it's like to be an NQT. The head has pulled out the stops and bent the rules to keep you, they clearly don't think you are hopeless.
    3. Winter is naff and makes work harder. Bereavement makes work harder. Tactless mentors make work harder. You have the full set! It's tough but don't throw in the towel. Keep at it and in a few weeks it will be spring, so one of the three disappears. Time helps with bereavement...hang on in there and let time work it's magic. And in a few months you'll not have this mentor anymore. All pointing to a nice bright light at the end of the tunnel.

    Citizen's advice can help with the debt.
    Education support partnership can help with counselling for bereavement.
    Your union and/or LA will also be able to help with counselling for both and for the stress at work.
    Your LA should have an NQT person/office and can help with that too.

    Please explore other sources of help and support before resigning.
    agathamorse and mothorchid like this.
  20. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Yes, you are quite right. An error on my part. :(

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