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Returning after WRS

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Sally006, May 26, 2019.

  1. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    I’ve resisted posting on this topic until now but I do need some reassurance. I’ve been on long term sick with WRS and I’m due to return soon on a phased return. A very gradual one has been agreed and sadly I have had to come to terms with the fact I have to lose out on pay and pension to go part time from September (also agreed).

    However, although I can now visualise myself teaching (which I couldn’t a few months ago) I am dreading a return to the whole culture and environment that contributed to my ill health in the first place. I see very little point in changing school due to age and salary status. Is there anyone out there who has recovered, gone back and lived to tell the tale? I need some hope. Inwardly, I’m emotionally screaming against it, logically I have to to protect my family’s livelihood and go back.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    What a painful dilemma.
    But well done for getting this far. It does sound as if P/T may be a good way forward for you. And it sounds as if your school are keen to ahve you return.
    Can you identify the cause(s) of your WRS? Have they been addressed? Do you have a better way of dealing with whatever comes than you did a few months ago?
    I must admit that I took an SA after WRS and have not returned to teaching, so I can't answer your question, but I know there are TESSERs who have done so, and I'm sure they'll be along soon to give you hope.
    Wishing you all the best.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter


    A phased return should be an agreed procedure that OH approve of and the SLT must agree to. If you're returning on a 0.4 to begin with, that's it. No extra hours and if there are, Union.

    Focus on the kids. If the staff room is a toxic atmosphere of tea cups and gossips, avoid. If you have friends on staff, spend time with them. Build something nice in each day for yourself - bubble bath, walk, manicure - with your responsibilities. If you need to leave early, do so.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A job is a job.
    Family is more important.
    Do your hours and get out.
    Keep yourself to yourself.
    Help the people you're there to help - the kids.
    Go home.
    Do right by the kids but don't be a martyr.
    Be thankful you still have a job, a salary and a pension.
    Don't socialise with colleagues out of school.
    Don't listen to negativity. Walk away.
  5. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Yes, it happened to me in 2011. I got a 6 week phased return and the working environment still sucked, so I resigned during this time and left 3 months early because I had holiday left. Result! I now work in an Indy (since 2013. I spent 2 years doing revision teaching and a 1 Year part time supply job) and and am treated far better, so there is definitely hope! Do what I did, move on (however you can) as soon as you can! Jobs come and go but health doesn’t return easily, don’t sacrifice it for a bunch numpties who don’t understand the concept of duty of care because they aren’t worth it!
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Not me personally, but I was the supply twice for teachers who returned on a phased return basis and both went on to teach successfully afterwards- though one did have to have another session off, but I was used to plug the gap and it worked successfully.
  7. rooney1

    rooney1 Occasional commenter

    I went back to teaching after a long period of WRS - but not to the same school - I did intend to go back but didn't (not my choice and I won't put all the detail on here). I was fortunate in that I was offered several jobs by heads who knew what had happened and took a part time one - at the time I had a very dependent ageing relative so part time suited me and it gave me time to regain my confidence. I worked for nice people who respected me and thought that I knew what I was doing. I am still teaching in schools now. So yes there is definitely hope but don't be afraid to think of moving on - if that will work better for you.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I went back a few years ago after a few months off with WRS. My phased return started with an hour a day for three days a week or something and gradually worked up.
    Nothing had changed at the school and I left shortly after, but for a new post in a lovely school where I stayed for a year and then moved to an independent.

    Your age and salary is not the barrier to moving on you might think. Keep looking and applying and you will find a school who wants you and values you.
    ATfan, agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. Sally006

    Sally006 Occasional commenter

    Thanks all. I’m confident they will do what they can to support me well. However, the accountability culture is still there. There were other things that led to my decline but don’t want to say too much. I won’t know how I will be until I try but it is not going to be easy. I have come a long way to drag myself up from the real depths but I just don’t feel the same and don’t feel right. I accept the advice about low profile and doing the phased hours then go. I must, as I have to factor in physical exercise every day. It is the one thing that helps after my medication was reduced (couldn’t stay on it long term at that dose as side effects could affect heart function).
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Try not to take things too much to heart. Accept any constructive criticism but otherwise remember that a lot of it is "make work".

    Someone has to be seen to be following up on something and collating data here and ticking boxes there.

    I always held true to my values. I decided what I thought was important and right. OK, there'd be a bit of extraneous ker-rap but I'd do the bare minimum of that.

    Be realistic. You made a considered and sensible decision about medication and you can do that about teaching too. It's all a balance and a compromise.
    ATfan, agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    I am currently off with WRS.
    Had a long period of absence earlier this year from Sept - Christmas. Personal reasons and health too, couple of fairly major things happened in that time.
    I went back but the environment is so toxic it’s making me ill.
    I don’t know what to do, am quite scared about what’s happening.
  12. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I've returned successfully after WRS a couple of years ago. It's been a challenge though. I'm pretty much OK now but it take a while. I've also had to resign after WRS many years previously.
    My school have been very supportive so that's helped. I do remember how anxious I was about returning though and you won't lose that until you've actually returned. A phased return sounds good.
    The accountability culture makes me very edgy as well. I've tried to go down the route of just playing the game - do what needs to be done to tick the boxes and then just try to focus on the children.
    I'd agree to an extent with the do your hours and get out but if you have any supportive colleagues, then do spend time with them. That helped me a lot.

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