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Setting cover when ill

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by xtra, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    I was pulled into the heads office today for a telling off as I set no cover when I was ill. I telephoned the school at 7:45 and explained that I had been up since 5 am with a stomach bug. I also explained that I was too ill at the time to be sat at my computer setting cover. I had only 1 ks3 lesson (period 1) the rest of the day was ppa and ks5. I rang later at 10am and left instructions for my a level group.
    The head is saying that I was in breach of my contract and is considering putting me onto a stage 1 warning due to the financial implications of cover for this day and the impact of my colleagues?!
    I'm I right in thinking this is a little unreasonable?! When I have been ill in the past I have always provided work but on this occasion I was too sick to even get out of bed :( advice please!
     
  2. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    I was pulled into the heads office today for a telling off as I set no cover when I was ill. I telephoned the school at 7:45 and explained that I had been up since 5 am with a stomach bug. I also explained that I was too ill at the time to be sat at my computer setting cover. I had only 1 ks3 lesson (period 1) the rest of the day was ppa and ks5. I rang later at 10am and left instructions for my a level group.
    The head is saying that I was in breach of my contract and is considering putting me onto a stage 1 warning due to the financial implications of cover for this day and the impact of my colleagues?!
    I'm I right in thinking this is a little unreasonable?! When I have been ill in the past I have always provided work but on this occasion I was too sick to even get out of bed :( advice please!
     
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    What is your school's policy on the availability of planning? If, for example, your school's policy is that all staff must submit plans a week in advance, then arguably you could have failed to meet these requirements. If, however, you had done everything that would have been expected of you under other (normal) circumstances, then your Head is quite wrong to attempt to reprimand you. Rather, it sounds add though there is a weakness in the school's systems which he needs to resolve.
     
  4. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    As far as I know we don't have any sub policy in place. I think I'm the victim of a witch hunt at the moment... Can't seem to get anything right
     
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    In short - Your head is unreasonable and wrong.
    If you are too ill to be in work, you are, by definition, too ill to set cover.
    In addition there is no requirements for to have a computer or internet access at home so it is therefore unreasonable to *expect* you to be sat at a computer emailing in such cover.
    Of course, some teachers do.... and if it helps other colleagues out a bit and you are able all well and good. Heads of departments should make provision for the eventuality that their staff may be off sick - perhaps by compiling a bank of lessons suitable for cover for each year group/ topic to avoid this conflict.
     
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Ridiculous - you did what you could - as shown by the fact that you sent instructions for the A-level students. If you'd been in a car-crash on the way to work, would they have wanted you to set work from the ambulance?
    My HoD rang me in similar circumstances once, and I found suitable work for her classes, and would have been horrified if she'd felt she needed to worry about it.
    It obviously is a good idea if there is a departmental stock of "emergency cover activities", but frequently more appropriate work can be provided by a colleague popping in and finding out from the kids what they did last lesson. Many supply teachers are perfectly capable of coming up with suitable activities.
     
  7. Not a little unreasonable, totally unreasonable. You were ill. Any supply teacher or covering teacher worth their money should be able teach a class. That is what they are paid for. There is no breach of contract. If you hear any more on this matter go straight to your union at regional level, at least and then sit back and watch any half decent paid union officer dismantle their position.
     
  8. Just reviving this as I am unwell and thinking ahead to the beginning of next week when I am likely to be off work.

    In my school it is a routine part of everyone's planning that at the end of the planning sheet for each subject for each half-term there is a section for 'Cover lesson'. This is an easy-to-execute lesson that is thought about and resourced in advance of actually feeling unwell, so does not infringe on ill rights!

    It is something generic to the subject, for example useful revision worksheets or a piece of writing to do, so does not have to link explicitly to the current unit of work. Obviously this is not the way to teach long-term, but it avoids stress on boths sides the morning a staff member calls in unwell.

    If you're not unwell that half-term, you simply copy it over to the next half-term's planning document, until it is used and you think of something else for next time you are off.

    Is this not normal practice elsewhere?
     
  9. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    And have a look at Gardening Leaves' answer at the end of page 2 of https://community.tes.co.uk/tes_workplace_dilemmas/f/96/t/428244.aspx?pi2132219857=1
     

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