We are facing our 11th week without a fully staffed department with no end in sight. Pressure is now becoming unbearable. We should be a 3 person department. (our staffing is officially 2.6 as I am PTPS). We have had a colleague off for the last 10 weeks after an accident. No subject supply staff throughout that time just a variety of general supply staff and cover from within the school. We have been told unofficially that our friend/colleague may be absent until summer term. We have dropped S1-3 from our timetables and are now maxed out on Higher/National 5. The S4 National 4 sets in both columns have been abandoned and the FH is now putting pressure on us to spend 10 minutes in with Nat 4 after we have set our Nat 5 classes some work to do (whilst the cover teacher supervises). Apparently "We have to do something for the Nat 4s!" This would involve additional planning and correction on top of the already heavy workload. I can cope with a heavy workload, but 58 S4 Nat 5 pupils and 52 Higher pupils produces a HUGE amount of marking. My colleague has more than 70 National 5 pupils from S4-6 and 25 Higher pupils. I am teaching one period over my minimum in order to teach both Higher columns and both Nat 5 columns. For the first time ever, I feel unable to cope. Our HT has asked to see records of all departments homework in the BGE. The FH asked on Friday what homework I had given to the BGE classes that were initially on my timetable in August. I said nothing since the timetable was chopped in September and they became cover classes. Apparently I should have been giving HW as well as leaving cover work and starting the classes off! (this favour to the FH will end as of tomorrow) I said I was not prepared to discuss this and would make an appointment with the HT to discuss this myself. I feel like walking!