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When and how to tell a new school I have booked a holiday during term time?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tiinatoelli, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    None of the union guidance says that teachers have 13 weeks annual leave. The Hackney one does but it cites STPCD as its source and as already noted STPCD doesn't say that. STPCD requirement is for 5.6 weeks holiday, there's no obvious justification for Hackney turning that into 13 weeks
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    JohnJCazorla and Piranha like this.
  2. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I don't think that maternity cover pay is done differently to a permanent teacher, in that pay = number of days employed divided by 365 times annual rate. A teacher on maternity cover gets paid for all holidays while employed; the issue is that a teacher on maternity leave can return at the end of term and then get the holiday pay, leaving the substitute teacher not getting paid. There is usually a clause in the contract which says it can be terminated with fairly short notice if the person being covered returns. Several people have complained about this.
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  3. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Our local authority has stood by the leaving maternity cover teacher being paid for the holiday following the term if they worked to the end of term. This resulted , for us, both a maternity cover teacher and the teacher returning on the first day of the holiday being paid for the long summer holiday. It was very expensive.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Interesting to know why the LA thought it had the legal power to make a maintained school do that. My initial thought would be that if LA wanted to do that it had to pay for it itself, but I've never delved into the employment law small print of it. I think it's hard on ML teachers that their employment can be terminated that way - although presumably all/most ML post holders know how it works before accepting the job - but the school isn't funded and doesn't have the money to pay two people for doing one job either.
  5. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Well the STPCD actually says nothing in there can be taken to conflict to the Working Time Directive. It doesn't explicitly say how much leave teachers get, but it does define the opposite of it. It says teachers should be available to work for 195 days in the year. That 1265 directed hours will be split between these days although teachers should recognise that extra time may be needed to fulfil their duties (nothing in that says this has to be outside the 195 days). This means outside the 195 days, teachers are paid to do whatever they wish (watch tv, go on holiday or even catch up on work) and, importantly, they don't have to be at work/or seen to be working on those days - which is what I would define as annual leave. I realise you may have a different interpretation of what annual leave is
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  6. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    If it were a community school or Voluntary Controlled school then the LA are the employer so would have the power to do decide that (in comparison to VA or Foundation and Trust schools where the Governing Body is the employer).
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No they wouldn't. LA is contractual employer but all employment decisions are by law given to the governing body who exercise them on behalf of the LA. [Certain exceptions not relevant here - H&S policy eg] LA does not have the power to direct or override the Governors' hiring and firing decisions.
    nomad likes this.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It matters for the reason this discussion started with. What accrued holiday pay is a teacher entitled to if they leave mid term? In the absence of any express contractual term that says teachers get 13 weeks paid holiday a year there is no basis for your assertion.

    Your interpretation also undermines what teachers and unions and have been arguing for years. That teachers do not get 13 weeks holiday a year (and don't only work until 3.00pm etc etc). Claiming now that teachers do have 13 weeks annual leave a year is just inviting anti-teacher newspapers to start criticising teachers all over again. I find it an odd position for a teacher to take.
    nomad likes this.
  9. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Thinking about it some more, I believe it was because the LA covered maternity costs through their central HR budget. I was able to successfully argue that they should therefore cover one of the teacher’s costs over the summer holiday for precisely the reason you give: that we couldn’t afford to pay two teachers. If the maternity cover ended part way through a term this didn’t happen.
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    That makes sense. If LA were paying ML overlap cost centrally that's a decision they can make.
  11. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    I think somehow we've moved from discussing would it be possible to have shorter notice periods and so be entitled accrued leave to what is possible now. Which is a moot point because of the leave dates currently in the contract.

    If they weren't then how much annual leave do teachers have would need to be explained? If it's the minimum 5.6 weeks then how do you determine when the have taken it?

    Also if an employee is being paid but isn't obliged to go into work or do any work, then what is it if not leave? Being on leave doesn't negate the need to fulfilling professional responsibilities, as seen in many other industries where they may do work weekends/evenings/on holiday. No wonder the the public get confused if teachers are not clear what this time actually is, because it's different for every teacher, and are so removed from pretty much any other job. Which also makes it so much easier for newspapers to criticise teachers.

    The unions state that teachers work hard, as we know. That they work well beyond the times and hours that they should. Again it comes back to the lack of clarity though, that a teacher if they wanted could spend those 13 weeks not doing any work. Based on teachers I know and work with, there are many who do spend most of those 13 weeks on non-school related things by managing to organise their workload over term time. I also know of many who spend quite a lot more time out of term, doing school work (a place I've been in myself in the past). This often depends on the SLT you have at the school and how much pointless practices and poor ethos they push on their staff.
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes, it is not at all clear. I am not trying to defend the rules, merely stating how they seem to work. They do work in favour of somebody on maternity leave, who could return after nearly a year off at the end of term, do one day's work and then get paid for the holiday. I imagine that would change if we did move to essentially a contract which paid for every day at school.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    Actually you can return to work from maternity at any date, so there's no need to go in for one day. Just start on the first day of the holiday.
    Sundaytrekker and agathamorse like this.
  14. Catjellycat

    Catjellycat Occasional commenter

    I wonder if the OP is getting their holiday? Fwiw, I agree with the poster who said that from outside of teaching, this all looks very archaic. It's two days.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes, I had thought that, but others have mentioned the need to go in for one day, so I have gone along with that idea.
  16. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    You can definitely return from maternity on the first day of the holidays. I have experience of staff doing this.
    strawbs, emerald52 and agathamorse like this.
  17. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Part of me is aghast at the naivety of people who book holidays then get a teaching job. First task - write 'I cannot take holiday in term time' 100 times.

    However the OP is not posting expecting or wishing for a beasting.

    Ask, but the answer might be no.

    I accept that the OP may not want to be specific but the bit about OH having training related to work during the holiday intrigues me. Hmmm, could be anything from spreadsheet management on an industrial park on the outskirts of Lincoln with the holiday a week in a static caravan in Skeggy to jetting off to Bondi Beach and the 'surf school management training.'

    I would argue the Feb holiday is the OHs work jolly and you can book another one in the actual school holidays. Unless you can convince the Head that you need a 2 day course on applied behaviour management in Cleethorpes Academy/ 2 day course on 'bringing surf into schools' and state you'll 'provide the hospitality expenses.'
  18. hiddendavid

    hiddendavid New commenter

    I work part time and asked the head for time off for a holiday today, said id make up the hours - granted!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  19. Catjellycat

    Catjellycat Occasional commenter

    I once swapped some days with a job share to go to Center Parcs in term time (only way a teacher is affording it!) and then spent the whole week paranoid I'd bump into a parent who'd had term time leave declined. My children weren't even school age!
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    In that case, if you bumped into any, you could smile sweetly and say "Yes, I'm delighted it was possible to swap my days for this week, because of course once the children are at school we won't be able to take them off in termtime."

    I managed a termtime holiday once - I was part-time, and only taught KS4, so had no lessons to teach for the work experience fortnight. We had activities week for one of those weeks, so I offered to do a couple of full days that week (rather than my usual bitty timetable) if I could have the other week off.
    Piranha and agathamorse like this.

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