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Do I have to run intervention in my lunch time and after school?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by thekizzaa, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    I teach Secondary Maths, and there are a few students who aren't doing so well in my Year 11 class.

    My head of department has asked me to run a lunch time intervention for them in an attempt to boost their GCSE grade by end of Year 11.

    I know this question may sound daft to ask, because clearly, every teacher would easily say "yes, I would" on the face of it. But thinking about it, do I have to? I feel pressured to do it, but honestly? I don't want to. I'd rather enjoy my lunch break, or go home at the end of the school day instead of, essentially, being forced to take on more teaching hours.

    It's a delicate situation though. I don't want to come across rude, or lazy. But I'm tired of being a "pushover" (or whatever you'd call it), and doing it just because my HoD says so.

    You can probably tell I'm pretty disillusioned by all of this. Apologies if I come across just trying to get out of doing something that is technically my "duty" but isn't actually my duty.

    And just to clarify, of course I want the kids to do well at GCSE, but why should I give up more of my time, on top of all the marking, planning and assessing I do?
    TEA2111 likes this.
  2. KB2015

    KB2015 New commenter

    I suppose you do not have to give up your lunch-time to work with these students. However, if these students require intervention, and you don't provide it what evidence are you going to supply to show that you helped those students achieve their best when their failed results come through? Will this not impact your pay progression?

    I've always thought that offering students extra support when they needed was part of my job. Many factors can stop a student from achieving their potential in a lesson and I want to assist students to achieve what they can, whether that be an A, C or E.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    Firstly, remember yours is a shortage subject! Next, the Hod / Head's job is get you to work for longer and longer, including breaks, lunch, after school, evenings and weekends. They are not in the slightest bit interested in the specifics of your work life balance, your workload or the hours you are putting in over and above general tokenistic statements. Next, they have every right to ask you to do anything work related, just as you have the right to say 'no', something teachers find surprisingly difficult to do.

    I would say no in a positive way. Email him / her thanking them for the offer but pointing out that you are already using your lunchtime to mark and give feedback to students so it is just not possible. Then make a few suggestions that involve lots of extra work for them. E.g. agree that there is a problem with some students, that you have done your best but would be happy to phone parents and ask if they could arrange for them to come in for a meeting with the Hod. E.g. suggest that you would fully support the Hod arranging the students attend after school sessions when you know you have a departmental meeting E.g. could the HoD see about getting additional classroom TA support for those pupils in need of it. E.g request resources you can give to those students who need extra support E.g. suggest a before-school extra support system as long as it is done on a rota basis.

    The trick is to not sound cheeky, but positive, genuine and sincere, instead of saying what you really want to say :)
  4. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    Isn't that basically just forcing me with the threat of not being paid because I only did the job I'm paid to do?

    Maybe I'm being semantic about it, but I'm tired of doing things above and beyond my job because it's "the done thing to do."
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I'm shocked at what's written above. Let's take the emotional blackmail out of this. If the students need the intervention then the school should provide it and by that I mean PAY for it. Now I know that many teachers will provide it as part of goodwill but if you don't then you should not be reprimanded for not doing something that was part of your own free time.

    When I taught I always offered some extra lessons after school but I resented when it became EXPECTED and SLT started threatening people with lack of pay progression for not doing a voluntary activity.
  6. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Well said. This is why we are where we are because teachers are brow beaten and blackmailed into doing extra.
    TailwindTurner, Marisha and cissy3 like this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    LA school or academy? If academy do you work on STPCD conditions?
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Must be why i got no where because I refused to do extra work unless I wanted to. I refused to do work in primary unless i was paid..or if L wanted to do so.
  9. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    There's nothing cheaper in education than a teacher's time.......
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    That's the main point here . . .

    STPCD = no you don't have to

    Academy, Indy school or Free, not STPCD = possibly yes, as long as you get at least 20 minutes lunch hour . . .


    Best wishes

    sabrinakat likes this.
  11. thekizzaa

    thekizzaa New commenter

    We're a converted academy (I think that's the right term, we weren't forced to or anything). Everything seems exactly the same as a normal school.

    Either way, even if I had to or not, me not doing so would definitely not go down well, so essentially blackmailed to do things like this.

    In my last school, the DH decided that we should do a breakfast club starting at 8am to 8:40am once a week. Again, the tone and impression was that I *had* to do it, and was even told off a couple of times for not arriving on time (even though I'd never agreed to do it).

    I don't want to sound like I'm one of those "not in my job description" types, but with the increase of marking demands, useless meetings, learning walks and the like, I'm tired of doing things because someone says I should.

    The other thread I saw "What time do you get into school?" made me pretty angry. Sure, I understand that a teacher's job is more than 9 to 3, but I shouldn't feel bad for turning up at 8:30am and leaving by 4pm if I'm getting the work done. And that includes having a break at break and lunchtime for myself.
    Marisha, dixie64 and TEA2111 like this.
  12. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Call me old fashioned, but I know that I am a better teacher if I have a proper lunch break - the students I teach in the afternoon benefit from my being refreshed and rested (not massively so, but it helps de-frazzle me!). Plus, we're not paid for lunch time, if we want to get technical. However, as a fellow core subject teacher (English) who is also under intense pressure for results by dint of subject, I also resent being co-erced into intervention. I volunteer my time after-school and, sometimes, lunchtimes (if I have a non-contact time around the lunch period) if necessary, but like the OP I resist being forced into it. Last year in my previous school my HoD tried to get me to give up my lunchtimes for two Y11 students in particluar. Since both students rarely completed homework, mucked about in lesson and had parents who thought the sun shined from their proverbials, I declined. Said students were invited to the usual after-school intervention that I put on etc. and received my full attention in lessons/books marked regularly etc., but I dedicated any extra intervention time I had to students who tried really hard and needed that extra push. If I had been asked by the hostile SLT what intervention had been put in place (accountability!) I would have pointed to the regular homework DTs, the half-termly red flags on reports (which were never picked up on until the mad scramble by SLT in the month or two before exams), the discussion with parents and the feedback from assessments and mocks, plus the invitations to after-schools for the class revision.
    I am now a HoD and have just done a full Saturday session with students - what irked was the roll call - those who 'must get' GCSE Lang and Lit, not necessarily those who deserved extra help, it was difficult not being able to include students who work so hard but are not close enough to the C/D borderline (or the Holy Grail of 4 levels of progress) to merit it. For those critics out there, I am planning to run another one for those students who do deserve it to improve their life chances.
    The overall message: I do care, I care very much about the students in my care; but don't dictate what I do in my 'free' time or take for granted my goodwill.
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If it's a converter academy and you were there before it converted then almost certainly [TUPE rules] you are working under STPCD conditions. That means that you cannot be directed what to do for more than 1265 hours a year so you could only be directed to do something at lunchtime or after school if it's included in the school's Directed Time calendar. If you are directed to do anything at lunchtime (ie within your 1265 hours) it must still allow you to have a mid-day break of what STPCD calls a "reasonable length" [not defined and open to argument!]. By law it must be at least 20 minutes.

    Contractual rules are only part of the story of course. As many posters have said SLTs have ways of making life difficult for people who refuse to "voluntarily" take on these additional tasks. There is no easy solution to that
    GLsghost and petenewton like this.
  14. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter


    It seems in many cases that appear here teachers do not know the terms of their contracts. I find that quite concerning. Of course that means that often SLTs and HTs in particular will take advantage. At the end of the day teaching is a job, you have a contract, your job is to keep to that contract. It applies to both sides of the contract. If you are asked to do something outside of your contract (lunchtimes and after school sessions come under this) then it is your right to refuse. You CANNOT (and rather shouldn't) be disadvantaged because of this. However, many HTs (including my last one) will try it on and in many schools are getting away with it. I complained about workload last year and was threatened with misconduct, others were then wary of complaining. This is plain and simply bullying.

    I also, agree about the pupils that mess about and do nothing in your normal lessons and then expect help after school. No way. In fact last year when I voluntarily ran such sessions and some normal class disruptors did turn up. I let them stay but as soon as they decided not to listen they were out and I sent them home. My time, my terms. They didn't get their targeted 'C' but hey not my fault.

    As I have said many times on here teachers have got to where we are today because they have allowed themselves to be taken advantage of and bullied. This is why we have a recruitment crisis in schools, teachers have had enough and are leaving in droves.

    For many years I ran after school sessions for those that needed help but at the end of the day it was my choice. My last school tried to persuade staff to come in (unpaid) on Saturdays and in the holidays. Of course some did and that made it difficult for the rest of us who didn't.

    As a teacher you do want to do the best for the kids but many schools are taking the p*** these days.
  15. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    You should be OK to turn down the request. If you present an alternative that's viable ( e.g. A department after school rota for said students to complete all missing homework and class work in silence) it shows willing.
    You also have to think of the return for the time/energy. One year I did 2-3 hours a week with students and it didn't make a difference but I was stressed and felt pushed by SLT to be seen to be 'going the extra mile for our target students). I vowed never again.

    My current SLT are if the opinion that teachers don't have to run lots of additional sessions in their own time for students who aren't pulling their weight in lessons. The reason? It sends the wrong message and the time/effort doesn't match the impact.
    As a result we all allow students who want to work quietly after school to use our rooms, voluntarily run revision evenings and have a rota for a revision session for students of all grades who want to do well. Some leaders need to realise a little goodwill goes a long way.
    HelenREMfan and TEA2111 like this.
  16. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The issue for me is not whether the school is an academy, or whether it's under STPCD, yada, yada, yada

    The issue is that teachers are worried that they have to do what is asked - whether they are legally entitled to refuse or not - because if they don't, they will be victimised by their management. I have seen this first hand. I just do not understand how we got to this position. What has happened to teaching, teachers, their standing in society, and where is the level of professionalism and common decency that we deserve?

    It's crazy.
    chelsea2, cissy3, Anonymity and 2 others like this.
  17. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    This 'compromise' might work - if there is a shared drive, you could put additional activities for the year 11 revision. If they access it and print off work, you can check it. If they don't, no bother for you but you would show willing.

    I had a year 11 insisting she was using a vocabulary app that I as the group leader could access statistics. Her 'I've spent an hour a night' was shown to be 8 minutes that month.....
    Compassman likes this.
  18. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Quite simply - No.
    darktulip29 likes this.
  19. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    No. For me you have no obligation at all. I see what the first response to this thread was on about, but like many say it is simply wrong to tell someone to go beyond their role.

    I think the biggest own goal teachers have scored is this idea of 'it is a vocation'. It has opened the floodgates to requests like this. Do it if you want to. If you have a good relationship with your department, come up with a compromise. I would, but I get on well with my dept. and would look to do it for them when I could.

    I do revision sessions after school, but it is on my terms. If i can't make it, i call them off. I would resent being told. Especially without an acceptance from leadership of my efforts.
    Marisha, purplecarrot and Compassman like this.
  20. tall tales

    tall tales New commenter

    Only on my own terms and only for pupils who try hard in class!

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