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Year 6 teacher - off sick with a bad back since 2nd week back, wwyd?

(25 Posts)
Urbanvoltaire Thu 20-Sep-12 14:32:20

The class have been taught in the days that she's been off (that's all of this week and few days last week) by a combination of a HLTA, the 3 class TAs, school deputy and a "floating" teacher.

DD not complained massively however some of the other parents are complaining especially those with SEN children. One of those parents spoke to the Head yesterday about what will happen if the teacher is off for any longer and she basically chrugged her shoulders and threw it back to the parents saying "well, what am I supposed to do?"

We're only a few weeks into the term so it's early days for teacher and children.

Should I speak to the Head on my own, collectively with a few other parents or leave it another week?

Final point, the HLTA was taking a maths lesson and was incorrectly teaching the kids on how to do long division.....she was corrected by a pupil and then a TA also noticed the error as well. Not very comfortable with this (maybe a one-off and she's been thrown in at the deep end perhaps but nonetheless, not ideal).

cansu Thu 20-Sep-12 17:27:41

If you are concerned by the standard of the cover then you could complain to the head who of course has the option of paying a supply teacher. Usually this does not happen unless the absence goes beyond two weeks or the absence is known about in advance say time off for operation etc.I think however you are being a little excessive in complaining at this stage. I would probably wait until next week in case teacher is back or a supply has been retained. I would not under any circumstances complain as part of a collective as you are likely to make the head dig her heels in at being dictated to in this way.

Feenie Thu 20-Sep-12 18:20:19

Schools usually have insurance which kicks in after 5 days though....

TheMonster Thu 20-Sep-12 18:25:14

It all depends how long the teachers is getting sick notes for, which could in turn depend on her doctor. If she is only getting them for a few days at a time, the school doesn't have to get a supply. And anyway, a supply wouldn't know the school or children and could be rubbish.

clam Thu 20-Sep-12 18:35:42

What would you like the Head to do?

AThingInYourLife Thu 20-Sep-12 18:40:35

"she basically chrugged her shoulders and threw it back to the parents saying "well, what am I supposed to do?" "

Um, manage your school, you incompetent twat.

amistillsexy Thu 20-Sep-12 18:43:53

I think you should get your dd to make a nice get well soon card for her teacher.

Life is about learning to accept what is thrown at us and make the best of it, as much as it is about learning about long division.

Rest assured that the head teacher is doing all he or she can in the circumstances, and the teacher is probably worrying more about the class (and all the extra work she'll have to do to catch up) than you could ever know.

MadameCastafiore Thu 20-Sep-12 18:49:51

Blimey, I would be thinking about the poor teacher!

I have been off for 2 weeks now, not a teacher, I work for nhs and things like this make me feel guilty but then I thank god we have employment laws and understanding employers.

It's not the end of the world, a couple of weeks in year 6. My dd learnt about being independent and understanding in year 6 above everything else, as far as I was concerned this helped her more than long division, which I was quite capable of teaching her. Maybe do a card for the teacher and teach your son some long division and know what a great person you ate rather than moaning about it.

mrz Thu 20-Sep-12 18:55:52

If the teacher has been absent continuously for more than 3 days the school should be ensuring the class is taught by a qualified teacher regardless of sick notes.

mrz Thu 20-Sep-12 18:56:28

as feenie says most schools have insurance that pays for cover

AThingInYourLife Thu 20-Sep-12 19:03:12

Yes, imagine caring that your child is being taught maths by someone who can't do long division!

Teaching children to do sums is the parent's job.

School is for learning that you don't matter.

clam Thu 20-Sep-12 19:14:22

And the teacher is obviously a lazy cow. hmm

AThingInYourLife Thu 20-Sep-12 20:17:12

Why would one imagine that someone off with a bad back is lazy?

It's not her fault that the management of the school aren't covering her absence appropriately.

alcofrolic Thu 20-Sep-12 21:34:04

It's not always easy to arrange cover, and it is particularly difficult if management don't know how long the teacher is going to be off, which is often the case with back problems. The teacher is only 'off' until the sick note runs out - no-one knows if there will be another sick note to follow.

The HT is obviously putting in short term measures. When s/he knows more, she will be able plan for a longer absence if necessary. This type of thing is incredibly difficult for management, because they can only act on fact and they aren't allowed to hassle their employees when they're ill.

clam Thu 20-Sep-12 21:39:05

Oh for flip's sake, I was joking!!!!!
Clearly I should have used a different emoticon.

mrz Thu 20-Sep-12 21:43:16

The HT is obviously breaking the law too alcofrolic

marriedinwhite Thu 20-Sep-12 21:51:01

Why the teacher is off and when she is back is not your concern. Your concern is the quality of teaching your child is receiving in the teacher's absence.

FWIW my dd learnt very little in Y6; it was all about keeping them calm for secondary transfer.

If the sick teacher submits another sick note next week then it is up to the head to determine when she/he might be back and put in place appropriate cover - this may require an OHP referral. The detail is none of your business the quality and the continuity of cover is. If the teacher is still away by the end of next week then arrangements will need to be put in place.

alcofrolic Thu 20-Sep-12 22:22:39

mrz Where can I find a copy of that 3 day rule?

ilovesooty Thu 20-Sep-12 22:53:47

Why the teacher is off and when she is back is not your concern. Your concern is the quality of teaching your child is receiving in the teacher's absence

I'm glad someone else has made that point marriedinwhite

I'm wondering why confidentiality has been compromised and parents have the information about the nature of the teacher's illness.

The detail is none of your business the quality and the continuity of cover is


AThingInYourLife Fri 21-Sep-12 07:35:42

You can hardly blame the parents for thinking it is their business given the (atrociously unprofessional) response by the head teacher, which effectively told them it was not just their business, but their problem.

Employment law covering sick leave does not remove the need for a job to be done. It is the job of the schoool's management to make sure an unavoidable absence of this kind has minimal impact on the children whose education they are paid to provide.

Managing parents' expectations is also part of the job.

It is quite normal for people to be open with people they work with about why they were off. The HT might not be at fault there.

mrz Fri 21-Sep-12 16:52:06

In the Workforce reform agreement alcofrolic

It also states that TAs aren't allowed to "teach" only to supervise when covering for short term absence.

ilovesooty Sat 22-Sep-12 00:54:45

AThingInYourLife - I don't think any of that is a justification for telling parents why this teacher is absent.

AThingInYourLife Sat 22-Sep-12 07:18:50

ilove - it's not.

But there are a lot of ways the parents might know, including being told by the teacher herself.

People aren't always secretive about why they are off.

And of course, the bad back story might not be true.

It doesn't matter why the teacher is sick.

What matters is that the HT is not managing her absence well.

And worst of all is giving an impression of helplessness that risks blame for the situation being attached to the sick teacher.

The staff deserve better than a manager who doesn't cover their absences well and leaves parents confused and pissed off.

ilovesooty Sat 22-Sep-12 15:13:01

Yes: agreed.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 23-Sep-12 01:11:21

If the class was covered by a TA who is meant to be supporting my DC with SEN, then I WOULD be telling the HT that this is unacceptable. I don't care HOW the HT goes about dealing with the staff absence effectively so that it doesn't impact on my DC's SEN support, but I DO expect it to be fixed expediently.

HT's funding issues are frankly, not my problem. My DC getting the support they need with their SEN would be. And with certain SEN, continuity and knowing who will be teaching you from one day to the next is VERY important (if I wanted to get, say, my DS2 with Autism into school at ALL), and this would probably be why the parents of the DC's in this class that DO have SEN are kicking up the biggest fuss...

What would I expect the HT to do? Well, for one, the school could have a supply teacher on their books like ours does - one supply teacher, known to all pupils in the school, who covers for short to medium term absences.

Our school is also in the odd position for the last few years of having a FT teacher that only has a class PT, and covers PPA time for the rest of the time. There is method in the HT's madness of paying an extra salary though - this male teacher is an EXCELLENT teacher, who trained at the school and the school didn't want to lose him. Also, though there are currently 14 classes, due to a 1FE Y6, and a 3FE Y4, next year and the year after, the school will have 15 classes, so will NEED the extra teacher. And at the end of those two years, another teacher is likely to retire, this taking the teachers back down to the 14 needed then.

HT seems to have got it all planned. Which is more than can be said for THIS useless HT!

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