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Directed to complete planning during half term

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by LittleBrownBear, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. LittleBrownBear

    LittleBrownBear New commenter

    School policy is for core subjects (primary) to be with subject manager 2 wks in advance.
    We only discussed core subject planning for after half term during our PPA last week.

    AHT who is also subject manager told me to have it to her by Tuesday.

    I know i need to do the planning but I had pre-arranged for my friend and parents to visit so i have had no time. Now i am anxious and annoyed that again i have no time to myself (I am working over 60 hrs a week)

    Just an arghhhhh moment I guess but I also know I can't be directed during the holidays.Not sure what to do-don't want to let my team down but everything inls happening Monday and Tuesday (always the way! )
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    Speak to Union.

    Your lm sounds weak and poorly organized to me. Not your problem. Sounds like the proposed deadline was not even sent to you in writing.

    Do not give in anything or email work during the holiday period though ever. For all work know, you may not have internet connection over the hols; you may even have been on hols over the hols; you may even have been poorly.

    The best approach might be to see it as working days. So having it in by Tuesday could have meant the first working Tuesday back, or the Tuesday after that. I assume it was just word of mouth- so again not good on your lm's part.

    Your lm owes you an apology really if they get funny with you . I'd be tempted to call their bluff and if they ask when you return, make it obvious they must have meant the second working Tuesday back due to 'their delay' with the planning meeting. You are not a robot or a walk over -so don't become one and make it clear to them in the nicest possible way.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  3. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

    Your post reads as though you have missed a deadline of *last* Tuesday, and your AHT has given you a week's extension. This, in effect, means that they will need to use their half-term to do whatever school policy requires they do with it, when they could have had it wrapped up by the end of the week and had a nice break.

    Just giving the other perspective!
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If there was no directive or school policy, when would you do the planning and so on? Do that.
    I read it as that, then reread and wasn't really sure. Somehow things have got out of sync though.
    This means that at some stage you and your team must have got behind with things. If you normally have it done two weeks in advance, and that is the school policy you all follow, then having it done just a week in advance isn't unreasonable.
    Send a short email to the AH, copy in your team if you like, and apologise that planning will be a day or two late due to holiday activities. Then do the planning when it suits you and send it through with a smiling email. If you've not told them in advance that it won't be done by Tuesday, you do owe them an apology. Your team and the AH could well have set aside Wednesday to do their parts, which they now can't do. No you can't be directed in the holidays and they can't make a formal complaint, but a quick apology and explanation will go a long way to keep good relations.
    strawbs and Ashleystar like this.
  5. LittleBrownBear

    LittleBrownBear New commenter

    Thanks all. No i haven't missed the deadline but I can see how that could be read!
    It's just how the planning schedule has come round. Been sent an email with the deadline.

    It is very frustrating!!!
    install likes this.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Thank you for getting back. Yes it must be frustrating, and through no fault of your own.

    I would not respond to the email. You are on hols- not at work. You need to be careful, measured and completely professional in the face of a weak lm imho.

    Is the deadline a day in the holiday, or the second working day when you return? If it is a day in the holiday I would seek Union advice. If the second day of your return, I would still seek advice, but suggest a reply on the first or second day back (not before) that it will be available on Tuesday week.

    Don't let your lm force you to do any work on your hols or set inappropriate deadlines. It will only become the norm. Also, request that all future planning meetings happen in good time to allow agreed deadlines to be met.

    Enjoy your hols - without any added stress, pressure and unreasonable timelines given to you. Leave it till you are back at work.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
    bonxie, MissGeorgi, letap and 2 others like this.
  7. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    I guess with a two week ahead planning deadline/ expectation, at some point, due to no PPA in holidays (post reads as PPA is when planning is done) at some point you’d need to get a week ahead?

    It might be my reading of the post, but have you actually been directed to plan during your holidays or have you already missed the deadline and thus been given extension? If for 24th, then a deadline two weeks before was the 10th. So by planning in PPA last week you’d already missed the deadline? A 17th deadline is for 2nd March? Somewhere you’d agree planning to be in for 2nd March either 10th or 24th?

    If you know the deadlines and you know you’ve got holiday plans, would you and team have not got ahead? I knew that I had got a series of deadlines either side of half term, yet wanted to meet personal commitments during half term, so I did some late nights in the final two weeks of the last term to get ahead of myself. I’ll benefit from these long long hours put in at a later date I’m sure!

    This could have been chatted through with AHT and team and something agreed? PPA, when working with others, is never enough time to get all planning done in detail! Apologies if I’ve completely misunderstood the situation. The title read as if AHT wrong to direct a task in the holidays, However, I’m not sure the content of the post matches the title?
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why on earth are you reading work emails if you are having a long weekend off?
    If they aren't aware you've read the email, then just do the planning when you were going to anyway and then send it through.
    From what you've posted so far, I can't see you have cause for complaint. Planning needs to happen and for the first week back it needs to be done before you break up or in the holidays. If it wasn't done before the break, and others need the planning, then you have to get it done near the start of the holidays for their sake.
  9. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I’m in two minds about this. Clearly, holidays should be spent relaxing with friends and family and recharging the batteries for the next term.

    However, particularly in secondary schools where you have exams etc coming up, teachers will be expected to be running revision classes and mark mock papers during holiday periods.

    Planning is not quite the same, but leaders at outstanding schools often like to run a tight ship, and your AHT may have felt it best not to deviate from the normal schedule of planning checks during the break, in order to maintain and continue the high standards of teaching and learning that have been built up.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This seriously bugs me.
    How is "the other perspective" relevant to OPs issue, which is basically having too much to do and too little time to do it in?
    Is the best response honestly to point out that others also have lots to do, and actually that it might be their fault?
    It is attitudes like this that prevent staff turning to others for support when workload becomes an insurmountable issue.
    In effect, this is the dialogue you offer-
    "I feel rubbish"
    "So? Somebody else also feels rubbish and actually that's your fault."

    And I'll add this bit, which granted you did not actually say, just for creative extrapolation-
    "Oh, and by the way, that somebody else happens to be paid a shed load more than you"
    Laphroig, Alice K, May2 and 1 other person like this.
  11. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    You work over 60 hours a week - Term time. If you multiply that by 38 weeks of term time then divide by the 48 weeks of the year that people in other jobs do this gives you an equivalent average working week of over 47.5 hours a week. This is a huge amount of time. The fact is that like other teachers you are working an excessive number of hours during the year. You should not be required to do any school work during the holidays. Schools need to be creative about finding time for these tasks. How about setting aside one inset day a term for this work. If it takes longer than that, then the school need to find other solutions.
    Also next time some non teaching A**E from outside education goes on about the long holidays, we've all had these conversations, you could ask them how long their average working week is. I bet it's a lot less than the 47.5+ that you do.
    letap, agathamorse and install like this.
  12. Luvsskiing

    Luvsskiing Occasional commenter

    Crumble now at this unreasonable request and it will only get worse. Stay pro, polite and suggest positive ways forward rather than being negative in any way, but stand firm.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    A Wind Up.. imho :rolleyes:
    Laphroig, chelsea2 and letap like this.
  14. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Mindful of the advice I gave to stressed sixth formers to relax just before the start of this break, I decided to destress and take the neighbours dog out for a walk this morning. It is to be noted that on the walk she produced far less $h&te than you do in your posts.

    3/10 for your latest effort - Requires Improvement in Ofsted parlance.
    Piscean1, mothorchid, CWadd and 6 others like this.
  15. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I think you should consider it as two working weeks. Half term is not a working week.
    HolyMahogany, install and agathamorse like this.
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    On a practical level, you need to deal with this somehow.
    If I ever feel cornered by paperwork requirements versus time available, I ask myself-
    Do the kids need it?
    Does the whole school need it?
    Does one person need it?

    In this case I expect the kids need it.
    So have it done by the day you return.
    You don't see the kids before then, do you?

    Any hot air from above, you just need to point out that it has been done in time for the kids, and if late over the holidays to a colleague, at least it is not late. For the kids.

    If that particular colleague finds themselves in difficulties through not having a piece of paper, then the onus is on them to replan how they action their meetings the next time they fall just before a holiday.
    And equally, the onus is on you to stridently resist deadlines during a holiday at the same meeting.
    I have to say,nicely mind, that on rereading your opening post, you could do with losing a little fear. Remember who you do the job for.
  17. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    What baloney. I have worked at some of the top schools in the country and staff at these establishments are always told to take a break over holidays. The best schools take best care of their staff.
    It is usually only where teaching is inadequate that schools feel the need to run extra revision sessions during holidays.
  18. costermonger

    costermonger New commenter

    GreenTrees123, I appreciate your spoof posts. However, there are stressed people on these forums. Maybe lay off when someone is actually looking for advice?
  19. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Holidays are yours.
    You could easily have booked to go skiing or something.
    So no.
    No planning and no work unless you choose to do something for your own benefit.
    But no directed work at all.
    Equally I NEVER chack work emails at home.
    I taught for over 25 years, before emails were invented and we all managed perfectly well then. So I always told my HoD/HoF that I do not take emails when out of school.
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I agree with this part completely.

    However the OP usually has planning done 2 weeks in advance. So the planning for the first week back should have been with the AH last week. If they chose to leave the work to do during half term (as a great many teacher have done!) then that is their choice and isn't quite the same as directed work in the holidays. The AH simply saying they need it on Tuesday to do their bit (especially as the planning is already late) isn't unreasonable. If the OP doesn't sort the planning until next weekend, then it impacts on everyone else.

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