Is my school obliged to give me a copy of my contract?
For sure they are. And I always went through contracts with a toothcomb with extra fine teeth. You should be given time to look over the contract carefully and to raise any points that you are not sure about. OK you don’t want to earn the reputation of a troublemaker before you’ve even set foot in a classroom but it’s important to let your employer know that you don’t take contracts lightly. I’ve seen teachers whip out a biro and sign their name before you can say “what do you mean I’m not entitled to the annual bonus”. Take your time reading a contract. It can save you a lot of headaches further down the line.