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What to ask when applying for flexiworking/part time? Advice please

Discussion in 'Part-time and job share' started by CCEnglish12, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. CCEnglish12

    CCEnglish12 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I am due to return to work next Spring once my maternity leave ends and I would like to go back on a part time basis. I'm hoping for a 0.6/3 full days contract but i'm unsure how to word my request. Our Head is normally very good at allowing for part time and there are already a few members in our department currently working this through a job share. Also, another member of our team is on maternity leave and due to return not long after me and she is also interested in going part time, possibly doing a job share with me but doesn't want to ask for it yet. I'm not aware if she has let anyone at work know this so I'm not sure whether or not to include this as a viable option to be considered so I do not know if to ask for part time or a job share. It sounds silly but the whole thought of asking has made me anxious because I keep thinking it maybe rejected due to a lot of changes happening at the school.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you for reading.
  2. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

  3. CCEnglish12

    CCEnglish12 New commenter

  4. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I'd also recommend reading the DfE flexible working in schools guidance for ideas of how to word things. I had an informal chat with my head before submitting my application (fingers crossed I get my 3 days!)

    I just said I have main responsibility for childcare of my young baby and that returning to work on a full time basis would be financially unaffordable and also not the best thing for her. I said they could make it work through job share. I also said that allowing me to work part time would benefit the school in the following ways: they would retain my skills, I would be able to achieve a better work-life balance and would be more motivated, children could benefit from skills and experience of two teachers, it's an opportunity to recruit somebody to the team with skills which complement the existing team.

    I said that the majority of my colleagues would not be impacted but that for classroom staff in my year group, issues could be overcome by developing strong communication and I would be prepared to offer a half day each term during my partner teacher's working days (if we have no overlap) to look at long and medium term planning with emails/notes being appropriate for the remainder of the time.

    Essentially, I looked at each of the business reasons and stated pretty much why they wouldn't apply.
  5. CCEnglish12

    CCEnglish12 New commenter

    Thank you for this, I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner. Do you think an informal chat is necessary prior to a formal request? TIA
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It's not necessary, but sometimes it can help see how the land lies. That might be positive ("Mrs X said she might want to go part-time, so if so we might well be able to work things out" or "actually, we're overstaffed in your department for next year, so it would actually be quite helpful" or "the cover teacher's said they'd be interested in part-time in the future") or negative (in which case, if you know what the likely objections are, you've got a better chance of pre-empting them in your formal request). You might also pick up whether they're aware the other teacher may want to go part-time, and whether you're more likely to be successful if you're happy to wait for a reply until they know about that - although obviously you shouldn't mention her position if you know more than they do, they may well recognise that it's a possibility even if she's said nothing.
    strawbs likes this.
  7. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    No worries! I think it depends on your school. Mine is so small that I felt it fair to give a heads up. I also wanted to gauge my Head's response and the potential barriers. I didn't set up a special meeting or anything - I just mentioned it when I took my baby in to meet everyone.

    I subtly implied also that I would be forced to resign after the 13 weeks if I had to come back full time due to the cost of childcare so my head knows the position when she makes her decision.

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