Teacher’s term-time break sparks protest

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A DISGRUNTLED parent has complained to a school after a teacher was given permission to take a holiday during term time.

The teacher at Seaham School of Technology will be allowed the week off despite parents being encouraged to stick to school holiday breaks.

A copy of an anonymous complaint letter was sent to the Echo, as well as the school, detailing their concerns over the decision.

They believe it is unfair the teacher has been given the leave when the school discourages parents from taking their children out during term time.

It also questions why permission was given for the break when teachers already get 13 weeks off each year.

The letter states: “I have always avoided taking my children out of school in term time, even though the school holidays are more expensive.

“The school’s website states that ‘holidays during term time are discouraged’.

“Imagine my dismay when I heard that a teacher at the school has been allowed to take a week’s holiday during the first week of the spring time.”

The school has issued an explanation of the decision, taken by its governors, claiming the issue is not as clear cut as the parent suggests.

Headteacher David Shield said: “The leave was agreed by the previous employer and was honoured only after being considered by the school’s governing body.

“It is contrary to the school’s normal policy and the governing body considered it exceptional circumstances.

“Every request for term time leave is looked at separately and on its own merits.

“On this occasion the leave is for the teacher’s honeymoon.

“The school will ensure that students education will not be adversely affected by this decision and lessons will be covered by an appropriate, qualified teacher in the subject area.”

The parent’s letter also claims the employee has been allowed to take time off during the first week of the spring term.

However, the school has clarified it is not this term, which began after children and staff returned in the new year, but next year, and says the year period leading into the leave will give it plenty of time to put plans in place.