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RQT support plan, illness and leaving

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by twirlgirl840, May 4, 2017.

  1. twirlgirl840

    twirlgirl840 New commenter

    I am in the last term of my 2nd year of teaching and have reached the desision that I need to leave the profession. I was offered a sick note last term due to anxiety but refused it due to looking at other teaching jobs and not wanting it to effect my reference. However, I have been increasingly stressed since then to the point that I feel sick going into school, having IBS, bursting into tears nearly every day. I am struggling with behaviour management, workload and to top it off have had a teacher parent complain about me. My HT has spoken down to me, belittled me and called me 'purposely obtuse' in regards to my actions. Now my support plan (which seemed to be targets with no real follow up) has been increased to now daily meetings with the deputy head where I am expected to record any incidents a child in my class reports or I witness, what they said, I said and my follow up actions, all of which is adding to my already heavy workload. I am finding myself weeks behind with marking due to doing everything else, I can't eat properly, I burst into tears at anything and my previous panic attacks (which I've been on medication for for 7 years) have returned.

    I am going to the doctors tomorrow as I have been driving myself insane with anxiety about returning to school. I have decided to look for a new career path. However, I am unsure about my sick pay and if I can take my notice during long term sick leave? I need some financial income to live while I look for other jobs but I cannot even bare to think about returning to school.

    Sorry for the essay, any suggestions welcomed
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Yes, you can be signed off then hand your notice in, it's fine. If you're signed off for the entire period it's fine.

    Your sick pay will depend on your contract (academy or not) - check your contract. Unless your school is horrific you'll get full pay whilst signed off.

    Go to the Dr tomorrow, get signed off, send the sick note in to school and stop think about the place. hand in your notice before end of May.
  3. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I'm so sorry this is happening.
    Fact: you are feeling physically and emotionally ill with anxiety.
    Stop even thinking that you need to keep up with any insane additional workload demands.
    Take a few days off first. To get your self back into a place of strength.
    During this time don't even think about work other than reporting sick and providing cover if you can.

    During this time speak to a union advisor.
    First write out exactly what has happened so far as a list with dates etc. so that you can be clear when speaking to the advisor.

    You may need this at a later date. It is very easy to forget once things seem to go back to normal.

    Have a word document up on your computer to and add incidents that make you feel in anyway uncomfortable and stressed. Including discussions with the union and the names and position of the people you talk to.

    Again If you are ill and anxious these details will be easy to forget later on.

    doing this may help reduce your anxiety and force you to be objective.

    But for now stop everything right away and just try and get back to the healthy person you were before these personal and and what can only be described as professional attacks began.
    pineapplehead likes this.
  4. drek

    drek Star commenter

    If you do go back to school, try asking your DH what specific incidents she wants recording and ask how the school thinks this will help you.

    Is it to check the behaviour policy is followed so that the school can help support behaviour management and give you tips?

    Remember meetings are supposed to be where you can ask questions and make notes that you think will help you in the classroom.
    You can use this to protect yourself as well.
  5. twirlgirl840

    twirlgirl840 New commenter

    I feel physically sick with anxiety even thinking about calling the HT to say I'm ill. I know she'll think/or say I'm just skiving because she told me off :(
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Don't worry about what they think or say, it isn't your problem. Just leave. You are far from alone in reaching this point within the first year or two. Good luck x
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Don't call then, send an email or text. Sod the policy.

    Don't leave the profession yet. There are other lovely schools around.
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You don't need to phone the Head - I'm sure you have a sick line at work. Or just email, as said above.

    You don't have to physically take in your sick note to school, simply post it. You could always scan a copy as well, and email it to them.

    Once signed off they cannot ask you to do any work. If they contact you tell them that you're signed off and not well enough to communicate with them.
    KayDee likes this.
  9. fudgeface

    fudgeface Occasional commenter

    Sorry to hear you are having a horrid time. Sadly it is all too common at the moment. Try to stay strong. I hope things improve for you soon
    tsarina likes this.
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Tip. For the future.

    If the policy tells you to ring the school number? And if they have voicemail?

    Ring really early so it goes to voicemail and say you're going back to bed so are leaving a message. You've done your duty.

    Obviously it's better to just woman up and tell them honestly but we can't always do the optimal so we fall back on the sufficient.

    And if the HT think it's because you're upset? You are. Maybe one day she'll put two and two together and be a little less intemperate.
  11. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    From your description of your symptoms, it doesn't sound like you will be well enough to look for a job for a while. If your doctor signs you off sick then take all the time they give you to get well. It sounds as if your school might be the type to try to intimidate you into handing in your notice or making you come back to work. However try and remember what you used to be like before you became ill and don't give up until you reach that state again.

    If you eventually have to hand in your notice and leave then you might need to claim benefits. It is a lot easier to do this if you know what you are doing. The citizens advice bureau are great at giving this sort of advice, as is the job centre. When you are ill it is hard to do the research and make decisions so try and see someone as soon as possible so you know what you will need to have in order to claim benefits if it comes to it. (e.g. copies of doctors notes etc)

    Best wishes
  12. twirlgirl840

    twirlgirl840 New commenter

    Been to the GP this morning who has signed me off for 2 weeks. I am getting married on 27th May and can't bare the thought of being like this on my wedding day in 3 weeks! I'm already scared about telling the school I've been signed off and potentially having to go back for 1 week before my wedding if I'm not signed off again!

    I've also spent the whole day so far looking for other jobs that will pay the bills and that I can do without needing years of experience and finding nothing
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    One thing at a time!

    Ring school. Speak to the secretary or whoever picks up and ask them quite simply to pass on a message. You've been signed off until such and such. You'll send in the note by post. You'll let them know your health status in 10 days time. Also the doctor has advised complete rest so please leave you alone. Your SoWs etc and planning thus far are to be found on the network. Thank you and goodbye.

    That you must do.

    Job-hunting. You will have to take a punt on some of these jobs and just apply. Sure, they want Superwoman. But they'll get who they get. Typical mistake. Thinking you HAVE to have all the attributes. You don't. Apply if you like the sound of it.

    The wedding? That'll come and go. Don't be a Bridezilla about it. I do hope you're not! ;) It'll be lovely - whatever happens.

    The next sick note? You might feel a lot better. You might not need it. Shouldn't be second-guessing that.
    pepper5 and pineapplehead like this.
  14. twirlgirl840

    twirlgirl840 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice. My mind is in overdrive at the moment about all the things that can go wrong!
    I promise not to be a bridezilla and I will apply for jobs like you suggested.
    1. I have just received an email saying about book scrutiny (of which my books are horrifically behind in marking due to my current situation and health). Can they dismiss me before handing in my resignation for this?
    2. The head teacher will not take me being signed off for 2 weeks lightly and is likely to ring me or ask me to go in for meetings which makes me panic.
    3. Even if I do feel better after the time off, the thought of me going back and teaching those children inadequately fills me with horror. If I'm not cut out for teaching, I don't want them to suffer anymore than they already have.
  15. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    Your GP has signed you off as too sick to be working at the moment. Stop reading your school emails, this is working.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You do seem convinced you're not good enough and you're looking for other jobs. That paints a picture.

    Right. You can't be dismissed for being behind with marking.

    Email back.

    Dear Blah,
    For the avoidance of doubt I have to reiterate what I was told by my doctor.

    I must refrain from work and all associated activities, e.g. emails, calls and texts, for the period during which I am deemed unfit for work. In accordance with those instructions (and I am acutely aware of my responsibility in law to take care of my own health and safety) I can only repeat that this will be my last contact with work until 10 days from now. At this point I should have some idea as to whether my recovery is imminent.

    To comply with medical advice I shall not be using this email address for the next 10 days. I cannot enter into any discussions related to work.

    With thanks for your understanding at this time

    CWadd, chelsea2, knitone and 10 others like this.
  17. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    Would they really dismiss you out of hand because your books haven't been marked? is this an anxiety/panic response?

    I've only been out of teaching for a year but things have changed a lot if they can dismiss you without any sort of procedure for something like that.;)

    Like peggylu said: stop reading your school emails. Go cold turkey for 48hrs at least. Set a timer and don't read anything! If they appear on your phone then turn off the autosync or better still remove your school account from your phone. If you had the flu you would be in bed physically unable to reach a computer and check emails. Imagine your illness is like having the flu - go to bed and cuddle up to a hot water bottle, eat chicken soup and jelly and watch mindless tv.
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. pineapplehead

    pineapplehead New commenter

    I'm so sorry to hear that you have become unwell as a result of WRS. Please, please, please do not enter in to any correspondence with school other than letting them know that you have been signed off by your GP.

    Take grumpydogwoman's advice. It is totally sound. I am returning to work next week after 2 term's absence due to WRS. One thing which really helped my recovery was literally switching off communication from school apart from the necessary sending in of fit notes from the GP and requesting an Occupational Health referral.

    I have not read a single email or sent in a single lesson plan. Like you, I have not been fit to work. Not having to deal with the source of my stress has been liberating and hugely helpful in my recovery.

    Be kind to yourself, give yourself time to decompress and recover. Try not to think about any 'what ifs' and possibilities of return to work until you are ready. If school insists on contacting you regarding work while you are ill, contact your union and ask your rep to remind school of their duty of care to you as an employee (this involves not expecting you to carry out work duties while absent through illness).

    Take care
  19. twirlgirl840

    twirlgirl840 New commenter

    What would you suggest in regards to looking for other work, whether is be teaching at a different school or another job completely? Can I go for interviews?

    I'm in a complete state about not being financially secure by summer.
  20. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    You can't go for interviews whilst signed off but I don't think you should be thinking about looking for other "work". Look for positions you want by all means, but as corny as it is, look to yourself first. Update your CV, think about what you're good at and your strengths...

    That's all you should think about for the next 10 days. Then go to your GP, see if you need more time and take it from there. In a nice way, I don't think I want to see you back here until then!
    CWadd and grumpydogwoman like this.

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