Sound of wedding bells ringing in term time hangs heavy in air

24th March 2006 at 00:00
Q: I'm getting married in November and I'm worried about it being in term time. Would a school give me time off? Would I have to mention it in an interview? Also, would it affect my induction year?

A: Teaching isn't like other jobs: taking time off disrupts children's learning. Even when one teacher's not there, the effect spreads throughout the school. I've known teachers with cancer do their best to organise their treatment to minimise their absence from school.

Teachers are contracted to be in school teaching for 190 days a year and another five days for training. So, teachers do things like getting married at weekends and during the 12 weeks when they're not required to be in school. Asking for time off to get married during term time wouldn't go down well for an established teacher, let alone a new one. Have you tried rescheduling? If the date can't be changed, raise the issue as soon as you are offered a job and ask for unpaid leave. The school will have to pay out around pound;800 to pound;1,000+ for a replacement teacher for a week.

As long as you're meeting all the standards, your wedding won't affect your induction unless you reach 30 days absence over the induction period, which is the magic number beyond which your NQT year has to be extended. Taking a week off in term time might be seen as evidence that you're not fully meeting these standards. Sara Bubb

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