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Upset HT- am I in the wrong?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mandysmart92, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. mandysmart92

    mandysmart92 New commenter

    So, I have been on supply in a school since day 1 of the term in September and have worked every day. On Tuesday afternoon, the school Business Manager informed me that I would not be required Wednesday to Friday. Expected pupil attendance and the number of events that were planned meant that I was not needed and that I should "start my Christmas break earlier" and that the school was having to manage their supply budget closely. This was delivered very clinically with no apology etc. It was followed up by an email confirming that I would not be employed on supply on the three days and confirming the days I would be paid for.

    I have not signed a contract (which suited me) although I had been told from the start that I was covering a one year career break.

    I had planned to stay at the school until the summer and then look at my options then. However, I have now agreed to cover a maternity leave in another school starting straight after the holidays. This post had been offered to me by a friend three weeks ago, I had said no as I had loyalty to the post I was covering. However, they were really struggling to get someone as I teach a shortage subject. This post also suits me for a number of reasons.

    On Thursday, I had a conversation with the HT at the new school, explained what had happened, showed him the email and he said I was free to sign a contract with him and I signed a contract until Summer! (he offered me a contract until next year but that does not suit me although he was delighted to get the post filled)

    I emailed the Business Manager back to thank her for confirming the days I would be paid for and informing her that I had signed a contract with another school and to pass on my thanks to the HT and that I would be in touch with the HoD on the Friday to confirm handover for my classes. I then had 4 missed calls in about 30minutes from the school. (I was in the gym so no phone)

    The HT sent an email saying that I had made a commitment to this post until the summer and that I was leaving my students without a teacher and that she was very disappointed (I do not teach any exam classes as when the timetable was made it was assumed they would not have a specialist teacher to cover this line of the timetable)

    I have emailed my HoD to confirm handover details- received no reply.

    Am I in the wrong?
     
  2. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    In short, no.
    You have been treated shabbily and you've taken steps to secure your short term financial future.
    Think no more about it!
     
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    "made a commitment to this post until the summer" is not the same thing as "entered into a contract until the summer".

    So assuming when the (current school) job was offered it wasn't offered as a fixed term contract from September 2018 to Summer 2019 you are not contractually committed to them. (The issue of notice period could arise but if it was effectively a day to day supply arrangement it almost certainly won't).

    Of course the current school could have contractually committed you to stay until next summer if they'd offered, and you'd accepted, a fixed period contract. But then they'd have had to pay you for the holidays. They wanted it both ways - you committed, but they don't have to pay you. I've no sympathy for them.
     
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Are you in the wrong? No.
    Are the school now understandably pee'd off because they have no-one for January? Yes.
    Does it serve them right? Absolutely.

    Do as planned and move on.
     
  5. May2

    May2 Occasional commenter

    I say well done you, and good that you can say stuff them, when they tell you at the last minute that they don't need you for 3 days. I bet it surprised them that you had another job to go to!
     
  6. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    It’s the school’s fault. They wanted long term supply without any contracted commitment then are surprised you didn’t like being treated poorly.
     
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you had had a genuine commitment in law, they would have had to pay you, at least for those three days. As they didn't, they clearly thought that they could dispense with your services without notice. So, I can't see why you can't do the same to them. Good luck in the new school.
     
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Agree with the posts above. I undertook several fixed term contracts - the school had to pay me for the holidays (assuming the contract went over a holiday), and all did. I also did some supply - I only got paid for the days worked. I'd always prefer the former, but some schools want to save money (that's their right, of course), but you have the right to do as you did.
     
  9. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    You owe them nothing. They could have found you stuff to do on those three days but they wanted to save money. Zero hour contract! You have found something better. Good luck in your new post.
     
  10. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    They treated you badly.

    I had a long term supply job and they even paid me to go in during SATs when the regular job-share was in anyway and were also going to pay me to go on a trip which she was coming for, too.

    You might have tightly budgeted for these earnings, for a mortgage or something...they let you down. It’s not okay to let you down like that and I am sure they have no redress regarding you leaving.
     
  11. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I say good for you, and Merry Christmas!
     
  12. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Occasional commenter

    Think of all the days pay you would lose out on in the lead up to all the holidays. Are they going to give you a two day week before Easter? Tell you to go in June because you’re not needed for July? They can’t really y be trusted and you need your pay. A commitment is from both sides. They showed you how they can drop you like that and not consider your financial obligations. They’ve got a budget and you’ve got bills and rent. I wouldn’t think twice about this and I wouldn’t feel guilty. Go and work in a decent school and forget about them. I think it was perfect timing to be honest. They show little care about you and you leave. Perfect! Hopefully a lesson for the school. Xx
     
    Oss54, tall tales, BetterNow and 16 others like this.
  13. mandysmart92

    mandysmart92 New commenter

    Thanks to everyone for the reassurance. Thankfully, I am fine financially due to living in an inherited property- but they were not to know that!

    It was just good luck having the other job to go to, and as I said, it does suit me for other reasons as well but I would have stayed loyal to the commitment I had made back in September.
     
  14. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    They treated you very shabbily with not paying you for the last few days of term after you had been working since September - penny pinching which has cost you money. You owe these shysters nothing and if they had treated you decently then they wouldn't have to find someone at short notice.

    Of course they play the 'you'll be harming the students' card but that is not your responsibility. The school is charged with the successful education of their students and if they treat staff so parsimoniously as this then they deserve everything they get. You have done absolutely nothing wrong and you owe this school no loyalty. The only loyalty they deserve is when they pay you.
     
  15. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Absolutely not in the wrong.

    They say you have a commitment to them until the summer but they dump you for 3 days at Christmas to save a bit of money? They are in the wrong, not you. They are harming the students by not doing what they can to keep good teachers and maintain continuity. Risking that for the sake of 3 days pay.

    Good luck in the new post :)
     
  16. Curae

    Curae Lead commenter

    Well done for you ...nothing wrong ...you are a survivor. If anyone should feel guilty it's the school.

    Good luck to you and boo to that school!
     
  17. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    What a ridiculous way for a school to carry on. Did they really think they could walk all over you like that? The guilt thing is just irrelevant - you are a paid employee and if they don't want to pay you, they can't expect you to demonstrate unconditional commitment. I hope the new job works out well for you. Merry Christmas!
     
  18. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    [​IMG]
     
  19. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Good luck in the new job.
    Not much to add to the other comments above other than to agree with them.
     
  20. Flanks

    Flanks Established commenter

    It is more of an unfortunate situation rather than either side being wrong. The business manager could have spoken to you better, but even if they had would you have turned down the maternity cover?

    Were they wrong to manage their expenses? No.

    Were you entitled and probably wise to accept the maternity cover? Yes.

    Are the school understandably upset that they now have to cover a post? Yes.

    Is that your fault? No, they know the deal with supply.

    So in my opinion no one's fault, and understandable worry and upset on both sides too.
     

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