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Directed hours what really is acceptable?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by cezza007, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Hi i'm pulling my hair out right now and arguing like mad with my 'non teaching partner' about an ongoing issue I have with my school, more specifically the Head who, in my opinion is wrong....

    I sort of understand the 1265 hours and also know that no teacher does in any way less than this - in fact I think the average working hours we teachers put in is about 1900hours, however, my head is somewhat a maverick when it comes to abiding by rules, regulations and dare i say it, 'guidelines'.
    I raised the issue of the 1265 working hours agreement about 4 years ago citing work life balance with the support of my union and the lea. We had a grievance meeting and this was resolved in way of an 'agreement' between myself and the head whereby there was a slightly more flexible allowance in when I arrived at school and left etc.
    Now I was given advice by my union that I did not have to arrive at school more than 10minutes before the start of the day and I could leave 10 minutes after the end or after my last child had been released - obviously using common sense! I was led to believe that the teaching hours, inset days, weekly staff meeting, ppa, parents evening and a contingency of about 10% should make up the 1265 hours and that I could not be directed to remain in school outside of these agreed times, but that obviously in a health working environment teachers arrive early and or stay late to complete all that needs completing. I understandall that is expected of me in my job e.g marking, preparation, reports etc and like a huge number of teachers with a family, there is a preference to complete this at home, its why the majority of us have chosen a 'family friendly' profession.

    My dilemna. After agreeing the so called 'directed hours' with the head, 4 years down the line and a tremendous amount of both bullying and undermining of confidence, I am faced with the same battle. A memo has been circulated stating the following:
    The revision of dircted hours has been put to the governing body and unions and been approved ( I know not by the unions) and therefore all staff will be expected to adhere to the following hours:
    teaching time 5hours x 190 days = 950hours
    ppa 2.5 hours per week = 95hours
    inset days 5.5hours x 5days = 27hours 30mins
    weekly staff meeting 1hour x38 = 38hours
    team meeting 1hour x38 = 38hours
    totalling 1053hours 30minutes
    in addition to these hours, the following hours will be required:
    30mins pre-school prep x190days = 95hours
    daily handover/evaluation 45minsx114days = 85hours 30mins
    weekly handover meeting 15minsx38 = 9hours 30mins
    weekly team meeting 15minsx38 = 9hours 30mins
    2 annual parents meetings = 8hours
    totalling 207hours 30mins
    finally totalling 1261 hours...leaving 4 hours remaining to support school functions.

    Now can someone please please please help me to grasp how on earth this is possible and yet all the documents I read are so vague that trying to explain to my other half that this is just wrong is causing nothing but major arguments as to whether I am being unreasonable or not.
    I understand that the head can direct the teaching hours, a weekly meeting, inset days, ppa, parents evening and approx 10% contingency for things like school event, meeting unexpectedly with parents etc - Am I mad?
    Please if you have any information you can offer or advice - I really need it as, although I have the support of the union, they are a bit slow in getting involved and so I'd like to take this on myself. Thanks fellow educators!
     
  2. Hi i'm pulling my hair out right now and arguing like mad with my 'non teaching partner' about an ongoing issue I have with my school, more specifically the Head who, in my opinion is wrong....

    I sort of understand the 1265 hours and also know that no teacher does in any way less than this - in fact I think the average working hours we teachers put in is about 1900hours, however, my head is somewhat a maverick when it comes to abiding by rules, regulations and dare i say it, 'guidelines'.
    I raised the issue of the 1265 working hours agreement about 4 years ago citing work life balance with the support of my union and the lea. We had a grievance meeting and this was resolved in way of an 'agreement' between myself and the head whereby there was a slightly more flexible allowance in when I arrived at school and left etc.
    Now I was given advice by my union that I did not have to arrive at school more than 10minutes before the start of the day and I could leave 10 minutes after the end or after my last child had been released - obviously using common sense! I was led to believe that the teaching hours, inset days, weekly staff meeting, ppa, parents evening and a contingency of about 10% should make up the 1265 hours and that I could not be directed to remain in school outside of these agreed times, but that obviously in a health working environment teachers arrive early and or stay late to complete all that needs completing. I understandall that is expected of me in my job e.g marking, preparation, reports etc and like a huge number of teachers with a family, there is a preference to complete this at home, its why the majority of us have chosen a 'family friendly' profession.

    My dilemna. After agreeing the so called 'directed hours' with the head, 4 years down the line and a tremendous amount of both bullying and undermining of confidence, I am faced with the same battle. A memo has been circulated stating the following:
    The revision of dircted hours has been put to the governing body and unions and been approved ( I know not by the unions) and therefore all staff will be expected to adhere to the following hours:
    teaching time 5hours x 190 days = 950hours
    ppa 2.5 hours per week = 95hours
    inset days 5.5hours x 5days = 27hours 30mins
    weekly staff meeting 1hour x38 = 38hours
    team meeting 1hour x38 = 38hours
    totalling 1053hours 30minutes
    in addition to these hours, the following hours will be required:
    30mins pre-school prep x190days = 95hours
    daily handover/evaluation 45minsx114days = 85hours 30mins
    weekly handover meeting 15minsx38 = 9hours 30mins
    weekly team meeting 15minsx38 = 9hours 30mins
    2 annual parents meetings = 8hours
    totalling 207hours 30mins
    finally totalling 1261 hours...leaving 4 hours remaining to support school functions.

    Now can someone please please please help me to grasp how on earth this is possible and yet all the documents I read are so vague that trying to explain to my other half that this is just wrong is causing nothing but major arguments as to whether I am being unreasonable or not.
    I understand that the head can direct the teaching hours, a weekly meeting, inset days, ppa, parents evening and approx 10% contingency for things like school event, meeting unexpectedly with parents etc - Am I mad?
    Please if you have any information you can offer or advice - I really need it as, although I have the support of the union, they are a bit slow in getting involved and so I'd like to take this on myself. Thanks fellow educators!
     
  3. To be honest I think you're being unreasonable. As with everything, there has to be some give and take. Yes, there is the 1260 whatever hours that we work, but come on, you're quibbling over a few hours. We are well paid for our jobs (ok, it's a bit rubbish at the beginning but really picks up after a few years), and 1260 hours over 39 weeks is a mere 32 hours a week. Over a 'normal' working year of 48 weeks it would be 26 hours.
     
  4. cinnamonsquare

    cinnamonsquare Occasional commenter

    I'm not sure i can help much with guidelines etc. and having a fairly generous head I can't say I've ever experienced what you're going through but your numbers seem to add up to 1148h30m + 207h30m = 1356h total.

    Definitely unacceptable - have you shown this new proposal to your union? They may be more willing to stick their faces in now there is something on paper to battle against?

    Good luck x
     
  5. They have excluded PPA time from the directed hours so, even though it is listed, it hasn't been counted ( which is why the numbers don't add up!) But PPA time is part of directed hours!
    This means they are going to have to cut 95 hours from elsewhere to make it total the 1265 hours needed
     
  6. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    What exactly is it that you're querying? Which bit do you not think is possible?
    I would say quite happily that it's a ridiculously tight timetable, and there are queries I'd raise, but what is your issue with it?
    Queries I have at this stage are:
    -what is the daily handover, and why does it only happen 3 days a week?
    -what is the weekly handover and does it really only take 15 minutes?
    -if pre-school prep is included, then presumably you are entitled to leave at the same time as the children on non-meeting days?
    -are teacher's not expected to do any break duties?
    -is 2 four-hour parents evenings realistic?

     
  7. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I think actually they're including the 2.5 hours PPA per week within the 5-hour teaching day - which is, after all, where it would be found.
     
  8. Sorry, you're quite right. I didn't read closely enough[​IMG]
     
  9. Hi there, thanks for your post - I honestly don't think I am being unreasonable, but that's why I put it out here on the forum - what I forgot to add to my oriinal post is that the agreement we came to 4 years ago with the support of the union and lea was that there was no requirement for the head to put in place this stipulated additional extra meetings as there needed to be both better trust between her and the staff and also a healthy work/life balance. At the time I was a single mum and the only member of staff as a parent - even though this is always cause for debate - this was known when I applied for the job, just as much as I knew how far away the school was from my home and what was expected of me as a teacher. I personally believe that this particular head is not very considerate and possibly lacks trust in the staff which is why the need for controlling all the directed hours the way it has been done. All I would like is the flexibility to be able to come into school and teacher and fulfill my duties and also be able to work around things such as childcare - i'm bound by the weekly staff meeting and as far as I believed, that was all i could really be bound by - and just to add, I work til late some evenings, some weekends and some days in the holidays at home, and if a parent needs to see me, i make myself available, i'll phone during the lunch hour if there's a need to and when we were really short staffed before Christmas when we were all asked to chip in and cover lunch time duties, even though its not supposed to be asked of us, i, along with the staff, all agreed to help out to be able to show our committment to the school. Never a thanks but always taking from us with no flexibility - its how i feel and i feel that if i dont find out my rights and stand up for them i will always be walked over by this head.
     
  10. It sounds like you work full time. Personally I think that working full time means doing the same kinds of hours as other jobs and professions, so I think that being available before and after school (within reason, I'm not saying staying late every night) isn't uncalled for. If you want a part time job then get one. I know I'm being harsh about this, but whilst I think your head is being a bit of a control freak, maybe it is because he/she wants to make sure that everything is getting done. If their management doesn't suit you, perhaps look for a job closer to home which could help.
    Can these catch up meetings happen during assemblies, lunch time etc?
     
  11. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    When within that schedule are you meant to do all your planning, marking and assessment? I am sure I can't do all that within my PPA. One afternoon a week helps, but its barely enough time to mark everything, planning and assessments are done at home at weekends (a sacrifice that works for me with no children and Sunday mornings free).
    There is little to no time for manouvre in the directed time above so if you really want to be pedantic, anything that takes longer you shouldn't be expected to do.
     
  12. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I'm afraid I've no sympathy with the 'I'm a parent' line. You're paid a full-time salary presumably, and so you should work full-time hours. If you want to reduce your hours, then do so through the appropriate channels.
    I don't understand what you mean by the union agreeing that there was no need to factor in the extra meetings because your Head should trust staff? Either the meetings exist or they don't, surely? And if they happen, then excluding them from the directed time budget would just mean you ended up with more work!
     
  13. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    You've misunderstood the rules, benvanloo - the expectation is quite clear in the document that additional hours are necessary to carry out things like planning and marking, but that they are to be carried out at a time to suit the teacher, not at the Head's direction. So if you want to plan your lessons in the bath on a Friday night then that's your choice - obviously that couldn't feature on a budget like this.
     
  14. Surely that falls within the "such reasonable hours as is required"
     
  15. Thank you Jackie and Tafkam,
    The hours were copied from the memo and incidently are wrong by a little bit as the head has put the wrong start time for school!
    Just to clarify, i'm not neglecting my hours, just wanting the 1265 hours of so called 'directed time' to be a bit clearer - which is really difficult as every school differs - I know i fulfill my 1265 hours and beyond and happy to do so, I just don't want to be bound by 8.30 until 4pm 3 days a week and 8.30 until 4.30 2 days a week. This may seem unreasonable to some but I went into this profession to be able to spend some time with my family and my union says i should be able to - i am there for parents evenings, support all the school fayres and concerts and more.
     
  16. Work part time then if you want to spend time with your family.
    Sorry, but your argument makes me really cross and IMO give teachers a bad name. I've lost count the amount of times I've had 'but you're out of school at 4', 'workshy, think of all your holidays' attitudes etc.
    I had a terrible mature PGCE student a couple of years ago with similar attitudes to you, main reason for going into teaching was to be able to spend time with her family. One of the benefits to the job is that it is a little more flexible on holidays, working hours etc, but you're not being paid to structure your time around your family, but for doing your job.
     
  17. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Although it does seem a bit control freaky, it also seems well within the law. Maybe the head feels the need to be so specific ic she has been questioned often in this before. You could try taking it to your union but I doubt you'd get anywhere.
    In 16 years of teaching I've rarely met anyone who hasn't considered 8.30 - 4.30 to be " normal" in some schools I've been the last to arrive at 7.50 am! From
    time to time everyone " dashes" to leave before 4 for an appointment but in most schools this Is unusual, not the norm.
     
  18. I'd advise you to pass this onto your union and see what they do/what happens rather than taking this on yourself - unless you're an elected union representative at the school.
    The Head can direct you to work for 1265 hours over 195 days at a specified location (e.g. school).
    You have to work additional reasonable hours to fulfil your responsibilities.
    You are entitled to a work-life balance - that is specified in the school teachers' pay and conditions document. With regards to work-life balance, the NASUWT's position is that there should be only 1 after school (after pupils have left) meeting per week and that should be a maximum of 1 hour long and effectively chaired. The NUT's position is slightly different - an average of 1 meeting per week (during the academic year). The STPCD doesn't specify this - it's the unions that assert it.
    You should pass the directed time budget up to your union. Hopefully, the local association secretary will wish to discuss it with the Headteacher. If agreement can't be made, then I imagine the Local Association secretary will want to meet with the members (teachers) in the school to discuss the issue and guage the strength of feeling. It could then be that the National Executive member would have to become involved and members asked to vote to support a collective dispute with the school (the nature of which could be to refuse to attend some of those "meetings").
    I'd strongly advise you to not take this on yourself and on your own. Pass it onto your union. If there's a meeting of members held, then express your views to the other members and the local association secretary/school rep and encourage others to support union action. In the meantime, you should comply with the Head's instructions.


     
  19. Thank you all - I am glad I put this out there - my 'other half' is very much well in a 'real job' you would have to stay until whatever time etc so sees teaching as a bit of a cop out - and just to defend all those lovely teachers out there - I know that we all work hard and the holidays arenever 'holidays' but usually times to complete all the necessary paperwork etc. I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to standing for my rights etc and will fight - but in the defense of the head (dare i?) I really think the vagueness of 1265 hours and dirceted time is just open to abuse by the minority or just too vague to implement as standard. My principal here is that she broke her agreement and i'm annoyed - i haven't broken any agreement - in fact if we were to pick - i do more now anyway - its just the principle - she was told to abide by the guidelines and she's stretched every hour out - i don't like it. I can live with it, fight it or.....answers on a postcard if there is one. Thanks peeps.x.x
     
  20. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Or, a crazy idea this, you could accept the fact that there are such things as directed hours. The OP has said they do plenty of work on evenings/weekends etc. they just want clarification as to why they should have to stay until certain times. Once your directed hours have been given then you should be able to decide where and when you want to do your extra work.

    As for teaching being flexible on holidays - surely it is one of the least flexible jobs in terms of holidays. We can't pick and choose when we take them, can we . . . . [​IMG]
     

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