As part of a regular monthly feature, we look at the lives of working mums doing a range of different jobs. This week we talk to Roz Norton, a deputy head teacher in London.
Roz Norton is deputy head teacher of a special needs school in North London.
Number of children
Three children aged 8, 17 and 21
How much time did you take off for maternity/paternity leave in each case?
With the first child, I had been working for 22 months in a music publishing company. They said since I had not been there 24 months I could not have any paid maternity leave. So I left and did not go back. With the second child I was at college doing a degree and I had no time off at all. I did my teaching practice with the baby. With my third child I had four months off, three on full pay and one on half pay.
Did you keep in touch with your job during maternity leave?
Did keep in vague touch with the job I was doing when I was on maternity leave.
What kind of childcare do you have and are you happy with it?
Have had childminders and nursery care. At present I just use an afterschool club and a breakfast club. It’s a bit expensive, but fine.
What has been your worst moment as a working parent?
My worst moment was doing a degree/teaching a class for the degree and having a small baby, bearing in mind that I am a single parent.
And your best?
My best is the feeling of accomplishment at surviving it all.
What is your typical working week?
I work about 40 plus hours a week.
What do you feel, if anything, needs to change to improve work/family life balance?
I feel working parents, particularly single parents, are not supported adequately by the Government and employers and are almost punished in some ways with taxes, lack of cheap childcare etc.
Do you feel there is enough support/advice for working parents?
No, there is not enough support, particularly for teachers/nurses etc.