As soon as I announced my second pregnancy to my head teacher, 14 years into career, I found myself targeted. I suddenly went from a good/outstanding teacher to inadequate within 3 months. The demands on everybody had been increased and unjustified according to staff and unions but I was the target for all of this including an unfair lesson observation, workbook scrutinies, learning walks that were ‘graded’, favouring certain members of staff and describing them as her ‘shining stars’ etc, etc. My relationship with my head teacher broke down and is now, in my opinion, irreversibly damaged.I don’t trust her anymore and I have lost all the respect that I once had. Comments were also made about the possibility of a third pregnancy that implied she would find this bothersome and a drain on her plans DESPITE me giving no intention whatsoever of having a third baby! This after she also ‘had a go’ a another colleague for an unplanned pregnancy.
At the time this was happening, I was informed by a member of SLT that my pregnancy had annoyed her and caused her great amounts of stress and reorganisation – basically I had scuppered her grand plans. She had asked another, younger and inexperienced member of staff to take on a different role at school which would have been a massive promotion. Unfortunately, my pregnancy put a stop to that plan because the ‘young, experienced member of staff’ would have to become my maternity replacement. This information was given to me weeks into my sick leave.
I ended up on sick leave up until my maternity leave began. Since then, the head teacher has asked young, female members of staff about their intentions to extend their family (i.e. become pregnant) before allocating classes and has apparently changed class names because of ‘too many pregnancies and marriages are confusing’.
It won’t stop there. I am afraid that ‘my cards are marked’ when I return. Afterall, I asked for help from my union and they gave me 100% of their support, they even asked me if I wanted to bring a grievance against the school due to my long list of evidence. I declined (for now) because despite wrong being done to me and having the evidence for it, it would mean the end of my teaching career. Nobody recovers from discrimination.