Teachers On Tour - 1 in 10 Lie To Take Term Time Holiday

Posted by Sue Anderson, 23rd Feb 2016

There are plenty of stories in the media about parents getting into trouble for taking their children out of school during term time for a holiday, but little is really known about whether teachers ever take themselves out of school for the same reason.

Teachers get more holiday than most UK workers; half terms, Easter, Christmas and of course the long stretch of the school summer holidays. However, these are peak times for holidays and therefore more expensive weeks to go away. We started wondering if teachers ever use sneaky tactics to have time off when they aren't really allowed to.

We polled 1,012 teachers from UK and secondary primary schools to find out more. Everyone taking part was asked about holidays they had taken in the past three years and also what their thoughts were on the holiday rules that parents had to follow. All respondents had been a teacher for at least four years at the same school.

Three Quarters Of Teachers Who Lie For Time Off Feign Illness

When we asked, 'Have you ever lied the school you work for in order to get time off during term time for a holiday?' 11% of the teachers taking part admitted to us that this was something that they had done. These people were asked what lie(s) they had told in order to get the time off when they weren't supposed to, which revealed that three quarters, 75%, had pretended that they were ill. 61% of these teachers had gone as far as fibbing to their GP to get a doctor's note too!

16% of the teachers who told us that they had lied to get time off work admitted that they had claimed that they were having family problems at the time and 3% claimed that a pet was ill or had died. 2% said that there were having transport issues that stopped them being able to get to work and the remaining 4% of respondents selected 'other'. We wonder what elaborated excuses these people made up!

26% Of Teachers Who Lie For Time Off Get Caught Out

Of those who lied in order to get time off for a holiday, the average length of time they stayed off work for was 5 days. Furthermore, male teachers were revealed to be more likely to lie to get time off than female teachers. However, 26% of those teachers who said that they had lied to get time off work for holidays admitted that they did end up getting 'found out'; which led to disciplinary action for 44% of those people. Ouch.

Two thirds, 66%, of the teachers taking part in our research thought that parents not being able to take children on holiday during term time was 'unfair'. When we asked if they felt that time off during term time for a holiday had a negative impact on a child's education, 81% said 'no'.

Clearly it's not just parents telling fibs to go on term time holidays! Teachers do get a lot of time off work to coincide with the school breaks throughout the year, but they have a lot of work to do in this time and it means that they too are restricted to the pricier times of year for holidays. Therefore, it's no surprise that teachers are turning to more dishonest measures to get time off work to go away at less expensive, quieter times of year! Most seem to get away with it too...

Are you a teacher? Have you ever done this?
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