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Dear James

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by abiwatson88, May 22, 2011.

  1. Hi I am currently on a fixed term contract in my current post as an NQT. I didnt get the permenant position at my current school and am therefore looking for work. I have an interview on wednesday at another school but I know for sure that when I tell my head she will make me take this day out for interview by taking away my PPA and NQT time. In fact she is guilty of this on quite a few occasions, it this legally allowed as I would like to stand up for myself this time and be given my planning and NQT time?

    What rights do I have with this? Thanks Abi
  2. Hi Abi
    The head cannot force you to use PPA and NQT time for interviews. the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (STPAC) document is quite clear:
    100. Guaranteed PPA time must be used for planning, preparation and assessment – these duties are contained in the relevant paragraphs of the Document. The time must not be encroached upon, including by any obligation to cover for absent colleagues. It is for the teacher to determine the particular PPA priorities for each block of guaranteed PPA time, although that does not preclude them from choosing to use some of the time to support collaborative activities.
    The first sentence sums it up the time MUST BE USED FOR PPA and you cannot do that if you are on an interview.
    If you use PPA time for, say, going shopping then the head would accuse you of breaking the STPAC and your contract of employment and you could be subject to disciplinary action. So it also works the other way.
    As for the NQT time much the same:

    • <font face="MyriadMMLight">must provide the NQT with a reduced timetable </font>to enable them to undertake activities in their induction programme
    • (para 2.24)
    I don't see how you can understake activities in your induction programme if you are on interview.
    In general heads and teachers (NQTs) must exercise common sense when it comes to the PPA and NQT time, but this simply sounds as if the head is cheesed off that you have an interview. Thsi sort of 'punishment' is not uncommon (and in my day I recall colleagues being 'punished' for applying elsewhere by having all non-contact time revoked to 'pay back' the interview time). But I fail to see how this is productive or necessary. Yes it can be difficult if people are off on interview lots of times and yes the logistics can be difficult to manage sometimes, but since the introduction of PPA and NQT time by law, it should not happen. I can see a head asking if the PPA/NQT time is taken elsewhere to ease problems buit it should not be taken away.
    The STPAC document is here (search for PPA and you will see all the regulations)
    download the 'all sections' pdf (first in list) and it is page 189 para 100
    and the NQT guidenace is here:
    see page 9 para 2.24
    Try and be diplomatic rather than demanding. Say that while you are employed in the school your duty is to provide the best lessons and teaching that you are able to deliver and that PPA and NQT time is for you to be professional. You will, where necessary put in extra work to leave meaningful cover work for any period that you are out of the school and ensure that the work is more than just keeping the pupils quiet. By removing PPA and NQT time the head is in effect reducing the opportunity you have to deliver high quality teaching and learning to other classes. The STPAC and NQT guidnace are clear on the purpose of the reduced timetable and by using that time for interviews you are technically breaching the STPAC and NQT guidance and you do not wish to do that.

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