General Guidance – Cover for Teaching Staff sickness absence:

Teachers who are absent for less than three days will have their lessons covered by a Cover Supervisor. If absence is heavier than normal, then a supply teacher may cover the lessons but will not necessarily a subject specialist. Work for the lessons should be either emailed to the school (see procedures below) or be set by the Head of Faculty.

If the absence is for more than three days then a subject specialist supply teacher will be engaged to cover the lessons. Work for lessons will still initially need to be set by the Head of Faculty but for long term absence the supply teacher will take ownership of the absent staff member’s timetable and plan and mark as necessary.

Absence for more than seven days (including non-working days) needs to be verified by a Doctor's Medical Certificate (now 'Fit Note') and sent to the school as soon as possible.


Procedures for Teaching Staff sickness absence

If staff are unwell or for any reason unable to attend school this must be reported as soon as possible and definitely before 7.30 am.

  • Telephone 01603 485266 and select option 3 to report your absence. Please tell us why you are absent and how many days you think you may be absent, and please phone in each day of absence.
  • If you are able, please email Cover work to the school, preferably by 8.00am. The address is -  Please do not send cover work to any other email address as it won't necessarily be picked up and acted on.
  • If you attend the Doctor and are given a medical certificate/fit note then please make sure you send this to the Cover Coordinator or Headteacher.  In addition, please phone or email to let us know you have been signed off work and for how long.


Absences for medical appointments

Medical appointments should be arranged out of school hours. In the case of an emergency appointment or any appointment made during school hours, please contact the Headteacher to authorise your absence. The appointment card or letter giving the time and date only of the appointment must be attached to the cover request form..


General Guidance - Planned Absence for Teachers

No more than two planned absences per day can be authorised.  The proposed date(s) must be checked with the before booking any courses or trips..

Any teacher planned absence needs to be booked at least TWO WEEKS in advance. Without two weeks' notice planned absence cannot be authorised.

Planned absence cover for one or two days will be covered by the Cover Team or if necessary by a supply teacher who may not necessarily be a subject specialist. 

Cover work for planned absences must be prepared and left with the proforma in the Staff room cover trays either the day before the absence or no later than 8.00 am on the day of the absence. Please do not leave cover work in a classroom as there may be room changes affecting the covered lesson.


  • First complete a Cover Request form which are kept in the staff room.  This form is two-sided and if you are attending a course then both sides need to be completed and authorisation obtained from your line manager and Deputy Head, Liz Wood. Please hand to Sue Rose, Cover Coordinator.
  • If there is funding to cover the cost please indicate this on the form.
  • Should the request be refused for any reason you will be contacted. If not it will be entered on the system.
  • If there are any special requests, either rooms or any special indicators for the lesson please indicate on the form so this can be passed onto the Cover Team.
  • Cover work for the lesson must be prepared and left in the coloured trays in the Staff room along with the cover work proforma sheet. The proforma sheet must be fully completed on both sides and placed in the cover trays in the staff room (make sure it is placed in the correct day and periods please!) If you are using text books or any resources for the lesson, please state on the proforma sheet where these can be found. Likewise, please highlight any special needs or behaviour issues. Very important – please ensure your room is accessible to the cover staff. 

If Teachers no longer require the booked cover they must inform us immediately. Supply staff may have been booked and will need to be cancelled before costs are incurred.

Download a copy of the Teaching Staff Cover Procedures (pdf, 132Kb)



Support Staff Absence Procedures

Support staff who are absent must inform the school by 7.30 am at the latest (please see procedures below)  - a message must be left on the school absence line.

Absence for more than seven days (including non-working days) needs to be verified by a Doctor's Medical Certificate (now a 'Fit Note') and the certificate sent to the Cover Coordinator or Headteacher as soon as possible.  Please also telephone the absence line to let us know a medical certificate/fit note has been issued and for how long.

Telephone 01603 485266  and select option 3 to report your absence. Please state clearly your name and the reason for your absnece.  If possible give an indication of long you are likely to be absent, and please phone the absence line each day of your absence.


Absences for medical appointments:

Medical appointments should be arranged outside of school hours.  If the appointment is an emergency or is unavoidable contact the Headteacher to authorise this absence. The appointment card or letter showing the date and time only must be attached to the absence request form.

Support Staff Annual Leave - General Guidance:

Support  staff who have a 52 week contract have an agreed number of days annual leave entitlement as set out by Norfolk County Council/The Trust. Any leave request must be agreed with and authorised by line manager and Headteacher. Annual leave must be booked and agreed in advance. Where possible annual leave should be taken during school holiday closure but consideration to other dates up to 5 days in an academic year will be given on an individual basis.

The period of annual leave to be taken is from April 1st to March 31st of each year. A maximum balance of 3 days annual leave may, in exceptional circumstances, be carried over to the next leave period.

Procedures for Support Staff Annual Leave:

  • Annual leave is recorded on the Annual Leave Record form (F201) and kept in the Cover Office. You will receive a copy of the form each time you request annual leave to ensure you have a record of days booked/taken.
  • To book annual leave complete a Support Staff Annual Leave request form found in the Cover Office or on O drive; docs; Forms. The line manager and Headteacher authorise the request.

Support Staff TOIL (time off in lieu) - General Guidance:

If it is necessary for any member of Support Staff to work extra hours this must be authorised in advance by the line manager and Headteacher. TOIL hours may only be incurred at the request of your direct Line Manager and have a clear business need (i.e. Parents' Evenings) and must be appropriate to your role. Extra hours cannot be worked to enable staff to take time off for a particular reason.

Wherever possible TOIL should not be redeemed during term time. Staff who are contracted to work term time plus a specified number of weeks should redeem toil during the 'plus' weeks which lie outside term time.  It must not be taken on Inset days. Except in extreme circumstances, TOIL should not be incurred by staff who would need to redeem the time during normal school hours.


Procedures for Support Staff TOIL:

  • If staff are requested to work extra hours they should complete a TOIL form which can be found in the Cover Office. This needs to be completed indicating why the TOIL is being worked and authorised by the Line Manager and Headteacher. A copy must be submitted to the Cover Office for recording. 
  • To redeem TOIL hours a Support Staff Absence form needs to be completed indicating that these are TOIL hours and authorised by your Line Manager and Headteacher. This will be submitted to the Cover Coordinator and recorded, you will receive a copy of the TOIL form.
  • TOIL must be redeemed in the academic year it was worked, TOIL hours cannot be carried over.

Download a copy of the Support Staff Absence Procedures (pdf, 128Kb)

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