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Deadlines over the Summer

Discussion in 'Primary' started by miss_terious, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. miss_terious

    miss_terious New commenter

    Does anyone else have deadlines for planning over the Summer? First school I've worked at where we are emailed about work reminders over the holidays.

    Is it just me who thinks it's wrong?

    Opinions would be appreciated!
    install likes this.
  2. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    Never known it and would say that yes it is wrong. We all know that we do complete work over the holidays but for me I chose to do my planning in slots when it suits whereas others will choose to do theirs in one planned block but again when it suits them. Deadlines are not acceptable - it is your holiday and you are not being paid so your choice when you do it! I know of teachers who manage to complete all of their work for the next term before the start of the holidays and never work at home. There should be no expectation to look at emails either. We do email each other over the holidays but in full expectation that some will look at their emails on a regular basis and others will not open them until school starts. They are more supportive than anything - i.e. ideas to enhance boards/book areas possibly reminding about the expectations (which we have already been made aware of during working hours before the start of the holidays).
    install and miss_terious like this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Agreed - but because teachers can't be 'directed' over the summer holidays, not because teachers aren't being paid. Teachers are paid annual salaries for every day of the year. Also can't be directed to read school emails.

    You could have an overall deadline set last term of the 'draft SoW to HoD by xx/xx/xxxx' type and teachers can decide how they will get it done. But they can't be micro-managed and directed in August!
    miss_terious likes this.
  4. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    I always thought our pay was for the weeks we worked + our holiday entitlement but the salary was then spread out over the year? I have learnt something new today.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It was considered by the Supreme Court in 2017 in Hartley -vs- King Edward VI College [2017] UKSC 39 who ruled that teachers' pay under STPCD and equivalent conditions accrues 365 days of the year


    Otherwise a teacher's salary of £30,000 would work like TA's pay when they are on Term Time Only contracts. You'd get paid for 39 weeks and receive 39/52 x £30,000 = £22,500. But that isn't what happens, you get the full £30,000

    Teachers pay is unusual - probably unique - compared to other employments in having the concept of Directed Time. You can only be directed 1265 hours/195 days, but you are employed for the full year
    miss_terious and averagedan like this.
  6. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    Thanks Rott Weiler. It's an assumption I always had and thinking about it now makes me feel a bit siilly. I guess though, in my defense, as it was considered by the Supreme Court, I might not be the only one who still holds this misconception.
    miss_terious and Rott Weiler like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I don't think it is wrong for anyone to send an email at any time. But, as it is the holidays, turn off all email alerts and just don't read them. Do what you want to do to be ready for September, at a time that suits you, and ignore school emails and so on entirely.

    Don't read or answer emails and then there is no problem.
    miss_terious, asnac and Rott Weiler like this.
  8. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    Most schools give their staff jobs to be completed in term 6 related to next year's planning. If these reminders are about those tasks I wouldn't think it's unreasonable to say "quick reminder these need to be done for the 1st of September". Some staff, myself included, prefer to complete their summer jobs in the holiday when there's plenty of time to think and do jobs to a higher standard so having a flexible deadline isn't an issue. And the only people who will see those reminders are those actively logging in to the school's e-mail network - you can avoid seeing them.

    I would take exception to this if I were given a job exclusively for the summer that isn't part of my job spec. and, depending on if I felt I could talk with my line manager, have a chat with them or refer it to my union.

    Remember that there are some jobs such as long-term plans that you can be expected to have done ready for the beginning of the year. Planning courses, etc. is the job of all teachers not just the TLR holders.
    miss_terious and asnac like this.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    Put on your auto-response email. Have these deadlines been talked through, agreed and why so late over the Summer?
    miss_terious likes this.
  10. miss_terious

    miss_terious New commenter

    Yes, i totally agree..don't check emails if you don't want and I certainly don't disagree with anyone sending emails. Of course people should be allowed to send emails at any time - I don't have my work email set up on my phone for this reason as I like to switch off.

    I didn't provide enough detail in my original post - we were told about a task that we had to complete one and a half weeks before the summer holidays. The deadline for it was half way through the holidays.

    Even if I hadn't checked my email, it's a looming deadline over the Summer. I often check emails to liaise with other colleagues with regards to work, because I choose to.

    Thanks for your opinion - it's good to hear other points if view :)
  11. miss_terious

    miss_terious New commenter

    Yes, i totally understand and agree with this.
    averagedan likes this.
  12. miss_terious

    miss_terious New commenter

    Thanks for your opinions everyone. Interesting to hear your points of view.
    The task and deadline was introduced during a meeting just before the Summer.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    See Union for advice and support. Do you work in an Academy / free school or other?

    This type of late warning for a task would be unacceptable in all the schools I have worked in. It would also have been viewed as poor time management of the person to set it. Unless it is a school thing and has been set in the past this way and over other breaks without any problems before.

    Good managers normally get their trans to do the work up front so they can have a proper rest over each break. But it does depend how your school works.What type of task is it and how long in reality will it take you?

    Indeed, I had a mate in the same position years past - they said their internet had broken down unfortunately over the holidays leaving them with no access. Their valid reason was accepted and the manager checked to see if any emails had been sent back which they hadn’t.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    edit / addition

    Good managers normally get their teams to do the work up front or give them plenty of notice. Was there no calendar of deadlines given out at the start of the year so that you could all see where you would need to put the time in?
    miss_terious likes this.
  15. miss_terious

    miss_terious New commenter

    Thank you for your advice. It's much appreciated.

    Nope - many tasks are not included on a calendar. There have been deadlines over the summer since I started at the school. It doesn't make sense.

    I've have worked with leaders who would never expect this. I was wondering if I just got lucky and this was the norm in many places of work!
    install likes this.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This depends on what the task is and how long it might take.

    The person giving the task would need to be able to say it was reasonable that people could get the task done before the end of term, and this was preferred, but that they have kindly given people some extra time during the holidays to give flexibility.
    Depends on the task, whether or not this is a totally reasonable thing to do.

    Don't immediately jump to the conclusion that there is a problem, last term was unlike any other in living memory and SLT cannot have been reasonably expected to have planned for all the extras earlier in the year.

    If getting the task done doesn't cause you a problem, then I'd be tempted to just get on and not fuss. (Why make a fuss about something that is manageable and possibly reasonable?)
    If it is going to cause a problem then let whoever set the task know that you won't be able to meet the deadline, but hope to have the task done by the end of the first week back. Just send an email to that effect and then don't look at emails again until the end of the holidays.
    Caramel2308 likes this.
  17. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    Yes I agree that it does make a difference that you were told one and a half weeks before you broke up. I assumed that you were asked to do something after you broke up. I agree with caterpillartobutterfly that it depends whether or not what you were asked to do was reasonable.
  18. miss_terious

    miss_terious New commenter


    I haven't created any fuss or jumped to any conclusions. I thought I'd post a question to hear different views and thoughts on it - please refer to the original post.

    The task has already been dealt with - that's not what I was asking for your opinion on - although it'sappreciated. Checking my emails is not a concern for me either - I wasn't asking for opinions on that.

    I was simply asking for opinions about setting deadlines over the Summer.

  19. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    Have you been asked to plan this computing work because Covid means your classes won’t be able to be taught by the external specialist teacher you mentioned? If so this might have been something your SMT didn’t know until just before term ended.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    I think your Union may offer some sound advice if you give them a ring and where you will be able to give them more detail in confidence than you can here @miss_terious

    For me, you cannot ‘magic up’ extra work hours at home during your break. Let’s suppose you have young children to take care of for example or a relative. There might be lots of scenarios. And no one should be put in the embarrassing position of having to react to someone else’s agenda through some last minute piece of information. You have a right to a family life, a home life, a work/life balance and to be treated in a reasonable manner. And you also - as already said - may not even have good access to the internet at home anyway.
    miss_terious likes this.

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