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Can you be 'required' in during your holidays if you are primary care giver to child?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ictLad, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter


    Quick query which has only just occurred to me.

    For the first time ever, we as HoDs, are required in for results days.

    Though this does not affect me (but will next year), can you refuse to go into work on these days if you are the primary care giver of a child? My partner will be back at work next year and I will spend my holidays looking after my son.

    Either my partner taking a day off, or us putting my son into care for the morning will penalise us (financially or by removing a leave day).

    Does anyone have any experience with this or knowledge from a 'legal' point of view.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Take the child with you.

    Which is what my ex ex HoD did.

    If you are required to go in, and it is in your contract, I can't see how you can get out of it.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  3. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    Well, the contract doesn't specifically say you are required in, it just gives that usual clause about 'any other days the HM deems reasonable'.

    Could take the kid in, would be interesting if he had a breakdown infront of a disgruntled parent though.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    With a bit of planning you and others in the same boat might be able to fix something up.
    Alternatively, a conversation with the HT might lead to a solution.
    There's plenty of time before you need an answer, after all.
  5. ictLad

    ictLad New commenter

    True, was hoping someone might have already encountered this issue before though.
  6. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    How old is your child? I took my eight year old into school with the head's permission a couple of times. I sat him in the library and made sure he had plenty to do. It was fine. This was primary though , not secondary. Would your son be able to amuse himself if you had to deal with parents?
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    jarndyce, Gsr25 and sabrinakat like this.
  8. friedgreentomatoes

    friedgreentomatoes Lead commenter

    Can you not take your child with you? Last year on results day in my school there were at least six children of staff members there. I had to take my niece (I was doing emergency child care for my sister), no-one batted an eyelid.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Speak to your Union about the legality (or otherwise) of the demand to come in; or take your child in (I wouldn't tell the HT first, BTW, in case he tells you that you have to find childcare), or find childcare...e.g. partner takes one day off work.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Senior commenter

    of course you could, but you shouldn't have to. We are not paid for holidays.

    Looking back, I am angry at the number of times I accepted such unreasonable demands. I wouldn't do it now.

    Talk to you union,
    bertiehamster and FrankWolley like this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Union. Never heard anything so damned stupid. Well, sadly I have but ......
    Laphroig, suzuki1690 and mothorchid like this.
  12. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    I used to happily go in on results day - but that was before results were available online to staff and students. Now I don't bother,. The children themselves get their results online and don''t go to school so I see no point.

    I'd be asking management for what purpose they need me there and why that purpose can't be served remotely.

    I undertand that some A-level students are panicking about universities and clearance but that doesn't need general staff or even general HoD presence in school. Head or exams officer can seek advice from subject staff via phone/email if necessary.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I predate all that. In my day you got your results in the post. I still have the postcards. We had to write our name and address and the subjects and school inserted the grades.

    Go to school? Does not compute.

    And these are young adults! They should be ringing UCAS themselves!
    blazer likes this.
  14. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    Of course the pupils should be ringing UCAS and universities. In fact a close friends husband has acted as admission tutor for his department at a highly rated university and told me calls from schools or parents do prospective students no favours. Shows a lack of initiative and resiliance (his words)
  15. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I remember going to school to get my results. We had to queue up outside the head's office and were handed our envelopes. The staff were all there to comiserate/ congratulate you and offer advice. It was rather nice and made quite an impact on me.
    I would like to be with my students if I was a secondary teacher. After all, you've worked towards this day together for two years,
    and been through all the the ups and downs. I would like to see it through to the end.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  16. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Never went in on results day. never bothered to find out how they had done. The HT's feedback on the first day back in September was sufficient.
  17. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Indeed - but the students themselves rarely go to school these days. It's all done online then shared on social media....

    The benefit is that now you can book your holidays and trips away without worrying about being back for results day
    blazer and grumpydogwoman like this.
  18. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I really don't understand that.That's sad. Why wouldn't you want to know? Especially after all your hard work and effort.
  19. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Being primary care giver isn't relevant; it's what your contract says that matters.

    I think much depends on why they want you in. It might be just in case there's some big surprise in your results, it might be in case parents/students have questions ("Can I still do A-level?" "Is it worth an appeal?") which you need to answer, or need subject-specific advice on clearing. Or I guess there might be a plan for in-depth meetings to discuss the results.

    Are there other HoDs with kids? What do they do?

    If it's "in case there are any questions" rather than a full timetable of meetings and analysis, then it might well be fine to take children, and to supervise them between you to free up anyone needed to talk to a student/parent. If there aren't others in your situation, still talk to others - someone with a young teenager who wouldn't necessarily need childcare might be prepared to bring them along to play with your toddler.

    Another possibility to consider, if you have a second in department, is whether they would be allowed to deputise for you. Obviously you might have to cut them a favour in return!

    The other thing you should start doing is making friends with parents of your child's peers, so that you can do reciprocal childcare - you take their child for a morning so they can go to a meeting/hospital appointment/shopping, and they take yours on results day. As a teacher, you have plenty of days to offer during the holidays.
    I know it can be a bit trickier getting in on the pre-school-parent social circuit if you're teaching, as many groups where you might get to meet people stop for the holidays. If your partner is on maternity leave at the moment, it's worth her making the most of that to get to know other local parents and make friends.
    I run a toddler group, and often a parent will bring someone else's kid(s) so the other parent can have a break or get to an appointment - some alternate regularly. It can be hard making the first ask, so get in first with an offer: when another parent mentions how hard it is doing the shopping with child in tow, offer to have them for a morning.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Will my knowing make any difference? The die was cast when they put their pens down that day in June! I'd have done my best so my work was done. I'd be looking ahead for the next lot.
    agathamorse and blazer like this.

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