Asking for a sabbatical..

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by jessica_fletcher » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:35 pm

Good luck flora. All you can do is ask, explain and set out the plan.

Just a suggestion but how about going to NZor somewhere southern to ski, so that it’s in our summer and you can just quit and go?

Can you wish me the same in return please! I’ve just filled in my second application for a dream job (at their request) so I’m hoping I’ll get an interview at least.
VinnyD wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:13 pm
Oops.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by snowgirl » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:41 pm

Nice one, jess! Fingers crossed!
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:55 pm

Ooh, good luck! What's the job?

We want to go to Europe really. Otherwise big chunk of budget goes on flights.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:56 pm

That's what I said to the head by the way - no harm in asking, definitely won't get the option if I don't ask.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by jessica_fletcher » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:57 pm

Exactly, squeaky wheel and all that.
VinnyD wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:13 pm
Oops.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Lincoln » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:44 pm

Flora wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:33 pm
We do have a system for sabbaticals, but mostly for education type things. This is for fun. It's a period of unpaid leave. Nearly there with the letter....

You should dress it up as "Educational"..say your going off to travel with your kid to show her the world etc.....i did the same with my son, i knew he'd want to get back into the same school when we returned so he could be with his pals so i needed the school to let us back in and as its a popular school they were under no obligation so i dressed it up as an educational trip saying we'd go visit other Catholic schools etc...this impressed the shit out of them and of course we did no such thing :D but he got back in....

i know your situation isn't the same thing exactly but how do you know you don't want to go back there to work when you return?....you might NEED to ,there may be few other options....always leave the door open,make out you don't want to go but you need to in order to grow/for your kids growth etc...be polite, say you've loved your time with them and would love to return although say you know they might not be able to take you back.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by shilgia » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:06 pm

Good luck to both of you, Flora and jess!

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Fri May 04, 2018 8:31 pm

Still waiting for response on This, buuuuut look what appeared in the news today:

classteaching.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/ ... ssion=true

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Scrubb » Fri May 04, 2018 8:32 pm

Link doesn't work for me, Flora.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by tortuga » Fri May 04, 2018 8:35 pm

I was wondering about you and your sabbatical, Flora! And what Scrubb said.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Fri May 04, 2018 8:36 pm


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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by jessica_fletcher » Fri May 04, 2018 8:38 pm

Flora wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 8:31 pm
Still waiting for response on This, buuuuut look what appeared in the news today:

classteaching.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/ ... ssion=true
I saw that and thought of you!
VinnyD wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:13 pm
Oops.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Troll_Handle » Sat May 05, 2018 6:48 pm

Couldn't you just leave at Easter and go skiing then? Some resorts are open year-round.

I think declining a sabbatical would be terrible for any employer, as long as the time can be covered by a warm body somewhere with enough notice. It seems very unreasonable not to allow someone to do what they wish when they aren't being paid.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:47 am

I've still heard nothing.

My Head is not talking to me about it, says that HR and the Chair of governors are dealing with it now - apparently they have more questions, and were supposed to email me last week with those questions.

Considering it's now 6 weeks since I asked, and we need to be booking accommodation before stuff gets booked up, we're just planning for me to leave either at Christmas or Feb half term. Shame, but really? 6 weeks to make a decision on 9 weeks worth of my time, when I've detailed in my original letter how things would be covered. Assuming they want me to leave (wouldn't be a surprise).

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by tortuga » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:32 pm

Ugh, that sucks. Sounds like they're wasting your time.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:12 pm

So I finally asked about this formally - Chair of governors got back to me today saying that she needed some questions answering before 23rd July, since that's the next time full governing body meets. No decision until then, and it's a bit late really. Options for accommodation are already 'going'.

Questions are:

What do you intend to do during any unpaid leave that you are granted?

In terms of dates, are those that you stated in your letter the only period of time you would wish to take unpaid leave? For example, if Governors were to support a request for unpaid leave, but asked that you took it later in the academic year, would this be something that you would consider, or are your plans very much based around taking time between the February and April?

Can see any benefit for the School in granting you unpaid leave?


Not sure it's their business, and pretty sure 'going skiing' won't wash in terms of 'good reasons' to go.

I asked the Head about the second one - later in the year would be much worse for the children in the class - he said that wasn't from him.

I can't think of any benefits, other than that I wouldn't just leave instead of asking to come back.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Lime_Pickle » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:23 pm

The first one is just weird - super nosy.

The other two are among the questions I had to answer when I negotiated my (unpaid) sabbatical - and I think they're more reasonable.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by northern_goddess » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:25 pm

I imagine they are trying to weigh the amount of time as well as the human and financial resources that would go into filling a position for 3 months against what they might be getting out of it - for instance if you were going away to upgrade your educations or skills in an area relevant to your job.

But frankly that's something they should have been able to tell you within a matter of a few weeks after scanning the organization for other leaves that they are legally required to give (such as maternity, parental, sick) and also need to backfill for.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:34 pm

I've explained how to cover my role(s) when I'm away.

The only shift in timing I'd be willing to do, is to move it to 23rd Feb - end May. That means we still get skiing time, but have a month at the end to go somewhere warmer. We've been planning for this on anyway, on the assumption that I'm not going to get this. 23rd Feb - 2nd June would actually suit us better now we've done some further thinking.

Advantage - I wouldn't leave. Mental health/wellbeing benefits (which are big school focuses right now). I'll come back pretty good at French. Refreshed outlook etc. Any others?

I specifically didn't put the reason we were going, as it's not particularly relevant (apart from the 'better French' bit, which isn't much of a sales pitch).

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Lime_Pickle » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:36 pm

Oh, and I was quite blunt about the answer to 3. I said "well, the alternative is that I just resign instead".
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:42 pm

My dates look random, but they fit with term times.

6 terms a year, I've asked to miss half of term 3 and all of term 4.

Could shift to missing term 4 and 5.

Leave 15th February (job share comes back to work then - class cover is sorted easily)
Back to work 3rd June.

14 weeks. We can't be in the Alps for the first week of that because half term costs are stupid, can't be anywhere close by in the last week because half term costs are stupid. Away 12 weeks, could do 7 in Alps, 5 somewhere warmer. Or something like that.

Hmm...

Yes L_P - that's the alternative - was trying not to give an ultimatum! Thing is, I'm expensive, they might want me to go. Not that I mind either way.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:44 pm

L_P - did you have to fiddle around with dates to suit them? Or did you get what you wanted? Was that part of the deal?

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Lime_Pickle » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:47 pm

I didn't see it as an ultimatum. I didn't say "give me this or a leave". I asked. They asked what would happen if they didn't grant it. I answered, honestly. But I did tweak dates to suit the business.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:54 pm

OK thanks.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Stan In Maryland » Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:48 pm

I guess it depends on where you are. Here (in places that even do sabbaticals) you always have to say what you will be doing and what the benefit is to your employer. They generally also come with an assumption that you will then remain at the job for come period of time after your return. The problem with saying "or I will leave" is you need to be prepared for the "don't let the door hit you".

LP, in your case I do understand that you were prepared for that and I think Flora is also.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:56 pm

Yes, I'm almost rathering that to be honest. If rathering is a word. I'd just like a financial security though in reality. I'd be able to get work quite easily on return (or even sort it out before I leave), but might not get paid over the summer holidays for example. We'll see.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by dBrother » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:16 am

You could pretend to have a nervous breakdown and go on indefinite sick leave...
.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Stephen_Dedalus » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:42 am

Why ask?

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Stephen_Dedalus » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:43 am

Are you Chancellor of the Exchequer?

They will survive.

You will too.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Vodd » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:24 am

How is Virgin still going without Stephen? Or is it no coincidence they lost the East Coast train line this year?
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Stephen_Dedalus » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:42 pm

Stalker alert!

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by mad hatter » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:52 pm

creep stalker alert
agreed
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by shilgia » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:34 pm

I think the reasons you listed up there are pretty good, except for the “I wouldn’t leave” one. You have plenty of other good-sounding reasons, so no need to add the ultimatum-sounding one.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:59 pm

Edit this:

We’d like to spend some time in the French Alps. Both Bloke and I have lived there before (skiing is really important to us), and would like to take child to experience the outdoors/active type lifestyle for a reasonable period of time before she starts school in September 2019.

In terms of dates, I’ve asked for February – April since it fits with the middle to end of the ski season. Regards other possible dates that might also ‘fit’ in terms of timing for snow conditions, we could push it back to February half term, but that is less appealing due to the economies of scale involved in buying season lift passes.

Benefits to the school: Rejuvenated outlook towards my job, my improved mental wellbeing (those dates also coincide with Brexit-day, which rightly or wrongly, I’m emotionally invested in), improved French language skills, opportunities for others to step up and take on some of my responsibilities.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by pezworld » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:14 pm

I'd skip the skiing parenthetical. Tone back the other ski references. Probably pull back the Brexit parenthetical as well.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by shilgia » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:21 pm

"Thank you for considering my request for an extended leave. The purpose of the leave I am requesting is to introduce my daughter to an area of France where {Bloke} and I have both lived before and to allow us to experience an outdoors lifestyle as a family for an extended period before she starts school in September 2019 and extended stays abroad will not be possible for the foreseeable future. February - April is the best time of year to experience the outdoors in this region of France. Of course I am willing to work with {the school/the Board/the whatever authority} to ensure the best possible transition, and if the period I proposed is not feasible, I am willing to discuss alternative timelines.

While I understand that from the school's perspective, any interruption in staffing is inconvenient and not without burden, I do believe the leave I am proposing will confer some benefits to the school. Having been in my current position for {X} years, I believe that an extended leave will allow me to return to the school well-rested and ready to return to my role as {Y} with batteries fully recharged. In addition, I am hoping that an extended stay in France will improve my French language skills. Finally, my extended absence will offer {W} and {Z} the opportunity to {grow in the role of X/gain valuable experience in Y/take ownership of Z project - be explicit}."

---

I.o.w., don't be explicit about the skiing! And acknowledge their concerns.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by fishface » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:24 pm

They have dithered, assuming you will put it off and/or the decision will be too late.

And tbf I would have pushed the mental health aspect over skiing. It reads very much as though you just want to go skiing.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by shilgia » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:26 pm

Nah, I don't think so, fish, about the dithering. I don't think a school board is thinking about booking timeframes. July or August or September seems pretty reasonable for a decision on something that isn't going to happen until February of the next year.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by fishface » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:30 pm

But it was going to happen earlier wasn't it? This is the second option (which has turned out to be the preferred period)?

Actually I can't remember...I need to re-read the thread.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by fishface » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:32 pm

Oh nope, you were right. Sorry!

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Potpie » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:35 pm

yup agreed. i wouldn't mention skiing at all. it comes across as a la dee dah vacation. If it doesn't affect you negatively, i'd push the mention of mental well being, stress reduction, which in turn will give you a rejuvenated outlook towards your job and will make you more effective in your roles at the school. Which you did say but i'm wondering if the change of the order of placement to the list will come across more pointedly.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:43 pm

Haha - I DO just want to go skiing. I want to teach the child to ski. Little kids need to be introduced to it slowly, it's a pain to have to pay for her to go at half term for the next 5 years and have her ski maybe 10 hours of those weeks, yet have the holiday cost us three times as much as it would outside of holiday times. Also, a couple of our good mates have just moved there, we want to go and spend some leisure time with them in the mountains.

Thanks, folks, will write something similar to shilgia's.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:03 pm

OK, changed it a bit into how I would speak:

The purpose of the leave I am requesting is to introduce my daughter to the Alps – an area of France where Bloke and I have lived before. Now she’s a little older we’d like it if we could experience an outdoors lifestyle as a family for an extended period of time, before Child starts school in September 2019.

February to April is the best time of year to be in this part of France for the activities we’d like to introduce her to. If this period of time is not feasible, I am willing to discuss alternatives, although we are bound slightly by weather conditions.

I understand that from the school’s perspective, any interruption in staffing is inconvenient, but I believe there are some benefits to the school. I will have been in my role for 6 years by February 2019, and believe that a period of extended leave will allow me to return to school well rested and healthier than I am now. An outdoors environment is rejuvenating, and will benefit my mental wellbeing. I am hoping than an extended period in France will improve my French language skills, which would enrich my teaching. Finally, my extended leave will offer various members of staff the opportunity to gain experience of elements of my role.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by shilgia » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:24 pm

Looks good, though I think if you can it would help to be more specific in the last sentence.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Flora » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:02 pm

I added more to that last line saying, 'being specific about this is difficult this far in advance' - it is, and I know that at least one of the people who would step up, is going to leave at Christmas but hasn't told the boss yet.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by Paddox1 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:21 am

Shilgia smashed it!

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by leela » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:27 am

I'm going to shilgia to rewrite pretty much anything important that I need to send.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by rezuar » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:49 am

I want to be shilgia in my next life.
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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by matt_melb » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:39 am

I would remove all references to skiing, France, and the cost of ski lift passes. I would simply say that I and [bloke] wanted the opportunity to spend a block of time with kid before kid starts school, that you plan to travel overseas, and that Feb to April are the only available window having regard to constraints arising from other commitments.

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Re: Asking for a sabbatical..

Post by shilgia » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:03 am

Aw, thank you Potpie, leela, rez!

And Flora, fingers crossed. Please keep us posted.

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