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Personal appointments being criticised

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by mrandmrsscience, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    So our school has a habit of throwing in meetings that are not in the diary. We have a fixed Monday night, then anything else we ‘have to attend’ said loosely as I am aware from the union that I don’t actually ‘have to’ but that’s another story. Eg promotional evenings. Anyway this week we have a meeting every night- discussing exam results, discussing intervention, discussion ks3. I have been having counselling for anxiety and also IVF tests and related sessions . These appointments are usually 5pm ish as that’s when the people work until. I’ve bascially been told at work why am I making appointments on work nights, as I should ‘expect’ to have a meeting as its work time. I get in at 7am so work the same day length as someone who gets in at 8 and leaves at 4 say. I have been asked to explain where I am going and why I am making ‘so many’ appointments. I don’t really wish to discuss my personal matters with my HOD, a man. Nor anyone else. Our bell goes at 3.30 and unless I leave at 4.15 to get to the clinic I can’t make it, but meetings run till 5. I’ve been told at least stay until then however I felt so awkward once when I did do that as everyone asked when I was going. Am I being unreasonable doing this?
  2. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    No you’re not. You have directed tome for a reason.

    Are you in an academy or a maintained school?

    I have to say it sounds like a very stressful environment to work in. Anything that isn’t in the school calendar as a pre-designated meeting as park of your directed time really shouldn’t be expected to have your attendance. Especially on a fly by the seat of your pants weekly basis.
    gold19951, ATfan and strawbs like this.
  3. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    speak to in school union rep, ask them to get directed time budget from HT
    gold19951 and stevewaters17 like this.
  4. stevewaters17

    stevewaters17 New commenter

    It is unreasonable to expect staff to be available for ad hoc meetings. It is also unreasonable not to give you ‘permission’ to attend medical appointments, especially as they are not occurring during contact time. You do not have to divulge the reason for your medical appointments - this is confidential between you and your doctor. It sounds as if your school could be contributing to your anxiety. In the long-term, would you consider leaving for another school - this sounds a toxic environment where staff well-being has low priority.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Get your union rep onto it. They can perhaps point out to the head how lucky they are that you've been able to get appointments that do not require you to miss teaching time, and ask them to produce a schedule of meetings so that you can continue to try and avoid having an appointment when there is a meeting.

    The issue of reason for the appointments is difficult - obviously when there are a lot, the head must be wondering about the reason (and IVF and mental health issues are two reasonably likely candidates). A good union rep will remind them that the reasons are confidential, and they should not put any pressure on you to divulge.
    gold19951 likes this.
  6. catmother

    catmother Star commenter

    Surely, meetings should be in the diary and if not,it should be safe for teachers to assume that they are free to go as soon as the bell goes?
    It should not matter if you're going home,have your hair done,go shopping or to go to a doctor's appointment,it's your own time to do as you wish.
  7. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    If I recall correctly my LA has guidance around absences for fertility treatment. Might be worth having a look to see if yours has anything.
    gold19951 likes this.
  8. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    The trouble is that poor managers use the 'reasonable duties' clause as an excuse to justify the situation described by the OP. I remember this well from when my colleagues and I had to participate in weekly open days and parents evenings from 5pm-10pm (by the time we had finished and packed everything away) with only a 30 min break between this and our last lesson of the day (which finished early so that we could set up during this 'break) with only a food voucher to use. This happened every 3 weeks. When we all complained (including our union rep), the answer was that this was part of our 'reasonable duties'. In hindsight, I think that we were mad to put up with this! I'm still cross about this so never volunteer for out of hours activities unless I get payment or TOIL in return.

    OP, I really sympathise and hope that things work out for you!
    gold19951 likes this.

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