Hi, I'm a new (acting, joint) HoD on a maternity cover basis. I've been at the school for 5 years but only took on the HoD role at Easter (jointly with a colleague who is an experienced ex-HoD but works part time). In September, we had a new full-time member of staff, and a part-time long-term supply teacher doing the maternity cover. The full-time colleague is ill (serious medical issue, unrelated to the workplace, off for 3 weeks so far). The long-term supply was frequently absent for various last-minute reasons and then said they could not commit to the school and we needed to find someone else. The last 3 weeks have been hell. My other colleague is amazing but is part time (0.5), so 2 days per week I have been the only staff member in the department. My other colleague is also organising a school trip (they are away with about 40 kids this week!) which has been very stressful and taken up a lot of their time, so the brunt of the cover responsibilities have fallen to me. On a Friday, I teach all 6 lessons and was also responsible for providing cover for 10 other lessons in total for absent staff members. After parents' evening the night before! We do have a bank of cover work, but it still takes time to go through it and find suitable sheets and photocopy them for each group. I'm reluctant to print a booklet of work for 2 weeks or whatever, as in cover lessons things tend to get trashed. I can't rely on resources from 1 lesson still being there for the next, with some groups. I already found my own workload very heavy, without trying to do aspects of 2 other people's jobs. I still teach 24 lessons per week as HoD and every class is different (eg: Y11 French, Y11 Spanish, Y10 French, Y10 Spanish, etc...) so I can't duplicate lessons. It's all got too much for me and I ended up crying in the staffroom on Friday (after a really tough lesson with Y11) with other colleagues volunteering to go and cover my lesson so I could have a moment. This is not what I am normally like. There might be some light at the end of the tunnel - we have a different long-term supply teacher due to start after this half-term, who worked with us from Easter to July too. They were reliable and I can go back to just sending them my powerpoints rather than photocopying hundreds of worksheets. But I don't know what's happening about the other member of staff who is unwell and that could continue for weeks. This next term is going to be a long hard slog to Christmas. Luckily (or unluckily for the next stint...), our half-term is really early so I'm off this week. In term-time, I haven't been able to think long-term, every minute has been taken up with what I need to get done for the following day. So I'd now like your best ideas for how I can manage the cover situation and what support I can ask SLT for. Otherwise at this rate I'll be off sick too.