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Detentions - directed time or not?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lucyrose50, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    A few colleagues and I have been trying to get a straight answer about this, but our union reps haven't got back to us when we've contacted them (twice now) and it's become slightly embarrassing having to keep asking them, so I thought I'd see what people on here thought.
    Basically, we've been given a directed time sheet by the business manager at school, who has asked us to tick off all of the after school activities (parents' evenings, prize giving etc) that we will be attending and to sign it before returning it to him. The directed time sheet is very detailed and includes all teaching hours, meetings, parents evenings and other evening events and so on, and for most of us it comes very close to our 1265 hours. Our concern is that although break/lunch and after school detentions are part of our school's behaviour policy, there is no mention of this on the directed time sheet. I would say that I probably spend on average about 1.5 hours a week doing detentions, sometimes more than this, so it obviously adds up over the whole year. Last year when the union reps asked us to do an anonymous directed time sheet so they could monitor whether we were going over the 1265 hours, I queried in the comments box whether these detentions should count as part of our directed time, but understandably I didn't get a direct response since the form was anonymous. Since being given the directed time sheet to fill in this year, I've emailed my union rep again but have had no answer. Can anyone else offer any comments on this? Is it worth speaking to my regional union reps?
  2. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    I would have thought (but have no qualifications to say for definite) that if you are asked to do this by the HT then it is directed time. I would add it on to the sheet then sign and return. Others may know better.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes, when you are told to do something at lunchtime or after school, then you are being directed so it is directed time. If you don't have to do it, then it is not directed.
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    The issue of class teacher set detentions is a long time contentious one. Those on a school rota of some kind certainly are and should be included. Those set by a teacher 'voluntarily' as part of their choice of sanction need not be.
  5. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I would agree as stated above that ideally there is a rota. However, if you want to set and run your own, arguably this is in your own time if you don't 'have' to.
  6. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    But what if you are setting 'your own' detentions as part of the school's behaviour policy?

    Indirectly, you are following 'directed time' (I'm confusing myself now!)
  7. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    We have a rota system for lunch and after school detentions within our subject area, but I am also a head of year so do pastoral ones as well. As detentions are part of the behaviour policy (very clearly laid out - if a child does x then they will do a break or lunchtime detention, if they do y then it is an after school one, and not turning up to a form tutor's detention means it is stepped up to one with me) I would say we are definitely directed to do them. There has been a lot of emphasis on consistency across the school and the importance of everyone following the system, so it's definitely not optional! My school is generally pretty good at trying to be fair about our hours and work/life balance so I'm surprised that no allowance has been made for this in the directed time sheet.
  8. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    And me : )
  9. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Directed time is specific - specified hours during which you must do the 'thing' directed. Detentions you set of your own volition are not 'directed', because you're not actually obliged to set them (even if you're told they're part of the behaviour policy, you have not been directed to do a set number lasting a set amount of hours).

    The easiest comparison is with your marking - you cannot count all of that as directed time, even though you're told you've got to do it.
    Kartoshka likes this.
  10. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    Our concern is that although break/lunch and after school detentions are part of our school's behaviour policy, there is no mention of this on the directed time sheet. I would say that I probably spend on average about 1.5 hours a week doing detentions, sometimes more than this, so it obviously adds up over the whole year. Quote from lucyrose.

    I would report it on the sheet you've been given and annotate somewhere that this is an estimate from you. Your dilemma is a very interesting one, given most teachers are responsible for setting a detention. For a number of years I experienced 'proper' detentions being overseen by senior members of staff. But - I handed out break, lunch and 15 minute after-school detentions for 'smaller' crimes. I'm now wondering just how long these took up my time.

    As a battered old cynic I would remind you of current attitudes with management - who might actually question your teaching methods if you're HAVING to place pupils in detention. Etc etc, grrrr....
  11. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I virtually never put pupils in detentions from my lessons, nearly all the ones I do are either for pupils who haven't turned up to their form tutor's detention so are passed up to me, or pupils in my year group who commit some sort of misdemeanor outside lessons. My SLT are fortunately not like the ones you mentioned - they are fully supportive of detentions being used where necessary. After all, it is their behaviour policy!
  12. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    But you can do marking when and where you choose, to fit in with your other commitments, whereas detentions have to be done at school at specific times. I wouldn't say these things were really comparable.
    Also, we're not setting detentions "of our own volition" - we are instructed by SLT to set detentions in given situations, so we are obliged to set them. I don't suppose it would go down very well if I announced that I wasn't going to do detentions any more.
  13. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Again, directed time is specifically directed time, i.e. date/time specific. 1265 hours directed isn't all the hours a teacher is a expected to work. Some teachers never - or hardly ever - set detentions (for reasons varying from that they're so good that they don't need to, to that they're so bad they don't bother).
  14. drek

    drek Star commenter

    After the 2012 changes to pay scale and performance management regimes, it is definitely directed time. The school policy clearly dictates the steps a teacher 'must take' before the detention can be passed on to head of dept, then head of year then further up the chain.
    Some HODs refuse to do departmental detentions to even the most severe cases of high level disruptions and abusive behaviour, unless the teacher has followed policy I.e detained the student and phoned home. And even after that they might refuse to pass it on upwards to avoid 'line management' trouble.
    That means staff with more than a fair share of disrupters end up doing far more 'directed' time. Definitely not voluntarily. Some don't because it might be regarded as 'poor behaviour management' to actually follow the school's own policy, they tend to do lip service and quickly pass on the students to colleagues.
  15. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I was in a school recently where detentions have been banned, that sanction no longer exists. So teachers don't have to spend time supervising them - but the behaviour has deteriorated significantly this term - teachers are at their wits' end.
  16. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You say that as if you have definitive knowledge, whereas - in fact - it's just your view, driven by the appalling 2012 changes to pay, etc.

    Unfortunately, teachers who try to tell their heads that it should count as directed time are unlikely to find the head agreeing with them.

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