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Should you take a maternity cover for your NQT year?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by ellefs, May 15, 2020.


Would you take a maternity cover for your NQT year?

  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
  3. Depends

    4 vote(s)
  1. ellefs

    ellefs New commenter

    I'm due to finish my School Direct training July 2020, I've had a few interviews but been unsuccessful. I've had good feedback but ultimately all have said they went with a candidate with more experience. I am worried that due to corona, I've had limited experience in the classroom and this will hold me back. One of my placement schools contacted me to say they're advertising internally for a maternity cover position from September, and asked if I was interested.
    I thought that this will give me a years experience but I'll also still be cheap to employ.

    What are peoples thoughts/experience on taking a maternity cover for your NQT year?
  2. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    No reason why not. You will be treated in exactly the same way as if the job were permanent. The only downside is that unless someone leaves or the person on maternity doesn't come back you will have to look for something else at the end of the contract. A bit strange the school are only advertising internally - or are there some current temporary/student teachers there who might also go for it. It sounds promising because they contacted you specifically to invite you to apply. Good luck whatever you decide to do. You are clearly a teacher who is valued.
  3. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    As long as it is going to be a whole year, not a problem. It looks good on your CV that a placement school offered you a job, you will obviously have gained the post through practice and not a good interview. You never know something else may come up by the time the contract ends. Lots of NQTs do end up taking temporary post. At least this is a real temporary and you are being asked because they know you can do the job.
  4. Gsr25

    Gsr25 Occasional commenter

    I’m glad you have asked that because that is all that seems to be available at the moment! One head I spoke to said that there was a chance that I wouldn’t be able to finish my NQT year when the person came back (this was a part time role) so it was at my own risk.
  5. mooredjc

    mooredjc New commenter

    I think a lot of positions will be one year, especially as schools see themselves "taking a chance" moreso without a lesson observation.
    Gsr25 likes this.
  6. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Whilst it's not necessarily a bad thing to take a temporary contract, you should be aware that maternity pay only runs to 9 months so many women will not be able to afford to take the full year. This means you may not get the full year of employment.

    It's worth asking how long they would expect the contract to run and what notice you would receive.
  7. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    I’ve done this and was lucky enough that my school honoured my NQT year and let me finish it, despite the fact that the teacher returned after 10 months.
    That might be worth checking upfront. I didn’t and had one or two sleepless night at the time.
  8. Teapot345

    Teapot345 New commenter

    There is often a clause written in to temporary maternity cover contracts that says along the lines of "your temporary contract will cease on the return of the post-holder" so if the woman decides to come back from mat leave early, i.e. they change their mind and choose to take less than a year as is their right, you'll be out on the hoof. I can't remember how much notice they need to give in this instance, but again that'll be written into the contract so ask. Any full terms you have already completed as an NQT in that role will count towards your overall NQT year and you'll get an interim report for portion of a term you might not get to complete to take with you to your next role still as an NQT, should you need to.

    Where I live, permanent roles are like hens teeth and most schools only offer temp or fixed term contracts anyway, so overlooking these sort of roles would be remiss if you really wanted to get your foot in the door or gain experience.

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