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Would pregnancy effect my promotion from AHT to Deputy

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by alphabetic, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. 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. Firstly Im pretty sure they are not allowed to discriminate against you for being pregnant or trying as its against equal opportunities for women, but Im not an expert. Hopefully someone else will be able to help.
    From a personal perspective, Im currently 16+4 and am a key stage co-ord. I was planning to go for HoD this year (would need to change school if an appropriate post came up) but have postponed this plan until next year after I have had the baby. Ive made it quite clear in performance management that this is my career plan and have taken on extra responsibility with this in mind. I too intend to return to work full time after having the baby and continue with my career, which I love, so I completely sympathise with your plight (congrats by the way on potential deputy post), I only told my Hod because HR said I had to and kept it a secret from my dept until last week for fear of them thinking anything I change/implement doesnt really matter as Im off in May. Despite the fact that conversations seem to revolve around my pregnancy now rather than anything else - my HoD has praised the extra work I have been doing and not attempted to take anything away from me. My experience thus far has been positive, so fingers crossed for you.
    Having a baby is personal to you and your partner, so if I was in your shoes I would keep doing what you are doing from both a career and a family perspective. Hope all works out for you. x
  3. I am early in my career, and do not aspire to be a DH so I am in a very different position to you in terms of work. My personal experience, though, is that whilst I do not want to not work for years my priorities are definitely different now. I have a 22 month old (and had a challenging pregnancy with her - did supply when well enough but otherwise was sick at home a lot then got SPD). And now I'm 25 weeks pregnant with number 2 (and whilst it is better controlled with meds it's another preg with hyperemesis, palpitations, dizziness and low blood pressure). Due to circumstances also just did supply this term (I have had a one year mat cover part time contract in the middle)
    So for me, working full time during pregnancy wouldn't have been possible - let alone a position of more responsibility. Not everyone experiences this, of course, but it can happen to anyone.
    I am also younger - will have had both kids by the time I'm 29 and we had no difficulties in conceiving - lucky on that front, despite unlucky with ill pregnancies.
    For me the idea of stepping up to a big role when ttc is not appealing at all (especially if this could be an emotional rollercoaster ) or when pregnant, or straight off maternity leave (when things are different - many people feel upset about going back / stressed about juggling everything / simply tired from lack of sleep and lacking in a bit of confidence). That said, I am not at that stage in my career, and don't see myself in SLT ever - so my mindset is very different.
    I am now not working (because my mat cover contract obviously ended) whilst I have this baby - it was a choice of full time or nothing this year. I would have loved part time but the idea of a new job full time was just impossible to consider.
    Legally you shouldn't be overlooked because of pregnancy but this just is not realistic (and as you say difficult to prove)- the impact is huge on a school of having someone not start a role like DH / do it very short term / be covered / come back but with the potential to be in a very different place emotionally and psychologically which is something that happens to some people and not others, and isn't something you'll know in advance. Whilst it is your legal right to be considered exactly as if you weren't pregnant, the school will inevitably be considering their position and the stability of things for the kids etc.
    Knowing some people who are struggling (or who struggled) to conceive, the whole process is immensely hard and I don't know anyone who wishes that they were trying alongside a more challenging job. I also don't know anyone who isn't a little daunted about coping when going back (even those like me who really want to be working and don't intend to be non-working mums) and who feels quite apprehensive and worries about having the capacity to do both jobs well.
    Only you know YOU and your preferences, just wanted to share some of the unforeseen changes that TTC, pregnancy and being a mum can cause in a person - you don't know until you get there.
  4. I dont think you can put your life on hold for ttc. I would be warier if it was an external job but they obviously think highly of you or they wouldnt have hinted you should apply. Perhaps you wont get it anyway if there is a strong external candidate. I would just apply and ttc - imagine how you will feel in a year if you dont apply and you arent pregnant. TBH its the ridiculous timescales for these posts that are the problem. What beachut says about preg being tough is true but you have a very demanding job anyway so I cant imagine it would make that much difference. Working full time with a baby is tough also, but everyone is different.
  5. Many people have given you sound and balanced advice and I have nothing to add except this: don't put a job before ttc. You may (hopefully) be one of the lucky ones but to be brutally honest, in your mid thirties your chances of conceiving go down, quality of eggs etc, plus adding pcos into the mix means if I were you i wouldn't be thinking twice about getting on with it. I know it's perfectly possible to conceive in thirties-forties (my own mum had a happy accident at the age of 36!) but I also know that in your position I'd be wanting to maximise my chances. I know someone who had her first at age 41 and would dearly love another but hasn't managed to conceive. Go for it.
  6. Thanks for your advuce. I really appreciate it. I still feel very torn. I've also posted this in work place dilemmas (not sure it is will help make up my mind though). Wish I had a crystal ball!!! X
  7. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Whatever you do, don't wait to start ttc. You're in your 30s and you have PCOS so you may find it very hard to conceive.
    Also, don't tell anyone at work about your plans to ttc. They only need to know if you get pregnant.
    If you get pregnant, then is the time to decide what to do about work. In the meantime, I would apply for the job if you aren't pregnant by the time it comes up and you still fancy it.
    I didn't go for jobs because of ttc but I never got pregnant and ended up being forced out of my job and on to supply. I have no family and no career and probably never will have now as I'm nearly 40.
    Don't put your life on hold for ttc because it may not work but start trying now to give yourself the best chance. Good luck.
  8. Thanks for your replies. I am still completely torn though. Would waiting two months really make a big difference?
  9. I knew you would get some excellent advice and vicariously so have I!
    In addition to what I've already said, we decided that we would try for a baby after we got married (July this year) and that while we were TTC I would continue with my career plans, which is what I have done, wasn't quite expecting to be pregnant so quickly, but I was already sans contraception due to knee surgery earlier this year, which helped.
    Keep trying with your career and start trying for a baby, decisions regarding both become a lot easier once you jump over the "should we try for a baby" fence, as we did. They also change, Im now planning on taking 12 months off rather than 6 and then returning full time to pursue my dream of HoD. As other posters have said, do you really want to miss out on both as you waited to test the water?
    Oh BTW, merry christmas to everyone!

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