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Whose job is it to write cover?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Ironman2081, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Ironman2081

    Ironman2081 New commenter

    i am a secondary maths teacher and to be honest we’ve had an awful year with losing lots of staff and staff going off sick. Our head of maths has now gone off sick, there are only myself and 3 teachers left who each have other job roles e.g. head of year with maths etc etc. We do not have a second in maths and SLT haven’t been too supportive. My question is tomorrow when Monday comes - who’s job is it to write the cover for the head of maths? None of us have the time or have had any emails from SLT as to what is going to happen now with her classes and on top of that all the other staff who are signed off? Am I within my write to refuse to write all the cover or is that being seen as difficult which I don’t want to come across as?
    Thanks in advance for any advice
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You mean plan lessons for the supply?

    That's not your job.
    ATfan likes this.
  3. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    This is something that will be school dependent. I’m a deputy head at a free school and the SMT design the curriculum at our place. We’d therefore be able to put work in place for any absent teachers.
    ATfan and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The strong consensus on this forum is that somebody on sick leave cannot be expected to produce cover work. So the options are that either the remaining teachers do it or it doesn't happen. Would you be willing to divide it up between you, if it is only for a short period? I am not convinced that STPCD allows you to refuse. If it is for longer, then you will need a supply teacher who can plan their own lessons.

    If there happens to be somebody in SMT who has the required knowledge of the syllabus, then that would be ideal.
  5. Ironman2081

    Ironman2081 New commenter

    Sorry I should have been more clear, we don’t currently have any system in place for when someone leaves or is signed off. Usually the head of department will write the cover work based around the topic they’re on, however im just wondering how it’s going to work when we already have members of staff signed off and now the head of department gone with no one to write it? I just would like to make sure I’m within my rights to refuse to do all that cover because out of all the maths staff left I would be the one likely asked to do it as I’ve been teaching the longest
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Do you have textbooks? Can a supply teacher work out where the class is up to and teach the next lesson without the need for formal cover plans?
    Perhaps the head of maths has sent in details to whoever does the cover of where the classes are and what is next.

    Definitely don't spend your weekend worrying about it.
    Pomza, ATfan and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    Surely you have a Sow and a textbook?
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    So do you have detailed subject knowledge and teaching experience to design lesson plans and resources for every subject and every class?
  9. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    There are NO qualified teachers on the SMT at Calf123's school so quite how they design anything coherent is a mystery!
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Its generally the staff who are in the set up cover for the staff who are absent.

    just photocopy a text book page or something
    Pomza, DYNAMO67, Lara mfl 05 and 2 others like this.
  11. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I suppose that once you have a time scale for how long your colleague may be absent, you MIGHT wish to use gained time to plan and set work. But that would be your choice and I'd make sure SLT knew it was done from goodwill, thus (I would hope) gaining you some brownie points. If you are thinking of a promotion in the future,it could work in your favour.
    But it's not your responsibility as far as I can tell.
  12. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    When is your next departmental meeting? Mon or Tues after school, I'd guess. How about the Maths team only devoting themselves to work that is suitable for the HoDs classes and can be delivered by a teacher that is useless at Maths. This will certainly come down to read pages 26-7 and answer all questions but so what?

    I assume that SLT will have the cunning and opportunity to hide away at the crucial time so I suggest you devote a few minutes thought (but only a few minutes) to what you will do when the harassed supply (or cover organiser) comes needing an instant solution.

    I absolutely agree this should not be your problem but I work long-term supply in Maths/Science at bottom-end schools and you will end up having to help out so plan how deal with this disruption in advance rather than being forced by circumstance at an even more inconvenient time. This is almost certainly a contributory factor in your HoDs sickness as well so watch out for your health as well.
  13. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    Our curriculum is specifically designed to focus on both real-life applications of subject knowledge and skill-development. As such, our experienced and highly-educated senior management team are able to bring to bear our extensive experience from a whole range of sectors to deliver an exciting and relevant curriculum.

    For example, I use my background as a finance manager to introduce a clear commercially- focused element into our maths courses through topics like cost control and budgeting.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    As a supply teacher I most definitely expect there to be occasions (i.e. unforeseen absence through illness) when I will walk into a school with nothing to go on.

    It'd be great if there were a portfolio of bits'n'bobs in the event of such circumstances and a department that's well-organised may have such a thing. It would be something a school could do on a training day. Set one aside for all departments to rustle up some emergency cover ideas.
  15. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    It sounds great until an SLT tries to justify his existence by dragging such rubbish as differentiation, progress and relevance. All very worthy ticky-boxes but not much use when a CS or a non-Maths teacher is dumped with the class. These training days are when the SLT come out of their offices and they will want to 'improve' any such ideas.
    agathamorse, grumpydogwoman and ATfan like this.
  16. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    But the people in your school @CalF123 are not TEACHERS. It sounds as though your ‘team’ are making it up as they go along. How do your colleagues follow the curriculum for exams? What about your schemes of work? Who designs them? Do you offer exam courses.

    Experienced and highly educated what though?
  17. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Monday: do your best. Perhaps plan "cover work" for your first class of the day, so that you can put the supply in there while you go and sort out the HoD's class and any others.
    At the end of the day, if not before, try to see someone relevant from SLT, and explain that the department is now at a point where setting cover work is draining what little resources you have left. See whether they might somehow free up some extra time for one or more of you to spend some time putting together cover work for all classes affected for the next week or two. If the school is not getting in subject specialist supply for longer-term absence, put in a plea, too. A good supply will, I'm sure, be able to look at what a class has been doing and improvise an appropriate next lesson or two, pending being given a scheme of work and a copy of any textbooks.
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Just do it.
    You're at the end of the year.
    The kids are tired.
    Give them Maths projects.
    Get them in teams.
    Give them a remit.
    Give them some stationery.
    Let them chat a bit when they are working.
    Possible remits-turn the classroom into an escape room. Only solving maths problems will allow a way out.
    Lower ability-design a theme park. All elements focus on area and perimeter. Lots of colouring.
    Higher ability-get them to design some year 6 lessons. Get them to add extension tasks. Give them a case study-one Y6 kid is a prodigy and will take their GCSE in Y7. Design some lessons for them.
    Get them making mobiles, three dimensional shapes. Planets from Dodecahedrons. Show them YouTubes. Of it. Origami even.
    All of these things can be spun out over a number of lessons.
    They are tired.
    Y11 are away. All done.
    Cut yourselves some slack. Step out of the SoW.

    How on earth anybody could struggle to occupy a bunch of knackered kids with Maths using just a few minutes thought is beyond me. It's a walk over compared to English cover.
    Don't forget, if it's you writing the cover, then it is allowed to be you who treats their own class to a film show lesson. You have less prep time, no?
    Nobody will like you less for it.
    mollyhog, phlogiston, Pomza and 5 others like this.
  19. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    How hard is it to check the SoW and give a textbook?

    Also, I expect you or a colleague are teaching another class in the year group and can provide resources.

    This feels a lot like 'endofyear CBA not my job worktorule to get to the end' -ness. Just do it, it is professional, it is for your colleagues who are sick, it is for the kids in that lesson, who (by the way) might be your class next year.
  20. briceanus

    briceanus New commenter

    "It's a walk over compared to English cover."
    Read a book in silence. Job done. Not too tricky.

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