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Twilight sessions and maternity leave

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by shelly1984, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    So our school have decided to have 3 extra days off next school year- 2 after may half term and 1 at the end of summer term to finish earlier for summer holidays. All the staff need to do 6 twilight sessions (3.15-6pm) to make up their hours, all the sessions are in the Autumn term and Spring 1.

    My question is should I be expected to attend the twilight sessions considering I will be starting my maternity leave after the February half term so won't benefit from the days off, effectively meaning I'll be working 17 hours (about) extra for no extra pay?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    My gut feeling is 'no'. But you probably should ask your Union.

    BTW Did your school ask the staff about this, and did all staff agree? If not, I'd say they can't enforce this.
    Laphroig likes this.
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Congratulations on the baby!
    My thought, for what it's worth is that you will be on mat leave for about half of the year, so why not go and speak to SLT and suggest that although you won't benefit from the extra days off, you could do half of the twilight sessions.
    What is going to happen in these evening sessions? Is it useful training for things you need even after you return to work? (New exam syllabus? CPD? etc) Or is it just "stay there for several hours and do some catching up on the paperwork?" In which case, you'd probably be doing that anyway...
    What does your union say?
    shelly1984 likes this.
  4. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    Thanks. I've not asked the union yet, I should probably do that!
    They didnt ask the staff this year. Just assumed that people would want it (going from response of last year) and we were all informed on the last day. They've also changed staff meeting times with no consultation...although that seems to have been well received!
    We've not been given the agenda for the sessions yet but last year we had 4 and 2 were in class, doing bits that I would have done anyway...although usually I get in earlier and finish earlier (between 4-4:30) to see my lb before bed at 7.
  5. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    My take is that if inset days are disaggregated into twilights thenthe rules apply to the new days. So, if you normally work those days then you do the twilight. If you’re on maternity leave when they happen then you don’t go in. If the subject matter is something useful to you then you could negotiate to use KIT days for those sessions. These are only by mutual agreement so you are not obliged to go in at their suggestion.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    That's a thought - you could argue that if you do the twilights, you should then be paid for the three days as KIT days.

    I agree that it's worth getting the union's take on this.
    Laphroig and jlishman2158 like this.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Beware these 'twilight sessions' do not become a permanent part of the timetable.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    As union rep I like to stick to the letter of the law. This is quite complicated and the STPCD doesn't give chapter and verse.

    I would therefore concur with @Sundaytrekker. If you work that day then you attend. If you're on leave you don't go.

    I wouldn't contest this at all. From my POV (and I'm fairly hard-left as reps go) this wouldn't look good if you attempt to get out of it. If it's a working day and you're not unwell then you take advantage of the professional development.
    Laphroig and mothorchid like this.
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I hadn't quite grasped that these were disaggregated training days. If that's the case, then I would think you have to go. It's your contracted job. It's a shame for you as far as the freed up days later in the year are concerned, but by then your mind will be on other things.
  10. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    They aren't training days. We still have our 5 inset days.
  11. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure how extra days have been added - the children have to have 190 days' learning so this should shrink the school holidays not extend them.
  12. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    I can't add the picture of the letter we received.
    It says 'To enable staff to have an extra 2 days' holiday at Whit and to finish early in the summer, we will have 6 twilight sessions during the year.'
    Then gives the dates. I don't know how this is working re the 190 days for pupils.
  13. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    All sounds bizarre. Definitely ask the union about it, not so much from the point of view of you not attending, but because it doesn't quite seem to add up somehow.
    Laphroig and FrankWolley like this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    190 teaching days
    5 training days

    Time can't be taken from the 190. Those belong to the kids. Or should do. The only thing you're able to do is tinker with the 5 days. If done correctly.
  15. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    We are definitely having our 5 inset days!
  16. shelly1984

    shelly1984 New commenter

    Unless they will edit the term dates letter already sent to parents and change the inset days already set to the 3 new days and they have just informed us of the changes (which wouldn't surprise me)
  17. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Regardless of whether the school are taking time away from the students (this should be looked into) I think you should go to the sessions until you go on Mat leave. I'm with @Sundaytrekker and @grumpydogwoman here...and I'm also an ex-Rep.

    If you were moving to a new post or pastures new at Christmas/Easter, you wouldn't benefit from the extra days, but would still be expected to go. By all means raise it with SLT, but be prepared for the "you do as timetabled until you go."
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    As far as the parents are concerned, the INSET days are correct - those are the days in the official term time when the school is closed to students. The fact that the INSET is happening at other times is irrelevant to them.

    As far as STPCD is concerned, I can't find anything to back you up. You can be directed for 1,265 hours over 195 days in a year. I can find nothing to say that they can't cut back on some days and give you more on others. STPCD says:

    51.2. A teacher employed full-time must be available for work for 195 days, of which:
    a) 190 days must be days on which the teacher may be required to teach pupils and perform other duties; and
    b) 5 days must be days on which the teacher may only be required to perform other duties; and
    those 195 days must be specified by the employer or, if the employer so directs, by the headteacher.

    It does not say that you have to be directed on the 5 days.

    Perhaps I am misinterpreting the rules, so by all means ask your union. But I suspect this is one of these things that you can be unlucky on, similar to when maternity leave coincides with the summer holiday.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you are right and the training days are still happening, then this would have to come out of directed time. However, that sounds unlikely to me, given what the school has said.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I never favoured twilight sessions but I worked part-time and stood to benefit when training days were on a Monday or Friday (as they often are.) But I was outvoted and so, if the twilight occurred on a day I worked, I attended the twilights. I lost out marginally, I think.

    But twilight was more popular amongst my colleagues and I thought it would look mean-spirited if I were to insist on doing only 60% of the twilights AND calculating which were my working days and doing the maths. I could have done but I didn't. I'd have come up with a formula and presented my case.

    But I didn't feel it was an act of manifest unreasonableness or an attempt to get me to work for nothing so I was content to do it.

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