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3 days allowed off maximum for interviews in calendar year?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by tollolo, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Dear Theo,

    How many days is a teacher allowed off school to attend interviews. I'm attending a job fair which lasts for four days, and my HT says I'm only allowed three (but they aren't sure.) Is there a link that shows how many I'm allowed so I can educate them (and myself!)
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    There is no 'law' - the school should have a policy on this (each school can devise its own policy and determine how many days a teacher is allowed), but if not, the head can determine the number. S/he might, for example, take into consideration how much time an individual has been absent for personal reasons, etc within the past year and not allow certain staff any days at all.
    Four days out at once seems an awful lot - what if you're unsuccessful? Would you then expect to be allowed to go to other job interviews?
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I've never refused permsiion to go to an interview, either.
    However sad you are at the prospect of losing a member of staff, you always want them to progress in their career.
    It's lovely to look back and see how many HoDs, AHTs, DHTs and even HTs you have helped along the way!
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
  4. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Would you have refused permission for one of your staff to attend a job fair? After all, it seemed to rather emphatically fail to fall within your definition of an interview.

    I hope, though, you wouldn't. The fact you give up your time for free to give extensive advice - and your amiable writing style - suggests that you believe in the prime word in all union documentation (and from MM's contribution): 'reasonable'.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Oh dear!
    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!
    I am going to have to double-disillusion you!
    I actually am an education consultant, and I invoice the TES . . . for peanuts only, lots less than I would get as a supply teacher, but it is not free on this Forum! That's the first disillusionment.
    Thank you kindly, I try.
    I certainly try here too.
    But here is the second disillusionment coming: I normally wouldn't let a member of staff take several days paid leave for a Job Fair, which is not within my definition of a job interview. A Job Fair is more akin to a cattle market or a horse fair: they will be practically opening your mouth to look at your teeth!
    I would offer one day paid, and possibly subsequent days unpaid (to give me money to pay for a replacement teacher). Only possibly, as I would need to be quite sure that there would be no negative impact on learning for the pupils.
    I did say "normally" above. Normally I wouldn't allow it. But the abnormal situation in which I jolly would allow it would be . . .
    If I were just dying to encourage, support, help along, give a push . . to that teacher so that s/he could find an appropriate job in another school, not in mine!
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
  6. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Hi TG

    I don't know anywhere else I could get careers advice from someone with credibility for free (for me!) so please don't think I'm just being contrary.

    If I hypothetically worked for you, one day's paid leave and the others (one more in this case) unpaid would seem a 'reasonable' compromise given your perspective of job fairs. However, I'm sure it could be argued that my time in the job fair would comprise of interviews, but that would need to be a decision for the HT. As you say, some HTs would want to reserve the right to refuse interview/job fair leave (!) on the basis of their impressions/opinions of their staff.

    In that case, I guess the teacher (and their partner, if time was unpaid!) and HT would need to decide whether the matter was worth bringing the unions in to argue the arduous meaning of the word 'reasonable' - it would be a little naff it is was, and I think the relationship between that staff and the HT would be a poor one at best.

    For what it's worth, I hear repeatedly that job fairs are 'meat-markets'. Would be interesting to see if that's confirmed, although I think/hope that the ability to secure interviews with my select schools prior to the event would make it worthwhile. Would that factor make a difference? Perhaps not.

    Thanks for your continued consideration.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, my experience gives me credibility indeed.
    No such thought, don't worry!
    You could argue, but it is not the Visiting A School For An Employment Interview After A Shortlisting Process that is meant by interview in any agreements, formal and informal about releasing staff for interview. They call them interviews, but you will not have a selection panel there, they are really more akin to a chat about the school, or even, in some cases of desperation, a hard sell about the school!
    You would be on a losing streak here, to be honest. I reckon any union would find it hard to agree that several days off to attend a job fair was reasonable . . . And an appeal to the Governors, from my long experience of Governors, is likely to tell you that it is reasonable to expect you to be in school doing the job for which you have been paid.
    Yes, I agree there.
    Nope, sorry, because they are not interviews as meant in any agreement . . .
    Honest John - they are not!
    Here's a suggestion.
    Without prejudicing their responses by saying that we have already had this discussion, why don't you start a thread over on the Teaching Overseas forum?
    Call it: What's the difference between Job Fairs and other interviews? And inside say:
    Can anyone tell me what is the difference between me going to a Job Fair where I have a couple of interviews booked with likely schools, and the interview I would get if a school advertised a specific job and said that they would be holding interviews in London for shortlisted candidates? I assume the latter would be like interviews for any job in a school here in the UK (but not held in a school, of course), but what about the former?
    You never know - they may give you information that allows you to try and persuade your Head!
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
    I am running the Win that Teaching Job seminar on Sat 8th Dec in London.
  8. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Hi Theo,

    So, an update. After conversation, my Head said that she is happy for me to take as many days off as necessary to secure employment. I believe this is because I've proved myself consistently over many years to have gone beyond expectations. If I was a chancer, then I doubt he would be willing. If I worked 40 hours a week, too, I wonder if they would be so willing.

    Finally, I created the thread like you said. Of those that replied, some suggested in rather fruity terms that Heads that didn't allow time off for a job fair were *** and that they deserve 'naming and shaming'. Others suggested that outside the UK, unpaid leave would not be default. My current opinion is that a teacher needs to be aware that a job fair isn't the same as an interview, and that time off is not automatic. But if it it refused, that is (especially in the current climate) something to negotiate.

    Thanks for your time and advice, btw: I believe it was useful in persuading my head. Reasonableness begets reasonableness, perhaps? I hope so!
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  10. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Hi Theo,

    Managed to secure a job in a school I liked. The Job Fair was definitely NOT like an interview! Has been an interesting process all round. Thanks again for your advice along the way, and all the best with maintaining your forum.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  12. tollolo

    tollolo New commenter

    Well, it's not Europe! It's been an interesting process applying for abroad. I've been rated outstanding regularly (even when we were hit by Ofsted) and deliver informal AST training in our area. I was offered two jobs on the basis of my CV with the agency alone, but managed to secure a job in a place where I felt I could make most difference.

    For me, I think the best British state school teachers are the best in the world. There is a hell of a lot of aspiration, and much reason to not have it. My theory is as follows: the 'harder' the teacher is required to work, the better the kids are behaved. For example, a colleague in Singapore tells me the state school system has 4-6 weeks holiday per year and 6 lessons per day. The pay-off is that the students are impeccable and you can rely upon them to work from textbooks where necessary. Another colleague says their job in America requires little in the way of marking or reporting, but the students are less motivated (perhaps in correlation).

    I'd like to think that any CV that shows a teacher willing to go beyond expectations will hold them in good stead. I am happy to say mine seems to, (and, beyond being flavour of the month in observations I'm not!)

    All the best with continuing the advice: it was useful for securing time off for me, and much appreciated too (as I'm am/was rather isolated where I am work now!)
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    You can send me a postcard when you get there. [​IMG]
    Theo Griff, TES Prime
    TSL Education Limited,
    26 Red Lion Square,
    London WC1R 4HQ
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations
    I am doing the Moving into SLT seminar on 2nd Feb sold out

  14. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Thank you - i look forward to trying to guess where it is from looking at the picture first.
    Best wishes
    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, every week in print in the TES magazine, or in person at one of the TES Careers Advice Service seminars or individual consultations


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