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How many meetings?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by samapajo, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. samapajo

    samapajo New commenter

    At the weekend I met up with some of the ladies I did my PGCE with. Although a jolly night out I came home feeling that they saw me as a bit of a mug. One thing I heard from all of them was "How many meetings?" and "You have to do WHAT?" Apparently none of them have Pupil Progress meetings EVERY term; no one has these meetings after school or before school - either they meet in school hours and their lessons are covered or they do it at lunchtime; all had a weekly staff meeting but all but myself and one other only had an hours meeting , not an hour and a half ; none of the others were forced to do an After School Club and only a couple had Team Meetings, but these were always at lunchtime, never after school. They all advised talking to my union rep. and having a look at STPCD, the Burgandy book. I spoke to the Union Rep who shrugged and said, "Yeah, I know but the Head will just tell you are have contractual obligations. You won't get it changed." I felt this was both negative and worrying. Surely all teachers contracts are standard? Surely they have to be agreed by a union? Surely a contract cannot over-ride STPCD, the Burgandy book? I have worked out that all my meetings plus running an after school club means I am doing over 100 extra "directed" hours a year (nearly 3 hours a week) before I even think about marking, planning, assessment etc! Surely that can't be right? What do others think?
  2. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Your head directs 1265 hours of Your time. All of the things you mention will probably come under that which is why.your rep is not hopeful.
  3. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Be careful before assuming the grass is greener elsewhere. They might have less meetings but worse pupil behaviour say.
  4. samapajo

    samapajo New commenter

    HAHAHAHAHA - unlikely!!
  5. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    It does, seem a bit harsh a 90mins meeting what on Earth are they making you do...?

    I can't fully comment as you might have days in Leu ect but still.

    If you are unhappy maybe look around a little to just see what is out there.

    Good luck
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Well if your friends have less meetings AND better behaviour maybe it’s time to have a gander at the TES jobs!
  7. samapajo

    samapajo New commenter

    OK, so if I teach for 5.5 hours a day does that mean I get be made to stay for an hour after school EVERY day? Does the hour lunch break count as directed time?
  8. samapajo

    samapajo New commenter

    To get days in lieu (at the end of the summer term) we have to stay until 6pm for the last 4 or 5 meetings of the year ...
  9. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    The timetables you give are not so unusual - we have termly pupil progress meetings, but they are within the school day. We also have 90 minute staff meeting weekly, plus phase meetings (usually fortnightly) are after school. After school clubs are a choice and generally run by TAs.
    If you are otherwise happy at your school, don't let this make you rush into looking elsewhere. The quickest look through these forums reveals the dire straits and total misery some teachers now find themselves in at their schools.
    If you were thinking it might be time for a change before your meeting at the weekend - there's no harm in looking around ...
  10. samapajo

    samapajo New commenter

    IF Pupil Progress were within the school day (not at 7am or until 5.30pm) and After School Clubs were a choice I would not quibble the 90 min staff meeting or the Phase / Team meetings. We also have to give up our PPA time if it falls on Sports Day or a whole school trip / event day and we don't get it back. Staying beyond 4pm (I'm in by 7.30am at the latest!) means I catch all the traffic and spend 45 mins getting home rather than 20 mins which is 25 mins less time to do marking etc.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Ummmm most unions would suggest lunchtime meetings are a complete no no. That, in fact, you having them before or after school is 'better' than lunchtime.
    Some schools have an hour meeting and a half hour briefing...others have an hour and a half meeting. Some people prefer one, some the other.
    Neither are you. You may be 'expected' to run one, but your union should support you in refusing if you so wish.
    Again, lunchtime meetings are usually frowned upon. It should have been you telling them to object to lunchtime meetings.
    Not all academies, free schools and independents follow STPCD or burgundy book.
    And, no, all teacher contracts are not in any way standard. Which is why you must read it before you sign it.
    Nope. And there is no point objecting a year or more after you signed it.
    Yes it can.
    Only if your school follows the 1265 hours...not all do.
    Many teachers would love this. People who are going in for a half week in July might well envy you and your school with their 4-5 later meetings a year and a day or two extra holidays.

    To be honest, I think you are looking at how things are different and thinking their working pattern would suit you more. I imagine there are many teachers in their schools who would look at your working pattern and think you have it better.

    As @sunshineneeded said, don't rush in to leaving if everything else is fine. There are far worse things than meetings at times that don't suit you.
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    First of all, you mention STPCD and the Burgundy Book. Are you sure that these apply to you? What sort of school are you at? LA schools use those regulations, but others don't. In most other fields, different employers have different terms of employment; teaching is just the same.

    Assuming they do, If you teach for 5.5 hours a day, that suggests that you are not getting your 10% PPA time, which would break STPCD. But if you mean that the teaching day is 5.5 hours, and you are only directed for that time, that leaves 192.5 hours a year when you can be directed. More than the 100 hours you mention. So, if you have an issue, I think it is over lack of PPA time rather than directed hours, unless there are a lot more directed hours than you mention.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    I am assuming you are employed under STPCD. It's highly likely.

    And I'm afraid you'll have to work it out for yourself. You need Section 51. This starts on page 47. The union rep at school may have done the calculations already for full-timers. If I were the rep I'd have asked for a directed-time budget before term began in September and you'd know exactly where you stood.

    Maybe your rep knows. And maybe your rep hasn't bothered as s/he knows that s/he'd just be painting a target on her/his back and that, when push came to shove, nobody would support her/him anyway. If the rep stands up and instructs you to walk out of a meeting after an hour (which is what I did myself) and nobody else will dare to do so? Then there's not much point talking about unions as the membership often won't put their money where their mouth is.

    So do your calculations and be prepared to act independently because it sounds as if it's that kind of school. A school where staff submit to bullying for fear of being put under pressure.

    agathamorse likes this.
  14. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    The vast majority of meetings are a complete waste of time.
  15. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I think the first four words of the sentence could easily be deleted.
  16. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    My departmental meetings were actually quite useful, as there was a lot of time devoted to discussing improvements to the way we did things (improvements from the staff point of view, that is) and other areas of interest such as how to teach difficult topics. The difference was that these were genuine meetings in which all views were heard, rather than the briefings dressed up as meeting which most staff meetings were.
    Shedman and agathamorse like this.
  17. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Some schools disaggregate Inset days to meetings during the school year. This allows terms and holidays to be arranged more conveniently and is well received by staff at the school in which I work. We have a meeting every monday after school, which rotates between whole school, depts, years and hubs. We also have 3 or 4 twilight inset sessions a year.
  18. Elly40

    Elly40 New commenter

    We have 90 min meetings /cpd sessions each week and a 15 min briefing each morning.
    However, we only actually do 2 inset days in the year as we spread the extra hours out.
    Your school should be finalising next year’s directed time hours round about now, so ask to see it
  19. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Its called 'them and us'. Many seemingly important meetings are not attended by slt which shows how lazy, unconcerned and detached many are.
  20. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Most 'meetings' are anything but that, as you said, @Piranha . Very few 'meetings' i have attended have been to elicit input from anyone else. Most have been 'voice recitals' by the person calling them!

    Calling meetings became a status symbol among managers. "I am more important than you, so I can call more frequent and longer meetings."
    Piranha and agathamorse like this.

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