The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis -

I work for Brent Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­ity. I have been re­fused un­paid leave for Suc­cot, Sh­mini Atzeret and Sim­chat To­rah by my line man­ager, even though I have ob­served them through­out my teach­ing ca­reer ( JC, Oc­to­ber 3).

I would like to know if any of your read­ers who work for this ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­ity as teach­ers have en­coun­tered a sim­i­lar prob­lem this year. Ros­alind Schog­ger rschog­ger@rosy-ap­ This dis­pute over days off school for Yom­tov ob­ser­vance has been go­ing on for many years.

When I first started teach­ing, in 1950, there were only two Jewish teach­ers in Bris­tol lo­cal-au­thor­ity schools. I was one, and the other teacher, who was much older than me, had never been paid for her days off for Yom­tov.

I felt that this was very un­fair, and knew that one of the peo­ple on the Bris­tol Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mit­tee was Jewish. She cam­paigned on our be­half, and in a short while the com­mit­tee al­lowed us pay for days taken off. Vera Feld­man Knight­low Road, Birm­ing­ham One of your read­ers has had dif­fi­culty get­ting time off for Yom Kip­pur with pay. When I was a lec­turer, all staff were al­lowed three days a year with pay for re­li­gious ob­ser­vance.

Who changed the rules? Stu­art Alan Chait char­teredac­coun­ I don’t know what all the moans are about. I have just re­tired af­ter work­ing for 40 odd years and have — like many other Or­tho­dox jews — had to take all the fes­ti­vals as part of my hol­i­days. I and count­less oth­ers are still here, have put chal­lah on the ta­ble, ed­u­cated our chil­dren, etc etc. Stop spending time and my tax money both­er­ing the lo­cal au­thor­ity and moan­ing about it, and get on with your lives. Phil Cam­mer­man The Fair­way, Leeds LS17 The real em­ploy­ers of teach­ers are their stu­dents. No­body men­tions the ef­fect on stu­dents when their nor­mal teacher is re­placed by a locum. How did Mike Fligg ( Let­ters, Oc­to­ber 10) make up his work hours in a way which en­sured that his stu­dents had the full ben­e­fit of his teach­ing skills? Natalie Kehr We too were sorry to hear about Lucy Nuttgens’s trou­bles tak­ing time off teach­ing to ob­serve Jewish fes­ti­vals. For­tu­nately most teach­ers do not have th­ese prob­lems, though many teach­ers end up forced to take time off work as un­paid leave.

We are cur­rently run­ning an on­line sur­vey on this is­sue and would ap­pre­ci­ate hear­ing of all ex­pe­ri­ences, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ( http://tinyurl. com/4q65p7). Daniel Needle­stone Chair, The Jewish Teach­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion info@jew­ishteach­

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