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Advice about PPA

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by ChrisTuff, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Dear Colleagues
    I wonder if you could direct me towards clear guidance on whether, if PPA is missed because the teacher is out of school on a course, they are still entitled to their PPA on another day. It is becoming impossible to cope with the swapping and changing going on.
    I had one teacher off for 2 consecutive days this week on training, then she arranged with the HLTA to have her PPA on the morning she returned. Another teacher was on training on Tuesday, missed her PPA and has only requested that she stay out of assembly one day to 'catch up a little'. I want to develop a clear policy on this but fear it will just degenerate into a discussion on 'entitlement' so would like to be on a firm footing before I start.
    Would appreciate your thoughts.
  2. Is a head allowed to 'cancel' the PPA for cover and such like...even with the promise of making it up in the future? My understanding is that PPA is sacrosanct.
  3. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Our staff swap PPA if they have a course. They still get the same amount as a gesture of goodwill as our staff work very hard and it is seen as give and take. I was under the understanding that staff still get PPA if on courses or off ill for part of the week. It is little things like this that improve teachers wellbeing and motivation.
  4. Yes, I agree it should be this way in principle, but I have to have regard for the well being and motivation of my HLTA and my PPA teacher who sometimes do not know whether they are coming or going.
    Thank you all for your thoughts, the policy is under development.
  5. Regardless of what the "rules" are - if the teachers are on a course that day, they cannot be planning, so if you scrap their ppa then when are they supposed to plan? PPA should be at a fixed time, planned as 10% of their teaching time. If you were being really petty you could technically reduce it by the percentage of the week they were not teaching as they were out on a course, but yes they should still get it.
    In response to the OP, I find it strange that teachers in your school are just arranging these things themselves without coming to you. Surely any changes in cover should be being anticipated and dealt with by you beforehand? If I was out of school on a PPA day then unless I said something to the head it would probably be passed over, but a teacher from our school was out on a trip last week and got their ppa rearranged so if it was to happen again I would ask. For courses I probably wouldn't bother but I would definitely appreciate a head who was willing to swap the time to help with worklife balance. I'm sure you wouldn't be happy with teachers not having planning for the following week, so you need to provide them with the time to do it.
  6. Rathen - from what I understand, you are right.
    Courses and training events count towards a teacher's CPD entitlement. If they fall on the day you are due to receive your PPA time, then (ideally) you should know this in advance and have your PPA time rearranged for another day that week with the powers that be in your school. This way, you won't lose what is rightfully yours - training is not an alternative or substitute for PPA.
    PPA is a minimum of 10% of your teaching time, which is a totally separate entitlement and is statutorily protected, regardless of circumstances in the school. The school I work in give you a set period of time each week so you know when you are out of class and have cover in class. The only way that changes is if a training course occurs on that day, so I rearrange it in advance with the deputy head for another afternoon that week instead so I don't lose out. If you are ill prior to your PPA, then your PPA time should be reduced accordingly for the number of days you are left to teach that week (3 days left = 60% of full PPA time = 1 hr 12 mins if it is normally 2 hours for your full PPA time).
  7. The whole PPA legislation is a bit murky and different unions interpret it in different ways. It's worth noting that PPA is trembly, not weekly, entitlement (although of course in the general run of things it's is usually organised weekly). As such the HT can ensure the entitlement is delivered over a term with missed PPA as a result of courses etc made up over the term. As most PPA is not generally organised to the minute most teachers get more than their entitlement anyway.

    I do worry that we have a generation of teachers who don't understand that the moneka 'professional' means you're paid to do the job - not clock hours.
  8. I disagree that it is at all murky.
    I would say you are incorrect in your statement that PPA time is termly.
    STPCD section 4 para 99 refers, and is quite clear (to me at least)
    Guaranteed PPA time should be provided as part of a teacher’s normal weekly or fortnightly timetable.

  9. I agree.
    Also, I think that there are many HTs that are imposing conditions such as no PPA in "short weeks" and first/last week around end of term. Sadly, I think it is due to such occurences that often staff get miffed...
    As for cancelling it due to cover issues, - it is supposed to be sacrosanct, BUT if a HT has a good relationship with their staff, they will often not object if they are assured they will received the time back.
    Likewise, reducing the PPA time if on courses is appropriate, assuming of course that over the course of the entire academic year they genuinely ARE receiving 10% of their teaching timetable...
    As for covering staff, we arrange the PPA for the days when staff are in if on a course, ensuring that they only teach 90% of what is left - a pain to organise but pays off. However, if a teacher was sick on their PPA day, we don't even attempt to rearrange that on the other days of that week - likewise if they have had their PPA and are then sick, we do not subtract this amount of time from their PPA in the next week etc.
  10. Chull

    Chull New commenter

    In our school there is a degree of give and take. For example. I get 2 hours a week PPA, the same as the full timers even though I only work 4 days. In return I plan lit and num for the HLTA who takes my class on my day off. In return, on odd occasions when PPA is missed I don't bother to get the time back as I probably have had slightly too much time, even once I have taken off the planning time for the unpaid day. However, I was once sent on a course which was over three of my normal PPA days in a row. I did negotiate some PPA on the middle of these days.

  11. As a head, I think that the teachers mentioned in the OP are so selfish! This kind of behaviour really makes me so cross!!!

    WHY? Are you cross because the teachers want what they are entitlied to? Or because they have upset your carefully made timetable by daring to be ill, on a course or off for other reasons?
    In my school, teachers get there PPA on a set time each week, covered by set staff. If they are ill, out of school on a course, or off for other reasons, during this set time, then they miss their PPA this week

    So presumably you don't expect them to do any planning, preparation or assessment for that week?

    Oh, and by the way, it's <u>THEIR</u> PPA, not <u>THERE!</u>

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