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Staff illness
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NearlyEaster · 28/09/2017 20:35

What happens in your department if a member of staff is ill for more than a day?

Does it vary between KS3/4 and KS5?

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NearlyEaster · 28/09/2017 20:40

KS3/4: lesson taken by a cover teacher (sometimes staff on PPA). Work is set by member of staff off work or by HOD.

KS5: Work is set by member of staff off work or by HOD. Students should stay in classroom to complete work independently.

HOD does the marking if the teacher is off for a longer period.

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MaureenMLove · 28/09/2017 20:41

My department is Cover, so I can tell you what's supposed to happen across the whole school!

Sick teacher sends cover work to me and to HOD, my cover staff cover the lessons. This will go on for 1 week as necessary and then a rethink about whether we need a specialist supply teacher. KS4 lessons are sometimes swopped with KS3 lessons within the department and cover will take just KS3.

The cover work is always on time, meaningful and set out perfectly, along with starters, plenaries and seating plans. HOF always comes in at the start of the lesson and supports the cover supervisor with all materials needed for a wonderful lesson.

(That last paragraph was a lie - none of that ever happens!!Grin)

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MaureenMLove · 28/09/2017 20:43

Oh and never use PPA time, unless they are under on their allocated number of lessons.

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MsAwesomeDragon · 28/09/2017 20:50

For us, up to a week is covered by a cover supervisor for KS3/4. A level groups are supposedly trusted to stay in the room and work by themselves, but in my department we have at least one teacher per lesson who "just needs a quiet room to mark in", so we literally sit in with them so they don't disappear without doing anything, but don't interact with them at all.

Work is set by the teacher who is off. Cover supervisors vary in terms of how they interpret the instructions left for them. Teachers vary in terms of how clear and well planned the lessons are. To be fair, it's pretty hard to plan 5 lessons before 8am that can all be done without teacher input while you are vomiting.

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TuftedLadyGrotto · 28/09/2017 20:50

Sick teachers SHOULD NOT send cover work in. There is no obligation to do so. And it leads to expectation that it will happen. Then you end up with a seriously ill or grieving member of staff being hounded.

If you are too ill for work, cover is work. It is the job of the school/SLT/HoD to provide work.

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NearlyEaster · 28/09/2017 20:53

The cover work is always on time, meaningful and set out perfectly, along with starters, plenaries and seating plans.

HOF always comes in at the start of the lesson and supports the cover supervisor with all materials needed for a wonderful lesson.

Sorry 😢 I do try!

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NearlyEaster · 28/09/2017 20:58

In our dept quite often it's the child of the teacher causing the absence. We'd expect cover work then. And for courses.

Do people in your dept cover KS5 classes if a member of staff is off longer term and no specialist supply is available.

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Littlewhistle · 28/09/2017 20:58

I've never heard of sick teachers being expected to provide work. After a teacher has called in sick, out SLT are not permitted to contact them in any way, It is up to the teacher to say when they will be returning to school.

I was off last week for one day, so supply teacher came in and carried out the work I had provided. I always have my weekly plan on my desk and all my activities laid out at the back of the class just in case.

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wobblywonderwoman · 28/09/2017 21:01

We don't have to set cover work. As a natter of goodwill, I leave an envelope of generic work and that has to do. I am rarely ever off though

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C0untDucku1a · 28/09/2017 21:02

My hod sets work if we are sick.

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tissuesosoft · 28/09/2017 21:15

I work in secondary- staff set cover work and email it in when they are off sick. Only if they are off for longer than a month does the HoD or supply set it. Cover supervisors used for the first week then supplies are arranged

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NearlyEaster · 28/09/2017 21:38

I was off last week for one day, so supply teacher came in and carried out the work I had provided. I always have my weekly plan on my desk and all my activities laid out at the back of the class just in case.

Primary or secondary?

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NearlyEaster · 28/09/2017 21:39

I work in secondary- staff set cover work and email it in when they are off sick. Only if they are off for longer than a month does the HoD or supply set it. Cover supervisors used for the first week then supplies are arranged

A month! What if the illness is work related stress?

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MsAwesomeDragon · 28/09/2017 21:41

If we can swap classes around so one of the dept can teach the ks5 classes and supply teach the younger ones then we do. We've had bad experiences before of long term absence being covered by qualified, specialist supply teachers who just didn't get the course covered as we would, so we try to avoid it. It's not always possible though, as timetables won't always fit in that way.

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MaureenMLove · 28/09/2017 21:43

NearlyEaster, I'm joking. Smile. I know how bloody hard you all work and how difficult it can be when you've got your day planned, then the shit hits the fan 5 seconds before tutor time starts.

It is was we like to call best practice, but when is that ever possible? It's those pesky kids that put a spanner in the works.

It is the expectation that if you're off sick, you set your cover work, but there is also a bit of compassion in it. The majority of lessons are usually on a power point already and it's just a nod to the next lesson the students need to do. My cover supervisors have piles of starters they can take with them to lessons, when they've seen what they've got in the morning.

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Littlewhistle · 28/09/2017 21:53

I'm in primary. We don't have a lot of staff absences but the HT claims there are hardly any supply staff around. I feel this is a ruse to use ASN teachers to cover and save money. I've given her the names of 4 supply staff in the past year and she hasn't had one of them in our school.

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TuftedLadyGrotto · 28/09/2017 22:12

How can someone set cover for a month? When they don't know what the kids gave actually done? What if they are off with work related stress?

There should be no expectation to set cover. An email or message stating what topic they are on perhaps, but not cover.

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goldopals · 29/09/2017 05:39

We set our cover lessons. I'm the only person in the maths department so no one else can. On the rare occasions when I am away, it is textbook work so is relatively easy to set

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MaureenMLove · 29/09/2017 15:54

Do you all get asked to give up PPA too? And if so, how often? I was led to believe it was 'rarely cover'. Which apparently equates to once a term. It's not an ideal situation to have Cover Supervisors, I know. I'd be mighty pissed off as a parent if my DD had a cover all week.

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crimsonlake · 29/09/2017 16:42

If someone is off sick,they are unfit for work and of course under no obligation to set work and should not be contacted by the school while they are off. I cannot believe the expectations of some schools.

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MiaowTheCat · 29/09/2017 21:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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NearlyEaster · 30/09/2017 16:31

I don't know how often staff get asked normally as I willingly cover in my dept quite often. I think I did two others in different depts but must have done five at least in dept.

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Wonderflonium · 30/09/2017 17:15

I worked in three UK secondary schools. The expectation was that you set cover work if you were ill.

At the Danish school I worked at, there was no expectation at all for cover work but it was gratefully received.

In the international school I'm at now, the previous head tried to guilt trip us into sending in work "Wouldn't you want the CHILDREN to have the best lesson? Only the teacher knows where the CHILDREN are etc etc".
I was the shop steward at the time and so instead, as a compromise, at the start of the year, you make up a folder of seating plans and two ready-to-go cover lessons and have that in your room for when you're too sick to set cover.

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WhataHexIgotinto · 01/10/2017 17:27

I'm a cover supervisor and if someone is off ill, they will sometimes email cover to me but they don't have to and I don't encourage it. I usually know what their classes are doing (middle school) and I do have a good knowledge of the curriculum and schemes of work so I can normally find something in my box of tricks that is relevant to what they're doing. Obviously this would only be suitable for a lesson or two and the the HOD would set the work for me to cover.

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wannabestressfree · 01/10/2017 18:22

We are expected to set cover where I teach. Ks5 will only have cover if there are any cover supervisors are free- we have three. At the moment they are working six lessons a day solidly. We only buy in specialist teachers for core subjects.

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