Absent on interview;Helpline

11th June 1999 at 01:00
Are we obliged to allow staff leave of absence to attend interviews for posts elsewhere? Some appointment procedures seem unnecessarily lengthy and teachers "on the circuit" are frequently away for far too long.

Leave of absence for interviews in the teaching profession is governed by convention rather than by rules and I am inclined to feel that it is a healthy feature that these matters are handled openly and honestly rather than by resorting to the subterfuges and secrecy which characterise the world of commerce and industry.

It is a corollary of that openness that leave of absence for interviews is freely available to teachers, in spite of the inconvenience it may cause to schools. Unfortunately, particularly in the case of senior appointments, some governing bodies tend to go in for over-elaborate processes, running over several days. While one sympathises with their need to be thorough in doing what are probably the most important jobs they are ever likely to do, one might wish that they would show a little more consideration for the schools that are releasing the applicants.

On balance, I advise that schools should accept these situations, if only on the basis that the alternatives are even less attractive.

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