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Setting cover when off sick

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Thelastchancesaloon, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. I was wondering what the rules are regarding setting cover when you are off sick. I have only had a day off in my NQT, when my child was ill and it was not a problem sending in cover but a friend of mine in a different school HAS to send in detailed, full lesson plans for every class when off, whether sick or a planned absence. I know in my school & department that people always set cover, though often just a basic outline as our schemes are all on the system, so we only usually need to say where we are up to. And I know there have been times when people are seriously unwell where it is just impossible to be thinking about lesson cover.

    What are schools reasonably allowed to demand of an absent teacher?
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The most they should be able to ask for is the planning you have prepared for that first day of absence, when you expected to be in school yourself teaching it. The lanning may not be suitable for a non-specialist to deliver, however.
    legally, they cannot require you to provide anything. In the days before email, mobile phones and even landlines in many homes, teachers would get someone to make a call froma phone box to inform the school of their absence ... and no work had to be sent in!
    Unions will tell you thta you don't have to send in work. You are too ill to work and planning lessons and adapting them for cover staff at short notice is work!
    Best advise is to never give a school your home number, phone in on a mobile and then switch it off and don't open school emails.
    When in work it would be a good idea to compile a cover file for each of your classes, with revision work/extension exercises that were never previously undertaken etc and lists of textbook chapters and exercises that you intend to cover over the course of a term/year. You then tick off which work has been done with you or by previous cover staff and the dept/new cover staff can choose the next thing on the list, tick it off and leave you details of how much work was covered.
    Any cover worth their salt (qualified supply) would be able to structure the work supplied at short notice. Cover Supervisors may be less able but that's the school's issue in employing them, not the sick teacher's!
    I knew of one teacher/lecturer who got her Union to send a letter to the college threatening legal action for harassment if they continued to phone her weekly to ask for work and to pester for news of when she was likely to be returning to work. The college's unreasonable actions had triggered her breakdown in the first place; I know because I was the supply teacher brought in to carry on the unreasonable workload and I jumped ship in just over half a term!
    The college were very worried about being sued and all staff were told not to make any contact with the teacher- not even sending a Get Well card.
  3. I didn't know this thank you for the clarification! I was recently ill and stupidly carried on working as it was my first job - I nearly landed up in hospital and still had to send in detailed cover for my lessons.

    I will remember this in the future!!

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