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Section 1: Overview

1.1 Purpose and general principles

1.1.1 This policy outlines the circumstances in which a request from a Leader to take an extended break from the Pathways programme, known as an intercalation, may be considered, or in which Frontline may require a Leader to intercalate, and to explain the associated procedures. 

1.1.2 Frontline recognises that there are exceptional circumstances whereby fulfilment of the consecutive 3, 10 or 12-month commitment is not always possible, nor always to the benefit of the Leader and/or the children and families they serve. Frontline, therefore, offers a process of intercalation, to allow Leaders to return and complete the programme at a more appropriate time, where other support mechanisms have been exhausted. 

1.1.3 An intercalation will normally be from all elements of the programme including Residentials, Experiential visits and Self-study 

1.1.4 During the programme, Leaders are normally eligible for one intercalation which must take place within 12 months of the intercalation being approved.  

1.1.5 Intercalations are different from deferrals. Leaders are only eligible for deferral prior to the first residential and any requests after this would be considered within the intercalation policy.  

1.1.6 Frontline will not grant intercalation from the programme to address non-engagement with the programme unrelated to other exceptional circumstances. 

1.2 Responsibilities 

1.2.1 The Principal Programme Lead normally makes the final decision about whether to approve an intercalation request from a Leader, and forms part of the return to study process that determines whether Leaders have the correct support available to return to the programme following a period of intercalation. 

1.3 Intercalation criteria 

1.3.1 A Leader may normally be granted one period of intercalation during the programme of study if they satisfy all the following criteria: 

1.3.2 Leaders who intercalate (irrespective of whether requested by the Leader or by Frontline) should be aware that:  

Section 2: Procedure

2.1 Requesting an intercalation. 

2.1.1 Where a Leader is facing exceptional and unforeseen circumstances that means it is not possible for them to continue the programme at that time, a Leader should submit an intercalation request via our helpdesk.  

2.1.2 A meeting will be arranged by the Pathways Programme officer to discuss the request and ascertain if the circumstances qualify for intercalation. This will be discussed with Pathways Programme Manager and other relevant Frontline staff (as stated above).  

2.1.3 If a Leader has previously had an approved intercalation (this does not include extended parental leave), a member of Frontline’s Leadership Programme team will normally liaise with the Leader to determine whether there is legitimate, exceptional reason for the further request. If the Principal Programme Lead determines there are not such reasons, the request will be declined at this point. 

2.1.4 Where it is deemed necessary, a member of the delivery team (normally the Programme Manager), will attempt to contact the Leader to ensure that they are aware of the implications of an intercalation.  

2.1.5 Once key information has been obtained, the Programme Manager will review the Leader’s application and the standardised return conditions to determine whether any additional conditions are required. Along with this, they will confirm key additional information (e.g., expected return date). 

2.1.6 The Programme Manager will then submit this information onto Frontline’s record system for the Principal Programme Lead to review.  

2.1.7 The Principal Programme Lead will either approve or decline the intercalation request, taking into consideration whether (1) the intercalation request satisfies the criteria cited in section 1.3.1, and (2) whether the request includes all necessary information. 

2.1.8 A Leader cannot appeal the decision to decline an intercalation request.  

2.2 Approved intercalations 

2.2.1 Where an intercalation is approved, or where it is required by Frontline, Leaders will be sent written confirmation. The written confirmation will contain relevant information including: 

2.2.2 Even where conditions of return are met, the Leader’s return to programme is always subject to the availability of new cohort capacity. 

2.3 Declined intercalation applications

2.3.1 Where a Leader’s intercalation request is declined, they remain on programme, and subject to the programme expectations (see, for example, the Attendance and Engagement policy).  

2.3.2 If a Leader does not wish to continue with the programme, they will withdraw, or if new circumstances arise or additional information becomes available, they may make a new request to intercalate.  

2.4 Returning from intercalation 

2.4.1 Frontline will contact the leader via email and/or telephone 30 days before the intended date of return to confirm whether they intend to return to the programme. 

2.4.2 Where a Leader confirms that they do not wish to return to the programme, relevant teams will be made aware, and the Leader will be withdrawn from the programme.  

2.4.3 Where a Leader does not adequately respond to communication from Frontline in relation to their return to study, they will be deemed withdrawn (see Withdrawal Policy). Relevant teams will be made aware, and the Leader will be withdrawn from the programme.  

2.4.4 If the Leader intends to return, the Programme Officer will meet with the Leader to discuss their return to the programme and any support required.