Schools prohibiting TA training in term time

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Dr_Evil, Apr 30, 2012.

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  1. Chaps,

    Last year, it took a correspondence war with the school which employs one of my blokes to get them to release him for annual camp.

    Brilliantly, their argument was that TA training is done in one's spare time and so should not require the school to grant him any leave at all. They have a point: the point that TA training is a "spare time" activity is made no fewer than 3 times on the official TA website.

    Territorial Army - British Army Website

    Indeed, as an aside, I wonder whether other employers might latch onto that "spare time" hook as a justification for removing reserve forces leave entitlement, whether paid or unpaid, or even preventing people from using their statutory annual leave entitlement to undertake TA training. We should be doing TA training at night and at weekends only (or whenever people are not normally working). In which case, cheers, MOD!

    Last year, I bargained the school into letting him go for a 9-day reduced camp during term time. I had hoped that by now the relevant punters would, in light of FR20 etc, have extracted the frikkin digit and done something to require employers to release employees for TA training, but no such luck.

    Instead, it's Groundhog Day for the soldier - only this time, his attendance on camp is crucial to his PDT.

    Any advice, anyone? Any policy in the education domain on supporting reserve forces training? On that point, note that schools are required by law to release teachers for trade union activity. That legal requirement does not seem to cause the education system much drama (I was about to write "does not seem to have caused the education system to collapse" but realised that this might trigger the wrong kind of debate).

    Any news on making TA training mandatory and on matching that (and it will have to be matched) with enhanced employee protection?
  2. If I was the school I'd tell you to poke it aswell, they have a point it's term time etc.
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    If its crucial to PDT then he is being deployed, man up his days and get him mobilised!
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  4. To the OP, Your proposal has merit - if you want the TA never to recruit again apart from from the ranks of the unemployed.

    Schools have a fairly unique work schedule that basically says you work in term-time and take the holidays off. Its not hard to understand. Even the thickest of primary kids can grasp it, why can you not?
  5. In a perfect example of the sheltered/blinkered world-view of those in education, the governors of the school asked why he could not train during the school holidays. Brilliant. Because everyone is off for six weeks in the summer, right?

    I should also point out that schools are required by law to release employees who are school governors from work for governorship duties. Strikes me as gigantically hypocritical that there is no issue about releasing them for that or trade union shenanigans.
  6. Absolutely love it! Fine parents if Children miss a day, then expect to be let off yourself during term time. Perhaps you might care to take your holidays abroad outside the school breaks, it's far too expensive during them.

    Suppose it's par for the course when teachers have to do their professional training in term time, meaning schools are closed & those of us who don't get the whole summer off have to use another day's leave :wink:
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  7. Bit tricky, as the TA elements of the PDT started in Feb 2012 for deployment in Apr 2013. There are issues, I understand, with mobilising people for almost two years.
  8. I absolutely love it, too. If working in education is incompatible with being in the reserve forces, schools should man up and say so outright, and publicly.

    It troubles me that being a teacher can be compatible with trade union activity, school governorship, etc., and schools can work around that. But reserve forces activity somehow presents a drama.

    A planned absence of two weeks can be worked around by engaging a supply teacher, no?

    Finally, it's not as if this particular fella chose the dates on which his unit decided to do annual camp.
  9. Don't know. I keep repeating your sagely words to myself and they just won't sink in. Comfortingly, though, I suppose the people of Canada, New Zealand and Australia are all as thick as me - in all of those countries, reserve forces training is mandatory and employers are required to release members of the reserve forces for mandatory training.

    Tell you what, though: why don't you point me to the empirical evidence which supports your assertion that "the TA would never recruit again apart from the ranks of the unemployed"? I've given you those three countries as examples, so it should be easy for you. And anyway, it's not like you were just gobbing off - you have those facts at your fingertips already, right?
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  10. It has always been the case. Employers are required to release TA soldiers for training, but at a time that suits the employer, not necessarily at a time that fits in with the soldier's unit's training programme.

    You could equally argue that Annual Camps should be arranged to coincide with local work/leave patterns or that units should have more than one Camp - e.g. rather than a Battalion Camp, have a number of Coy Camps attended by soldiers according to availability. Use the 15 days to learn/practice soldiering and some weekends to learn/practice Coy integration within the Battalion.

    It would, of course, also be sensible to adapt the SJAR process so that an attached soldier gets a comment directly on his MoD 2020 rather than an easily ignored insert slip.

  11. Clumsy attempt to compare work related acctivities to what is in essecnce a hobby. Would you expect them to give time off to play 5 a side?
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  12. Oh do bloody behave.

    He's a teacher he teaches kids, and happens to be in the TA. The primary responsibility is to his employer, and the kids and their education. Teaching time is limited, and what with inset days, half terms, etc etc I'd feel miffed if you were taking one of my kids' teachers for a fortnight. Even more miffed if that time was now during intensive GCSE or A level periods.

    The Governors are quite right.
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  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    If the MoD would fund the supply teacher then it may work but the other activities are sadly germane to the running of a normal school whereas plying pretend sandpits in brecon to prepare yourself for the previous governments dusty adventures isnt anything that will help the school.
    You see it can also be counterproductive think of all the counselling costs for the precious dears affected bySirs abscence!
    And I'm not ******* joking on that either!
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  14. You missed strike action and snow.
  15. Whilst mandatory TA training might be good and well from a TA perspective, I suspect it would prove to be deterimental to how the TA is seen by employers in general.

    Its difficult enough as it is for some companies to manage staff holidays, dictating to employers when they need to release their staff for TA outside of an existential threat to UK PLC isn't going to be popular. I've seen that some employment contracts prohibit additional paid part-time or casual jobs, if TA training was mandatory i'd expect to see these contracts becoming the norm. The rationale being that they're paying someone a full time salary, don't want their efforts focussed elsewhere, and generally want staff to spend time away from work recouperating... for instance, a former boss of mine didn't approve of me taking two weeks paid holiday for a TA course to come back twice as knackered as when I left rather than rested and recharged. People often forget that your employers are still paying for you when you're on holiday, and employers don't have to give unpaid holiday.
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