Interrogated for planned absence

(200 Posts)
MilkyButts Thu 29-Jul-21 17:53:45

I'm due to start my PGCE course in September and I emailed to say I needed two days off in mid November for a family wedding that has been rescheduled twice due to covid. I explained the situation and how it was important that I'm there and that I hoped it wasn't inappropriate to request the time off.

I received an email back from my teacher training provider assuring me it wasn't inappropriate but that they'd need some evidence to pass on to the University associated with the course.

I received an email a couple of days ago saying they've spoken to my course leader they want:

- to know why it's going to be two days and not one (we live in the south and the wedding is up north)
- whose wedding it is
- a booking confirmation for our accommodation
- to see the invite

I completely understand they want to check but this feels over the top to say this is a training course I'm paying for and not time off from a paid job.

I've let them know well in advance and I feel like what they're asking for is completely over the top!

Would you expect to be asked for evidence of every fine detail about a wedding you're going to or AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
Pompoms1 Thu 29-Jul-21 17:55:41

That seems OTT to me.

3scape Thu 29-Jul-21 17:58:10

You'll be in placement by November, there will be a need to plan your placement and the work for your mentor around this time that you're taking off. When you applied for a PGCE I'm sure you had something explaining your need to be available for certain chunks of time and hours etc.

EmoIsntDead Thu 29-Jul-21 17:58:17

I don’t think that sounds unreasonable. I frequently support student teachers and I wouldn’t be impressed if they were taking time off during their first school placement

user1471596980 Thu 29-Jul-21 17:59:58

It's probably because you have to complete a certain number of days to pass the course. If they know it's a justifiable reason, they may be able to waive this. Otherwise, if you then have a period of absence (through illness for example) you might have to extend the year's training.

Wiglio Thu 29-Jul-21 18:00:10

It’s very invasive OP.
I think the demands are inappropriate

rosesinmygarden Thu 29-Jul-21 18:00:11

Welcome to teaching. It's very inflexible amd not the family friendly career people think it is. I know many teachers who have been refused time off in similar situations.

Are the two days off during a time you will be in placement in school? You can only miss a certain number before you risk failing. It doesn't matter if you give notice.

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user1471596980 Thu 29-Jul-21 18:01:57

Presumably you have all the evidence they've asked for, so can provide it?

MilkyButts Thu 29-Jul-21 18:02:29

The two days fall on one placement day and one uni day where they usually teach you subject related skills.

It isn't a "planned" absence as such because this wedding was supposed to happen twice over the past 12 months so I don't feel like I have a choice but to go as it's a special family wedding not just any wedding

OP’s posts: |
Shieldingending Thu 29-Jul-21 18:02:50

Sorry but welcome to teaching! People always telling me how lucky I am to have so many holidays but I can't understand why I can't book a few days off work for a family event... there is no flexibility. Once you have a teaching job you may well not be allowed time off for a family wedding, or even a funeralsad

Viviennemary Thu 29-Jul-21 18:03:37

It does seem OTT. But if it's a placement it would not normally be allowed.

MilkyButts Thu 29-Jul-21 18:03:46

@user1471596980 the only evidence I don't have is the updated invite, we've had two previously that we've binned when they were cancelled.

I have the accommodation booking and I can just explain who it is and why two days but it feels a bit odd to me that they're even asking for such specific details

OP’s posts: |
tothelakes Thu 29-Jul-21 18:03:54

I don't think it's unreasonable given that you should be in placement. It's very unlikely you'd get that time off agreed once you're qualified.

Evvyjb Thu 29-Jul-21 18:04:10

Welcome to teaching! You'll need to provide written evidence for every request from now on, weeks and weeks in advance... its not flexible!

rosesinmygarden Thu 29-Jul-21 18:06:06

MilkyButts

The two days fall on one placement day and one uni day where they usually teach you subject related skills.

It isn't a "planned" absence as such because this wedding was supposed to happen twice over the past 12 months so I don't feel like I have a choice but to go as it's a special family wedding not just any wedding

None of that will matter once you are teaching. It's unfortunately part of the job to not take time off in term time.

Fingers crossed you've got all the evidence and it will be fine. But this is a taste of things to come. I taught for 18 years and missed countless "special occasions". It's the nature of the job and it's part of why I left.

Icytundra Thu 29-Jul-21 18:07:22

Just to counter this slightly, if you find the right school not everywhere is inflexible. I was given 2 days paid leave to attend my brother in law's wedding abroad. I was very lucky to be at such a good school but good ones do exist.
Sounds OTT to me...

Maireas Thu 29-Jul-21 18:08:03

rosesinmygarden

Welcome to teaching. It's very inflexible amd not the family friendly career people think it is. I know many teachers who have been refused time off in similar situations.

Are the two days off during a time you will be in placement in school? You can only miss a certain number before you risk failing. It doesn't matter if you give notice.

This.
Get used to it if you're going to be a teacher.

LadyRoughDiamond Thu 29-Jul-21 18:08:37

It’s not Norfolk & Suffolk is it? I feel your pain - my experience of ITT providers is a mixture of the officious and the incompetent. Play the game, nod in the right places, move on.

MilkyButts Thu 29-Jul-21 18:09:16

@Icytundra a secondary school I worked at previously (a different trust to this one) allowed a teacher a day off for a wedding too and an afternoon off for a funeral for a TA so fortunately they weren't too strict about it!

OP’s posts: |
GravityFalls Thu 29-Jul-21 18:10:17

I’m a teacher and I’d be allowed to take time off for a family wedding I had no say in! It might be unpaid but I’d definitely be allowed to go. Maybe not waved off merrily but it would totally be understood.

Maireas Thu 29-Jul-21 18:11:14

I just want to echo this - I've taught in 8 different schools and it's very difficult to get time off in term time for anything.
It sounds like it's supporting details to enable them to waive the 2 days, as pp have said. Otherwise, you can do an extra 2 days at the end of the course.

Maireas Thu 29-Jul-21 18:12:18

It sounds like it varies school to school, but my current headteacher wouldn't allow it.

Maireas Thu 29-Jul-21 18:14:13

@MilkyButts - each school will have explicit staff absence policies, so you always need to check. However, it's at the discretion of the Head. I suppose if you're a good member of staff who is rarely off, it may be considered a bit more kindly.

MrsHamlet Thu 29-Jul-21 18:14:34

I completely understand they want to check but this feels over the top to say this is a training course I'm paying for and not time off from a paid job.
There is a requirement for trainees to complete a specific number of placement days and a specific number of training days. Training providers are required to keep records of attendance to ensure trainees meet those requirements.

ViaRia Thu 29-Jul-21 18:14:57

It does seem OTT to me but I don’t think that’s the point. I’m not a teacher but as I understand it, PGCE is a qualification not a training course - these are two different things. Yes, you’re paying for it and it is not you paid job, however, in many qualifications there are stipulations about contact time, attendance, observation of performance etc., so I would imagine their request for evidence has something to do with that.

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