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Resigning for personal reasons

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by longtimelistener, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    Hoping I can get some advice here, I moved to London during the Summer when my grandmother (who raised me) was in good health. Unfortunately her health has been getting worse and worse and now I fear she is going to need a full time carer which I cannot afford nor abide. I am wondering how I would go about resigning my current teaching role so that I can move back home to take care of her. I am an NQT on a one year contract. Please do not suggest that someone else take care of her as there is no one else and I will not put her into a home.
  2. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Can you wait until xmas or do you need to go immediately. Your employer/Local authority can defer you NQT. If you can wait until Xmas and you pass your first term then this will mean when you finally start at a new school you will only have to do 2 terms.

    If you have to go immediately then it is best to meet with your HT and explain the situation. It maybe he/she could grant compassionate leave for a while until they can find a replacement.

    You must also contact you mentor and local authority NQT manager to discuss your options.
  3. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I assume you are not a permanent resident in your grandmother's house, so your income shouldn't be taken into account when she is assessed by DWP for benefits to help her with care. You should not need to pay for her care out of your pocket. You might find it is more beneficial to help her claim the benefits she is entitled to so that she can buy the services of a private nursing agency of her choice, which would allow you to continue with your NQT year. At this point in time you don't want her to have to go into a residential care home, which is completely understandable but there may come a point in the next few years when it is not possible for you to provide the nursing care she needs at home, and you will find yourself without a career to fall back on.

    Obviously, I don't know (or wish to know) your personal financial situation but if you became a full time carer your income could be severely reduced as a result.

    A complicated situation indeed. I would certainly contact AgeUK (look for 'Money Matters' on website) to find out what benefits etc your grandmother is entitled to before you make a decision.
  4. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    Thank you for the replies. I am from Ireland and could find a more flexible (not teaching) job that would enable me to take care of her for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately I think she will probably not make it to Christmas the way she is right now, and so I want to return home ASAP. As an Irish teacher I am not bound by the same NQT restrictions as in England, it is not vital for me to get the NQT certificate as in Ireland they do not matter. Also my grandmother is not entitled to the same benefits in Ireland as she would be here. I am mainly worried about being blacklisted for teaching jobs if I decide to return next year or in a few years. I am also quite a shy person and how no idea how to broach the subject with my HOD.
  5. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    The Head is who you need to broach this with rather than your HOD!

    Unfortunately, caring for poorly relatives is one of those things where state provision seems to fall well short of what the person being cared for needs.

    You have made it clear that a home/other carers are not an option, which shows (pun aside) how much you 'care.'

    However, you have stated that a 'more flexible job' would enable you to take care of her. If this implies less set hours, is part time an option?

    Can you afford this financially?

    Ultimately, passing your NQT year can wait whilst being with your grandmother in her last year(s) cannot. Where this may get difficult is if your grandmother does not improve but requires care for a more extended period of time, in which case you may have to consider a home/carers.

    Sorry to hear about your situation and hope you find a workable solution, please update us.
  6. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    Thank you for your reply, after speaking further with my aunts, who live in Australia, I have decided 100% to leave. I am secure financially as my grandmother owns her own home which I can live in while taking care of her, and I can get a flexible job, I don't really care what it is, I'll work as a tutor, or in a bar, or in a call centre as long as I can take care of her. My main issue right now is how to broach the subject. I am a very shy person and honestly I have no idea how to even begin a conversation about this. The school has provided me with an iPad, computer, a CPD course that cost £250, and have been very supportive etc. I have in turn taken on quite a lot of responsibility, including extra curricular clubs, I am in charge of the most able students across all years in my subject and I work really hard, my observations have all been very positive and the last thing I want is a negative reference because I've left mid-term. I really don't want to be seen to be throwing it all back in their face.
    How would you go about doing it? A letter? An informal chat? I am flying back home on 23rd October and so will not be returning after half term, which only gives them 3 weeks to find a replacement. I don't want to be seen as ungrateful, and obviously should I return to teach in a year or two I do not want to be blacklisted in this area.
    snowyhead likes this.
  7. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    @TheoGriff - Would you have any advice for me? I would appreciate any advice you could give me.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Surely honesty is the best policy and I am pretty sure that the Head Teacher will not have a heart of stone when you tell them your grandmother does not have long to be with you. In fact, I think they will admire you for your love and loyalty.

    Others will probably know better, but I would go and speak to the HT in person and follow it with a letter to confirm what was discussed/agreed.

    These things happen all the time.. You only have one grandmother but will have lots of different jobs.
    FolkFan likes this.
  9. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    Thank you, I think I will try and speak to the HT tomorrow and explain my situation. I just hope it goes well :/
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    [@TheoGriff - Would you have any advice for me? I would appreciate any advice you could give me.[/QUOTE]

    I am very sorry indeed that your grandmother is so poorly. It must be so distressing for you both that you are so far away, and that you are going to lose her.

    Yes, you must go

    How can you not be with her?

    And Yes, you must talk to your Head about it.

    But I understand that if you are shy, or afraid of breaking down in tears, that this would be very hard.

    So I am going to suggest this.

    You write a letter.

    You deliver it to the Head's Secretary tomorrow.

    You give a copy to your HoD.

    You possibly meet the Head.

    At the end of the day, you pack up your personal belongings and leave.

    I'm going to corporate a moment and then I'm going to write the letter for you.

  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Ok, just seen date of 23October, so don't leave tomorrow.

    Am writing your letter

  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    This is my draft, you have to change it if it is not a true reflection of the situation or your feelings. I think you should be totally honest and open.

    Dear X

    This is a very difficult letter for me to write. I would have preferred to come and speak to you about it, but am so distressed that I would have been unable to speak for the tears.

    This is the situation.

    I was brought up not by my parents but by my grandmother who lives in Ireland. I am her only relative in this part of the world - her two daughters, my aunts, both live in Australia.

    I have just learned that my grandmother, who is my true mother, is seriously ill, will.shortly need full time care, and is unlikely to survive long into 2016.

    As you will understand, I am distraught both at the thought of losing her, my closest relative, and of being so far away when she .needs me.

    I must do my best to make the final stages of her life comfortable for her.

    So that is why this letter is so difficult for me to write: I shall not be returning to school after the half term holiday.

    I know that this is not a contractual leaving date. I know that this will put the school in a very difficult position. I am very conscious that the school overall and my colleagues in the department especially have been extremely supportive of me in so many ways. I couldn't have wished for a better school to work in, and shall miss you all very much.

    But how can I leave my grandmother to die with strangers?

    I shall of course do my best for my pupils for the remaining weeks, and perhaps can pass on to someone else the details of the clubs and the arrangements for the most able children.

    I am really sorry to cause you so much inconvenience. I shall of course return all school property.

    Could I make two requests? Firstly, could you tell my HoD? I just can't bring myself to explain the situation to anybody. And secondly if you wish to see me, could it be at the end of a day, so I don't have to go and teach after getting very distressed.

    Thank you so much for everything.

  13. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    Hi Theo, thank you so much for your advice and I will do that tomorrow. I am going to do exactly what you have said. Again, thank you for your advice, it has been really helpful.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  14. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You're a star, TheoGriff.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Where's the blushing emoticon when you need it?


    And do feel free, folks, to click LIKE on that letter - or any post - if you appreciate it. Shows the Big Boss at TES Towers that I am carrying out my role effectively!


  16. longtimelistener

    longtimelistener New commenter

    @TheoGriff - Dear Theo,
    I did exactly what you said and had a short talk with my HOD and HT at the end of the day today. Neither of them seemed happy with my decision and I get the impression my reference will be a rubbish one. My HOD kept saying 'Well obviously it is your decision, but you do know that you're breaking contract, you do realise that you've breached your contract" she then kept referring to my career 'this won't look good on a C.V.'... 'how are you going to get another job' etc....
    The head was quite emotionless and just seems annoyed at me.
    Do they have to provide me with a reference? Can they give me a bad reference? I'm quite unsure of UK laws regarding this :/
  17. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Longtimelistener, you've made the right decision. Their attitude towards you says it all. Not the kind of SLT that anyone wants to work for, but all too common nowadays.

    Walk away and don't look back.

    If you apply for another induction post in England and Wales you will have to give the name(s) of your last educational employer(s) for safer recruitment purposes. Why would they give you a bad reference? They can state the fact that you left mid-term due to personal reasons and breached contract, but I am sure you would be able to explain the circumstances to a potential employer in an application or at interview.
    cat2611 and FolkFan like this.
  18. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter


    ROSIEGIRL Lead commenter

    Longtimelistener - I just wanted to wish you well.

    It's a tough decision but I don't see how else you could have handled it. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, your HT and HoD may appreciate your feelings better when they reflect on your decision later. But if not, at least you know you've made a strong, caring decision and as snowyhead says you will be able to justify it in the future.
    Best wishes.
  20. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Not sure whats happened in my previous message :eek:

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