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Schools giving staff days off for birthdays and xmas shopping...are some people on the same planet?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by The Red Heron, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I've covered classes so teachers can attend hospital and doctors appointments, funerals, graduations, care for Ill children, attend leavers' assemblies etc. I've never covered for shopping days.
    we don't work weekends, shops are open until 10 at night the fortnight before Christmas here, why would anyone need a Christmas shopping day?
  2. I am a TA for a single mother of 2 teacher. This Christmas she struggled to get sorted (she has no family for childcare). I babysat for her so she could go shopping and then I wrapped them for her and kept them in my house as she is never away from kids (one has HF autism). She could have really done with a day off to get her shopping and wrapping done whilst the kids were still in school.
  3. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'm sure she could and while I sympathise with what must be a very difficult situation, at the end of the day if you take a full time wage, you should expect to work full time.
    The Internet is really useful for Christmas shopping.
  4. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    I'll do a straw poll tomorrow of our parents and TA s on £6 an hour and find out how many of them think we should get a day off on full pay to go xmas shopping next year.
  5. I appreciate what you are saying, but not everyone's circumstances are the same. An afternoon off would have given her plenty of time to get herself sorted and reduced the stress that can affect performance. You're missing the point of my post a little too. She doesn't expect anything other than to work full-time, it is in my opinion that it would be best practice to support the staff.
  6. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I know that everyone's circumstances differ. I have a single parent on my staff who often has to take time off to care for her childre. If they're ill. I support her fully and have never ever raised it as an issue. That's very different to Christmas shopping.
    fwiw I don't have family who are able to look after my children either. I pay ( through the nose) for childcare which covers all my possible working hours (7.30 am- 6.30 pm mon-fri, and if there's a school event, parents meeting or governors meeting I pay until 10pm) it's part if being a parent. If ibwant to go shopping I go at the weekend and if I don't want to take my children I pay for a babysitter. I don't leave school early to do it.
    family emergencies are one thing, Christmas shopping is another entirely - a days supply is £200!
  7. I see your point curlygirly, but I can understand why she doesn't use sitters, her son with autism is extremely sensitive to a lot of different senses. It was a nightmare trying to convince her I would be fine whilst she went shopping, and I've known him since he was 2, and now he's 6!
  8. It is a rare case you mention and your intentions and actions are lovely. The bottom line is that, as Curlygirly says, it can be up to £200. Can that ever justify teachers having the day to do something that would not be considered as essential?
  9. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I can appreciate that having worked with some severely autistic children. One of my tas used to provide respite for one of the mums from school because her 2 autistic children wouldn't settle with anyone else.
    But I do think that it's not reasonable to use school's money to give staff time off to shop. If I released teachers using supply that would cost me almost £2.5k, my budget just can't run to this - unless I make a ta redundant. I could release them myself but that'd mean that I'd miss almost 3 weeks doing "my" jobs and I'm afraid I just can't afford to do that either. I wouldn't be running my school effectively.
    Staff welfare is very important but there are other, more cost effective ways to prioritise this.
  10. I know you're both right. This is why I could never run a business, I'd be bankrupt in a year.
  11. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're not required to be in school, however and so your argument is null and void in the context of this discussion - which is whether or not teachers should be given time off in the school day/year to go Christmas shopping.
    Of course they shouldn't. It's a scandalous waste of taxpayers' money and brings the profession into disrepute.
    Shopping is what after school and weekends are for.
  12. Wow. There are a lot of harsh comments on this thread.
    My school give staff one days paid leave for staff to do xmas shopping. When I first started working at the school I was amazed at the offer. Incredibly generous.
    However, I immediately perceived it to be a goodwill gesture to staff. Schools can't provide some of the perks that working for a company can. We don't get our xmas parties paid for/subsidised. We don't have company cars and mobiles. We don't get health insurance. Teachers work ridiculous hours and those with families miss out on time with their children and partners as they do their planning and marking outside of school hours.
    Having working in the private sector, I would have expected to have been on much higher wage than teachers are to be working until silly o'clock each evening and missing out on QT with loved ones.
    If the school environment is flowing nicely with organising this days leave at xmas I think it is a marvellous gesture by school management.

  13. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Wow. There are a lot of harsh comments on this thread.

    No theres not...only straight forward honest common sense fact. Teachers should not be being paid to go shopping. Fact. End of.
  14. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Plus also what the majority of 'people' on here who think employers should be bending over backwards so they can get xmas shopping done dont or cant seem to grasp, its not schools money...its taxpayers...and if the taxpayers wre to find out about such an utterly ludicrous scheme they would be outraged. I do not want my money going to any employer who wants to blow it on giving staff time off to do non essentail things
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    We know this when we take the job.
    we know this when we take the job.
    We know this when we take the job (do you see a pattern emerging here?)
    Not as harsh as having to tell a member of staff you've got to make them redundant because you've squandered their wages so that teachers can have a day off to shop. The school budget is not a finite pot of money. It has to pay for everything from the heating and electricity to the energy certificate, insurance, books, computer licences, building repairs, paper, ta wages, mds wages, teacher wages, admin staff wages, phone bill, supply (@ £200 per day) cleaning costs (I could go on at length but I won't).... everything. It doesn't go very far at all. Would you be happy if you lost your job due to budget cuts and the head had been giving all the staff a day off to shop? I'd think that was financial mismanagement to be honest.
    Work life balance is important, there are other ways to achieve it.
    There are 170 days a year that we're not required to work ( you may do work in that time but it's up to you when you do it), if you can't find the time to fit your Christmas shopping into them then I'd suggest you need to look at your time management.
  16. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    last post...post of the year award? Stunning and spot on
  17. The point I was trying to get across is not that staff SHOULD be given a free day off. Yes, it does cost money and it is the responsibility of the management team that budgets are kept in line. However, sometimes by allowing staff a perk, they result is a happier work force who would actually repay you with a far more productive work ethic.
    It is always at the discretion of the management team.
    Health of mind is vitally important and forward thinking employers in all industries recognise that gestures that show you care about the staff and the work they put in will pay dividends.
    It's the same with the children in our classes. We could sit and teach them numeracy and literacy until the cows come home, but without those sessions where we let them have a class party for working so hard during the term, or they get golden time at the end of the day that make them realise we appreciate how much effort they have put into their learning.
    There is more to people management than crunching numbers and clocking people in and out.

  18. I agree too. Good points made in your post.
  19. This is going quite off topic. It's not really the right comparison.
  20. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Staff at my school have more than their minimum PPA entitlement and I let them take it at home. I always ensure that meetings are efficient and finish on time, and are kept to a minimum.
    I buy them all a small gift at Christmas, I buy the drinks at the staff parties, I cover their classess so they can be at special events for their children (the xmas play for example) I send a personal thank you note when they have done something which I appreciate, I buy them fish and chips for dinner every so often and cake or biscuits for break.

    Small gestures but they let staff know that they're important. They don't cost school a penny.
    I agree, there is. But it doesn't need to cost the school budget, which is tight at the moment and only going to get tighter.

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