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How many 'Frees'?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Progressnerd, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Hi all

    I've recently begun working in an Independent School (secondary) as a full time teacher. I got my final version of my timetable this week and I am only teaching 27 periods out of 40 (8 X 40 minute lessons). Don't get me wrong, not complaining at all! But is this normal? I feel like there has to be some sort of catch. I've only ever known state education where I had very little frees at all.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I doubt there is any 'catch' but you may well find that there are some other expectations of the job which are not necessarily written into a teaching timetable. Supervisory duties, an expectation to run a club, more frequent parent's consultations, etc.

    Otherwise enjoy!
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Sounds about right for some schools but you will also likely have a great many duties compared to the state sector.

    Yours is at the lightest end of the range in my school, but those teachers have way more duties than those of us who have a heavier teaching timetable.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Generally yes Independent Schools can provide more non-contact time than State Schools.

    However, bear in mind that Indies use any available staff as cover teachesr in the event of Staff absence and as ctob points out often Indies have greater expectations as to duties, commitment to sports/ clubs, including extra weekend events etc.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  5. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Yes, it's normal. But I'd expect about 5-7 of those frees each week to be swallowed by cover.
  6. mothergoose2013

    mothergoose2013 Occasional commenter

    This is similar to my new normality. I do spend a lot of my 'free time' doing things other than PPA, and support others, (voluntarily). I never thought I'd say it. but working in the independent sector is the best move I ever made. As long as you don't take the pxxs and are willing to get stuck in as needed this could well be your new reality.... For me, the independent sector has been a saving grace. I still work hard but within very realistic parameters; good luck!
  7. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    You could well expect fewer frees. Good luck with it
    nomad and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Wow! I originally read that as 37/40. Thought "what! They are taking the proverbial. Then realised 27!
    Yes you will probs be doing more cover but hey... fewer classes = less planning and assessment! Enjoy!
  9. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    You've started mid-year.
    If you discover that colleagues have got heavier timetables, you may expect a rise in teaching time inSeptember.
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Actually if it was Primary, even in an Indie teachers still work nearer that mark, generally only handing over classes for perhaps Games and a Music / Languages specialist, so 36/40 may well be quite normal and not 'taking the proverbial' at all.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I teach 38 out of 45, though most at the top of the school teach more like 30 out of 45.

    However I have less than a dozen children in my class, have a TA for some of the time and adore my EYFS role, so would happily teach 45 out of 45!
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    At one school, I had 24/30 - could cope with the demands. At my second indy I had 27/30 (hour long lessons!!!!!!! Was told contact time was 'about 80% during interview. PAH!). As it says on the tin: Independent. Expect very high expectations in terms of reports, extras, duties, cover... etc...
  13. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    At my school full allocation is 32 out of 45 possible lessons plus a maximum of 3 cover lessons per week. It is still a world where it is possible to do your job during reasonable working hours (as long as you don't have any additional responsibilities) - but don't get too used to it, the workload creep that has crippled the state sector has runners in the independent sector now.
  14. drek

    drek Star commenter

    My own allocated teaching hours have nearly always been 23/25 one week and 22/25 the second week. Week 2 usually ended up as 23 too as one was regarded as a free so ended up as a cover.
    That’s been the case for the last 15 years across different schools. At times I did get gain time because of year 11/A-level but most often after a couple of weeks of respite, I got given a ‘new temporoary’ timetable in the last term and ended up doing 40/50 teaching hours in the last 8 weeks. More with cover.
    This was not the same for everyone in the department. Some ended up teaching 17/50 periods a fortnight because they had a lot of admin work to do. In fact so busy were they we sometimes never saw them around the department at all. Even to support the increasingly challenging behaviour towards the end of the year......
  15. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I don’t know why but I have kept a copy of every one of my tables......lol

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