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In shock at head's response to me being ill

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Lilmonkey1982, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Regarding cover..............didn't unions agree years ago that if you are too ill to come to school you are too ill to set cover. Setting cover was the job of HoD.
  2. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    This is sad. I feel lucky that not all of my managers were bad and very much appreciated it when good ones were in charge. I hope that I was a good one when I was HoD. I certainly did my best. I also hope that this continues when I have the chance to be HoD again.
  3. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Sadly, my experiences of managers worsened every job move. They began
    as pleasantly enough but essentially feckless and ended three years ago, with my last lot of bosses being deeply disturbed, vindictive and unsupportive. Not great. It makes me think they’re trying to phase out teaching as a profession altogether.
    ATfan likes this.
  4. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I have to admit in the days I was a permanent teacher I would cheer up enormously once I realised I was too ill to struggle in....
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    I am amazed that some heads believe that only the teacher should phone in. When my dad died I spent all night sitting up with him in the hospital. He died at 7.00 the next morning. My husband was at home and phoned for me. There was no way I was in any state to try and ring in - the school lines are often engaged at that time and you have to hang on or redial for ages-and setting work was the last thing I could think of. I can think of similar cases when people are seriously ill and up all night or in casualty with children after a crisis.
    ATfan, scrffbag, agathamorse and 4 others like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Nobody is suggesting that only the teacher's word will be accepted and that nobody else will do.

    Rather it's preferable if the teacher calls her/himself. The teacher is in a better position to explain (briefly) the nature of the problem and give some (or possibly no) clue as to when s/he might return.

    It is not the time to discuss what work the supply teacher should be setting! You shouldn't do that. You may - if you so wish. But schools that don't have some kind of protocol in the event of a teacher being absent have only themselves to blame for not being organised.
  7. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not true at all - my wife was much more likely to be able to say with accuracy when I would be better (I'd be more likely to say something optimistic, then have to say a day or two later, actually I won't be back. Mrs FW is more realistic!)
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    SLT are supposedly trained (and paid) to make budgetary decisions about absence and cover. This is a just one more example of passing the blame down the line. In a caring school, yes, SLT should be concerned about the welfare of their staff and of course also about their classes and will want to ask about a likely return. However questioning the integrity of their staff to this degree is unreasonable and makes for a very divisive and unhappy workplace. Ok, so occasionally some staff will mess you around with cover and you make a poor decision. You chose to do the job. it comes with the territory. Do you allow your colleagues in the classroom to pass the buck in the same way when pupils/parents/colleagues let them down and mess them around?
    BelleDuJour and ATfan like this.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Er, yes. @meggyd

    You're right. But I still don't see the harm in asking staff to call in person. There are many ways of informing school of your absence. A 'phone call is just one of them. And a call in person (if possible) isn't an inherently unreasonable request
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    And probably the vast majority of calls about absence are from the teachers themselves.
  11. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    agathamorse likes this.
  12. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    "I think now, with email, if I was needing someone to do it for me, I'd make them do it from my address. No issue then."

    Unless anyone realises you've let them access your work e-mail...
    (Actually, when my daughter was born prematurely, I had to send my husband home with the password to get into my computer and into two different work e-mail accounts, in order that he could notify my line managers with three different employers. It probably broke rules but it was going to be a lot quicker than him trying to find out how to get hold of the right person by any other means.)
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    Yes, fair point there frustrum.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. creaganturic

    creaganturic New commenter

    I had a s
    I had a similar experience some years ago. I took a day off to have an investigation in what was suspected, but thankfully not, cancer of the Oesophagus. It was parent's evening after school. I was called by the deputy head while in hospital and still sedated to remind me that I only had the school day off and was expected to attend parent's evening. He then proceeeded to tell me he knew someone who had the same procedure and that it is a quick in and out of hospital. Never mind the fact mine was actually quite complicated and I had to be heavily sedated as well. He was having none of it. I was still naive at the time, but also wanted to prove a point, so I had my husband drive my very groggy self to school looking pale and high. He still made me stay. Every parent whom I saw was shocked and disgusted by the actions of the DH as they were already informed by a colleague that I would not be in and the other teachers were all going to cover for me.
  15. creaganturic

    creaganturic New commenter

    I do not agree at all that the sick person must at all costs make the phone call to the school. What is going to be achieved by that? In the past I have had my husband phone in when I had laryngitis and when he failed to rouse me one morning after spending the entire night throwing up. A few years back, when my brother died very suddenly the day before the last day of term, I did phone in to the cover supervisor to say I would not be in. I barely remember the conversation and was in shock, having just received the news. Later on I received a message that I need to phone the head to explain myself. I was in no state and in between shaking and sobbing my husband phoned in to confirm what happened. I never recieved any condolences or flowers and when I retuned after the summer holiday was not even asked about it. Somehow it came out and I became very emotional. My HOD, the Head, Deputy etc seemed surprised. I recall the HOD saying something like, I am so sorry, I did not realise, and similar comments from the others. I was clearly not believed, but based on what I could not fathom, as I had an almost perfect attendance record. Another time when I called in sick I was told I do not sound sick. I did ask sarcastically what sick sounds like. This just proved to me it does not matter who phones, If a school has a bullying culture, it has a bullying culture. End of.
    FrankWolley likes this.

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