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Gained time

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by zuba102, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. zuba102

    zuba102 New commenter

    I work in a department where several members of staff have left during this academic year, leaving us with two supply teachers. The timetable has been reshuffled several times so that me and the other permanent staff in the department have all exam classes (yr10-13) and the supply teachers have all the ks3 groups. This has been quite difficult as I currently teach 5 a level groups and 5 gcse classes all sitting exams this year. My other permanent colleagues are in the same stressful position. To top this off we have now been told that the supply teachers are only being kept until our exam classes go on study leave, and we will therefore have to reabsorb our ks3 groups back. This means none of my department will get any gained time this year. I have voiced my concerns- I am a hod and need this time with my department for the new a level and gcse which are starting in sept- but no alternative arrangements have been made. Suggestions with how to deal with this much appreciated!
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    There's no entitlement to 'gained time' as such - it doesn't exist in STPCD - it's only a 'custom and practice' thing. Head can direct you to do whatever teaching work is needed. Given the financial crisis engulfing schools at the moment I can understand why they don't want to pay supply for any longer than they have to. I guess all you can do is put your case to the Head and see what can be arranged.
  3. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    A fine reward for pulling out all the stops and covering those exam classes....
  4. Luke66

    Luke66 New commenter

    Gained time is a luxury or bonus. Some schools don't even have it if they start their new curriculum at the end of June.
    I feel privileged to have exam groups.
  5. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Gained time? You lucky things! Primary teachers have never had this, yet have also had to introduce new primary schemes of work & resources following each revision of the curriculum.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I have known schools (not mine . . .) when all gained time was lost in one large department because someone went on maternity leave just as the beginning of the exam season, so timetables were re-written to cover her non-exam classes.


    Best wishes

  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Surely you will have some gained time though, from the groups that were always yours?

    I think that it is fair enough you taking back KS3. Financially sensible and surely you support as hod the consistency that comes from being taught by permanent specialists.
  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    If your classes all perform well in the exams and results are good, why not ask for a pay rise in recognition of your performance? PRP and all that...

    Oh yeah, no money.

  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    It's the way things are. Why would a school employ supply just to keep the teachers already on he payroll sitting around with no classes? The only thing you can do is flag up the extra work you will have because of new qualifications and perhaps ask for a day or two of cover for this purpose.
    wanet and DYNAMO67 like this.
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Make a list of what needs doing in terms of planning for the new exam specs, and anything else that you would perhaps have been doing with the gained time. Then go to the head with your request for the time needed. Justify the time needed as fully as you can, and why it can't just be done in department meetings during the year.

    In some ways, it might actually be more useful to have three days with the all the people you want off timetable than bits and pieces all over the place, and you might be able to pick days which would make the supply most cost-effective. You're presumably getting some new staff for September too, and maybe there will be a chance to involve them too - if they're NQTs they may be available.
    wanet, DYNAMO67 and phlogiston like this.
  11. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I feel your pain - after the run up to exams you're beat up. You want some reflection time and to do some planning. The departmental resources are probably in need of reorganising....

    Meanwhile your head is watching the budget pinken from the supply teachers, KS3 possibly getting restless from not having their regular teachers who know the school.
    Crunch. I doubt you'll win.
    I would reiterate frustum's advice - try and get a departmental day where you can do some planning together for the new curriculum - emphasise the benefits of joined up thinking and team work.
    Best wishes
    wanet and DYNAMO67 like this.
  12. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I agree totally with the three above. You should be able to expect some time off timetable to sort out the new specs etc.

    LEt's be honest though this isn't the crux of the issue though is it? You are probably looking at your counterparts in other departments who will be getting significant gain time thinking that 'i have busted a gut and they are getting all this time and i have none' I understand it, but it is not something that SLT or, as seen, our primary colleagues will (though at the risk of sounding controversial I am not sure they fully understand the pressure and demands of several exam classes at one time either, despite primary moving more towards a result driven domain)
    zuba102 likes this.
  13. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Whilst I agree that gained time is not statutory and headteachers can adjust timetables to fit, I do think there is something to be said for time being provided to prepare new courses etc.

    My view is that if new courses are to be introduced, resources prepared, schemes of work written, then why should more free time of the teachers (often in the school holidays) be taken up by this.

    Time and money should be put in so that teachers can do this. This can be in the form of days off timetable to do this either departmentally or individually. For too long, teachers have just taken it on the chin to prepare for new courses and done it in their spare time. It needs to stop.

    Now I know that primary school teachers have never had gained time but that doesn't make it right. They should also be given time (within 1265) to do the work.

    One the biggest problems in teaching is workload why pile more work on. If teachers aren't given the time then they need to say they haven't had the time to do it. They certainly shouldn't be working in the holidays.
    strawbs, zuba102 and cissy3 like this.
  14. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Trust me, if you teach Y6, you do! Maths, Writing, Reading, SPaG - one class, but spending virtually all of every day teaching towards the different tests, with frequent practice tests which have to be marked and fed back. Complete collapse afterwards, then having to write annual reports. And prepare a stunning leavers' performance - musical, concert, or whatever. Oh, yes, and try to teach the rest of the curriculum which has been neglected in the lead up to the tests. Gained time? In our dreams!
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Lets face it, I don't think anybody can really know the stresses faced by somebody in a different job. We all know how stressful teaching can be, even in non-exam classes.
    chelsea2 and wanet like this.
  16. zuba102

    zuba102 New commenter

    Thanks everyone- I think I will definitely ask for some time off timetable...considering we've lost two members of staff so don't have much man power and have two new curriculums to prepare for I think it's fair enough. I have no problem in taking the ks3 from the supply teachers, but without giving up my entire summer can't see how else the new planning will get done. I am keen to ensure my department is fully set up for sept as I'm starting a new role then and won't be around the department as much as I am now.
  17. sunshineonarainyday

    sunshineonarainyday Occasional commenter

    A few years ago I covered exam classes for a colleague who was absent for most of the year due to an operation and associated recovery. They returned as the exam period began, timetables returned to the version from the beginning of the year, and my colleague benefited from all the gained time. It almost worked as a phased return, and I was glad to be able to support my colleague in this way. However, if I am completely honest, I did feel a little aggrieved at times, particularly if I had had a bad day and was feeling the pressure. My situation was a little different to yours, as I did at least keep the time gained from my original group.

    Is it possible to look at how much gained time those in parallel roles will have, add this up and suggest that you could have some time off timetable (probably not the same amount, but if you show that you're willing to be flexible they may be more open to a compromise) as you will be teaching a full timetable until the end of this year? Those in charge of the decisions may not see the scale of the discrepancy in your time and that of your colleagues if you don't make it clear to them. Situations like this can sometimes be about ensuring staff within the same school are given the same amount of time to do the same job instead of comparing different schools with each other.
    zuba102 likes this.

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