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When can I leave on the last day of term?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Rosaceae, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Rosaceae

    Rosaceae New commenter

    My question is exactly what it says- but just going to add a little bit more background information in case anyone has any general advice.

    I'm moving on from my job at the end of this year, after three years. I've generally had a very happy few years here working with the children and fellow teachers, but there have been instances this school year where I have been treated very unfairly (my appraisal with 6 hours notice -start of school day- and then being horrendously berated for not being prepared, pulled up for socialising too much with colleagues outside of work, being shouted at in front of my class by a member of leadership for something that she thought I had done, etc.). Even though these are isolated incidents and I haven't experienced a campaign of hate against me like some of my ex-colleagues I have, as a sufferer of anxiety these situations have severely burned me. Ever since I knew I had a new job and I was leaving, my last day of term has just been an absolutely agonising wait. I've felt physically sick for the past week as it has drawn nearer.

    I have a couple of days left, with a short half-day on Tuesday. All I can think of is walking out of school on Tuesday afternoon with all of my things and the weight that is going to be lifted from my shoulders. I'm sobbing typing this.

    The only thing is- my school is all about organised fun and on the last day of term you are forced to stay until the early evening for an end-of-year get-together and speeches. Even leaving members of staff have previously been forced to stay for this as they are 'still employees of the school until August 31st'. I haven't been able to sleep thinking about this, as the member of staff who shouts at me will lead the bulk of the afternoon and her mere presence is enough to bring on a panic attack.

    I've worked myself to the bone this year, I've kept my head down and carried on with things, always wanting to just get on and not upset anyone- but I really don't want to attend this. So to get to my question- when does directed time end on the last day, when we have a shorter day? I don't want to do anything wrong, just want to know when I am legally able to say 'I am going home'.
    Lilysowner likes this.
  2. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    Quietly disappear in the afternoon and switch your phone off. Don’t check your email.
  3. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    You need to stay until the last leaving speech, I guess. As you yourself say, you are paid until the end of August.

    It's generally professional to stay until leavers have said their goodbyes. I was in a horrible school last year, and had to stay until 2.30pm when the final person had given an interminable speech that half of us couldn't even hear and most of which made no sense, plus PsychoBitchHead slopping all over staff who'd needed a punch in the face rather than a bunch of sodding flowers (Hi ex-HOD, are you still a ****?). It was excruciating, but the fact I never had to see any of those people again kept me going. If you really can't face it, make an excuse. Or go sick and produce a note so you get paid.
    Lilysowner, sabrinakat and simonCOAL like this.
  4. Rosaceae

    Rosaceae New commenter

    I'm the only leaver, it's not a big team - if that makes a difference.

    You seem to be describing the situation I am dreading. I really want to be professional and keep my head up high. I might just go and speak to someone, saying I'm too emotional to face it all in my final hour. It wouldn't be a lie :(
    Lilysowner and lardylegs like this.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Grit your teeth and stay for the speeches - after that you can probably just leave.

    I have come to hate the leaving speeches with a passion after the one two years ago that dragged on for over two hours ending in one speech that was so utterly terrible I nearly stabbed myself in the heart with a fork just to get out of it.

    This year - we are having them on the evening before we break up and it's not compulsory that you attend - I am going because I feel I should (and because it will be pretty short).

    ...on the last day - I shall be off as soon as possible.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    If it is just you - be brief - then it is over.
    agathamorse and DrJay like this.
  7. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    You probably finished working your directed hours before March finished.
    Personally, I would just disappear with the students, especially if it makes you that upset. I’m with @Billie73 on this
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I actually wouldn't advise this - it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    It's an hour of your life - just do it.
    Lilysowner, agathamorse and DYNAMO67 like this.
  9. Rosaceae

    Rosaceae New commenter

    Hi everyone, thank you for all of the replies. I just wanted to clarify-

    School ends at 1pm on the last day.
    We are usually forced to stay until around 6pm for a 'party'. There is an end of year speech from the head, I probably won't be asked to make one myself, but its generally just forced socialising and 'team building'.

    I just want to know when I am legally able to say 'I am going now' - would it be 4.30pm? Even just 'staying for the speeches' would have me cutting out early- so I want to protect myself as I am still technically their employee for another 6 weeks.

    Thanks again all. It's just nice to talk about this really :confused:
    madcatlady and Lilysowner like this.
  10. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    When does the school day usually end? Just go then.
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Ask the school.

    You're asking a question none of us can really answer. Im sorry it's upset you so much, but talking to those in the know at school is probably more help.
  12. Rosaceae

    Rosaceae New commenter

    I'll speak to someone on Monday.

    I just wanted to know if it being a half-day affected the end of directed time.

    Thanks. :)
    Lilysowner likes this.
  13. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Maybe you have a flight to catch or children to collect who finish early?
  14. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    Or a bad case of diarrhoea?
  15. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Can you request that absolutely No Fuss is made of you whan you leave as it would be too distressing? This would mean you don't have to attend and make a speech. I have known this happen a number of times and for a number of different reasons and it's Ok to do so. This might mean you can leave asap once the students have gone, as you will be "too distressed" to stay.
    However, the whole thing sounds excruciating. I never liked those sort of things - warm, cheap white wine, greasy peanuts and warm flat mineral water for non-drinkers. And always someone who has an axe to grind in their speech.
    Obviously, when I was leaving, the speech was superbly witty, moving and brief. Obviously. Hmmm...;)
  16. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    You could have an emergency dental appointment - root canal playing up. Last minute Drs appt - lucky to get in etc.

    Say what you have to say, make sure all your belongings are in your car BEFORE the last day, then it's a twirl of the keys and you're off. 3.30 at the latest.
  17. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Do you live some way away? If so, after school finishes, load your car (or take your bags etc on the bus/train) and make sure all your 'stuff' gets home (surprising large number of threads about retrieving personal stuff have been on here in the past).

    When you are home, fins an excuse why you can't come back... Maybe your car won't start... Your cat needs t go to the vet...You have a sudden toothache and have to get it fixed ...Your [insert family member of your choice] has a family/medical emergency and you need to help etc etc. You then send an email/text to your line manager asking them to give every one your apologies...

    Now this may lead to a few criticisms, but after a glass of wine or two (plus 6 weeks of holidays) it, and probably you, will be forgotten... Sorry, but that's life!
  18. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I think like most of us at this time of the year, you are completely shattered and possibly a bit (understatement) traumatised by a whole range of events during the year.
    It is a half day. Stay for a reasonable amount of time for the leaving speeches. (near the exit). That way if things get overwhelming just excuse yourself (nipping off to the ladies or gents murmured to the person next to you, etc).
    You definitely don’t need to hang on after the normal school day ends.
    6pm? Utter nonsense.
    For anyone who has had a highly concentrated annual teaching timetable? There wont be any juice left in them...
    It’s not about directed time..... it’s not even about how to make others feel good by hanging around limply.
    It’s about your own well-being and how to best manage it so the time passes as pleasantly as possible, and you can leave with your head held up high.
    The end will be more of an anticlimax if anything. You will probably soon forget you ever worked there, and vice versa.
    You will soon be enjoying a well earned break and ready to start fresh.
    It’s what nearly every teacher in the UK does every year, whether at the same school or leaving.
    Otherwise not many would it make it back I would hazard to guess!
    As for speeches....I liked the 3 minute rule particularly at one school where there were always more than 20 leavers each year.
    That was one CEO rule I was in hearty agreement with. Lol
  19. bertiehamster

    bertiehamster New commenter

    You should have been given a directed time budget at the start of the year. But if you're sobbing as you write this, quite frankly you should be seeing your GP on Monday. It might have been worth a grievance for the shouting incident you mention. Sounds as if you're well rid of this school, and all my good wishes for the future. Hope there's a shedload of other leavers and that slt get what would appear to be coming to them.
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    NB I left before the appointed post school goodbyes & 'jollies' in one job. Once the pupils left school, I tidied up, packed my 'stuff', said goodbye to the few staff I would miss and left. I didn't ask or tell anyone.

    I received my 'goodbye' card in the post a few days later...

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