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Not allowed to leave parents evening

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by artbinki, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. artbinki

    artbinki New commenter

    help needed !!
    I find myself working at a school where, even if your actual parents evening appointments finish at 5pm, you have to stay until the end of the directed time period at 7pm.
    As the School office make the appointments there is no way that teachers can manipulate this so that they can leave early. I do not understand and I’ve never worked in a school where teachers can’t leave once they have finished their last appointment is there anyone can offer any union guidance on this please?
  2. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Its directed time...
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  3. bonxie

    bonxie Senior commenter

    If you aren't allowed to escape before 7pm, you could use the time to get some marking done which will allow you to leave earlier on another day.
    DYNAMO67, JohnJCazorla and Kartoshka like this.
  4. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    you play the school at their own game. Give no good will or free time to your establishment. That will be many more hours than the two hours you mention. You can speak to your Union for advice
    JohnJCazorla and FrankWolley like this.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Agree with this - and also keep a note of your real hours of directed time (the school should have provided a directed time budget for the year - if not, ask for one!) If you exceed the total, get your union to intercede.
  6. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    It’s directed time. Seemingly born out of fairness towards all staff.

    Is it the best way of directing staff? Prob not, but I do see the rationale

    It’s so the RE teacher, with multiple classes isn’t demoralised about doing considerably more than the teacher of Computer Science with only a handful of kids. Or vicea Versa

    I’d just use the time to do something useful.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I made my own appointments, and did my best to finish early. Nobody complained. If this is about fairness, it seems rather petty. But, the rules allow it, so there is nothing you can do apart from using the time wisely to cut back on things you need to do outside directed hours.
  8. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Parents Evening is, as mentioned, directed time. Personally in my school, once a teacher has completed all of their appointments then they are free to leave. Some choose to stay until 7 to do some work, some choose to go home. At the end of the day, it’s a school, not a prison camp. As a HT, I always stay until the end so that I’m available if any parent wants to speak to me or a member of staff wants to talk.
    Piranha likes this.
  9. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I think its fairly standard. You need to be available in case another parent shows up who wants you. Just do marking
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    In the ropiest of my schools, we were required to be there for a minimum amount of time (but not the full time), in case of unbooked parents - this was a school where attendance and booking was very poor, so otherwise there was a risk of someone disappearing after their three booked appointments. In my other schools, we were allowed to go but were supposed to check first to see if any no-shows were signed in (and possibly stuck in a queue elsewhere).
  11. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    My old school did this. It’s artificial fairness, as teachers all work different amounts of times during the week.
  12. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    I was once made to attend a parents evening for a key stage I didn't even teach!
    I had to hand out leaflets with some of the children.
  13. shevington

    shevington Occasional commenter

    A nice job for the SMT who do not undertake any teaching or for the nice children who come round with the cups of tea for the staff such evenings. We assume you claimed your travel expenses if you went home.
  14. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    So you stay to 7pm to make it fair, losing a couple of hours at home but at least catching up on some marking.
    Or you leave at 5:10pm and all your colleagues hate you.

    At my current school we all have to stay but the school pays for taxis for staff to get home afterwards.
    At a previous school, bookings were made direct via the office with no teacher input, but we were free to leave after the last appointment.
    The worst ever was one which ran parents evenings from 6.30 - 9-30 pm, with inufficient time for most staff to get home between class and start of meetings AND running these events on two consecutive nights. No appointments, so you hang around to the bitter end just in case.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I'm glad I didn't have colleagues like that!
    NIHistoryTeacher likes this.
  16. Harmonei

    Harmonei New commenter

    Schools are advised not to exceed a particular amount of hours for meetings and other things after school per week. I researched this when having similar issue. But check.

    Yes you could do marking until 7pm but that is not the point. A teacher may have marked their books during lunch or hot marked in lessons. A teacher may commute an hour or more to school and has the right to manage their time and parents evening appointments to manage this.

    Any extra evenings outside of the designated per year, I'm assuming would count as a twilight? Check with your union.
  17. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    I'll offer you the other side of the story. Won't solve your problem nor make it any better, though. Might be mildly amusing, or at least provide schadenfreude.
    Managing 4 meetings a year, so this is a repeated performance. Need to get to the school hall in the middle of the day to supervise setup, then back an hour before the meeting to ensure all admin, labels, organisation is set up. Deal with Mr and Mrs Over-Enthusiastic Parent who are here early and want to know why Mr Teacher isn't there for them.
    Into the meeting - end up seeing my own classes as well as firefighting for one or two colleagues who have had Mr and Mrs Impossible Parent to deal with. I've also dealt with Mr and Mrs Unpleasantly Divorced Parent, doing some shepherding to keep them apart yet let both see teachers and their child.
    Two hours later nearly everyone has left. Catering have cleared up, leaving a few cups and teapots, mainly around teachers' chairs, many cups still full as teachers haven't drawn breath to give enough time to drink the tea (the coffee is horrid so gets poured but not consumed; those in the know avoid it).
    Three teachers are still talking; two still have significant queues and seem to be blissfully unaware of the time and the queue.
    I haven't had a breather yet but now the tea is cold, there's no milk or sugar. Gulp some cold stewed black tea. Wander round trying to be useful, chat aimlessly with Mr and Mrs Very Patient Parent. Gather up the last teacups, pick the last bits of paper off desks, retrieve Mr Careless Teacher's register and marking, re-check my own register. The queues are still there.
    Three hours later the last teacher eventually finishes, but stands in the doorway with Mr and Mrs Peristent Parent, so I'm still stuck. I'm torn between being the smiling host and the "haven't you got homes to go to?" approach.....
    Another half hour - they leave. Final sweep round the hall, check the toilets for lost property, get to the door and remember I have to go back and switch off corridor lights, leave (agaain), lock up, set alarms.
    At last I can go home for supper!
    Piranha and strawbs like this.
  18. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Perhaps it would help if there is always an SLT member present who does not teach the year group, who can deal with some of these issues. Some schools have a deputy prowling to prompt those with large queues to speed up and pick up any problems.

    In my first school, parents' evenings were something like 6-9pm (quite a lot of commuting parents). I didn't drive, and relied on lifts from colleague (I was en route for several) or had to catch the bus at 10:50.
    I didn't want to have to ask anyone to wait for me, so I would always book my appointments as early as possible, starting before the official start (which was allowed). I'd have a lift home booked with someone, but if I found someone else heading home sooner after I'd finished, I'd let them know I was going. Sometimes I'd be waiting on one set of parents who were stuck in someone else's queue - I'd set off round the school (huge one - we had to use quite a number of rooms), and go and enquire of each queue whether any of them were the people I was looking for. They were usually quite happy to get my appointment out of the way whilst still in the queue!

    The biggest problem was the time we had a powercut during the evening. We put on an extra evening the following week for any remaining appointments. The two of us who didn't drive both assumed we would easily find lifts home, but it turned out that everyone else from our direction had only had a couple of appointments left, and had rung the parents instead. Fortunately, the head of year had assumed he was going to be there all evening, but it was all over by about 7.30, so he kindly offered to drive us back home so we didn't have to spend the whole evening in the pub.
    strawbs likes this.
  19. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    Would be good - but as all our SLT teach at least a 50% timetable, most 70%.....

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