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General Chat Thread, Holidays - unfair or is it me?! in General; Hi, here is the scenario: Three of us in ICT here, Seconday school 1850 pupils, 200 staff some 750 machines. ...
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    Paid_Peanuts's Avatar
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    Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Hi, here is the scenario:
    Three of us in ICT here, Seconday school 1850 pupils, 200 staff some 750 machines.

    Over the summer holidays between the three of us we had 8 days off!

    Now we all want to take October half term off. However we have been told we can't all be off at the same time...
    We have to outstanding work to complete nor do we have anything happening over the October half term.

    Does anyone else think this is unreasonable?!

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    If you are supporting users that will be in over half term then it is more then reasonable to expect at least 1 of you to be in.
    matt

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Indeed, I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation if you are all working full time.

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    But as always this brings in the question of being forced to take time off during school holidays (which I assume you are). Being 3 of you surely 1 of you at a time could be allowed time of during term, sparing this clamour for the holidays, which is generally our busiest time!

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paid_Peanuts
    Hi, here is the scenario:
    Three of us in ICT here, Seconday school 1850 pupils, 200 staff some 750 machines.

    Over the summer holidays between the three of us we had 8 days off!

    Now we all want to take October half term off. However we have been told we can't all be off at the same time...
    We have to outstanding work to complete nor do we have anything happening over the October half term.

    Does anyone else think this is unreasonable?!
    Can one of you work that week then that person surely could take the following week off.

    Tim

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    If you are being forced to take your holidays during school holidays then you are entitled to take them as and when, during those times, you want to. Ok, it may leave the school in the lurch but that is there problem and not yours.

    Now, this all depends on whether or not you feel a responsibility to have someone available during the holiday...

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Unfortunately it's pretty standard. Somebody is required to be in incase of any problems with other staff that are in.

    Most schools, understandibly, block holiday during term time which is why it is always a good idea to get your hols in quickly, i.e. first come first served.

    It does raise the issue of being forced to take them outside of term, when all 3 of you want them though. The only thing you could do is get union involved, but i dont think they'd back you on this one unfortunately.

    I think you're going to have to draw straws or share the duty, i.e. someone does mon & tues, somebody else does wed & thur, somebody else fri. Either that or make the person whose is least senior / been there least amount of time do it.

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    yeah it's the old moral obligation/guilt/flexibility thing again , isn't it?
    I think that's why we have (or need!) contracts which specify these matters.

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    during 2005/06 none of the 3 of us techies took our full allocation of holidays and ended up all booking roughly the same time at Easter 2006. We were told in no uncertain terms that we must not leave the school without any cover again. This was fair enough, but what we weren't told at the time was that as we were employed full time we could take our holidays during term time if there was cover in the IT office. I only found this out a couple of weeks ago when I realized I'd booked the wrong week for half term this October (the LEA website had given out the wrong dates for school holidays, and there's a stack of letters from parents who have also booked the "wrong" week). It may be worth asking SMT just what the regs are.

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    I generally have to take leave during holidays even though we have an entire central IT department that the school can call on if I'm not here - granted the service we get varies and since they haven't been in to deal with desktop issues in almost 2 years it's not surprising that staff avoid them at all costs.

    We really should have myself and a tech though, 640 pupils, 80 staff and just over 400 computers (mix of PC and mac), it's asking a lot of one person and frankly means I never get a chance to develop anything as I'm constantly running about plugging stuff back in (because it's magically stopped powering on) and frankly wiping teachers bottoms.

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    I think as a general principle it is reasonable to provide a level of cover if the ICT support team is big enough to allow people a choice of when to take their holidays. With three full-time people I would expect to provide a reasonable level of cover, allowing for sickness etc.
    However, I also believe everyone should be able to take their full entitlement of holidays & if this means work does not get done the school needs to look at the workload/productivity of its ICT support team. Work should be planned around holiday plans, not the other way round.

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    I dont work the holidays at all.

    I even complain about coming in on training days ops:

    (And yes, I am a very happy techie)

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    If I had somoene else here to help me then would expect one of us to be on as long as we can take holiday in term time etc etc.

    But as there is just me holiday as rule has to be outside school terms so staff know that through hols there is very limited support.

    Russell

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Well we (a team of 6) used to all have time off at the same time during holidays until SMT finally gave in and allowed us to have some time off during term as long as there was still cover

    If they allow you to take time during term then it is reasonable to expect support over half term. If not, then I'm on your side

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    Re: Holidays - unfair or is it me?!

    Support is extremely limited during the holidays at my schools (mainly due to the fact that not many people around around then anyway). If there is a major problem, they can usually phone or e-mail me. Other then that, I am never in during the holidays for staff support, I go in for network maintenance.

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