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How many 'frees' is a teacher with no TLR responsibilities entitled to?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Gold1996, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Hi -
    Having been on supply for four years and a Head of Department in the past I've probably been very lucky in that I have always had a minimum of 5 free periods, usually more. The school I am currently working at - on a short term contract for maternity cover - has timetabled me for 4 'free' 50 minute periods (2 PPA) out of a 36 period week. Is this about standard and have I just been very lucky in the past?!
     
  2. Hi -
    Having been on supply for four years and a Head of Department in the past I've probably been very lucky in that I have always had a minimum of 5 free periods, usually more. The school I am currently working at - on a short term contract for maternity cover - has timetabled me for 4 'free' 50 minute periods (2 PPA) out of a 36 period week. Is this about standard and have I just been very lucky in the past?!
     
  3. Sorry - that should be a 30 period week, it's 6 50 minutes periods per day plus a 25 minute tutor time in the morning. Obviously I'm not a maths teacher :))
     
  4. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    3 of then should be marked as PPA, the other is additional. You are entitled to 10% of the total teaching time. (Not including PPA, assembly etc.)
     
  5. bettieblu

    bettieblu New commenter

    My school has a possible 25 hours of teaching a week. I have only 2hours of PPA and am expected to travel between school sites in 4 out of 5 breaks and 3 lunches a week. I am also a form tutor which is an additional 1 hr 15 mins a week contact time, there is also the 35 min duty cover a week as well. I am sure that I do not get enough PPA or breaks but there appears to be no one that I can discuss this with at school. To me you sound like you have a good deal but that might be from my current awful timetable experience.

     
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Two 50 minute PPA sessions would be your entitlement if you were timetabled for 20 X 50 minutes of teaching per week. Are you only teaching 20 periods out of a possible 30? If not, one of your other 'frees' should be designated as PPA time so that they can only call on you to do other Directed work in the remaining free period.
    They don't have to give you any nonPPA frees. 27 teaching periods per week would require 2.7 PPA days, making up the 30 timetable slots and giving you an extra 15 minutes above your PPA entitlement. Include the tutor time for PPA too and 26 lessons + 2.5 lesson equivalents for tutor time = 28.5 sessions, with 2.85 due for PPA. Thus, 3 PPA would again be the nearest fit for your schedule.
    To challenge the current designations, you would not be asking for more
    free periods, simply for only one of your frees to be available as unallocated Directed
    Time and the rest PPA.
    The only variation to that would be if most teachers on the same f/t contract as you get a bigger allocation of PPA + 'frees' .
     
  7. that's unfair re: the travel between sites; speak up!! make someone hear you.

    in northern ireland we often get called to cover colleagues if he have a Free period. i understand that this is not the done thing in England? It would be "nicer" if things were more equal on that front but I'm sure it would come at an almighty cost. I actually don't even begrudge covering for colleagues who need a day off here and there for things. The formality of it all masks the fact that it's a "take one for the team" sort of group effort, really.

    my question is: To what extent is a school allowed to dictate how you spend your free periods? If you have the bare minimum number of free periods, can they oblige you to do something other than cover, e.g. attend a meeting, assist with a school initiative etc?
     
  8. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I assume that you only teach 20 hours per week if your PPA is 2 hours.
    What is the 35 minute duty cover? That sounds like a lunch-time duty and no-one can be required to do a duty in their unpaid lunch break. You could choose to do it for extra pay though.
    What does your Union rep say about you having to travel between sites in your lunch break? Other breaks are part of Directed Time but the lunch break is not.
     
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    There is no standard for allocation of free periods, only a minimum entitlement to PPA TIME.
    You teach 26 lessons out of a possible 30, so should have the equivalent of 2.6 lessons as PPA time ( 2hrs 10 mins). You have 3hrs 20 mins from your 4 free periods so are well above the minimum entitlement.
    Secondary teachers generally had an extra free period per week in the days before Rarely Cover, when they might be required to cover for absent colleagues on a maximum of 38 hours per school year.
    As a Head of Dept in the past you will have had at elast one extra non-contact period per week for your HOD duties.
    With Rarely Cover, instead of being used as cover for some of those 38 hours of free periods, contract teachers are now timetabled for an extra class per week on average. The Unions did them no favours campaigning for an end to cover lessons where they were able to mark work whilst the class were busy doing worksheets. Now they have an extra lesson to plan and extra work to mark.
     
  10. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    But, of course, for those of us in primary who had been teaching a full week with no frees, it was a massive boon!
     
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Actually, it was 10% PPA thta was a massive boon to Primary teachers and which helped Secondary teachers by protecting some of their free lessons.
    Rarely Cover was something thta was supposed to help Secondary teachers and probably hasn't. primary teachers, who used to teach 100% of the school day were never available for covering for absent staff so could not cover in the first place.
    Secondary teachers had several 'frees' per week and at least one of them was down as potential cover for absent colleagues. They would check the board each morning to see if they were keeping the free lesson or were being used to supervise another class.
    They now tend to have an additional timetabled lesson every week in place of a possible cover period.
     

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