I have been a primary school teacher for 15 years and have had two children in that time. However last year on the third pregnancy and whilst working under a fixed term contract which was due to be renewed again after two years in which I would be made permanent, I informed my employer I was pregnant. Before finding out I was pregnant I was told there would be funding available and that I shouldn’t worry about looking for other employment. As soon as the pregnancy was known there were suddenly no funds available to continue my role at the school. However during this time £15,000 was spent on a recruitment agency for a new head teacher. The NUT were involved and I was initially told that I wouldn’t even qualify for full maternity benefits as I wouldn’t be returning to my job after maternity leave despite the fact that this wasn’t my decision. I did eventually get the local authority (with negotiation from the union) to honour full maternity rights and pay in respect of SMP. However once the maternity pay had finished I was too psychologically exhausted to look for a new job and I am now unemployed. It has been utterly devastating for my family and the effects are still on going.