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Tricky issue

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by numberoneteacher, Aug 8, 2020.

  1. numberoneteacher

    numberoneteacher New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for some advice on how to get back into teaching after a 6 year break. To cut a long story short, I was in a very abusive relationship and this ended in myself being found guilty of 'willful neglect' as I did not leave the relationship in time. However, I have been cleared by DBS to work with children and the TRA have also cleared me to work in schools. I now want to see if I can get back to teaching as I'm in a better place but obviously I will need to disclose what has happened and that scares me because it will bring back a lot of memories. I was thinking of starting with supply and then trying to get a permanent position once I have built up a good reputation. What do you think? How do you think I should handle this difficult conversation? TIA
  2. Interista

    Interista New commenter

    First of all, it's good that you're out of the relationship and in a place where you feel ready to go back into the classroom. Building up again through supply sounds like a good step, what about contacting your previous head or colleagues for advice/support/references?
    In terms of the difficult conversation just be open and honest about it, you can't change what happened. If it is going to bring up memories maybe it is worth also having someone to speak to if you don't at the moment. I hope it all works out for you!!
    TheoGriff and steely1 like this.
  3. numberoneteacher

    numberoneteacher New commenter

    Thank you. I actually left my last teaching position via a settlement agreement which will only give me a very basic reference. I did try to reach out to my previous HT when I got the TRA decision but she just ignored my message. Other than than, I can get a reference from a TA I used to work with but I don't have contact with most of my teaching colleagues as they seemed to just bury their head in the sand when I needed their support. Could I just use the basis reference and references from my current job?
  4. Romoletto

    Romoletto Occasional commenter

    I think your idea of starting out vie supply is a good one it may give schools an opportunity to get a clearer picture of you as a person and professional. As for how to have that conversation, I think just try to keep it to the relevant point in any application process or interview and keep it brief and to the point, don’t expound on it too much. Just make it clear that it is something firmly on your past and that you are now a stronger and better person having come through it on the other side and that it will not and should not affect your current teaching capabilities.

    If the conversation really feels daunting just try to remember that if you’ve filled out one of those lengthy application forms and in it you have already made mention of the incident, any interview you are called into will have read what you wrote and still found you a worthy candidate to talk to so try to bare that in mind and feel confident enough not to dwell on that one aspect of your past but rather focus on your positive sand strengths
  5. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Hmmmm.... The offence of ‘wilful neglect’ is a new offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJCA 2015) under which there is criminal liability where a person has been placed under the care of a medical professional in a hospital or care home (s 20), or under private home care (s21).

  6. numberoneteacher

    numberoneteacher New commenter

    Sorry, I don't get the point you are trying to make here. I would appreciate constructive, non-judgmental advice as you don't know anything about my situation.
    Nahmero likes this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    As are the other posters, I am pleased to learn that you can put things behind you and consider moving back into teaching.

    However, I'm slightly confused about the use of the word "conversation".

    In a difficult situation like yours, I would have expected you to check on the website for the school's policy on the employment of ex-offenders (I am assuming that you may be in this category, do correct me if I am wrong). Most would require the application to be accompanied by an additional document for the Head's eyes only, setting out succinctly your offence and your current position.

    Even if there is no such policy publicly available for intending applicants, it's a good idea to send that anyway, for everyone in this type of situation.

    It would therefore be most unlikely that there would be a conversation, at interview or elsewhere. If there were, the main facts having been set out in writing, it should be a lit easier for you. I hope that this sets your mind more at rest.

    Another point is your leaving the last school, no longer being in teaching, having an agreed reference. You can't just ignore those factors in any application, pretending that they don't exist.

    I would suggest going online to Amazon to find a book that could help overall in teaching applications, and specifically here. Search for books on Application for a Teaching Job, there will be a number of possibles. Choose one that is UK not American based, and has good reviews. These books can be downloaded immediately to the free Kindle app on phone, tablet, PC if you don't have an actual Kindle.

    If you are lucky, you might even find one book that actually has a chapter entitled "Applying for a teaching job from a potential position of weakness". :)

    I hope it all works out well for you.

    Twitter @Theo_Griff
  8. numberoneteacher

    numberoneteacher New commenter

    Thanks for your advice. When referring to a 'conversation' this is relevant in a supply teaching interview with an agency. I have been a supply teacher in the past so I know how it all works. I know that I would have to visit the agency and have an interview and explain the situation. Right now, I wouldn't even think about applying directly to schools as this will get me nowhere. There are teachers out there who are not in my situation and they are struggling to find work so for myself, it would be 100 times more difficult. However, supply is a way to start the ball rolling and at the end of the day, a HT is likely to ask a teacher to stay on permanently if they already know them.

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