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Leave of Absence Policy?

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by cornflake, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    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).

  2. McCahey

    McCahey New commenter

    Is this hypothetical or have you experienced this?? Is it hols off to sunny Spain or family wedding etc? Just General hols would be a definite no surely??? I am naive?
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If the previous head had agreed to the TA taking holiday it's too late to do anything about it this time but you can make it known to all staff what your general approach will be for future requests.
  4. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Yes, family hols to avoid high air fares. Is happening on a regular basis.
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I believe in total transparency and fairness - So if you decide to grant this leave you will need to grant it in the future for other similar ill mannered requests.
    I would therefore, sit down with her and explain this is unacceptable. Refer her to the staff absence policy and inform her that by taking this leave she will be in breech of contract.
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Absolutely agree.
  7. We had a certain amount of this at the school where I am CoG. We wrote a new attendance policy for children and absence policy for staff -- they both show that we think attendance in school term time is important, and we used the reasoning that if we were expecting parents tosend their children in every day (becaue "Every day counts"),then we expected staff to do so too.
    The leave of absence plicy gave discretion to the HT to grant leave whenever the HT wished, but WITHIN THE UNDERSTANDING THAT ALL STAFF ARE EXPECTED TO BE IN SCHOOL DURING TERM TIME. The policy was approved about Easter and we gave staff notice that it would be implemented from the following September.
    The CoG has to approve any holiday absence from the HT. I would find it very hard to justify holiday absence for cheap air fares.
  8. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Thanks to everyone for replying.
    I'd calmed down a bit by this morning, so was able to deal with the matter head-on - so glad that you all said what I felt! It appears that the current HT has allowed this to happen on more than one occasion, and without the knowledge of the CoG! There's more, but to reveal may risk identifying me! I acknowledged that this TA often gives of her time voluntarily outside of her contracted hours, but explained this does not mean it's okay to take term time holidays - she must fulfil the duties required in her contract.
    She was genuinely apologetic, has never seen the leave of absence policy (quite possibly true, as neither had the other TA!) and understands that if I agree to sanction unpaid leave it is a one-off never to be repeated event, purely as a misunderstanding on her part at handover time, and it is up to me to decide who covers those hours! Any further holidays taken in term time would mean a breech of contract and disciplinary.
    First item on the agenda in September is attendance I think!
  9. At our school any days off in term time require a formal letter to the Governers. Staff do not ask for any more than a day or two and it has to be something important (family wedding, graduaution etc). Any time taken off has to be made up at a later date.
  10. internationalschools

    internationalschools New commenter

    If you put it in the minutes, please ensure that you can spell "breach" though! I'm not being rsey, and I don't normally comment on typoes, but the fact that this word has been incorrectly written throughout your posts shows that you might genuinely not know how to spell it. I agree with all the posters above - everyone has to be treated the same - no days off for cheap holidays/the sportsdays of offspring etc. If you are contracted to work, then you should be at work - I agree with the policy of "every day counts".

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