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Does anyone know if we are allowed time off to attend a religious ceremony?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by colouringbook, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Hi, I teach in the West Midlands and I am a practising Pagan.
    Wicca was recently put on the local LA calendar so I am now wondering if my religion is now recognised am I able to take days off for solstices? I would only really like two days off so I could travel down for the Summer Solstice - I would travel down on the Sunday then drive home on the Tuesday so I would need to take two days off work. I have never thrown a sickie but I am wondering if this would be a better idea than asking for permission then having it refused. I would not ask but we have been invited to take part in the main ceremony inside Stone Henge and this is pretty much a once in a lifetime opportunity. Does anyone know if I can take the two days off work due to religious reasons? Many thanks x
  2. pete14

    pete14 New commenter

    I think it depends on whether you LA allows followers of other religions to take time off for their festivals. If so, you may have a case (although I somehow doubt it), if not, presumably you have no chance.
    Taking a sickie is not the sort of behaviour expected from a professional, unfair on any of your colleagues who have to cover your work and to the kids whose lessons will presumably not be so good.
  3. weebleme

    weebleme New commenter

    I have a feeling that you are only allowed 1 day off for religious observance, but maybe that it just the policy here.
    You could always volunteer to take it unpaid?
    Hope you get sorted, maybe place this on pay and conditions?

  4. jerseyperson

    jerseyperson New commenter

    Whilst I'm sure the poster appreciates the advice Pete14, is the holier-than-thou lecture totally necessary?
  5. poppy2004

    poppy2004 New commenter

    i know an Irish man who takes St Patricks Day as observance
  6. I would love to take a day off for Glastonbury - could I claim it as religious observance? As teachers we are relatively well off for holidays and I am sick sick sick to death of the head chastising us all because some of the so called professionals that I work with take so many days off. Also, a cover lesson is not a proper lesson - you are paid a reasonable salary so do the job or get a different one with a lot less holiday but more flexibility.
  7. pete14

    pete14 New commenter

    The idea of a sickie was raised by OP, <u>not by me</u>.
    You may think it is 'holier than thou' - I disagree. Have I ever taken a sickie? - actually no; Have I ever covered the lesson of someone taking a sickie? - several times.Were those lessons as good as if the correct teacher had taught them? - probably not.
    What is your problem jerseyperson? We are constantly telling the kids we teach they need to give reasons for an opinion. My opinion is that taking a sickie is not good practice and is unprofessional, the rest of what you call a 'holier than thou lecture' are my reasons. I could have mentioned many others that you may have had greater objections to but chose not to.
    Incidentally, before I answered the sickie suggestion, I did make positive supportive comments.
  8. Weeblme's advice is good advice - i think one day is fair enough - two would be stretching it
  9. jerseyperson

    jerseyperson New commenter

    Yes, Pete14, I did refer to the advice you gave first of all.
    I agree that sickies are a **** thing to do. I personally don't think teachers should take sickies for their friends' weddings, for that better flight for a holiday, not even for religious observance. I take time off if I'm too sick to work, and only then. I think what I'm referring to is a slight trend in your posts (forgive me, but I am coming across your posts on most threads) to appear slightly judgemental.
  10. pete14

    pete14 New commenter

    Yes you may be correct jerseyperson, perhaps I am judgemental in some of my postings but when someone asks for what people think, I am not just going to write what I think they want to hear. I try to be honest, perhaps using some of my long experience in this profession (30+ years). That honesty and experience led me to the supportive post responding to the thread you started about whether a 2:2 degree is insufficient for a HOD post. I never post comments to create debate and I rarely start threads, my intentions are always to provide advice and support, even if it is unpopular. The future of our subject is vastly more important than any one of us.
    If such postings are a problem to people, perhaps I should just give up
  11. jerseyperson

    jerseyperson New commenter

    Pete14 I have seen you give a lot of good, detailed advice to people and clearly you're using all of your experience to respond to others' posts. I greatly appreciated your response to mine. But I do hope you exercise 'honesty' in the classroom with more tact and forethought than you seem to on here sometimes. It's a forum, useful for discussing a range of topics. Of course, a wide variety fo feedback is what makes it so useful. I'm sorry- I just found what you wrote in this thread quite patronising. I don't even have any reason to take offence at it, yet still found the tone uncalled for.
    Not wanting to slip into being judgmental about the person I'm accusing of being judgmental, I'll leave it there.
  12. fpno@another.com

    fpno@another.com New commenter

    Give Pete14 a break!
    Religious holidays are normally up to the discretion of the Head Teacher unless your LA has it's own policy.
    Put in an application for leave and see what happens!

  13. Phew! Well my head wouldn't even let me have one day off for my best friends wedding whom I have known since I was 2. I am single and have no family and he told me that as he was not a blood relative I could not go.
    I have never ever thrown a sickie but my UNION advised me that in future if I wanted to attend anything that wasn't a relatives event that I should indeed take a sickie.

    So asking for a day for religious reasons he would not understand even though he has allowed people days off to take their 15 year old daughter to the dentist, to look after a sick child at home and even fly out a day earlier as their partners have booked their hols etc - I don't have partners or kids to use as excuses if I need days off so that's why I was asking on here if anyone knew what I should do.

    To be honest the attitude of the 'holier than though' person is one of the reason I would love to leave this profession - I don;t see why we can't say have three flexi days a year or something so that people don't have to have a 'virus' like many of my colleagues have done in the past. I have never had a sickie as I know I would not be able to enjoy what I was doing instead of being at work but if they want happy balanced 'normal' people in the profession then maybe they should expect that people will have to do this if they can never take part in activities with their friends and there should be some understanding that like me my friends are my true family not actual blood relatives.

    I am increasingly more isolated as many of my friends aren't teachers and I never get to go on the long weekend breaks with them and can't expect them to pay the vast extra expense of them coming away in school hol time. Yes I know we earn lots of money but after ten years I really feel I sold my soul to the devil for the extra cash and so maybe I should accept it's my own fault. However do I still want to feel like this in another ten years time? I am an extremely dedicated teacher ad professional but all I would like is that little bit of flexibility sometimes.
  14. Noja

    Noja Senior commenter

    Did you have your bottom lip out, were you stamping your feet saying "it's not fair, it's not fair" while you were typing that?
    And can I just lol at the phrase "I really feel I have sold my soul to the devil for the extra cash"
    By the way, critcising Pete isn't going to get you mates on this forum.
  15. Mates? Who's looking for mates? I was just asking for advice and yeah my bottom lip was out then :) So is this 'Pete like mega important on here then and the only one allowed to be flippant? Will have to beware of a online detention handed out by one of his lackies then.
  16. Noja

    Noja Senior commenter

    You said you were increasingly isolated...
    Pete is a genuine bloke who gives good advice and has been around for ages.

    Lackies? Oh dear.
  17. Stupid TES just ate my answer.
    1 Leave Pete alone he is a good guy.
    2 Floating day or two is a good idea
    3 Even then hols are a pain my husband has set hols and a few floating days - last year the start of his summer hols and end of my term overlapped meaning we couldn't manage 2 weeks together in summer.
    4 Re your problem depends on the propensity of your head but bearing in mind the hol changes in our LEA meant many Christians were stuck in school on Maundy Thursday I wouldn't get your hopes up.
  18. I certainly affirm your 1). Pete is very helpful and a moral perspective is what a lot of the wider TES site lacks.
    The same thing happened this year with Jewish holidays - the beginning of Passover ended up in school time, usually the festival is in the Easter holidays. Our head kindly allowed Jewish staff the time off paid but probably he could have said no.
    On the original issue, I think I would have gone to the head and put my case strongly, and if necessary, negotiated the days off unpaid.

  19. pete14

    pete14 New commenter

    You were asking for advice - I gave you advice but you didn't like my response to a suggestion you made.
    No more important than any of the others you post on here - yourself included.
    My dictionary defines flippant as 'treating serious things lightly'. I think I was treating serious things seriously
    A flippant comment maybe but rather disrespectful to those who seem to think your comments are unfair (and to anyone else for that matter). I think as fellow teachers they deserve better than being referred to as my lackies
    The problems of occasional days off for good reasons is a tricky one and does depend on the discretion of the Head. Never been any different. I think there is some merit in your idea of 3 occasional days but I cannot see it ever being allowed to happen, even if they were unpaid.
    Holier than thou or flippant? I hope not - I am becoming less sure of such things these days!
  20. OK, but can I have a day off to celebrate the birthday of Richard Dawkins?

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