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I'm in trouble over parents evening mess up!

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Georgia99, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I was questioned at work today about why I didn't attend a parent's evening last night.
    I do not work Wednesday's and while I knew there was a parents evening, it was for a year group that I take for PSHE once every three weeks. We had an email stating we would receive timetables if parents wanted to see us. I didn't get one but expected this as I was told that parents never want to see PSHE teachers.
    It turns out that two parents wanted to see me and they claim a list was placed in my pigeon hole. I am now in the dog house big time!
    I am feeling more annoyed because it was my day off. In 4 months of working for the school I have attended 3 parents/choices evening and each one has been on my only day off. This has meant a 60 mile round trip and extra fuel costs with no pay for attending on my day off.
    Are the school right to be giving me hell? Or should I do something as I am not contractually bound to attend on my days off and didn't know about it anyway. I am leaving soon as I am covering maternity but do not want this to be reflected in my reference :-(
     
  2. Contact your union for advice.
     
  3. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    I think.....
    You don't HAVE to turn up to parents evenings or staff meetings on your day off. The school can ask you to, and if you agree, you should be paid for doing so at an hourly rate.
    If you genuinely didn't receive a timetable, say this. And don't let them make you doubt yourself. Sounds like an admin *** up to me. It's a tough one cos whoever messed up (quite possibly a secretary or someone who just put it in the wrong pigeon hole) won't want to admit they messed up, or may not realise they did. Just point out that you have previously attended parents evenings and would have been happy to (!) this time, and it was a genuine mistake. Offer to phone the parents who wanted to talk to you. I doubt if they'd put this in your reference.
     
  4. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    Please also claim your travel expenses,even if you are paid to attend the Meeting.
    A bet the SMT have not told you that you can claim these travel expenses.
    Also it is a complete waste of your professional time driving sixty miles to see two parents[​IMG]
     
  5. I was in this exact same position last year! It was my day off so didn't go (already knew all but 6 parents weren't attending anyway) and got a slightly stroppy/iffy email from the head's secretary about making sure i ring those paremts. Tbh what can they do to you? I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  6. You cannot be instructed to attend such events if they occur on days you do not usually work. If you are asked, you can accept, but you should be paid for your time. This is paraphrasing STPCD.
    You can try to claim travelling expenses, but you have no right to them. It would be whatever the school's policy laid down.
    Discuss it with the school so they are clear on what they need to do in future.
     
  7. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    The school have never formally asked me to attend parents or choices evenings. There is simply an email about the event to all teachers and then a sheet with times/parents for the evening.
    It is taken for granted that I will attend and the teacher I am covering for maternity said that they would expect me to attend regardless of it being my day off.
    I have already done the 60 mile round trip in January in the dark and snow to see one parent for a Year 10 parents evening and I was not impressed because I was in at 6pm and out by 6.10pm. It is hard enough living on a part time salary without the added expense of fuel.
     
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    She is not your line manager and cannot direct you.
     
  9. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    It is really very simple.
    You cannot be directed to do anything on the day(s) that you do not work.
    I am afraid that it is the significant number of part time teachers who are prepared to do almost anything for nothing that has brought about your difficulties.
    Please would part time teachers/staff only work on the day(s) for which they are paid.
    <h1>
    </h1>
     
  10. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    If your school is part of the Local Authority,then there will be policy over paying travel expenses.It is not up to the individual school to decide such an issue.Clearly if you are working for an Academy,they may not pay travel expenses.
     
  11. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    As others have said you cannot be directed to attend on your day off....

    The lesson from this scenario is to never 'volunteer' either, else it becomes an unwritten expectation.
     
  12. Mrkeys, I've now done two part-time jobs in two different schools. The general attitude from other members of my departments (not SMT) has been continuous envy of all the "free time" I have for marking and planning and the fact that since I do this on my days off it seems that I am not working as "hard" as them. The amount of comments on how "easy" my life is are incredibly annoying. They are being paid for their full time work. I'm not. Anyway, IMO, it's not worth being part-time because you're still expected to do all the extra-curricula work i.e. parents' evening, INSET, school trips, after-school clubs, etc at the level as full-time staff. Might as well be full-time (if you can) and be paid for it is what I've decided.

     
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    My advice on any such occasions - and especially where no pay is forthcoming - is to offer to ring the odd parents who express an interest in discussing their child with you (from school, not your own phone, unless you've got a 'free calls in the evening/weekends deal and it suits you better to do it then).
    It's unreasonable to expect you to show up under the circumstances you describe.
     
  14. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    I would prefer.... "It's wrong to expect you to show up."

     
  15. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    A part-timer could easily have another p/t teaching post and it is the school where you are timetabled to be at work who have rights over your attendance on work days.
    A second job could be outside teaching and you could hardly be made to renounce work and pay elsewhere.
    I'd now make it clear that you will only be able to guarantee attendance at meetings,parents' evenenings and INSETS if they fall on your work days; you will consider attending on non-work days on agreement that full supply daily rate will be forthcoming (annual salary divided by 195 .. divided by 194 in the 2011/12 school year because of the Golden Jubilee).
    If getting paid for turning up at work, you would not claim travel costs as travel costs are for a second return journey to work on a given day.
     
  16. In a previous job when I was part-time I used to always turn up for all parents' evenings regardless of whether I was working that day or not. Then one day when I was really cross about something I decided to stop that. When they put a slip in my tray I just returned it with a sentence saying something like "I do not work on Tuesdays." They never thanked me for turning up on the extra days and they never said anything about not turning up either.
     
  17. Sound advice.
     
  18. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Lawgrad I too have come to the same conclusion about PT teaching and am looking for fulltime work. In the past at a previous school and this one when I started I had to fight for PPA as it wasnt given to PT teachers!
    My head recently expressed surprise that I hadnt applied for a recent fulltime job at our school if I am wanting fulltime. I had to really bite my tongue so as not to say I didnt want to work for a head who is prepared to shaft his PT staff so much. I'll wait for when I have my new job to say that.[​IMG]
    He also forgets that I am paid PT pay and whilst I may have plenty of time, in his eyes anyway, to go that extra mile, his latest fav phrase, that doesnt mean I have to work FT. The ironic thing is that I didnt used to claim for everything as I felt it was give and take. Unfortunately as it has become all give on my part, I and other PT teachers claim for every last second now and it is costing him a fortune. He also pays people less than their entitlement for supply work and our school has been blacklisted by supply teachers and we struggle to get anyone to work here now.
     
  19. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Well it turns out today that they have decided to give me a disciplinary hearing about this matter.
    They say they only have my word that I didn't receive the notification of the parent appointments in my pigeon hole. I told them I only have their word that they did put it in there (not sure that went down too well).
    I have also pointed out that surely under the circumstances of it being my day off, that I should have been asked if I was able to attend.
    They have said that I have failed in my duty as a teacher and have let the parents down who turned up on my desk at parents evening (all 2 of them!).
    I am amazed at what is happening here :-/ I have just been offered another job (not school teaching but in adult education) they are going to approach my school for a reference and I am really worried now that it will be bad because of this.
     
  20. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Union - fast!
     

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