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How many days of teaching?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by birmanmum, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. birmanmum

    birmanmum New commenter

    After many years, the principal of the school has decided to change things, and has put in an extra INSET day (without lengthening the school term), and has started an extra 3 half days per term, where the students sign in for the afternoon session, but are then sent home.

    It is an academy.

    Do the rules on the number of days teaching apply to academies? And as a governor at the school, is it my problem if the SMT are not providing it?

    As a parent of three children at the school, I am somewhat unhappy, and, as a governor, I am concerned about the extra INSET day and wonder whether it could cause us problems if it goes ahead?
     
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    Are staff working on STPCD conditions? The 1265 hours spread over 195 days is in STPCD 2015 paras 53.2 and 53.5 . So it applies in all LA schools and in any academy that has adopted STPCD voluntarily. It might also apply to individual staff if they have STPCD rights under TUPE.

    If your staff are on STPCD they cannot be required to work more than 1265/195 butt sounds like the timetable changes don't alter that anyway. If the term isn't any longer then presumably it's still 195 days?

    Schools on 1265 hours conditions ought to have a directed time calendar for staff showing how this is made up over the year. So the question is, do the changes still mean the staff are only directed for 1265 hours a year? If so from staff point of view you are probably not doing anything wrong.

    I assume the head has a reason for wanting the extra INSET day? Is the school under pressure because of weak standards and progress?

    I'd be more inclined to question the validity and effectiveness of sending pupils home for 3 afternoons a year but only after making them register. I think that's gaming the rules about the number of sessions a school must be open for pupils. ie, school is saying it is open for pupils those 3 afternoons but in reality no education is taking place - or are pupils supposed to be working at home? If so is anyone setting them work and making sure it is done?
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    bevdex likes this.
  3. birmanmum

    birmanmum New commenter

    No work is being set for the pupils, the afternoons are afternoons off. Well, no work has been set for any of mine, anyway, of course I can't be sure about other classes/years.

    My concern was not about the staff, they have the same number of days at work as they did, as they are in at work for those afternoons and for the extra INSET day, my concern was whether there are rules about the minimum number of days of education that an academy has to provide, if they are the same as for an LEA school then we are under by the INSET day.
     
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    LA schools are required to be open for pupils for 380 sessions (morning and afternoon for 190 days) but there is no equivalent requirement for Academies. It is up to the Academy Trust how many days a year pupils attend.

    Just because there are no legal requirements doesn't stop you asking why pupils have had their time in school reduced by 3 sessions and what the school is doing to avoid this having a negative impact on their progress, particularly for vulnerable groups. How is the school monitoring the impact?

    As a governor the main question I'd be asking the head is Why?
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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
    bevdex and digoryvenn like this.
  5. birmanmum

    birmanmum New commenter

    I am horrified that an academy does not have to provide a minimum number of sessions, or provide a certain number of hours. Neither do they have to provide that information, I assume. There is therefore no way for prospective parents to know that school A provides a week less education over the year, and sends the year 11s on study leave 2 weeks earlier, than school B.

    Our school is planning to have the 3 afternoons off on a regular basis, every term, so we are talking more than 3 sessions.

    The answer to "why?" is always because it is better for the students education, and it is always in response to parents requests, followed by a lecture on the difference between strategic and operational.
     
  6. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You have every right to ask why. Asking questions is not interfering in operational matters.
    Asking sensible, professional questions is part of the support and challenge of being a 'critical friend'.
     
    bevdex and DaisysLot like this.

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