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Leave of Absence HELP!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by magpie1512, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. magpie1512

    magpie1512 New commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm in my second year of being at a new school. I am a classroom teacher with no TLR responsibility, although I do have GCSE classes.

    I have been offered an amazing opportunity over the Easter Holidays next year to travel to Australia and take part in an Pagan Arts Festival (having successfully applied and been awarded a grant for travel, accommodation, and supplies to create a large scale sculpture) and have also been offered the opportunity to teach a few lessons in the local area.

    Obviously, I am going to take this opportunity with both hands! I'm just wondering what the general feeling would be about asking for additional time to be able to travel out to Australia (maybe 3 days).

    I'm totally not holding my breath- but it would make the whole thing much more affordable and give me time to teach out there too - just to clarify none of this is paid work.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Ideas on how I can phrase this? I was thinking along the lines of CPD as I am a Design teacher, or down the religious observance route as my partner and I do follow Pagan traditions.

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated, but please be nice- I'm aware its a long shot!
  2. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Wow, that's a fabulous opportunity. I think you should just ask for unpaid leave after saying what a great CPD opportunity it will be and that you will feedback to colleagues on your return etc.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    See the head as soon as possible, as soon as you are certain what time you need off.

    Make the potential benefit to the school from what you will gain as attractive sounding as possible. As if it were CPD. Offer to write something up about it for the school newsletter.

    "Bring solutions not problems" is the mantra. How would your timetable be covered? Without the school incurring any supply costs. Maybe talk to your HoD first and agree that. Having your HoD's support would be handy too. If not their support at least make sure they don't actively oppose it.

    Be willing to take it unpaid. But I wouldn't put that on the table immediately. See how the head responds first. Maybe Head will be happy to agree without loss of pay, don't give your pay away unless you need to.
  4. magpie1512

    magpie1512 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your replies. I'm planning on writing a letter and making a meeting with the HT to discuss- Do you think this is the right way to go about this?
    I was also thinking of referring to DfE guidelines that suggest 3 days absence be approved for participation in a music festival abroad- that is the closest to this that I can find...
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There's DFE guidance that say that? Do you have a link?
  6. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Yes there is!
    If you work in Northern Ireland that is.
    Perhaps the OP does.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Do you have a link @digoryvenn? (It would be NI government not DfE in NI but I'd be interested to see it nevertheless)
  8. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    agathamorse likes this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Well you live and learn.

    We don't get NI questions here very often but NI is the place to be if you want time off from work - their list of recommended time off runs to 28 separate reasons!

    Unless OP is in Northern Ireland though it won't help them. I'm sure there is no DFE equivalent for England.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    agathamorse and digoryvenn like this.
  10. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    No, I wouldn't imagine there is an equivalent for England!
    agathamorse and Rott Weiler like this.
  11. magpie1512

    magpie1512 New commenter

    Hi all, thanks again for all your responses!
    I've read that paper over and over again without ever realising it was for NI!!
    I'm in the process of writing letters to the HT and I intend to see him to discuss the options. i'm not holding my breath that it will be a good outcome, (my school had been notorious for turning down weddings/ religious events etc) but fingers crossed - going down the CPD path!!
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    Don’t ask, don’t get!
    Stress CPD and the value it will add to lessons and extra curriculum. Maybe you could offer to pay back the time by leading a whole school event linked to the theme or do exam intervention in the holidays.
    Also see how much goodwill you can get from colleagues to help with cover .
    I agree, leave unpaid on the back boiler
    Good luck
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. numberoneteacher

    numberoneteacher New commenter

    Since when has Paganism become "religious observance". It's the very opposite lol
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It's a belief system. As valid as any religion (which means not at all to me, TBH).
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Even if Paganism is a religion the entitlement to time off (in NI) is

    Attendance at religious observances when this is required by the regulations of the teacher’s religious denomination
    I doubt paganism has any hierarchical structure that requires any specific "religious observance", especially one that specifies the 'religious observance" must be done in Australia.

    Good luck to OP proving that one!
    digoryvenn and JohnJCazorla like this.
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Are you sure?

  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Nothing there says you have to attend any particular place at any specific time to be a pagan, does it? Certainly no mention of Australia that I can see.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    You seem very anti-Australian...do you think that it's not a spiritual place?:eek:
  19. bevdex

    bevdex Star commenter

    One of my pupils has taken "religious observance" for Diwali - to travel to that well known place of pilgrimage...Gran Canaria.
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    I'm sure there are some very spiritual Australians, but all the ones I've met there thought a spiritual place was a bar.

    I mention Australia only because that's where OP wants to go....

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