I discovered, quite by chance today, that a TA is planning on being absent for the first week in September, as she'll be on holiday. She has, thoughtfully, asked an SMSA to cover her classroom hours! I'm furious that this has been assumed to be acceptable - but of course it may have been common practice under the exisiting HT. (I take on the acting role in September). Do I sit her down tomorrow and explain why this is not acceptable, but grant her unpaid leave as a one-off - or insist that she is at work that week or be in breech of contract? (I have refused another request for a day's leave in September on the grounds it is not exceptional, and is not in the best interests of the children to have this member of staff away).