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Timetable after maternity leave

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by chat_noir, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. chat_noir

    chat_noir New commenter

    Looking for some advice please. I am a head of department who has only ever taught sixth form. I started my mat leave in Sept and want to return after Easter. Before I left I was told that I could change the dept timetables on my return. Now I’m being told I can’t and have to pick up the timetable the cover person had.

    This isn’t great for a few reasons:
    1. This would involve me teaching PD/RE which I have never taught before. It might make me sound like a wimp, but the thought of teaching year groups and subjects I have never encountered before after being off for months fills me with dread - surely I have to return to the same job I left?
    2. We are introducing a brand new course next year. I need gained time to plan for it, so need to pick up year 13 lessons from another teachers timetable.

    The thought of returning to an unfamiliar timetable is really hanging over me and ruining what’s left of my maternity leave so any advice would be appreciated.
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Rteunring to the same job:
    If you return within six months, you are entitled to return to the same job. However since heads are entitled to allocate you to teach whatever groups they fancy anyway, a differently-balanced timetable does not constitute a different job.
    If you return after six months, you are entitled only to return to a job with the same pay and status - so they could, for instance, make you a head of year instead of head of department, if same TLR. (Although it could happen quite easily in primary, I suspect that one doesn't happen much in secondary apart from changes between which year someone is head of.)

    Looking at it from everyone else's point of view:
    It simply does not make sense for year 13 groups to change teacher at Easter, so those should be left unchanged at least until they leave.
    The teachers who have been teaching year 13 all year are going to be rather miffed if they miss out on their gained time. For that matter, anyone who has been teaching year 12 and enjoying it may be a bit annoyed to lose it.
    Are PD/RE part of your department? If so, it's not unreasonable to expect you to be able to teach them. If they're not part of your department, ask what lesson planning is available for you to use

    Could you look at a concrete suggestion of minor tweaks to the timetable that wouldn't be too disruptive? Maybe take one year 12 group from someone who has a lot of year 12, and suggest that those who have lost year 13 take a lesson or two each from you after half-term (keeping some of their gained time).

    Failing that, make your case for the curriculum development time - either they cover you for some lessons to allow you time to do that (perhaps once exam groups have left), or they keep the maternity cover teacher on for an extra week so you can spend your first week back on the planning.

    They have told you in good time, which does mean you have the option of saying "sod it, I'll delay coming back until July" (if finances permit). If you do that, you might want to negotiate KIT days, or returning before the end of term but with no timetable, to do the planning.

    (Thinking about it, returning when year 13 leave would mean that timetable tweaks to transfer some of the gained time to you would only mean one change of teacher for those groups, rather than two. So maybe they'd be more willing to consider changes of timetable then.)

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