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Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by goldenbough, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. My current placement school is closing to pupils for the strike on Wednesday. The majority of staff are going to be on strike, but the senior management team are going to be in and have said that as trainees, we are not employees and that we will be expected to treat it as a usual working day and turn up as normal.
    I wouldn't mind this so much if I could get work done during the day there, but the classrooms will be locked and there is only one working computer in the staff room and no desks. As a trainee, I have 2 assignments to do and could really do with a day spent productively in the library, as I am quite concerned about workload at the moment. My mentor has already told me that she does not think trainees should have to come in.
    I am considering not going into school on Wednesday as I see little point in turning up when there will be no pupils, very few members of staff and little opportunity to work. My placement there ends next week anyway. If I did not go in, what would/could the consequences be?
  2. Speak to your link teacher, explaining the situation and your mentor's stance. I've already been told not to come in; others on my course are fighting for this (irony is, I'm provided with a school laptop, a well equipped department, key code access to all rooms and live 2 miles from my placement school; others on my course are not so lucky, having longer journeys, etc.)

    I wouldn't just not turn up- it could be a black mark against you in terms of references and word of mouth.

    What is your uni's stance on this issue?
  3. If the school said you should turn up, you have no choice, Disregarding school's instruction is bad. Have a word with your uni tutor. Unless they can convince the school to let you stay at home or spend a day at uni library, you shoud do as directed by your placement school.
    Can't you take your own laptop and books?
  4. I'd politely ask the head to arrange for your classroom to be unlocked in the morning so you can have the space to work. S/he may not have considered the practicality of you having nowhere to work, which may make them change their mind. If not, I agree you should still go in as it's not worth getting a bad reputation so close to the end of your placement for the sake of one day. Just plan ahead for what you CAN do there, such as handwritten lesson evaluations, getting your files in order etc. Do you have a laptop you can bring in to work on your assignment, even if it's on your knee?!
  5. Also a thought, by deliberately going against the management's request (however absurd), you risk damaging your ITT provider's relationship with the school if they see their trainees as not towing the line. It is hard enough as it is for unis to place students, so you should do everything you can to preserve and strengthen the links your provider has with this school for future trainees.
  6. You should contact your uni tutor and ask for advice. It is correct that you are not an employee and cannot go on strike, that said, you should not be asked to cover any work for a teacher who is on strike, so if you do go to the school you should not be asked to cover classes for striking teachers or supervise groups of children on activities.
  7. barneystinson

    barneystinson New commenter

    Can't you just take a laptop in and do some work?
    The school are quite right when they say you are not an employee and therefore have no real right to strike. Are you actually signed up to any unions?
    The arguement about assignments needing to be done isn't really a worthy one either, without the strike you would have had to teach anyway so it's not as if you would have had that time solely on doing your assignment.
    Not going into school tomorrow would be highly unprofessional.
  8. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    My HT and I (I am Professional Mentor) have agreed that trainees are not required to be in school tomorrow and I have directed them to work from home. However, had he not agreed to this, they would have been expected to go in, and they would have been given a cause for concern referral had they disregarded that instruction.

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