To be annoyed at DS teacher for missing taking time off for this?

(191 Posts)
Seriouslyirritatednechanger Tue 07-May-13 19:06:50

My eldest DS is at a notoriously crappy school as it is, I have tried to move him at various points throughout secondary to no avail. One of his teachers is guardian to a child in his year. As a result we have had restricted parents evening times available meaning my dh could not attend with me because she wanted to see her child's teachers on the same night hmm, the child frequently behaves badly and on some occasions the teacher has missed the start of DS lesson to be called in by the head when he deals with bad behaviour. The teacher has missed several lessons to take her child to appointments this term already and it is gcse so DS needs the teacher to revise with. This teacher is the only one for the subject in the school so cover teachers can't teach them. The teacher has refused to give DS extra revision sessions even though it is a subject he really struggles with and he did badly in his controlled assessments so needs a miracle to do well overall. No doubt the teacher will be giving her child extra help outside school but because I do not teach the subject or at all this is not an option for my child. I thought teachers were not meant to miss school time as they have short days and all the holidays to have appointments etc so I don't understand why she cannot do this like any other teacher. Others of DS teachers have children and this does not happen half as often. I feel like she is putting a child she looks after over my son and the importance of gcses for the whole class hmm

StuffezLaYoni Tue 07-May-13 19:09:29

I was going to post a sympathetic reply until the twattish "teachers have short days" comment.

seeker Tue 07-May-13 19:11:15

What's the subject?

(I'm ignoring all the irrelevant stuff and trying to be helpful)

5318008 Tue 07-May-13 19:12:31

Perhaps engage a tutor for your child for the subject?

I can't see your problem with her wanting to see the child's teacher. You had an appointment didn't you? As for short days - do you know what teachers do?
I'm sure there's a reason for refusing extra revision - why won't he put the work in himself?
So YABU on some counts

wimblehorse Tue 07-May-13 19:14:16

Sounds like the school are not dealing well with the situation rather than the teacher.
Teacher has a responsibility to her charge, which may trip her responsibilities to her pupils. However the school should be managing this & providing suitable cover. Extra tuition for your child would be nice, but don't think teachers have to offer this. You could look into private tuition.
You sound pissed off that her charge is benefiting from her being a teacher while your child is losing out because you're not. That'another fault!

wimblehorse Tue 07-May-13 19:15:14

Trip = trump
'another = 's not her

headlesslambrini Tue 07-May-13 19:15:37

It may be that the appointments for the other child are being made by other professionals and therefore out of her control. the head should not be getting her at the start of lessons but to leave it until either lunch time or end of the school day as they would with other parents.

By the way teachers do not have short days nor long holidays. their pay is pro-rota over the number of weeks which they work but spread evenly over the 12 months. they spend alot of time in school or doing work when not being paid.

If you are not happy then make a complaint to the head or head of department.

The child is in care rather than her child though and the rules and expectations on her and on the school are different. There will be appointments with professionals that have to be in normal working time and the school will be under pressure to accommodate this from the LA.

On a separate note there are ways you can manage his learning with her help. There may just not be enough time to slot in extra revision sessions but your son could go at lunchtime, ask for extra work - you could get a tutor or if funds don't allow then you could get past papers and sit with him yourself.

gregcal Tue 07-May-13 19:16:15

Perhaps the teacher has had meetings with agencies concerning his guardianship.

daftdame Tue 07-May-13 19:17:14

Serious I can see it is bad for you / your son but it does sound like this teacher could be having a really difficult time with her child. If she has to take her child to appointments she cannot exactly miss those appointments, they can be hard enough to get in the first place. Would you want the kind of teacher who was ready to neglect her own child for the sake of yours.

I think it may be helpful to see your child's educational needs as a school issue rather than down to this one teacher. They should be ensuring provision is made for when this teacher is not available.

ouryve Tue 07-May-13 19:17:17

If the child the teacher is responsible for has regular appointments, many clinic appointments are at fixed times, just a few mornings or afternoons a week or month. It sounds like there's probably a correlation between the child's behaviour and those appointments.

So what is the teacher to do? Just ignore the child's difficulties? Not seek the medical or psychological help the child that they are looking after probably needs?

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 19:17:51

Ignoring all the rubbish about short days blah blah.... hmm

Some appointments people have no choice over. Doctor, dentist, optician appointments - fair enough to arrange outside of "teaching" hours. However other appointments such as hospital, CAMHS, etc. are organised by the professions running them and not easily moved, if at all.

The teacher will have to put in a request for all such appointments, which then need to be agreed by the line manager, headteacher and/or Governors. You must put down all reasons why it cannot be outisde of teaching hours when doing this.

There will be reasons why it is allowed.

The school should be, however, ensuring that there is someone who can cover for this teacher when she has to be absent, and who should be following plans, etc. What would they do incase of sickness or long term absence after all?

Salmotrutta Tue 07-May-13 19:18:03

What do you mean by "extra" revision sessions? Over and above those she is already putting on you mean?

Does your DS attend the sessions she may already be offering? If he isn't then he should. If he is then, unfortunately, he may just not be very good at that subject.

Teachers can't offer unlimited revision. They do have other classes and duties!

GoblinGranny Tue 07-May-13 19:18:27

The sooner they replace teachers with robots the better IMO.
You know, some appointments linked to SN or TATC involve other specialists and professionals who have busy timetables, and you grab an appointment when you can or wait another 6 months.
However, she should be making appointments to see other teachers who work in the school at other times than parents'evenings.
Your child should be getting the additional support and revision he needs in class, although if he's coming up to GCSEs now, it's a bit late for that to make an impact. I'd be angry with the HOD and the SLT rather than the teacher, they should be providing solutions.

stillenacht Tue 07-May-13 19:19:03

I missed a GCSE lesson today..was at Social services discussing residential care for my severely disabled son sad GCSE exams were last thing on my mind...I must be a crap teacher.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 07-May-13 19:20:23

I agree with daftdame.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GoblinGranny Tue 07-May-13 19:22:32

This is the answer to a lot of MN issues with teachers. Coming to an establishment near you!

Pozzled Tue 07-May-13 19:22:58

How do you know what she's doing when she has to miss classes? That information is nothing to do with you; it's between the teacher and whoever allows the time off- HT, HoD or whoever else. There are many perfectly valid reasons why teachers may need to leave work early.

However, the lack of consistency in teaching/revision is obviously an issue for you and your DS. Focus on this. Compile the facts- can your DH remember which dates she was absent on, and how the lesson was covered? Then see if the facts add up to a genuine complaint. If so, take it through the proper channels.

A word of warning though- don't include a refusal to give extra revision lessons in a complaint, unless it's something the school offer as standard. Unless it's in her contract, she is under no obligation to do extra sessions.

spanieleyes Tue 07-May-13 19:22:59

clearly no teacher should help their own child with their studies at all as this is totally unfair on other children who don't get the same assistance confused
Perhaps teachers should just take the children they teach home with them in the evening so it's fair for all.hmm

There's a poster on here I've seen who is a teacher and a guardian to an older teen.

This could be written about me. Excuse me for prioritising my foster daughter's emotional wellbeing over my pupils hmm <frantically cancels DFD's next mediation session to avoid upsetting the parents>

Seriously though, teachers are allowed lives. Just because we teach your child twice a week, doesn't mean they're on equal par with our own. Sorry about that.

kotinka Tue 07-May-13 19:24:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oh. She's here blush hello marina

CloudsAndTrees Tue 07-May-13 19:26:35

The fact that your DH couldn't arrange his life to meet this teacher is his fault, not hers.

If the teacher has to do these things for the child she cares for then she has to. The school may be dealing with it badly, but that's not the teachers fault.

There is no reason why she should be expected to provide extra revision sessions. Pay a tutor if you want your child to have more teacher time.

Why do you say that she is helping this child with revision as if its a bad thing? It's not.

Teachers do not have short days.

Seriouslyirritatednechanger Tue 07-May-13 19:27:06

What I meant is that teachers only work until 3.30, so they have access to appointment slots other working parents don't.

DS isn't brilliant at the subject, no, but not for lack of trying. He hasn't been offered any revision sessions at all, nor are missed lessons on the teachers part being made up for.


If you have an appointment with the doctor and they tell you that it's next Tuesday at 4, do you ...

a arrange your life to be there on Tuesday at 4 because it's important


b complain on an internet forum that the doctor wouldn't see you on Friday at 9

Can't you see that it's your job to be there at the time and if your husband can't make it then it's his priorities that were different at the time?

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Tue 07-May-13 19:31:09

Short days? Haha.

Why should the teacher be obliged to give your DS extra revision sessions anyway? Because her child gets them for free?

You seem to know a lot about the appointments, where has this information come from?

spanieleyes Tue 07-May-13 19:32:17

Monday-revision club until 4,30, then an hours marking, rest taken home.
Tuesday-PE club until 4.30, then an hours marking, rest taken home,
Wednesday-Staff meeting until 6pm, then marking taken home
Thursday-PE match to referee until 4,45, then an hours marking, then rest taken home
Friday-SLT meeting until 5,00, ( marking done on Sundays!)

Yep, 3.30 finish every day!

And, if your son had an appointment to go to, you would expect to be allowed time out of work to take him. Why shouldn't she?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 07-May-13 19:34:05

Teachers do not only work until 3.30. And even if they did, it wouldn't help with appointments anywhere other than the hairdressers or dentist.

Does the school routinely offer revision sessions? I don't remember having any when I did my GCSEs. Revision lessons as part of the normal timetable yes, but not extra sessions.

Pozzled Tue 07-May-13 19:34:14

Oh, that old chestnut.

Yes, yes, we finish at 3.30pm. Then we do the staff meetings, planning meetings, a few minutes each day for putting away resources. If the appointment was next door to the school, it would probably be possible to make a 4pm appointment. Add in travelling time, and it really is difficult. That's assuming it's possible to rearrange, multi-agency meetings, medical issues etc often cannot be rearranged.

GoblinGranny Tue 07-May-13 19:44:08

Was this an essential GCSE?
If he's struggling, then it seems an odd choice to have made if he had alternatives. I'm assuming it's possibly a language as there's only one teacher in the school for the subject.

lunar1 Tue 07-May-13 19:46:05

I completely agree teachers have their own lives too, but how much time every week is being missed for this subject?

I think it sounds like the teacher and students need the support of the school and they should be getting some proper cover arranged for her.

And how very DARE the teacher help her own child outside of school. Bloody ridiculous. Shouldn't be allowed.

Seriouslyirritatednechanger Tue 07-May-13 19:53:04

It is a language, DS was pushed into doing it because of the ebac. Which as I understand it is now being phased out hmm

There's plenty of time during the holidays though, plus possibly a partner who is not responsible for the education of children.

Seriouslyirritatednechanger Tue 07-May-13 19:54:30

Pozzled all the lessons the teacher was absent from, the child was too bar one. Coincidence? hmm

GoblinGranny Tue 07-May-13 19:55:42

There's a lot of useful stuff online to help him at home. How much work is he putting into a subject he's not happy with?
You are still seeing it as an issue with the teacher, when it's a SLT problem they should be solving for all of the children involved.

ApocalypseThen Tue 07-May-13 19:55:49

Foster kids, eh? All the advantages. Why will nobody look out for the welfare of kids who live with their parents and don't have exceptional needs?


exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 19:58:33

I am still laughing at 'the teachers finish at 3.30pm' ......if only........
When my DS had extra revision sessions it was the goodwill of the teacher and not part of the job.

Tuppence2 Tue 07-May-13 19:59:50

Does your work allow you or your DH time off for appointments that cannot be rescheduled to a more convenient time?
How do you know that the teachers husband/partner does not do his fair share of attending appointments?
You have no clue what these appointments are for and quite frankly it is none of your business.
If the school is providing adequate cover of GCSE lessons, then take that up with the head, but get off your high horse about her having other important commitments in life... It's an weird concept, I know, but teachers have lives too!

Spikeytree Tue 07-May-13 20:00:42

With the action short of strike action going on, there is no assumption that staff will provide revision sessions.

The Ebac is not being phased out, but if you can't pass the Ebac subjects at a C or above there is no point in attempting them.

I think I'm getting too thin skinned to listen to this crap over and over.

Tuppence2 Tue 07-May-13 20:01:31

Oh, and maybe take some responsibility for your son's education... It is not all down to the teachers!
Get him a tutor, buy revision guides/study aids, instead of whining about his teacher!

stillenacht Tue 07-May-13 20:02:14


Fairenuff Tue 07-May-13 20:03:57

Pozzled all the lessons the teacher was absent from, the child was too bar one. Coincidence?

Well, if the teacher had to take the child to appointments, then I would expect them both to be absent. It is very likely that the child needs specialist professionals who will just issue an appointment. It would not be negotiable.

It's a bit like if you're on the waiting list for an operation and your date comes through. You're not going to say, I can't make that time, what else have you got, are you? You have to take the appointment you're given.

Scholes34 Tue 07-May-13 20:04:45

Is there really just one language teacher for the whole school?

Put your energies into helping your DS using BBC bitsize or other web-sites. There are some excellent sites for vocab and listening comprehension.

Shesparkles Tue 07-May-13 20:05:23

I feel like she is putting a child she looks after over my son and the importance of gcses for the whole class

Funnily enough I consider my children above my job in the emergency services, but it's ok for me to do that as I work very long shifts

cansu Tue 07-May-13 20:06:18

I think you need to wind your neck in. The teacher taking time off is none of your business. You seem to be taking far too much interest in the child she is guardian for. Teachers do not have to give extra revision lessons. Most spend hours marking and preparing especially at this time of year with exams coming up and coursework administration. They do not finish their work at 3.30 many get out the books when their children have gone to bed. I suggest you get a few revision books for your dc and spend some time helping him practise for his controlled assessments. You sound very hung up on whether the teacher will be helping her own child or the child she cares for. Given what you have said here about being called away to help with his behaviour I think his homework is probably low on her list of priorities.

I am utterly and completely gobsmacked.

Here's a hint.

Your child is not the centre of the universe.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 07-May-13 20:09:24

Think yourself incredibly lucky that you don't know what it's like trying to deal with appointments for medical or emotional or educational reasons and stop being so selfish. And wake up to the fact that some of these appointments will always take place in term time, because the professionals in these fields often only work term time too!

If your child is struggling then you find a way to help him instead of blaming someone who is trying to do a good thing in life for someone who probably desperately needs it.

You sound like a very horrible and self centred person.

BatmanLovesVodkaAndCherryade Tue 07-May-13 20:09:49

1. As has been pointed out several times, teachers do not finish at 3.30
2. As has been pointed out several times, appointment times for certain health / welfare services are not very flexible
3. As has been pointed out several times, it appears to be the school which is handling the child's misdemeanors badly (ie, disrupting lessons by calling the teacher away)

I do agree that it is having an impact on your child's education, but you are wrong to blame the teacher. It is not her fault. You need to be asking the school how it is providing for the educational needs of that class.

noblegiraffe Tue 07-May-13 20:12:26

Teachers don't get paid for putting on revision sessions and seeing your attitude, I'd be far less inclined to give up my spare time for free to help your DS.

Why don't you hire a tutor?

Littlefish Tue 07-May-13 20:14:14

OP - You are making yourself sound like a complete idiot. I'm sure that's not what you want, so I suggest you just leave the thread.

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 20:14:21

Teachers do not finish work at 3:30pm.

Meetings of all manner
Planning and Prep
Parent's Evening, etc.

A teacher's teaching hours may finish at 3:30pm but this does not mean they finish work then.

regardless of this - not all appointments can be made when it suits. Many are made for you.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 07-May-13 20:15:49

Maybe teachers shouldn't be allowed to have children... That would solve this issue! I Mean, who does she think she is trying to put her child's needs above yours... hmm


yorkshirepuddings Tue 07-May-13 20:17:12

I often have to take my son to medical appointments. They are impossible to rearrange to a time convenient to me. As a teacher I have to fill in a request form, have my line manager sign it then it gets discussed at the leadership meeting before the Head makes a decision.

Time taken off as a teacher is not done lightly. My son actually has an appointment every 3 months with a hospital consultant which is more of a check and separate to his actual illness. In 4 years I have only managed to take him to this appointment once! (I'm lucky to have great parents to help out.) I appreciate that my A Level classes are important and do my best, but I get the impression that it still wouldn't be enough for you.

Just to clarify - yes my son is more important to me than anything.

ouryve Tue 07-May-13 20:17:37

seriously - my boys both have SN and during the diagnosis stage, it was common for them to have 3 appointments a week with various people. And it goes on for months. It can't all be arranged for just in school holidays. Especially not if Dr X only has Clinic Y at Hospital Z for 3 hours on the 3rd Monday of every month.

weebarra Tue 07-May-13 20:18:08

I'm not a teacher, but I am the mother to two children with medical issues as well as being one of the kind of professionals who attend multi-agency meetings of the type your DS's teacher has been going to (I assume).
I have had to miss two mornings of work this month because particular consultants hold their clinics on days that I work. Absolutely nothing I can do about that.
As for the meetings, often the LA or school will have a statutory obligation to have these, with particular professionals attending, at certain times.
No, it's not great for anyone involved, but I don't think your DS's teacher is trying to be difficult somehow.

stiffstink Tue 07-May-13 20:18:37

You should write her a note and tell her that your biological child comes before this "child she looks after" and that there is to be no more of this parenting lark going on when your child hasn't had extra revision allocated (I mean seriously, what is she doing, having some sort of home life ffs?)

Also, tell her that your DH's work/social calendar should be prioritised above her child. She sounds like she hasn't got your family's needs as her number one objective and that's just n
Tell her to hand her kid back s over to Social Services so yours can revise. Its so oobvious

ProphetOfDoom Tue 07-May-13 20:19:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whosiwhatsit Tue 07-May-13 20:19:33

It's not the teachers job to spoon feed the gcse topic to your child. If the average results for the teachers classes taken as a whole aren't too much worse than the national average then the teacher has done her job correctly. If this isn't enough for your child he can study from materials on the Internet, get extra tuition from a private tutor, or fail the course. Not everyone is cut out or every subject at every level and if your child needs to work harder than most to pass but chooses not to do so then that is hardly the teachers fault!

LaGuardia Tue 07-May-13 20:20:00

Here, OP, have my first biscuit

edam Tue 07-May-13 20:20:18

OK, I can see why people are irritated BUT your beef here is really with the head who should be providing adequate cover if the teacher has unavoidable absences. It may be a good idea to arrange an appointment with the head (or head of year?) and say you are concerned about your son's progress and the impact of a lack of proper cover. Explain how it is affecting your son and ask them what steps they are planning to take to minimise any disruption and ensure everyone taking this subject is given the opportunity to do their best.

StrawberryMojito Tue 07-May-13 20:21:29

This thread is full of disgruntled teachers pissed off about the "short days" comment.

OP-YANBU. Your child does deserve for his teacher to be there, on time, each lesson. I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of the teacher in question but if the school are willing to allow the teacher time off then they should put in place provisions to assist the other 30 or so kids that need attention in their absence.

Complain to the school, make your complaint about the situation rather than the individual.

And to Freddie...OPs child may not be the centre of the universe but he's the centre of her universe so of course she wants the best for him. Yours was a stupid comment.

threepiecesuite Tue 07-May-13 20:21:31

OP, I think you meant the children finish school at 3.30.

For teachers, usually - the 'working' part of the day is just beginning. Today, at 3.30, I ate my lunch, went to the toilet for the first time, went to two meetings, phoned several parents and said hello to some colleagues in my dept who I'd not seen all day. Then I held a revision lesson from 4-5pm.

I do kind of agree with you point about the teacher missing parents evening to attend for her foster DS, she should have spoken to their teachers whilst in school, after school, before school etc.

It's the first week of may. Don't you think you have left it just a tad late?

Takver Tue 07-May-13 20:22:22

This is an interesting one. I can see 100% that the teacher needs to be absent in order to deal with appointments. BUT, it does sound as though the school are not dealing with this appropriately if it is having an impact on the class.

I'm reminded of my O level maths teacher who was a carer for her elderly mother. She was often away, and also very often distracted in lessons.

I was lucky, I got a good result anyway. But I am very certain that many of the other pupils in my class dropped one or two grades if not more compared to what they could have achieved had we had a teacher who was present both in body and mind more often.

So the question is - what should be done in these circumstances? You're in a situation where 30 children could potentially miss out on opportunities because they haven't had decent teaching at an important time in their school career.

No, Strawberry, because the point is that the teacher's child IS THE CENTRE OF HER UNIVERSE.

And she's entitled to go to exactly the same sort of appointments and meetings and whatever else that the OP would go to if it were her child.

StrawberryMojito Tue 07-May-13 20:24:49

Yes, but as I said, the school should provide cover for her so that the other children are not let down.

Takver Tue 07-May-13 20:27:27

To the teachers on here - is it appropriate that children miss out on teaching if their teacher is, for whatever reason, regularly absent from all or part of lessons?

I have to say that as an employer, if I had an employee who had to take very regular time off in such circumstances, I'd absolutely do my best to be sympathetic and make things work. BUT I would expect them to work out with me some way that they could also continue to do their job fully and properly.

MiaowTheCat Tue 07-May-13 20:30:47

Waiting for this to degenerate into a bitch fest about teachers daring to take maternity leave etc etc too. Or get ill... or anything else.

It's May. If you're pissing and whining about wanting extra revision sessions personally provided for your child now... you've left it too late. You've also left it too late probably to get a tutor and have any real impact.

Would YOU expect YOUR job to insist you put IT ahead of your child? Fuck God no. So why do you think the teacher should do that (newsflash- it's a job at the end of the day) for someone who sounds utterly ungrateful and vile in their attitude towards them? You're pissed off because the teacher won't drop everything to spoonfeed your son a miracle GCSE pass basically.

The demanding extra revision sessions sounds incredibly entitled by the way, and the "child she looks after" sounds really nasty - like this child isn't a "proper" child, but has some kind of similar status to a cat or whatever.

It's posts like this that remind me why there is no way I'd go back into teaching while I have kids of school age myself - because of the whole attitude that your soul is owned and your own family is a hideously unpleasant inconvenience you were fucking downright unreasonable to dare to have for it getting in the way of Tarquin's GCSEs.

AmIGoingMad Tue 07-May-13 20:31:05

In short.... Yes! YABVVVU!

I'm trying to ignore all the ridiculously selfish and misinformed/ignorant comments that you have made op, and to just focus on giving you some websites that YOU can use to help YOUR child with his exam preparation.

Google the following:

Mfl ashcombe
Mfl Sunderland
Languages online

The ma France/ Spanish or German equivalent have some good listening resources.

Try watching tv5 online if French or espana directo if Spanish.

Also the exam board websites usually have free access to past papers including the listening tracks to go with them.

These are all ways that you and your child can approach revision without the need for teacher participation. At some point, your son/you must realise that not everything can/should be spoonfed and that some independent work is necessary in order to improve in a subject he finds challenging.

Obviously it is not good that so many lessons are being missed. As others have said before, this is an issue that the slt should be dealing with as the teacher likely has no control over the timing of these appointments and will also be unhappy at missing the lessons but must understandably prioritise the well being of the child in her care.

I hope that these are of some help to you.

MiaowTheCat Tue 07-May-13 20:31:59

Your real beef by the way should be with the head if they're half-arsing cover arrangements. There'll be plenty of subject specialists out there on supply lists - but too many heads now view cover arrangements as finding something with a pulse to stand at the front of the class and hand out a worksheet or read out a bit of paper with "they know what they're doing" on it.

privacynamechange Tue 07-May-13 20:32:52

I've name-changed to protect my privacy here, but I am a regular.

The teacher will have no input into the timing of some of the appointments she has to attend in relation to the child. She will be legally obliged to attend meeting when called.

I am currently looking after a close family member, with a view to the child concerned living in my home permanently. The child is what is known as a "Looked After" child, having been downgraded from being on the child protection register.

We have had to attend regular multi-agency meetings involving social work, psychiatrists, health visitors, mental health teams, the police and so on and so forth. All of these professional people have to somehow manage to find a time they can all meet. As you will imagine, all of them will have busy schedules. I have been at meetings with at least twelve people all there to discuss one small child. When we had to go to court regarding the child we couldn't choose when to attend.

YABU in being angry at this teacher, who I have absolutely no doubt would rather not have to attend meetings, doctors appointments etc. Believe me, it's not a good reason for a skive off work!

Your son's school needs to make appropriate arrangements to cover the teacher's absences. That is who you should be aiming your annoyance at.

givemeaclue Tue 07-May-13 20:33:56

If you child needs a miracle to pass, not sure teachers can provide that

soverylucky Tue 07-May-13 20:37:01

A long reply typed that disappeared.

Your issue should be with the head who doesn't seem to be providing adequate cover for the lesson. They probably can't because they don't have the money for a supply teacher so use a teacher on a free period.

Your sympathy as a mother and a human being should be with the teacher who is clearly having a hard time of it of late.

Extra revision sessions are done as an extra. I have run these most years but one year I couldn't because of childcare issues. You can not expect these sessions as a right.

MyShoofly Tue 07-May-13 20:38:49

Well, you don't really know what the appointments are for and its none of your business. You make yourself sound very entitled. People have lives...even teachers. I wouldn't wait for an important appointment till a holiday rolled around, but then that wouldn't be any of your business either.

The only part that is your business is if the school is offering appropriate instruction during your childs class. Is there not someone covering her class with a lesson plan? Why does it have to be her specifically?

Do you resent all teacher with children/guardians because those kids might get a leg up confused

jollygoose Tue 07-May-13 20:38:55

my sympathy goes to the teacher, its very hard when yours is the child acting up at school so just imagine how she must feel being hauled in by the head, I would just want to curl up and die.

MythosLivetheDream Tue 07-May-13 20:40:46

TBH, I'm saying this as a language teacher. If he's rubbish at it, extra sessions or not, he would need a miracle to pass his GCSE now, it's just too late! You should have brought up the issues much earlier with SLT rather than whining now.

Oh and I suggest you train as a teacher so you can finish at 3.30 and help your other DC, although that would be unfair...

stillenacht Tue 07-May-13 20:43:25

Freddie ...good point. Also one that I would like to say to a parent today!

privacynamechange Tue 07-May-13 20:43:54

Forgot to say in my earlier post that it's of course not possible to only attend meetings during school holidays. The child's needs don't suddenly disappear to suit her mother's work demands. Meetings can also be arranged at very short notice if a crisis which needs to be dealt with as an emergency occurs.

Just to reiterate - there are meetings/court appearances that we are legally bound to attend.

It's not easy.

doublecakeplease Tue 07-May-13 20:46:29

It's a bit late in the year to be complaining really.

Most FE colleges (if that's his next step??) will accept 5 good GCSEs - do you need to stress over this one??

I'd love to finish @ 3.15! Try 6pm with work to take home.
I'm a teacher (GCSE) and have had to take 2 half days thus academic year to take DS to hospital appointments - his consultant only runs clinics on Tuesday mornings so I had no choice - should i not have taken him?

HollyBerryBush Tue 07-May-13 20:48:29

You know what? the teacher in in loco parentis. Any parent will put their child first.

Would you be as vitriolic if it were a blood child and god forbid had to go to chemo session? Or are those in care kids somehow less deserving? because that is exactly how your OP comes over.

Shit happens in everyones life.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 07-May-13 20:50:51

No doublecake, clearly you shouldn't have taken him! Don't you know that there might be a child in your class who not only needs you to deliver a miracle but also deserves extra from you for free just because you had the audacity to not only be a teacher, but a parent as well? hmm

LaQueen Tue 07-May-13 20:51:57

"This thread is full of disgruntled teachers pissed off about the "short days" comment."

Yes, I thought this, too hmm

In mine and DH's extended family, we have 4 teachers...we regularly have to listen to them moan about how they put in really long days - often at school for 8am, and not leaving until 5.00pm,, basically a typical working day, as experienced by millions of other people, then hmm

And, apparently, they are also required to do work at home, too...even at weekends...yes, again, as do millions of other people hmm

But, I do sympathise with you OP (though I expect I am possibly the only one).

DD2's teacher, was much given to being absent from school, during term time - with a very long list of spurious sounding appointments, and parents were getting very cross. Even the very nice ones...

Eventually, one of her last minute appointments resulted in her failing to properly hand-over responsibilities for a class event, and a child was left stranded at a leisure centre 11 miles away.

The child's parent was furious, and an investigation was held.

So, whilst I applaud the many thousands of teachers who do go above and beyond the call of duty, and who do perform a sterling job...they are not all saints. And, there are teachers who seriously take the piss, and who need to be held accountable.

YANBU at all, teachers shouldn't have personal commitments or unforseen circumstances, their lives should revolve around every other parents wants and needs for their children. Imagine, taking time off because a child in her care is having a tough time, so utterly selfish. hmm

I assume you have left thinking about extra revision for your struggling son so late because you have been so busy at work and, as we all know, work does come first.

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 20:54:58

Christ on a bike. Please tell me this is a joke. If not, YABEU.

As umpteen people have reiterated, teachers do not, by any stretch of the imagination, work short days. And your son's teacher hasn't just been waltzing merrily off, her absences - to support her child's additional needs - have been cleared by people who know what they're doing. Luckily teachers don't have to get their absences cleared by parents who think their child should be the centre of everyone's world, not just theirs.

It sounds as though you are fortunate enough not to have to attend appointments beyond doctor/dentist/hair if you truly think this poor woman's a hope in hell of controlling when appointments will me. If they're MDT ones she wouldn't be able to get it budged by a fraction of a second & plenty of clinics run only for a few hours on one day of the week.

You are not wrong to think that adequate teaching should be provided in lesson-time. Demanding extra revision sessions is a bit much though. It is not the teacher's fault that proper cover isn't being provided. Like it wasn't my Physics teacher's fault that my school arranged to have Mr Cadbury's Parrot cover his lessons. My Science grades suffered because I did need the school time to learn what with my home time being quite busy with, er, the home & the running thereof. (Was lovely being told how disappointed the school were I got AA in Science. No, really, telling me I'd let them down by just missing the AA they'd counted on was super.) But that was the school stuffing up. (Something at which they excelled. One of my A-Level History Papers had to be taught to us in our free time because the person meant to be teaching it had slightly less than no clue what she was about & the HoD had to step in to prevent a disaster.)

There are lots of resources out there. Some have been linked to here already, Google will bring you to many MANY more. In Y11 students should (S[E]N aside) have the capacity for independent study & generally not need spoon-feeding, which you give the impression you expect.

I am not a teacher.

But have you considered if her child was behaving and she was a nurse or doctor she'd be called in to see the head in school time.

So it's just making you aware of it because she's a teacher.

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 20:57:36

Once again foiled by the =bold thing. That was A A* there. <sigh>

ZebraOwl Tue 07-May-13 20:58:27

Oh I give up. I really do.

On the plus side, I may have unwittingly provided some comic relief with my TechnoFail. Should probably go to bed before I delete the internet...

spanieleyes Tue 07-May-13 20:59:22

Nobody is saying that teachers don't work a "typical" day, just that we don't have "short days" by any stretch of the imagination!

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 21:00:08

Actually (and I am a teacher) I think it depends of the scale of the absence. It's not good for lessons to be missed for year 11s at this time of year. I have huge sympathy for the school, having recently been through a period of significant staff absence in my department that we were unable to find a supply teacher to cover. We rewrote our timetable to cover as many exam classes as we could within our department, but we are a core subject and can do that, whereas a smaller (single teacher?) department would struggle. However, there is no denying that it has an impact on the students. You can't argue for the importance of teachers on one hand, and then deny the consequences of their absence on the other. The students will have suffered if the absence level is high. However, a couple of days a term obviously has less impact than a higher rate of absence. Which is why it depends on scale...

piratedinosaursgogogo Tue 07-May-13 21:03:38

I'm a teacher. When I was going through my cycles of IVF, I was getting to the hospital for my scans at 7am, the earliest I could, and then heading into school as quickly as I could. Usually I'd miss the first teaching slot of the day. Would you have liked me to have planned my IVF cycles in my summer holiday?

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 21:04:37

This thread should into be about the hours though. This is irrelevant. The only reason they came up was because the OP brought them up - trying to make out that teachers stopped with at 3:30pm, which is NOT the case. Therefore teachers and other posters, who are not teachers, told the OP that this is not the case. It isn't - so why should it be left unchallenged, esp when being used as a direct criticism?

Any parent who has a child may have to attend appointments which they have no control over with regards to the timing.

This is a looked after child - so likely to have more appointments.

The OP says this child is already displaying behavioural issues - all of which need addressing - just like any parent regardless of their job.

How many lessons have been missed?
What cover has the head teacher put in place?
Why has it only just come to light that your child needs revision sessions - so close to exams?
What things have you and your family put in place to help your child with his revision?

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 21:10:30

It is not always possible to put proper cover in place, especially in shortage subjects. And especially for more sporadic absences. Ideally it would happen, but sometimes it can't.

And we absolutely should not be expecting parents to make up the shortfall in teaching or exam preparation in school.

tethersend Tue 07-May-13 21:18:42

I am an advisory teacher for Looked After Children, so can see it from both sides- however, my main concern would be that (aside from a parent knowing potentially confidential information about meeting arrangements) the teacher is being pulled out of her classes to deal with her DFS' behaviour. This suggests to me a school who feel unable to deal with his behaviour, and have failed to implement strategies in order to support him- if his carer was working in another school, she would not be available to deal with behavioural episodes. Similarly, she will not be available to deal with his behaviours when he leaves school, so I would want to know what the long-term plan is and how he will be supported.

If the school want to adopt this as a behavioural strategy for him, then they need to ensure that this does not impact on other students any more than necessary; in other words, they need to make supporting this student in this specific way part of the teacher's role, and allocate time and cover for her to do so effectively.

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 21:19:27

I think that the teacher has got other things that yes, are more important than school on her mind just now and that's fine.

What isn't fine is that it's coming at a cost: a cost of young people's education. I am a teacher. I'm also someone who didn't get the university place at the university I wanted to go to because a teacher didn't teach a necessary part of the syllabus and I got a C as a result - it should have been an A. Of course, I got over it, but nonetheless, it stung a lot at the time.

The OP didn't mean, I don't think, that "teachers have short days therefore we are lazy slobs." She meant that teachers have the option to arrange things outside of the working day. Of course, as others have rightly pointed out, it isn't always possible.

I think you need to see the Head, OP.

By the way. Not everyone is in the position to be able to afford a private tutor. hmm

Takver Tue 07-May-13 21:19:57


"Any parent who has a child may have to attend appointments which they have no control over with regards to the timing.
This is a looked after child - so likely to have more appointments."

I think it is fair to say though that most full time working parents would be in pretty heavy duty negotiation with their employers in these sort of circumstances though as to how they'd be making up time, and making sure their job got done effectively.

Hulababy Tue 07-May-13 21:29:53

As are teachers in my experience. As explained before hand any appointment normally has to be requested in writing and accompanied by a medical appointment card. The written request must give reasons showing why the appointment is when it is, etc. And if there are deemed too many appointments then it will normally result in a meeting to discuss this too.

The point is here I guess is that noone, not the OP either, knows what discussions having taken place regarding these absences.

nailak Tue 07-May-13 21:30:42

i think the op is saying that when the teacher is out the lessons are being covered by teachers who dont speak the language, therefore the kids are not getting taught/revision and therefore her son asked the teacher to do extra revision with him as he had some lesson time in which he wasnt being taught.

In my school teachers most definitely did to extra revision sessions at break/lunch for those kids who requested it. If you requested it and were concerned they would help you.

dayshiftdoris Tue 07-May-13 21:32:17


Professionals set the times regardless of who you are and what your job is... it goes to THEIR diaries every single time.

I know this one personally... the choice is this... you either take the appointment given or wait even longer than you already have done for another... which may significantly impact on your child.

I was given 2 days warning for a meeting professionals planned in front of me but did not tell me I needed to be at nor negotiate the date with me... it was one of my 2 set days at work and a service had to shut early so I could attend... another day I was called into deal with a serious incident at school and left a labour ward short until other staff came in...

There was nothing I could do... there is nothing this teacher can do - her employers know the situation and need to make other arrangements for when she is required elsewhere...
Parents should not have to suck it up.

I have now left the NHS but I can already see similar issues clouding the future... professionals will just not plan with you

Nailak - good point. But. Has DS asked for the revision sessions or has the OP?

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 21:34:41

No, but she is getting jumped on as being unreasonable for suggesting that the absences are adversely affecting her son. I am well aware of the conversations that go on surrounding high levels of absence. However, while discussions are being had, classes remain untaught.

The teacher should definitely be making up time missed for appointments with after school or lunchtime revision IMO. I missed a lesson last week because I was doing interviews. I did it after school today instead.

TigerSwallowTail Tue 07-May-13 21:35:03

I don't think yabu at all OP. If the teacher has to take so much time off (regardless of the reasons!) that the students are suffering then the HT should be making arrangements for appropriate cover rather than just leaving the students to struggle with supply teachers who can't help the students.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 21:36:02

Making other arrangements for a MFL year 11 class at a couple of days notice? Easier said than done I suspect.

Blissx Tue 07-May-13 21:36:42

Its threads like these on MN that make my blood boil. I'm a teacher too. Missed DD's first day of school, first nativity play, prize-givings etc as unless it is essential, we don't get time off. Hear that-essential! This poor teacher is kindly making a difference in someones life, but it's never good enough for some people. I LOVE my job and DD but when ignorant teacher bashers start sprouting hateful comments, I just want to scream. Oh well, back to marking work after a few deep breaths...

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 21:36:57

Again, I'm going to say that the pool of good supply teachers in shortage subjects is rather smaller than many posters seem to think...

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 21:38:29

I am not an ignorant teacher basher. It is not teacher bashing to say that when a teacher is frequently absent, her students suffer, which is the main thrust of the OP.

soverylucky Tue 07-May-13 21:41:04

I agree fallenmadonna but the tone of the op was quite critical of the individual teacher.

Blissx Tue 07-May-13 21:42:26

No, and my post wasn't aimed at you. It was the multitude of posts in the first few pages that annoyed me.

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 21:42:38

No one has sprouted ignorant comments hmm

How is it ignorant to suggest that high levels of absence are impacting her son's chances of success?

I will miss my DCs nativity play etc. I'll also get paid. I am sorry but it is just part of being a working parent - we absolutely cannot work and have the financial advantage and expect all the other advantages to being a SAH parent.

ApocalypseThen Tue 07-May-13 21:45:35

Well it's not all of the main thrust, is it? Nobody would argue with her if it was. Unfortunately, her contempt for the looked after child and the teacher come through and make her argument ugly and entitled. Less concerned about her son doing well and more concerned with making sure that no-one gets more of this teacher's time and effort, regardless of the reason.

Blissx Tue 07-May-13 21:46:49

Again, you are making reasonable comments-not everyone is though. You try reading about people dismissing your job as 9-3-all the time in the world and certainly not worthy of attending appointments for a troubled guardian and not getting upset by it.

Blissx Tue 07-May-13 21:48:07

Sorry, that was for tea parties, can't press post quickly enough!

fengirl1 Tue 07-May-13 21:48:33

So your problem is with the school not arranging suitable cover then? Perhaps you should take that up with the management of the school rather than griping about the teacher. I have had to take a lot of time off this year for my own medical needs and for those of my dcs (I am tempted here to ask my daughters to have disabilities and serious illnesses at a time more convenient for people like you...) Every single time I have given as much notice as possible, with warnings given in advance of what is likely to happen where I can. If you think for a minute that any teacher worth their salt doesn't worry and care about missing lessons, you're a badly mistaken. Here, my second ever biscuit- you deserve it. Oh and while I'm asking, I take it that you have only become aware of a problem very recently with your dc's progress? Not mentioned in the twice termly reports that schools now send out? Unbelievable.

Fairenuff Tue 07-May-13 21:48:46

The OP was poorly written. It was a rant which should have stayed private amongst trusted friends or family. All the stuff about the 'looked after' child and short working days just caused a backlash, quite rightly imo, and the main point has been overlooked.

In a nutshell, OP, get in touch with the head and tell them how many lessons your son has missed and ask what opportunities there are, if any, of catching up. Also, follow up on all the suggestions for helping him at home.

It is a bit late now though, exams start very soon. Any chance of re-sits?

Takver Tue 07-May-13 21:49:42

I absolutely agree that generally schools and teachers work together to make sure absence doesn't affect the pupils. It doesn't sound though as if this is happening in this particular case (regardless of the reasons for the absence).

I agree that the OP's beef should be with the HT / school management, but I can see why she is feeling frustrated.

MummaBubba123 Tue 07-May-13 21:58:18

that the OP doesn't appear to acknowledge the difficulties that the teacher may be having with caring for their child - and the fact that time off would only ever be granted during school hours in extreme circumstances.
A little more thought to that with a dollop of empathy might help you to look to the school / a tutor to point you in the direction that you need to go in to ensure that your child's education isn't affected.

MummaBubba123 Tue 07-May-13 21:59:27

Oh - and being a school teacher is very different to being a school building. Just because the school is closed, doesn't mean that our work is over. That goes for holidays, too!

teapartiesinsummer Tue 07-May-13 22:01:46

I will say again that not everyone has available funds to spend on private tuition.

The teacher in question is doing nothing wrong but the OP is absolutely not BU to be frustrated by the fact her son's education is being adversely affected by the situation.

SlingsAndArrows Tue 07-May-13 22:04:07

I'm a teacher on maternity leave. School didn't arrange the best cover for me at first (it was a non-specialist teacher - although this is now sorted) and I came in for a fair amount of emotional blackmail from my year 11 students and their parents about abandoning them before their GCSEs. The implication was that I was letting them down. The problem is, of course, that I have at least one year 11 class every year, so unless I resign myself to never having my own children and simply devoting my life to helping other people's children, I am always going to be doing the wrong thing in someone's eyes.

I am a teacher, but I am also a human being and have the same basic human rights as everyone else! I agree with other posters - complain to the management but don't imply that this woman should put your child before her own.

Oh, and I work more hours than I have done in any other profession. Teaching isn't a job, it's a vocation. One that is getting increasingly pissed on by those who are ignorant enough to think that when their kids go home, teachers do too.

echt Tue 07-May-13 22:08:58

Still amazed that the OP has left it so long to see the problem here. Surely the exam is a month away.

When I took maternity leave, my teaching was covered, but no-one would take my management responsibility, so it was fucked up managed by someone doubling up for no pay and no time.

stillenacht Tue 07-May-13 22:14:44

Absolutely Slings...when I was pg with DS1 I had loads of emotional blackmail from year 11 and when I returned my year 10 (now 11) refused to be taught by me and kept the Aussie maternity cover. I had doors slammed into me when I was pg...hmm Then I got forced out and my mat cover got my job...despite getting all 1s from Ofsod the year before in lesson obs...schools are terrible places!

Rowlers Tue 07-May-13 22:18:42

French exam 13 May
Spanish exam 17 May
German exam 22 May
Controlled assessment deadline May 15

Think you should have approached the school before now

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 22:19:03

One of my year 11 groups finish their GCSE in my subject on Tuesday. Tuesday!!

TheFallenMadonna Tue 07-May-13 22:20:22

The other side of that argument is that the school should have addressed the issue themselves before now. It is absolutely not down to parents to address any shortfall in exam prep.

Rowlers Tue 07-May-13 22:25:14

OP, you say the teacher has missed "several lessons".
With respect, what does this actually mean? 3 lessons? 7 lessons? 25 lessons?
Over what period of time?
Are you putting your child's currect failings purely down to the teacher's absence?
Has your child worked as hard as he / she possibly could?
I am struggling to ake my mind up as I think you have been a bit vague as to why your child is not performing well.

pinkr Wed 08-May-13 07:50:11

Crikey i've missed quite a lot of exam class this year due to pregnancy illness and Scotland we can't easily get subject cover and they wouldn't bother with it for a couple of days anyway. I feel bad for the kids but my life comes first eh? And as for finishing at 330 and demanding revision classes biscuit

icklemssunshine1 Wed 08-May-13 08:00:05

I must be a shit teacher too. I missed two weeks worth of GCSE & A-level classes earlier this year as I had a miscarriage & am now currently signe off for 6 weeks with 2 slipped discs I need surgery for. Sorry for putting my emotional and physical well being before my students - I'll try & get sick in the holiday in future!

LaQueen Wed 08-May-13 08:24:58

Fallen really admire your posts, very realistic and very sensible.

Far too many teachers on here, who are very, very touchy...

In most jobs, if you have to take time out for appointments/personal reasons, then you are damned well expected to make that time up and to ensure that your work still gets done.

And, exactly as you say, it is not the parents responsibility to arrange extra tuition/study sessions for their child, because the school aren't meeting their obligations.

halcyondays Wed 08-May-13 08:27:53

If they are medical appointments then arranging them for the holidays is unlikely to be an option, so yabu. How do you even know that's why the teacher was off? It's usually very difficult for teachers to get time off for anything during term time, they won't normally be allowed unless its something important and unavoidable that can't be rearranged.

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:34:09

LaQueen I set cover work yesterday for my missed lessons, all teachers have to do this. Social services told me when the appt was I had no choice. Quite frankly after 20 yrs of teaching and being increasingly treated like everyone's slave and then coming home to a severely disabled son, I have had enough.

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 08:34:17

LaQueen, teachers do ensure that work gets done when they are off for unavoidable reasons: they set cover for their lessons. And from the OP's post, it sounds like this teacher is offering extra revision sessions too - just not 1-on-1 sessions for the OP's child. I teach 150 kids - I simply cannot give each of those individual revision sessions. Some responsibility for their own learning has to be assumed by the students themselves.

And yes, you're right, many teachers do get touchy when told they work short days - because it's absolute bullshit. Wouldn't you get "touchy" if someone belittled your job?

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 08:35:08

X post with stillenacht!

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:35:28

We also have to go through three people before time off can be approved and then it is more than likely unpaid

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:37:38

Yes responsibility for their own learning...what a joke! You mark their work, they ask whattheycould do better, you tell them, they either don't bother or want more and more help to the point you are doing it for them...that's how education works!

LaQueen Wed 08-May-13 08:39:23

I know that teachers set cover work...I used to work as a Cover Supervisor.

Often the cover work was rubbish, and thin. And, whilst as an English graduate I can be of genuine help in an English class...getting me to cover a physics class, was a bit pointless.

I was offered more work, than I could possibly handle...I think many parents would be furious if they realised how much this goes on, and it's unforgivable when the students are preparing for exams.

LaQueen Wed 08-May-13 08:40:32

It's not belittling, to point out that teachers don't actually work any longer hours than the vast majority of people also working full time, who have to also take work home with them at night.

GoblinGranny Wed 08-May-13 08:41:24

Still a management problem rather than the failings of an individual teacher though, LaQ. The OP is right to be annoyed at the disruption, but attacking the wrong target.

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:42:17

The prob is that I teach music. Fancy doing that cover?

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:42:53

Def a management problem

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:43:21

Agree goblin

soverylucky Wed 08-May-13 08:45:04

Teachers on mn do get touchy as it is one of the jobs on here that is constantly scrutinised and criticised. Midwives, HV's, Doctors and teachers. I can't think of other jobs that are mentioned day in and day out. I am cheered to see so many positive comments about teachers on MN but it is quite draining to see such negativity from some posters. Sometimes you have had a very difficult day and you come on MN and there people are telling you off.

I have had jobs other than teaching. Where possible you make appointments outside of your working hours but if that is not possible you take the time off. This is just the same as teaching. When I worked in an office and took time off due to a miscarriage I was not expected to stay in the office later after everyone had gone home, I wasn't even expected to set work for a colleague to do in my absence. The same was true when I worked in retail. If I was absent through no fault of my own you just took the time off. When a teacher is off for an appointment they set cover work. They still mark the work that is completed. When a teacher is absent through ill health they are expected to email in work for the teachers who will be covering their classes. The only exception to this is long term absence where supply teachers are used.

Yes the op is right to be concerned that her ds seems to have missed a lot of work but this is an issue for her to take up with the head not the individual teacher. We also only have one side of the story.

I always say on threads like these that there are bad teachers. There are lazy and incompetent teachers who quite frankly shouldn't be in the job. This is true of any profession. I know it doesn't help the pupils of these teachers but sadly that is the way it is. It is a separate debate and my personal opinion is that these teachers should be removed. This issue though is not really related to the op.

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 08:46:50

Excellent post soverylucky

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 08:47:10

Actually, in the run up to exams, students should be revising work they have already covered - so in some respects, it should be a good time for cover.

Of course, if the students didn't fully pay attention when the subject was being originally taught, then they will find revision more difficult.

And LaQueen, it sounds as if you had a bad experience - our cover lesson plans are similar to Ofsted lesson plans and take a long time to set.

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 08:50:58

And the OP was saying teachers had short days - so she was saying we work less than people in other professions. That is belittling in my book.

catnipkitty Wed 08-May-13 08:54:16

Why can't you help your child yourself? GCSEs aren't rocket science, just get the textbook. I had a largely absent biology teacher at secondary school, and I just got on with it myself, read the textbook, did past papers etc. Your child's education is your responsibility in law not the school's/teacher's.

sarahtigh Wed 08-May-13 09:06:40

in the case of a child that needs a guardian for appointments it is almost certain the professional he/she is seeing deals solely with children

ie a paediatric specialist so practically all of their patients/ clients will be school children assuming they see someone every 20 mins from 9-5 the only after school appts are 3.40, 4pm, 4.20 and 4.40 all the others are on school time 17/21 approx 80%

I know about orthodontics round here the specialist visits tuesday and wednesday every 5 weeks so there is no option about appointments, even if in city and it was monday to friday 80% of all ortho appointments would still be in school time, because appointments are at regualr 4-8 weeks intervals saving them for the holidays is not an option, i am sure similar criteria apply to other specialities

if a teacher needs to leave class to take to appointment it is inconvenient for the class, if I have to leave dentistry to go with my child it is inconvenient for my patients if a plumber has to leave fitting a central heating system it is inconvenient it is life

coralanne Wed 08-May-13 09:06:56

Slings the fact remains, teachers do have short days.

I'm not being belittling. I have a family full of teachers.

I know that a lot of work is done after the face to face teaching but appointments could still be made around a few "short" days.

My best friend's DD is also a teacher. Only has senior classes.

She is 9 weeks pregnant with her first child and took the whole of the day off yesterday to have a ultrasound.

She also took the time to go to the organic fruit and vegetable shop, do some shopping, have lunch with her mum.

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 09:13:52

Teachers do not have short days...I have 7 parents evenings a year (making 12/13 hour days), residential trips (on call 24 hours a day), 3 concerts a year (14 hour days), no lunchbreaks...rehearsing for said concerts, parents endlessly emailing so out of hours work, Curriculum meetings, faculty meetings, staff briefings, CPD, working party meetings, full staff meetings, key stage meetings...and I am only part time...other colleagues of mine have D of E weekends, exchanges...they give their lives up entirely. ...Ohand I forgot marking (my school expects me to mark 100 books a week...each lasting around 5 minutes) and preparing....

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 09:19:29

And that's without all the paperwork bullshit of Area development plans, gifted and talented lists, reports, absence form checking, performance management forms (about 10 pages long), arts award admin, arts mark admin (so the school gets a little picture on bottom of its letters),GCSE and A level coursework admin, enrichment day/activity days admin, trip planning admin, risk assessment etc etc

soverylucky Wed 08-May-13 09:22:25

Appointments are arranged where possible so that students do not miss having their regular teacher but there are some appointments that are unavoidable. coralanne what you have described of your best friend is unacceptable. It would be against the rules at any school I have worked at but just because your friend does this means all teachers who take time off are doing so incorrectly.....

It does not matter how many times teachers point out that there days are not short someone will always say it is not true. I work part time. I have 5 KS3 classes and 1 KS4 class. This is over 150 students a week. Each student in KS3 completes two pieces of classwork and one piece of homework a week. The KS4 class completes three pieces of classwork and two pieces of homework a week. This is at least 500 pieces of work that has to be marked each week. I am lucky that I have days off to complete some of this marking. Yesterday I taught five of my own lessons and my free period was taken up covering for an absent colleague. I have to create resources for my lessons as well as for the extra revision sessions that I am running. I have to photocopy, do wall displays, phone parents, attend SEN meetings, tutor meetings, staff meetings, review evenings etc. I am also in the process of organising trips for the summer term and a residential planned for next year. Surely anyone can see that teachers are not working short days? I am not complaining about this. It is what I signed up for but why do people see the need to belittle what others do?

Some teachers also work longer hours than others. It depends on what subject you teach and what classes you have. Marking A-level work for example takes longer than marking a Year 7 piece of work in some subjects.

soverylucky Wed 08-May-13 09:23:33

their not there - sorry.

choceyes Wed 08-May-13 09:27:24

I think it really depends on the school and the managemen whether the teachers have a short day or not. My DH who is a secondary science teacher and also reponsible for a few extra things, has meetings twice a week, where he HAS to stay late...till about 5.30pm. The other 3 days is more flexible and he does always stay till 5.30pm to finish marking and lesson planning, but if there is a need for him to come home early he can come home early just after school finishes, he just has to work extra another day. And he doesn't bring any work home or do any work at the weekends. He gets very good results for his lesson obvervations too. Teaching just comes easily to him I think.
A friend of mine who is also a secondary science teacher, works till 6pm everyday and brings home work and also works at the weekend...same level as my DH. Her school requires her to do a lot more work than DH's school.

OP, YABU ofcourse.

tethersend Wed 08-May-13 09:33:10

It's very difficult for foster carers to prioritise their work as, not only are they acting in loco parentis for their foster child(ren), fostering is increasingly seen as a job, and LAs expect FCs to act as a committed professional.

In an unusual situation such as this, the teacher could find herself expected to attend Personal Education Plan or Core Group meetings, which are often held in school- if she refuses to attend these or any other meetings to do with her DFC, serious questions will be raised about her ability to engage with agencies and services, and her ability to care for this child effectively.

The school are legally obliged to do everything they can to support this child, and this includes engaging the FC- unfortunately this presents them with a dilemma, as the FC is a member of staff. The sensible way forward would be to arrange suitable cover, as the teacher's commitments are not about to change any time soon.

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 09:34:20

Just because your child leaves school at 3.30 doesn't mean the teacher does, coralanne. In many schools you are contracted to do 8 till 5.30, and then take extra work home on top of this. I'm not saying that's unlike other professions, but is not a "short day".

Honestly, I give up.

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 09:38:54

YABVU - it's up to the school to make sure the teacher's absence.

stillenacht Wed 08-May-13 09:40:05

Absolutely soverylucky..and you say you were marking on your days off...and you are lucky to have days off...unpaid ones I presume being part time? So week in week out marking (ie working) on unpaid days. Schools get a bloody good deal out of their part timers. 20 years experience I do all the things I listed above for 23 grand... Value for money...I bloody think so!

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 09:40:11

YABVU - it's up to the school to make sure the teacher's absence is covered. Teacher's days are not short!! On top of that the long hours of marking, lesson preparation and admin work... seriously, I work less hours than the teachers I know, and I'm a 12hr shift worker!

ubik Wed 08-May-13 09:44:11

You should take it up with the head teacher. I would be fed up too.

coralanne Wed 08-May-13 09:45:52

plink I did say that the working day doesn't end after the face to face teaching.

I know this because as I stated, I have a family of teachers.

landofsoapandglory Wed 08-May-13 09:46:40

If this teacher was teaching DS2, also in Yr11, I would have been in seeing the HT months ago TBH. Whilst I would be sympathetic to her situation, I want what is best for DS2, and the teacher leaving lessons to see to her DC is not acceptable IMO. I think, ultimately, the management are the ones who have let the students down. They should have addressed the problem, the parents shouldn't have needed to have got involved at all.

As for long days/ short days whatever. Most of us know that teachers work longer than 9-3.30, but so do everyone else, and in most jobs if you have time off for appointments you have to make it up or take leave. I had to have an urgent hospital appointment last Friday morning that I couldn't drive to. DH had to work until 9pm on Thursday so he could take me despite being there at 6am that morning!

coralanne Wed 08-May-13 09:48:11

Sorry plink. Comment was directed at Slings

ubik Wed 08-May-13 09:50:06

"Your child's education is your responsibility in law not the school's/teacher's."

Oh I love this- education not the responsibility of teachers...teach your child yourself etc.

It would be hilarious if it wasn't so fucking depressing.

Anyway it founds like the situation us being poorly managed and op needs to voice her concerns and ask the school what they can do to support her son.

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 09:58:49

Yes, Coralanne, but you also said this:

"the fact remains, teachers do have short days."

So I'm still not clear how a contracted 8 til 5.30 day is "short" in comparison with other professions.

coralanne Wed 08-May-13 10:07:44

I understand what you mean but if the appointment is important (which I guess most of them are) then it would be a very poor workplace that wouldn't allow someone to make a 3.30 or appointment.

If it was happening a lot then it would understandably be frowned upon .

It really sounds as though the OP has cause for complaint. It sounds as though the school is at fault because their first priority should be the students.

They are also not handling the teacher's dilemma very professionally .

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 10:17:02

landofsoapandglory - "if you have time off for appointments you have to make it up or take leave." This has never been the case for me in any of the sectors I've worked in the few years. Providing you are not taking the piss and these appointments that need to be booked in working time, appointment time is appointment time - fully paid and doesn't have to be worked back.

Presumably the school is in full possession of the facts unlike the parent posting on here. It's not for us to judge whether the teacher's time off is justified, that is the role of the school. Getting time off from work as a teacher can be incredibly hard and subject to scrutiny unlike any I have had to endure in my own profession.

Another thing... if someone had posted on AIBU staying their employer was being difficult about you taking time off for appointment time for your child, would you think that is a right and fair thing to do?

Just because a person has chosen to become a teacher, does not mean their lives are 'owned' by the parents, that they have no right to a personal and private life, that they have no right to have children and commitments outside of work..

It sounds like the OP is unhappy because the teacher didn't organise her life around her - how dare not provide extra lessons to her DC, how dare she not organise parents evening times around her and her husband's plan, how dare the teacher have an imperfect child that has behavioural issues..

And I am meant to believe it is the TEACHER that has the problem?

Seriously, any behavioural issues need to be brought up with the school, not on MN. Any requests for extra help need to put into the school, if they can't help pay for a tutor for your DC. It's absolutely non of your business what the teacher does outside of school, "No doubt the teacher will be giving her child extra help outside school" just smacks of jealousy. I can tell you the friends I have who are teachers would LOVE to spend hours giving their children extra lessons, but they spend so long planning, admin work, marking they actually have VERY LITTLE time to spend with their DC's. They spend most of their life helping other people's children. A fact that the OP is seemingly oblivious too.

SlingsAndArrows Wed 08-May-13 10:25:50



ubik Wed 08-May-13 10:32:26

But if it was your child wouldn't you be a bit fed up? GCSE year? Not there for parent's evening? Not even a teensy weensy bit fed up?

I'm NHS and can tell you now that one appt would be fine but after that they would be asking why did/relative couldn't go to the meeting.

plinkyplonks Wed 08-May-13 10:45:13

ubik - the teacher didn't miss parents evening, they weren't there for the whole night, which the parents were told in advance about.

RE appointment time - exactly right, that's why I think the teacher would have had to have given an extremely compelling reason to miss classes on a regular basis.

A relative of mine had to take 3 x 1 days off in a 6 months period due to her DC becoming ill and needing appointment time, one time her DC needed to go to A&E - and she still got pulled up and given a formal warning!? I can't stress enough that taking time off is a strict business for teachers, especially around GCSE time. It's not in the school's interest to have your child fail their GCSE's is it?

Doctors/dentists/ etc all work in NWH - when teachers are obviously working. This is not a new revelation - the school should have made provisions for someone else to be able to cover the classes adequately in the teacher's absence.

But again we are not in full possession of the facts here, so it's unfair of the parent to make presumptions. If she has concerns, talking to the school about any further support they could provide to her DC would be the next step.

landofsoapandglory Wed 08-May-13 11:17:05

Plinkyplonks, you are very lucky then.

Ubik if it was my DC I would be fed up I admit. I wouldn't have let it get to this point of the year, I would have taken it up with the HT by Feb half term at the latest.

Hulababy Wed 08-May-13 18:33:40

LaQueen - noone is really saying that teachers are doing longer hours than other professions. They are just saying that they do not have short days. Which, ime, they do not.

exoticfruits Wed 08-May-13 18:58:45

They definitely don't finish at 3.30pm - which OP seemed to think.

lljkk Wed 08-May-13 19:49:26

Only consolations I can offer:

1) EBACC is not that important, seriously, neither is having a GCSE in language (helpful, wonderful if you enjoy languages, but not essential).

2) I pity the poor teacher who has a lot on their plate with this ward, I would be grateful for not having their problems.

Iggi101 Wed 08-May-13 20:03:19

Loving the idea that all appointments can be made at a time to suit your employer - I'll tell that to speech therapists, paediatricians and educational psychologists, shall I.

MrsMangelFanciedPaulRobinson Wed 08-May-13 20:20:02

I think teachers need to remember that they are free to leave that profession if they so wish, and retrain/start another profession of their choosing, if teaching really is that bad....

I agree with everything LaQueen has said.

sarahtigh Wed 08-May-13 20:24:29

with my appointment book; your flexibility on appointment time affects availability of the next appointment

if you can only come after 4pm on friday 2nd week in june,
after 4pm anyday 30th may
9am appointment 20th may
anytime between 10.30 and 2pm 13th may

so the difference between those that can come at a drop if a hat compared to those you can only make after school is 2.5 weeks minimum

obviously real emergencies can be fitted in earlier but that is how it is for routine appointments

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 08-May-13 20:31:30

I think teachers need to remember that they are free to leave that profession if they so wish, and retrain/start another profession of their choosing, if teaching really is that bad....

Don't worry. Lots and lots are.

TenaciousOne Wed 08-May-13 20:36:02

I think teachers need to remember that they are free to leave that profession if they so wish, and retrain/start another profession of their choosing, if teaching really is that bad....

Most of the decent ones are...

Also, you aren't reading what the teachers are saying. They aren't saying it's terrible, they are dealing with misconceptions which are teachers work short days and have long holidays. Of all of my friends who are teachers, most are in school most of the holidays.

riskit4abiskit Wed 08-May-13 21:03:15

It is obvious to me OP, that your child is bone idle and has been so for the two years of the course. You are trying to excuse their attitude and behavior by blaming the teacher, this is not a good work ethic to be modelling for your child.
It is ridiculous to even think of complaining this late in the day. The point of getting a good gcse grade is that it requires independent study, or else everyone would get a good grade.
I really hope the poor teacher doesn't see your post, she would be mortified yo be criticised on the internet when she is obviously having a hard time of it.

PosyNarker Wed 08-May-13 21:23:09

Some of the comments on this thread are awful. Do you really think teachers have a huge influence on when they can schedule appointments with other professionals?

I have a managerial job with flexibility. I earn a good living. Did this make any difference when I was on a waiting list for a basic procedure and spent 6 months unable to be certified for travel (an integral part of my work)? No it did not. Was I shitting a brick because I kept taking attacks in the office & could only go places by train? Yes, I was.

Now clearly my colleagues / employers are not your child, but sometimes even the hardest working of professionals have to take time out for legitimate reasons. I would say the school is at fault for not having a strategy in place for that individual. (Does she get called for example because she is on site, but her DH / DP might actually be the more appropriate contact?)

Rowlers Wed 08-May-13 22:28:39

I think non-teachers need to remember they are free to enter the profession if they so wish, if teaching really is that easy.

Shesparkles Thu 09-May-13 16:27:52

In the same way that teachers are free to leave the profession if it's as bad as all that.

I freely admit I couldn't do a schoolteacher's job, however I don't see many teachers being able to do mine.

LaQueen Thu 09-May-13 17:34:33

Choceyes what you describe as your DH's experience of teaching sounds very similar to that experienced by the teachers in our family, and our 3 friends who also teach.

To them staying late only means until about 5.30pm - but, during those 2 hours after school finishes they can spend it marking/prepping...or, they can come straight home at 3.45pm, and do their marking/prepping from home.

They rarely work into the evenings (i.e. after 6pm), and rarely work at weekends.

I think they're all pretty good at their jobs, and work at schools with good Ofsteds, and get very good exam results...maybe they're just superslick at their jobs?

Iggi101 Fri 10-May-13 11:41:27

Shesparkles, Rowlers was mirroring a comment that had already been made (ie your comment).

catnipkitty Fri 10-May-13 16:00:16

FAO ubik

Section 7 of the Education Act 1996 applies to England and Wales:

Compulsory education

7: Duty of parents to secure education of children of compulsory school age

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—

a: to his age, ability and aptitude, and

b: to any special educational needs he may have,

either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

It is a parent's duty to make sure their child is receiving an education, which in this case would be taking things further with the school. You can't just put your child in school and assume they'll have everything sorted.

Hulababy Fri 10-May-13 17:33:30

I did leave teaching as a profession. I was a secondary school teacher for 10+ years. I left when it all got too much. Me leaving was well covered on MN as it took a fair while to gather myself up enough to do it. It was a low time for me.
I went to work in an adult male prison. It was a more pleasant experience at the time!
I do now work in schools again. I am working as a HLTA in an infant school and it is a much more pleasant experience. I am considering moving into primary school teaching - the paperwork side of things is holding me back at the moment, well that and waiting until DD is out of primary herself - I don't want to miss too many of her assemblies and shows, etc which happen more frequently in primary years.

Skinnywhippet Fri 10-May-13 18:12:17

Gosh OP. It's rare that I get pissed off with a post, but you've gone and done it. Could you please clarify exactly how many lessons have been missed? You have been a bit vague.

I don't like the way that you are blaming the school for your son being weak at this subject : you say it's a crap school, you say he was pushed into it and didn't really want to do it, you blame the teacher's absence.

changeforthebetter Fri 10-May-13 18:23:54

Do you mean revision sessions or spoon-feeding of exam style answers? Oh and do fuck of to the far side of fuck with your "short days" - or, as I teach French "Fous le camp!" angry

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