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					The Pilgrim School
Staff Absence Policy
Date agreed by staff:

Date agreed by governors:

Review Date:

Signed: (see original)

A large number of employees take little or no periods of absence during a year.
Where absence is high or is mismanaged it can create serious problems. Every
school has a responsibility to manage absence in a way which safeguards the
interests of pupils and other staff whilst at the same time showing understanding
to the individual. The Headteacher, supported by the Governing Body, is
responsible for managing the attendance of teaching and support staff.

The Pilgrim School aims to ensure that all employees are treated in a fair and
consistent manner and receive the necessary support, whenever possible, to
enable them to improve their health and/or to maintain their employment.

Absence from work can be defined, in a broad sense, as any time when the
employee is not at his or her place of work during normal working hours
(teachers must include directed time), or at other times when the employee is
contractually required to be at work.

This definition will encompass:
      a        Statutory entitled absence such as maternity leave, jury service,
               trade union duties and activities
      b        Absence authorised by the employer such as approved annual
               leave periods, approved attendance at training courses,
               compassionate leave.
      c        Absence contractually provided for such as sick leave
      d        Unauthorised absence such as:
               • Failure to return from leave on time
               • Taking annual leave without approval when prior permission is
               • Leaving work early without authorisation (including directed time
                  for teaching staff)

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              • Late attendance
              Unauthorised absence and absence for false reasons is
              misconduct and subject to disciplinary action if substantiated.

The Governing Body wish to be as supportive as possible to all members of staff
but stress that their first consideration must be the effective running of the school.
Bearing in mind budgetary constraints, it may not always be possible for
approved absences to be granted with pay.

The Governing Body has adopted the procedure, detailed in the Medway
Personnel Handbook for Schools, for dealing with all cases of staff absence due
to sickness. Staff should notify their superior or line manager as soon as
possible on the first day of absence, following procedures in the staff handbook
for The Pilgrim School.

Annual leave for non-teaching staff will be in accordance with the terms of their
conditions of service, which are incorporated into the contract of employment. It
is not expected that staff will take leave in term time. In exceptional
circumstances permission may be sought from the Headteacher for term time
leave. Any such requests must be submitted in writing at least one month in
advance. Leave taken in term time will normally be unpaid.

Additional leave with or without payment may be granted in the following
circumstances. Leave of absence under the following regulations shall not be
given or taken in any case where, in judgement of the Headteacher the work of
the school would be detrimentally affected.

Paid Leave of Absence - The school will normally meet the salary costs for the
members of staff for up to the LEA recommended limit (see Medway Personnel
Handbook for Schools section 3) in any period of 12 months to enable them to
attend to their duties in the following capacities:

       a      Justice of the Peace
       b      Members of a Local Authority
       c      Persons appointed to represent a Trade Union or Association at
              meetings of both employers and employees
       d      Member of a school Governing body
       e      Retained Fire Fighters

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       f      Election Duties
       g      Training for Visually Impaired
       h      Service in non regular forces
       i      Reserved Armed Forces

Where the Headteacher has agreed that an employee should follow a particular
course of study, leave may be granted to staff at the Headteacher and Chair of
Governors’ discretion. The school may meet the salary cost of the member of
staff on study leave after consultation with the Chair of Governors on behalf of
the Governing body.

    a    Paid leave of absence on compassionate grounds may be agreed
         by the Headteacher up to a maximum of 5 days in one twelve
         month period. The Headteacher and Chair of Governors, on behalf
         of the Governing Body, have the discretion to extend this period in
         agreed circumstances.
    b    Absence for attendance at funerals of a close relative shall be
         granted with pay. A close relative is defined as a parent,
         grandparent, son, daughter, sister, brother or spouse. Absence to
         attend the funeral of a more distant relative or non-relation will be
         granted at the discretion of the Headteacher, but shall normally be
         without pay.

    a     Maternity leave will be in accordance with current guidance in the
          Medway Personnel Handbook for Schools, section 4, and statutory
    b     Paternity Leave/ Maternity Support leave will be in accordance with
          guidance in the Medway Personnel Handbook for Schools, section
    c     Employees must notify the Headteacher of their intention to take
          Paternity Leave/ Maternity support leave by the 15th week before
          the expected week of childbirth.
    d     Parental leave - employees may be entitled to a total of 13 weeks
          unpaid leave for each child according to Medway Personnel
          Handbook for Schools, section 4.
    e     Time off for dependants – see Medway Personnel Handbook for
          Schools, section 6.
    f     Adoption Leave – employees may be entitled to a period of 26
          weeks ordinary adoption leave and 26 weeks additional adoption

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              leave in accordance with guidance in the Medway Personnel
              Handbook for Schools, section 4.

All such appointments should normally be arranged outside school time.
Appointments in school time can only be arranged with prior permission of the

The Headteacher will allow up to a maximum of 2 periods paid leave during any
twelve month period for attendance at a job interview. Subsequent interviews at
the discretion of the Headteacher.

a   There may be requests for paid or unpaid leave for reasons not covered
    by this policy. Such requests should be made to the Headteacher in the
    first instance.
b   Where a member of staff feels that the Headteacher’s decision is unfair an
    appeal stating the grounds may be sent in writing to the Chair of
    Governors. Any appeal should be heard within two weeks of the request
    being turned down. The decision of the Chair of Governors is final.

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