Currently in our school two members of staff are on long term sick. Neither of them know exactly when they will be coming back, although both know that they are not coming back in the short term.
So why are we using cover supervisors and supply teachers to cover their lessons? Are there really no supply teachers available in my area that would work week to week and are capable of taking on a timetable including the planning time?
I personally think that this stance by our management team puts pressure on the sick member of staff and pressure onto the reaming staff members, causing resentment between members of a team.
On top of all of this at my current school absent staff are expected to set their own cover. Should a long term sick person be expected to do that? Should any member of staff who is sick be expected to do more than give an idea of the topic or objectives.
Interestingly another poorly (short term, it is flu) colleague is having an issue with setting cover work that is not being completed by the covering teachers. This high lights another issue with the sick and absent staff member trying to monitor their own groups via email from home.
Management teams need to be aware of how the decisions they make affect staff members and middle managers need to fight their corner to ensure their team are minimally effected and that learning is unaffected as much as possible by an absent staff member. Staff are important and how you treat them when they are at their lowest is a mark of how a school respects them.
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