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Would pregnancy effect my chance of promotion from AHT to Deputy?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by alphabetic, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Also posted in pregnancy-
    We have been planning ttc this month for over a year.  I have PCOS and I'm in my 30s.  If and when we get pregnant, I plan to return to work full time after mat leave.  I cannot discuss my plans to have a family with our SLT or anyone at school.

    I am currently an Assistant Head. Yesterday, my Headteacher told me that her post would be advertised in January and our Deputy would apply.  She then said, "If the Deputy is successful, the Deputy role will be advertised at Easter.  I dont know if you would consider applying but it will be advertised nationally."  I was shocked and wish now I had expressed a strong interest because now I am facing the Christmas holidays wondering whether to hold off ttc.

     I teach full time and am responsible for two core subjects and managing a Key Stage.  I have recently been given assessment from the Deputy. It seems that they have planned this structure and  I think they have me in mind for the role as a possibility but I know this is certainly not guaranteed.  I mentioned that I was looking for Deputy roles for September so they are aware of my plans but, truthfully, I was thinking of delaying this to ttc.

     I have a friend who was in a similar position last year.  She was 'acting' Deputy and knew the job would be advertised at Easter.  She got pregnant in December, got the job and the day she was meant to start her new role, she went on mat leave.  Her post has been covered until she returns.  I'm not this lucky!!!  I dont want to discuss my situation with her as I dont really want anyone knowing we are ttc, mainly because I think it will probably take a while. Besides, I think she was in a stronger position as she was 'acting'.

    Would it be better to ttc now, so that I would/could be applying pregnant and they knew full well what the future would be (they could plan cover)? Or would this effect my chances?  I suppose it would be extremely difficult to prove this though.

     Or should I wait to ttc until Easter, start the job September (providing I get it) and then go off on mat leave? or wait until September to ttc?  I really dont want to leave it as late as September though!! 

    Being in my 30s, facing potential difficulties to conceive vs missing out on a job which I am already doing is very tormenting.  It's not the most relaxing start to the Christmas holidays. 

    I welcome any advice, legal or personal, and any experiences.

     Many thanks.
  2. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    Without wishing to sound negative, if you aren't successful trying to conceive anytime soon, (I have a friend who took 5 years to get pregnant!) would you feel like you have missed out on the job opportunity if you dont apply because you are trying? And if you do apply, get it and then get pregnant, there's not much they can do anyway!
    Personally I wouldnt mention your personal plans if you do apply, though as if you dont get it, you'll no doubt suspect it was a contributing factor, and at the moment they are just that - plans.
    I worked in a school where the deputy was appointed then went off on maternity a few months later. Nobody was that bothered about it, really.
    Good luck with both!
  3. Thanks for your reply.

    I will be applying but I'm not sure whether to wait to ttc until the job is advertised at Easter or whether to carry on ttc and apply, knowing that it could effect my application but would be difficult to prove.

    Thanks for the well wishes.
  4. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry, and this will unpopular I bet, but isn't it dishonest if you get an important leadership job and then clear off for the best part of a year?
    Why not wait until after the baby is older, why do you seem to want quick career advancement and a family all at once? No matter what the trendy view is, it's not really possible to do both justice at once.
  5. I understand where you are coming from but I have been working towards this for four years. I have taken on far more reponsibility than I should have in preparation for this and the opportunity has come a year early. I was hoping to have a baby then return to work to apply.

    Thanks for your comment though. I do appreciate what you are saying.
  6. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Your plans for a family should have no bearing on any application or its outcome. If they do you should seek union advice immediately. Solicitors salivate at the prospect of going to battle for employees who are either pregnant or on maternity leave.
  7. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Your pregnancy is your business and nobody elses. Do not inform your school until the legal requirement to do so. Do not speak to someone at school about it because word will get out.
    No matter what the law says, it does not change peoples opinions and it would take an enlightened employer to look beyond the (expected) pregnancy. It would be a lot harder for the school to start pratting around once you have the job than it would be for them to give reasons not to give you the position if they know about your plans.
    Then is no guarantee that you would get the promotion, but it (to my mind) would be easier to deal with a no if I thought it was for professional reasons rather than because I was going to be pregnant.
    You might also want to read this thread
  8. That's good to know. But I suppose it would be difficult to prove if I was pregnant and they didn't consider my application fairly if there was an external applicant. I think I'll have a conversation with my headteacher in Jan express a strong interest and see what the response is. If it is a positive response then this should indicate how my application will be viewed. I won't mention ttc though. Any other suggestions?
  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    You don't know if/when you'll get pregnant. You don't know if you'll get the job. I understand your dilemma but tbh you could aim for both options at this stage.
  10. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I agree with the advice given, especially Karvol and lindenlea above. In theory, being pregnant should not affect your chances of promotion, in the same way it should not affect someone from being employed in the first place, however, discrimination, sadly, does occur. I reiterate what some have already said - you trying to conceive and your expected pregnancy in the near future is no-body else's business but yours and your partners. Go for both! I would if I could as as Indenlea has quite rightly put, you don't know if you either will happen! Good luck! xx
  11. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    Getting pregnant should not affect your chances of promotion, the school doesn't need to know your plans, this is all true. You say you planned to get pregnant, have baby then return and get promoted but this job has come up a year earlier than you'd hoped. These plans are great but may not be realistic especially as you have PCOS. I waited until I was in the final year of my MA before trying for a baby - it took 8 years of trying , IVF and adoption process before we had our children during which time I let my career drift (partly because I was very happy at work and not very ambitious). I returned to work after my adoption leave but don't like working late as I like to get home to have tea with the kids and put them to bed.
    You need to do what is right for you and your partner, you may not feel like putting your all into work if you have a baby, you might resent not having the promotion if pregnancy takes a long time coming. Only you can answer these questions but I will say this - if you really want to have children, don't keep putting it off because it's not quite the right time.
  12. I am afraid i disagree.It is possible to combine a leadership role with bringing up a family. Many womenI know have done it very successfully. I would go ahead apply for the deputy to role and let nature take is corse with the pregnancy thing.!!
  13. If I was you I would not put it off until March as these things take time and realistically you will not conceive between now and then anyway. It can take a couple with no fertility problems a year of trying before conceiving, adding the PCOS into the mix will probably increase this time so I would be trying ASAP. Like everyone else has said they won't be legally able to discriminate against you anyway.

    Good luck! x
  14. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    Agree with above - ttc now and enjoy it! As others have already said, it may take time... I have PCOS myself and was blessed with my daughter 8 years ago, thought she would be an only child then wham, bam, without even trying, I am now expecting again! I would agree that it is possible to have both - a good career and be a mother - I wish you the best of luck with both! xx
  15. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    You seem to be under the impression that all this is under your control and you can choose your future. The deputy's post isn't even available yet if I read your original post right. What is more important - having a family or developing your career? Decide which comes first for you and your partner and prioritise that. You may be able to have both all in one year but you might not - you can't always have jam on it you know and life is very rarely perfect - not for me, not for you.
    Sorry to be brusque but this is winding me up.
  16. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Then stop reading it!

  17. NQT2004

    NQT2004 New commenter

    This whole decision is based on huge assumptions, the current deputy might not get the headship... Have seen that happen a few times! Then there won't be a deputy up for grabs and even if there is you might not get it ! Again I have seen applicants apply to their school and not be successful!
    Go for it with the kids and don't worry about jobs, see how that all plays out.
  18. carriecat10

    carriecat10 Established commenter Community helper

    I agree that decisions about applying for jobs and having babies are your business only ...
    however the newly appointed deputy in a school I know announced her pregnancy shortly after starting, went off on maternity leave for nearly a year leaving everyone else to cover her responsibilities ...
    this created some resentment amongst staff and it will take time to develop good working relationships.
    Whilst I would say that you need to do what is right for you and your family ... please remember that your working relationships are hugley important also.
  19. Scenareo:
    You hold off applying for the DH job, the new DH starts and then announces she is pregnant, meanwhile you don't conceive. How would you feel? No one knows what is around the corner as anything can happen.
    I 'gave up' my career to have my children, I don't regret that as I had time to see them grow up without any pressures of a demanding job - however I am a little jealous of women who then still have their careers once the children grow up. I would like to add though, I don't feel I could have done a good job of being a parent along with a sucessful career, but many do!

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