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Writing/Setting Cover for absent colleagues

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by fryan44, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. fryan44

    fryan44 New commenter


    For the fifth consecutive week, I am writing cover for an absent colleague. It is common knowledge that she will not be coming back, and as she has been signed-off ill she has not been setting her own cover. The school have employed a subject specialist to cover her lessons, but as yet he is not being paid to mark or plan.

    And now a second colleague has been signed off sick! Next week I'll be writing cover for 17 lessons, as well as teaching 20 of my own. I'm the second in the department, the department head will be writing cover for 10 lessons in addition to my 17.

    My question is this: as second in department, on M6 and with TLR2a, do I HAVE to do this? Is it legal?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    You can speak to your union (or, if not in one - JOIN!). Why doesn't your HoD set more cover than the 2nd in Dept.?

    If I were coerced into doing this, I'd be setting the same lessons to more than one class...

    PS I've done supply - I always set/marked my own lessons (unless asked to teach this lesson by HoD)...so why isn't the subject specialist employed?
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Why aren't they paying him to mark and plan?
    Your HoD should be asking this question of management.
  4. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Sounds like it’s a long term supply placement. When I had them plans were provided for the first couple of weeks so that I could get to know the schemes of work and where the students were. After that I was expected to do the planning and marking myself.
    HolyMahogany and pepper5 like this.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If they're not marking and planning, perhaps the supply should be allocated, in the absent teacher's non-contact periods, to cover your classes to give you more time. You ought to be getting double PPA time if you're doing the PPA for two timetables.

    But it would be far more sensible for the supply to take over the planning and marking, since they're in the lessons to see how pupils are responding. Sure, it's sense to provide some planning for the first couple of days, and probably also for teachers of parallel groups to share their planning, but if you've got specialist supply, it's almost demeaning not to ask them to take on more.
  6. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter


    General upshot - a long term supply is paid to mark and plan, and also attend parents' evenings and meetings.

    If management is only paying the supply a day to day rate, and therefore treating them like a Cover Supervisor, then your HoD should be asking SLT why.
    HolyMahogany and FrankWolley like this.
  7. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    As 2nd in department you're paid a management TLR.

    This means that your hours are uncapped but must be reasonable.

    Send your line manager a time audit of how much extra time you're spending writing cover, say that it isn't sustainable and that you have contacted your union. They have a duty of care towards you and you have to let them know in writing that they're not meeting that duty of care - try to cc in your union rep and mention it.
    HolyMahogany likes this.

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