First time I've done this so not sure on reaction but here goes. We have a new head teacher who is determined to do everything 'by the book.' Therefore, in the week before Christmas, when myself and a colleague requested 2 hours leave - unpaid - to see our children in a Christmas production, we were refused permission. Eventually, we were allowed as a 'one-off' as long as we found other colleagues to cover our classes. This wasn't a problem as more senior colleagues who have been through the 'child's Christmas production' stage were only too willing to help mindful of the joy it bought them. A few days ago, my wife miscarried. She was only 7 weeks pregnant but as it was her third in 9 months, it was quite upsetting. I had two hours off in order to pick her up from the hospital but then came straight ion as my wife was fine and wanted me to go in. There I requested an afternoon off in order to accompany her to undergo some investigations. This clashed with a twilight session and so as the head had asked two other colleagues to change appointments for various things so they could attend, he said he couldn't allow me time off either. I did point out that we had no control over the appointment timing but it did not make a difference. Am I being unreasonable in asking for time off on such occasions? I have an excellent attendance record having only missed 5 days in 10 years until this school year but I am starting to feel that if something like this happens again, I will be forced to play the sickie card. I am aware that I am contracted over a number of hours, most of which are hard to do if students are not there. However, it's not like I go home at 3.30 and do nothing until 9.00 the following morning. Any comments/suggestions will be gratefully received. Thanks.