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Any advice on doing the timetable for the first time?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by noemie, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    The way I see it, part-timers shouldn't be in a position to demand certain days. It's good enough grouping hours together to enable them to have a part-time timetable... As for sets and kids to teach, make sure you spread out top and bottom sets amongst staff (including yourself) but I'd just tell your team that there isn't any way of knowing who will teach what class. Sorry, it's not much help I know!
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    If you start giving-in to demands you will have an absolute nightmare and nobody will be happy. Make it clear that you will listen but, ultimately, you have to create a workable and fair timetable as you see fit.
  3. Kleeblatt

    Kleeblatt New commenter

    Will be my 2nd time this year. Some part timers have awkward timetables and we have the added bonus of being a split site commute so it was a trcky job but like Noemie says, if you share out sets, give people the fairest deal then no-one can claim unfair treatment. Don't give in to demands (especially I don't want to teach so and so a group[​IMG] unless it works for your timetable! Good luck!
  4. You could ask part time staff if they have specific needs or requirements without guraranteeing to be able to meet them. Then at least you have the chance of generating some goodwill when you do manage to accommodate some of their needs! Some could have very rigid constraints - we have one part timer who works 50 / 50 in two schools, so she needs to be very specific about her availability.
    Our school fits the timetable around the part timers. I think it is because the part timers have traditionally lost & gained hours rather randomly over the last few years (cut backs or sudden pupoluarity in different A level courses) and the school has tried to keep goodwill.I know itis a pain, but it works well & helps to stop 'dead time' in the timetable that the part timers have to be paid for.
    As for who gets to teach which set, we keep our Y10 sets into Y11, but other groups are randomly allocated. There is NO choice & 'difficult' groups get shared out among staff. Ocassionally if there is a pupil who a staff member knows through family connections they ask not to teach him / her. The pupil is then moved out of the set (rather than the staff member being moved to another set).
  5. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Doing the timetable is always a difficult job as there is no way that everyone will be completely satisfied. Make sure that you are happy with how the timetable ends up and are confident that you have done it as fairly as possible. Listen to your colleagues but be prepared to to ignore requests if you feel that there are good reasons to (and equally be up front with them about those reasons).
  6. I'm about to start the timetable. I always circulate a quick questionnaire that asks staff what they have had this year - saves me looking it up - and what they would like next year and definitely not like next year. One year I had a colleague who wrote that she definitely didn't want bottom sets in any year. I did politely tell her that a spread of groups wasn't optional before giving her a part share in three bottom sets at KS3. (It's the way the timetable fell out!) And by 'fell out' I do mean after a large number of drafts. Last year I did seven complete attempts at it and seven revisions of the version that seemed to work. We still had 43 out of 60 classes split! (Very tight timetabling due to cut backs etc..) After canvassing staff opinions I write the timetable - numerous versions of it. Mostly to prove to myself that the version I think works is the best. I remind part-timers that they are contracted for x% of the timetabled period (a fortnight) and if I can give them regular days off, that's a bonus but I don't have to! It worked well this year with both our part-timers. Next year I have a 60/40 job share to work with as well.
  7. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    I'm also going to be doing my first timetable this year, I want to get started but can't until we have more firm ideas about how many children we have have in certain year groups as some are up to 32 and on a cusp of needing to be split into 3 classes not 2 which would change things entirely!

    No-one has resigned though (and the deadline for that has passed) so that's one factor we dont' need to take into account!

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