How does Coverage work?


I managed to create the timetable and started meddling with sick leave / coverage.

Under “people > manage substitutes” I added every teacher as an internal substitute.
I went to “people > staff > new absence” and created sick leave for a colleague for four days (all day checked, Substitute Required: Yes).
Without changing the coverage request form I sent it.

As a teacher (using the context switcher) I was not able to find the request.
After fixing the permission the request under “people > staff > open requests”.
There I found a table with the four days. On one of the days the colleague has no lessons, so no substitution is necessary and on the other days the system checked if I had any lessons and enabled me to substitute just on lesson - free days. I could also have substituted one lesson on a day I already had my own lessons.

After selecting one day (where the colleague has lessons) and submitting I checked back to the timetable view.
In the timetable view there is one large orange block for substitution of the whole day.
I don’t see where I could add my notes to the lessons, take attendance or interact in any form with the lessons I’m supposed to hold.

I expected to be able to provide coverage for single lessons during the time of his sick leave and, since I have the responsibility for the lessons to be able to make entries or changes to the lessons.

Am I missing something?
Would it be necessary to enter every single time period the teacher misses on his sick leave to be able to select single timeslots for substituting? ( I think this is a question similar to the one from paschal in this thread)
How can I enable editing the lesson?
Is there a possibility to switch the timeslot to another course?

best regards,


Hi again!
I’m sorry for bumping my own thread, but either coverage is too complicated to explain or I am not able to ask the right questions.
Since coverage and documentation of the lessons are big topics in our school I need to grasp how gibbon works in this aspect. Playing around multiple times didn’t get me the expected results (as described above). I really could use your help or a pointer in the right direction or to a piece of documentation.

greetings from sunny Austria,


@ross @admin
After another round of searches through the forum I found My interpretation concerning my questions above would be:
A coverage teacher has to go through with the planned lesson because the lesson plan is available.

In our school we have subject matter experts and we think their time is best used teaching their subjects. Over the course of the year the different coverages even themselves out (more or less).
So is it right, that it is not possible to change the covered lesson to the another course?
And it is also not possible for the lesson plan for the covered lesson to be edited by the covering teacher?

I really appreciate you helping here on the forum and the extreme (really impressive) short time until one usually gets an answer.
Please also help me with my questions here. Either I don’t know what keywords to search for in the forum or coverage isn’t covered to well :wink:
I really would love using gibbon in our school, some concepts are really cool, well thought out and powerful. But without figuring coverage out first I wont be able to move on with my exploration of gibbon.

I hope I’m not pushing too hard, but since its three months since my original post I figured I’d give it a last try.

best regards,


Hello @PaulLebmann

Have you come across this →

The explanation here could answer some of the questions and it was noted that the area needs documentation


Hi @kelvinmw

Thanks for your hint! Yes, I have come across it and the pointer to “manage substitutes” allowed me to get this far.
I think that the second question of paschal seems to be similar to my questions but it is not answered.

The description of @admin :

Coverage refers to having staff (either internal or external) take lessons for absence staff. Sometimes these are called substitute or sub teachers. The Staff module deals with both absences, and then allows cover teachers to be assigned.

leaves it open to me if a covering teacher is able to edit the lesson, take attendance and so on. This could also be just my understanding, because I am not a native speaker and probably I don’t get the finer nuances.

And while the part of the discussion about staff monitoring is interesting and the ideological point of view from gibbon is noble this would (for our school) just be an afterthought.
But to know how coverage works and what is able with this system is a go / no go situation for gibbon at our school.

I agree with @admin that documentation is needed. I would love to contribute to documentation (which is also a reason why my answers and my questions on the forum are mostly rather long and try to cover the background as far it is possible for a Newby like me) since I feel that a good part of my time learning to use gibbon was reading the import templates, imagining how the information will work together, some guesswork from the UI, some searching through the database tables, research in the forum and trial and error. The forum is great, and the response time is usually awesome and with additional documentation and concepts explained like the documentation for lesson planning, maybe even for different school schemes played through, a new user could leverage the flexibility of the system even better.

This is also a reason why I try to explain my specific situation in detail and I just started my third try on this topic to get some documentation / explanation into the forum. I think this might be a way that other potential users with similar requirements will be able to evaluate gibbon faster.