Becoming a parent: Who to tell, when, and what you need to have decided

Despite what you might hear on the staffroom grapevine, your parental leave should suit you, not the school calendar, says Charlotte Bell

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You actually have a lot of control over when you begin your maternity leave, so planning when to start it can be just as tricky as deciding how long you want to take off (see legal information, below).

In my case, people assumed it would be easy. My baby was due mid-September, so everyone assumed that once the final class of July was over, I would be “off” – enjoying an elongated maternity leave.

Quite frankly, that thought terrified me. I was incredibly nervous about handing over classes (even though I knew that every member of my department was an incredible teacher) and relinquishing the ...

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