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  1. Teachers are only contracted to work during term time. We have a couple of thousand hours (200 +days) per year of contact time, directed time and 10% planning, preparation and assessment time (PPA). For a FT secondary class teacher that’s about 5 hours a fortnight to plan and mark for 45 lessons. Obviously, this doesn’t fit, as planning and marking takes about 10-15 hours per week at least. Teachers are not paid any overtime, so get paid the same if they work 55+ hours per week or 40 hours. However, 40 hours wouldn’t get the work done. Teachers therefore have to work at weekends and in holidays, but are not given time in lieu or money for it. Even for an experienced teacher at the top of the pay scale, working 55 hours or more a week means an equivalent take home of around £10 per hour. Not much for the time and effort put in or the importance of the job. I’m sure other public servants feel exactly the same. if you had a job with days an annual holiday allowance, as many people do, but were told that you had no choice when to take your holiday, and that 5 days a year of it was going to be taken up by compulsory work related training, I think you’d be pretty miffed! That’s what it means when you say that teachers should do the training in the holidays. I’d be more than happy to, but I would expect to be paid for it at least!
  2. That’s appalling and I’ve never heard of such a thing. I can’t imagine anyone I’ve ever known doing that. I hardly think that one irresponsible teacher should me making assumptions about the whole profession!
  3. Teachers can’t take time off in term time except in very few circumstances agreed by the HT e.g a funeral of a close family member (not necessarily an uncle, cousin etc) or one day for moving house. No more than one day of parental leave for a sick child can be taken as paid leave. In other words: yes, teachers are fined if they need time off (other than for illness) because they lose a day’s wages.
  4. May also just add a couple of things that are being overlooked. Holiday companies and travel agencies etc are CHOOSNG to charge more in the holidays. This is not caused by schools. Furthermore, no Head Teacher closes a school lightly and H&S rules are not created by schools. Schools are accountable to the Local Authority, who ar accountable to the government. I think most teachers absolutely agree that children are too ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’ BY PARENTS AND SOCIETY nowadays. Our students often lack independence and resilience, but that’s a whole other conversation!
  5. I’m not going to be into any specifics about some of the comments posted here. However, there are a few points to make. I am a secondary school teacher, and it is absolutely true that more than a couple of days off in any term means that students are behind - especially if they miss an assessment. It takes lots of intrinsic motivation and parental support to ‘catch’ that up without professional teacher input. GCSEs are now 100% terminally examined, so it is more than theoretically possible that, in our packed curriculum, a week or two could mean missing an entire topic. On school closure: there are certain number of days per year that schools are contracted to open, so any INSET days are part of that and are part of the number of days per year teachers are contracted for (we don’t have hours, just days per year). Secondary schools do not close for any other reason except genuine H&S issues. I haven’t experienced a ‘snow day’ for nearly 10 years. I have never been involved in a strike, and have only known of about 3 strike days in my whole career of 16 years. Teachers absolutely do not strike over pay. It is about spiralling workload, 11-12 hour days and work life balance (we all have to work at weekends, too). Not just that either, as there are a myriad of challenges daily. Only the most recent one was observed by anyone in a school where I’ve worked but I came in and used that day to catch up on endless paper work. Finally, I do not believe in fines, except for persistent truants. However, there is A LOT of work done by senior leaders, pastoral staff, educational welfare officers, councils and police every day to combat school non-attendance. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I love cruising but am heavily restricted to only travelling in August once every couple of years. Teachers also suffer from the holiday premiums and have no choices because we are not free to take holidays at any other time. Unless you have worked in education, I’m afraid you do not really know what it is like. School is a very different place now (and not necessarily a better one) from when even I was at school in the 1980s and 1990s, let alone the 1960s. I firmly believe that our schools would be much more effective if the media, the government and the public supported teachers and educators fully, rather than complaining. I’m not suggesting anyone here is denegrating my profession, by the way. But please do try to see both sides.
  6. OBC doesn't influence my booking per se, but we have only cruised with Celebrity (we're about to head off this week) However, what is brilliant is booking a balcony room, choosing the classic drinks package and OBC, then using the OBC to upgrade to a premium drinks package, therefore getting the drinks for 'free'. It seriously reduces the cost of spending on board. Furthermore, now that Celebrity lets you spend your credit before you embark, I've not only already upgraded the package, but was able to use some of the credit towards an additional excursion. Unfortunately, I'd already booked most of them before they introduced the option, though! Having only cruised with Celebrity, I can't imagine not having a drinks package, to be honest (linked to the other recent thread)