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24th July 2015 at 01:00

Time off should mean what it says

As teachers, we have been dining out on our workload since I joined the profession more than 30 years ago. However, I think we need to acknowledge that we are no longer the only professionals who take work home with them and have no clear cut-off time. Advances in technology mean that many people are still working and emailing late into the evening and during the weekend.

Teaching is, however, the only profession - and I believe the only public service - that has no working hours or holiday allowance. We have both 13 weeks' leave and none; we finish both at 4pm and never.

Isn't it time to create a healthier model for our physical and mental well-being - both of which are usually too far gone to be fully repaired even by the longer breaks from school - by giving teachers a set holiday allowance? In return, weekly working hours could be capped at a reasonable level and the profession could tell the government that its demands simply can't be met without additional staffing.

When not on leave, we could work a normal school day without resentment because we are in "during the holidays", and when we are on leave, we could enjoy guilt-free time off like the rest of the world.

Stephanie Gibson

Headteacher, St Catherine's

Primary School, Surrey

Short and tweet

Even in the holidays we learn every day. Today, Mrs Jalland learned that if you get oven cleaning spray in your hair, the hair melts. #oops

@ElliePrimary1

A big shout out to all the hard-working nursery staff who don't get a last day of term because they work all summer.

@Sue_Cowley

Mmm...sheep's heid broth, anyone? Come and discover more about 400 years of Scottish cooking. www.nls.ukexhibitions

@NLSlearn

Should you use the word "please" when asking a child in your class to do something?

@bryngoodman

@bryngoodman: In my experience, teachers who simply bark orders aren't respected. You can use "please" and "thank you" and still be authoritative.

@EA_Holmes

Be known as the person who works hard and gets things done. Impress people by exceeding their expectations. #leadership

@justintarte

The saddest and most ironic practice in schools is how hard we try to measure how students are doing and how rarely we ever ask them [about it].

@fastcranny

What issues matter to you? Inform our new manifesto, Lead the Way, by completing our survey online: ow.lyOZB06. #thewayto2021

@OfficialSYP [Scottish Youth Parliament]

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