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PPA being used for medical appointsments

Discussion in 'Personal' started by molufiade, Jan 22, 2019.


Should my medical appointments be taken during PPA?

  1. Yes

    7 vote(s)
  2. No

    12 vote(s)
  1. molufiade

    molufiade New commenter

    Hi all,

    Need some advise. I have 4 medical appointments coming up. Same time, once a week for 4 weeks. Each appointment lasts 1 hour and they can’t be arranged outside the school hours. I have been on the waiting list 2 times previous and now on the top of the waiting list for the 3rd time so need to take the appointments otherwise I will need to start the process all over again- which I can’t do. My headteacher has said I need to take my appointments during my PPA time. The problem is that’s a lot of PPA time to loose and I’m also loosing my lunch. So I am not sure what to do?
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    The fact that you are "not sure what to do" is pretty telling.
    Why are you putting your HTs needs before your medical needs?
    Work out how long you need from school to the appt, the duration of the appt and the return journey, and tell your HT that you require that time out of school for medical reasons and you cannot change it. Fill in the required paperwork for known absence, leave some cover work, and let your HT know you have done this. Don't ask them if you can, tell them you have done it. They will not be able to refuse you the absence in this way. But if they make things difficult for you because of it then come back here, because that puts them on shaky ground. Not you.
    Your HT is not interested in your health. They are interested in the hassle of having to cover for you when not there.
    So if you are not prioritising your health and nor is your HT, who is?!

    Whether or not you are paid for this time out depends on your contract, which you do not describe here. Whatever, this absence is something covered in your school absence policy, and if you check, you will find there is nothing there stating that you must go in your PPA time. That's ridiculous, although you may find the statement "if at all possible". Which is sensible, but not really what your HT is saying. There will be details of how to run the paperwork for a known absence-just follow that to the letter as far in advance as possible. It might entail attaching details of the appointment eg letter. Put in an envelope and mark "confidential to HR only". Add a footnote if you like "I cannot achieve this necessary medical appointment at any other time"
    Your HT is not allowed to make things difficult for you this way, but comeback here if they do.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  3. molufiade

    molufiade New commenter

    So I did exactly that in the beginning, I filled out the forms, I sent over the documentation. My first appointment is tomorrow (Wednesday) and they said I can have that but leading forward I need to swap my Tuesday morning appointments to Wednesday afternoon to cover the time. I am on a fixed contract till the end of the year. I work full time. It is a CofE school and don’t know if that posses more issues. It’s just really annoying because I’m already giving up my lunch to go to the appointment. The travel admittedly isn’t the schools problem I guess, as I don’t live in the same borough that I work in.

    I haven’t told them the exact medical condition for the appointment- but I know that’s not necessary. I don’t want everyone knowing why I need the appointments but they do not run past 3pm (I was only given option 10am Or 12.30) or on the weekend. And the medical professionals only have set times- because it’s the same time every week! I’ve been moved to a different facility because I wanted later times. But now I have to take these ones because I have rejected 2 and I have been on the waiting list for some time now.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It may be too late to do this, but I think I'd have said something like: 'These are the appointment times - my medical needs are such I can't postpone them and there are no other appointments available', and go at those times...

    Now if you are feeling in a conciliatory mood, one of these times might be during your PPA. But no way would all 4 be...
  5. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Copy in your union representative to all correspondence. Document it via email so you have a paper trail. Bcc your private email. You are in a union aren’t you?
    TCSC47, agathamorse, nizebaby and 3 others like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    According to the CAB you are not entitled to attend appointments unless your contract specifies that you can. So what does your contract say?

    I fear that your HT is entitled to ask you to make up the time. S/he might suggest s/he docks your pay. If this were an emergency? Different kettle of fish. But STPCD (the provisions under which most teachers are employed) doesn't explicitly allow you to take this time without compensating your employer.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    If the OP has medical appointments that are necessary, then they need to attend them. If the HT is difficult, then they could take those 4 days off, entirely, & self-certificate as being 'unwell' (it would stress me out...Just saying...), and the school loses out. Tough.
    BetterNow and TCSC47 like this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If you’re disabled and your employer won’t let you take time off for a medical appointment connected with your disability, they could be discriminating against you. You should get help from an experienced adviser.

    Also from CAB website.

    In this case the fairest option would be for your employer to make deductions. It isn't practicable to ask you to make up the time.

    Does this seem harsh? It may do. I'd be surprised though if you had the right (according to contract) to take time off for these appointments. A lot of HTs might let you go at their discretion and work round it. But they don't have to. Unless there's a lot more to this than we know and that you would be ill-advised to disclose to us as it might identify you.
  9. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Is there any reason you can't take the weekend option? I have done this on two occasions to avoid conflict with work obligations. It's just simpler.
    ilovesooty likes this.
  10. molufiade

    molufiade New commenter

    There is no weekend option
  11. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    It will be keen to demonstrate Christian Charity.
    TCSC47, mothorchid and emerald52 like this.
  12. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Perhaps, but it will simultaneously be more keen to promote an inhibiting sense of guilt and self-disgust for essential nurturing of the self.
    BetterNow, TCSC47 and Grandsire like this.
  13. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    For me, my health would be my priority, not my amount of PPA time. If appointments were available during my PPA time, so be it, It's not the end of the world. I would take them and be seen quickly. I wouldn't mess about trying to rearrange and having to wait for treatment.
  14. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Indeed, there even seems to be a resentment at missing out on lunch time.
    emerald52, sparklepig2002 and nomad like this.
  15. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Take some books with you to mark in the waiting room instead of reading year-old copies of 'Hello' magazine.
  16. molufiade

    molufiade New commenter

    Sorry writing the weekend was a mistake. Was meant to say there is no option for weekends
  17. molufiade

    molufiade New commenter

    I’m going to my appointment either way. What I’m trying to find out is if my school can legally ask me to swap! And yes eating regularly is important to me
  18. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    When I had a series of appointments I was glad to miss PPA because it impacted less on my relationship with my classes. I ate as I drove.
  19. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I understand that from the PoV that missing PPA and lunch puts far more pressure in terms of preparation and marking. In some jobs I've felt so run ragged even under normal circumstances that managing without PPS/Lunch would have been impossible for me.
  20. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    You can be stopped by the police and prosecuted for eating whilst driving.
    agathamorse and TCSC47 like this.

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