Harrow Education Services on Policy and Guidance

Conditions of Service Requirements

1. All schools staff are required to be on duty whilst the school is in session, according to their contractual working time, unless they are absent due to ill-health.

2. The exceptions to this are:

    • where time-off in lieu arrangements are made for minor matters i.e. the employee is given time-off work which must be made up at some other agreed time for (say) a short dental visit
   • support staff employed all year round who may have approval to take annual leave during term-time
   • approved time for training

   • approved time for Trades Union duties. (See Trades Union Time-off and facilities in Schools Employment Manual)

   • teaching or support staff who have leave of absence approved in accordance with these guidelines

Role of Governing Body - Good Practice Recommendations

3. The Governing Body may wish to ensure that the authorisation of leave of absence is formally delegated to the Headteacher and that decisions are properly recorded and reported on a non-attributable basis. (A sample form for authorisation and recording is included with these guidelines). Such monitoring will enable the Governors to see that the totals granted in any year are reasonable.

4. It is recommended that the Headteacher be delegated to authorise leave of absence within these guidelines and  at her/ his discretion may grant up to 3 additional days’ leave of absence with or without pay according to individual circumstances (which may lay outside the circumstances identified in these guidelines, which are not exhaustive). Beyond this the Headteacher may be required to refer requests to the Governing Body (or relevant Sub-Committee) for consideration and decision.

5. The Governing Body may also wish to make arrangements for the approval of Headteacher leave of absence requests. In urgent situations this may rest with the Chair of Governors, in consultation with the Vice-Chair and/or Chair of Staffing Committees. The principle here is that no employee should approve their own leave of absence.

Key Points for Staff

6. Except in cases of serious urgency, no employee, may without previous permission of her/ his Headteacher be absent from duty for any reason other than personal illness.

7. Any application for special leave of absence shall be made to the Headteacher, in normal circumstances, not less than 7 days before the absence is required.

8. Where unpaid leave of absence occurs with the permission of the Headteacher, salary shall be calculated at a daily or part-daily rate based on the day’s salary being 1/ 365th of a year’s salary, for each school day of the period of absence.

9. Where a teacher is absent for reasons other than sickness without the permission of the Headteacher as appropriate, deductions from salary shall be calculated at a daily or part-daily rate based on the day’s salary being 1/ 365th of a year’s salary, for each school day of an absence, except that where absence involves a Friday and the following Monday, the salary shall also be deducted for the Saturday and Sunday included in the period of absence.

Administrative Requirements

10. All requests and authorisations must be made using the official school form (see model attached) and the forms kept as a record at the school.

11. The school staff return to the LEA/ payroll must record the leave of absence and whether paid or unpaid.

Care of Dependants

This is short-term assistance for employees to cope with unforeseen emergencies/ major domestic matters.


  Salary payable for period not Exceeding
Serious illness of husband, wife, partner, child or dependant.  5 working days.
Death of husband, wife, partner, child or dependant. 5 working days.
Serious illness of near relative of self, or near relative of spouse/ partner. 3 working days.
Death of near relative of self, near relative of spouse. 3 working days
Confinement in relation to pregnancy of wife, partner, dependant or child. 5 working days.


1. ‘Near relative’ includes father, mother, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother, child.

2. Serious illness is defined only in terms of the level of care involved, demanding the employee’s presence.

3. Partner means a person towards whom the employee has similar responsibilities as to a husband or wife, with regard to care of dependants matters.

4. There is a separate procedure relating to adoption leave.  (See Schools Employment Manual).

Public Duties

  • For service as Mayor/ Mayoress, Justice of the Peace, elected Member of a Council or County Council, as a Governor of a School
  • Jury Service
  • For appearance as a witness in a Court or Tribunal
  • Appearance as a defendant in a Court
  • As a candidate at Local Government Election
  • Candidate at a Parliamentary or European Parliamentary Election
  • Performance of duties as Examiner/ Moderator for external School Examinations or Membership of the Governing Council of an Examining Body or Central Administration of an Examining Board
  • Any fee which has been received by an Examiner/ Moderator or any other fee which has been awarded to a Teacher with absence from School with pay, shall be refunded to the School up to the daily salary receivable. It should be possible for the school to receive from the appropriate body any fee due as income payable directly into the school budget

Salary Arrangements

Salary payable for period not exceeding 12 working days in any Academic Year.

Pay for the duration of the service, less the amount received under the Jurors’ Allowances Regulations.

As for Jury Service where the Court or Tribunal requires attendance.

Normally this will be unpaid. However, paid leave may be allowed for the duration of the Trial but the payment of salary will be decided after the result of the trial.

Paid 1 day, which shall be Polling day only.

Paid from the first day on which nomination papers are delivered until the second day after the Election (both dates inclusive).

Up to 5 working days per Academic Year.

Study/Exams and Conferences

All requests for support paid or unpaid, (including books transport/ subsistence costs) should be considered within the context of the school in-service training and development policy and plans.

The school training and development plan should accord with the principle of equality of opportunity, the service needs of the school and available budgetary provision.

The plan can include assistance with study leave or exam days for courses undertaken by the employee where the school can identify a benefit to the service.

Requests for attendance at professional conferences should also be considered within the school policy and plan.

Religious Observance

Unpaid leave may be requested by employees wishing to attend religious ceremonies / celebrations / festivals. A limit of 3 days' unpaid leave is normally applied although additional time may be granted in exceptional circumstances. While the School is keen to encourage its employees to participate in their chose relions, the Headteacher should be mindful of the potential operational impact of a large number of staff taking religious leave at the same time and should consider whether carrying out an equality impact assessment would be appropriate to the circumstances.

Where the school believes that a substantial number of staff and pupils would require to take a particular day off for religious reasons, the Governing Body may stipulate a school closure on one or more specific dates, in accordance with the appropriate protocols and school year dates published on the website of Harrow Council.


   • Wedding of self, near relative of self or spouse/ partner
   • Removal of household effects
   • To attend interview for other appointments.

   • To visit new School prior to taking up an appointment
   • Attendance at a funeral in an approved representative capacity
   • Attendance at a ceremony for award of a personal degree, or a degree awarded to an employee’s child or any other reward of honours to an employee or near relative of an employee or spouse
   • Attendance at a National Party Political Conference as an accredited Delegate only

Salary arrangements

1 or 2 working days paid according to distance and circumstances including the day of the wedding.

1 working day paid, (the moving day). 

Maximum 2 working days (paid) per occasion. Maximum of 12 days in any academic year. See note 1 below.

1 working day paid.

Up to 3 working days paid.

1 or 2 working days paid according to distance and circumstances.

Leave without pay.


1. The leave is for the time required to attend the interview and to travel to and from it (including any preliminary visit built into the process). The recommended maximum is 2 days paid per occasion for any one appointment, and 12 days maximum paid in any single year.

2. Other miscellaneous requirements might include time-off for driving test, dentist, private exam etc. Normally these should be arranged outside working times or through time-off in lieu arrangements or within the Headteacher’s 3 days discretion. (See paragraph 4 of Introduction).