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How much PPA or NQT time do you get in your school?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by BB2009, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Just curious :) I have met one person who gets two afternoons out of the class to cover nqt and ppa, but they are only of 1.5 hours each. One person who gets a full day out of the class each week. One person who gets nothing! Some people seem to get both ppa and nqt time even if they are on a course and some people seem to have all their NQT time reserved for when their is a course. So what is it like at your school? I am talking about primary here but I would be interested to hear how much ppa secondary teachers get also.
  2. woops * there is a course not their!
  3. The provision of PPA and NQT time is a legal requirement.
    It will vary slightly from school to school as the calculation depends on the normal contact time that a teacher who is not on induction and who does not have any time allocation for responsibilities. The NQT time can be allocated to out of school activities and does not have to be regular time each week, but the NQT should know in advance what they are getting and how it is allocated.
    The person who gets nothing should be contacting their union for help and advice.
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    What James said.

    PPA and NQT time are legal requirements.
    Normal teachers: PPA should = 10% of the available contact time with pupils (50 hours per fortnight in my school, so 5 hours PPA per fortnight for all teacher staff.
    NQTs: As above for PPA time, plus an additional 10% of the remaining time (about another 4.5 hours). So, an NQT's timetable in my school would end up being approximately 40 teaching period over a fortnight.
    In secondary, you sometimes find that you have an additional non-contact period that is neither NQT time nor PPA, just a 'free'. This is the only time you are allowed to be used for cover of sickness/staff absence, and even then only in rare circumstances when other arrangements (e.g. supply) could not have been made. These 'frees' usually occur if a department is over-staffed, although this occurs less and less as budgets are cut and schools stop replacing retiring/departing staff.
    I work in secondary, so PPA and NQT time is usually timetabled in blocks of an hour (the length of a lesson) and is scattered across the timetable according to where non-teaching time naturally occurs when the TT is done.
    In primary, my experience is that NQTs generally end up with the equivalent of a full day for PPA and NQT time. Some schools find it easier to timetable these on the same day, thus allowing them to employ and PPA/NQT cover teacher on a contract for certain days.
    The best schools ensure that all PPA/NQT time is fair. For example, those teachers with PPA time on an afternoon and given additional time at other points in the year, since the afternoon session is shorter than the morning one and meaning that teachers with PPA in the afternoon miss out on time that those in the morning gain.
    If PPA and NQT time is not being observed, then unions need to be contacted. In my induction year, I had free time recorded on my timetable, but it was not specified if it was NQT time or PPA time and was regularly taken for cover. The staff are still, I understand, fighting to get that sorted.
  5. Thank you for your replies. I suppose that, although it is a legal requirement, some schools seem to have fairer systems than others. For example, those that have afternoon sessions do not always get given extra time (and I certainly know of NQTs who are missing some ppa/nqt a week because they have short afternoons but don't want to rock the boat by bringing it up as it is only 20 minutes or so) and those who have morning sessions/all day sessions sometimes get a bit of extra time than they should have (although I'm sure no one complains about this). I had a meet up with former classmates from my PGCE recently which is why I am thinking about all of this. Everyone had their ppa and nqt time delivered quite differently. I was quite surprised.
    Is it a legal requirement for private schools to give ppa and nqt time if you are enrolled in induction? I believe the person from my course who has no ppa time may work in a small private school? Although I also do and so do other former PGCE colleagues and we do have the appropriate amount of ppa/nqt time as we would in a state school.
  6. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    If these NQTs are ever deemed to be making unsatifcatory progress, they could cite the unsufficient NQT/PPA time as a contributing factor. Therefore, the school is shooting themself in the foot and disadvantaging the NQT in question. I'd ask about it to bring it to their attention. They don't necessarily have to get militant and involved their union, but simply drawing the school's attention to it could be enough, especially if they were to muse about their 'friend' who doesn't get their full allowance of NQT time and is struggling to get all their work done etc.
    The 'system' should be 10% PPA and a further 10% NQT time. These are protected (not able to be used for cover, or directed activities unlinked to induction) and are a legal requirement. 10% isn't a difficult number to calculate. If the person responsible for timetabling has QTS then they surely have the basic Maths skills required to make this calculation.
    'Fair' doesn't come into it. Everyone should have a minimum of 10% each of PPA and NQT time. If some end up with more, good for them, but the minimum is 10% of each (working out to 19% overall as it's 10% off for PPA, then 10% off the remaining number for NQT).
    Those NQTs unwilling to speak up are disadvantaging themselves. I know it's hard, but you don't have to be militant to simply ask for what you are legally entitled to.
    PPA was introduced in 2005, with schools given 2 years warning in order to make preparations to provide this time for their staff. If schools didn't make proper use of this warning, that's their problem. NQTs some 5 years later should not still be getting short changed. As for private schools, I'm afriad I can't confirm, but this website could help:
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    By the way, if you are not a member of a union, join one now. Preferably one with an active rep in your school. Most unions offer discounted rates for NQTs. I was with the ATL at first, and found them helpful if I needed advice, although I never had to call on their support. Now I'm with the NUT as there is a brilliant, active rep in my school who is knowledgable and who speaks up on our behalf (for instance, when too many meetings/after-school CPD sessions were scheduled during one week).
    Join the one that's best for you. Some unions are more militant than others (for example, the NUT had a strike not long ago, whereas others didn't). Join the one you are comfortable with, or the one that most people are members of in your school (safety in numbers).
  8. Thank you. That is useful advice. I am a member of a union myself. I think I am getting the right about of ppa time (amazingly considering the other problems I've had!) but I might get the calculator out just to check! I was just surprised at the difference in the way it was organised in different schools. Thank you for your detailed replies!!!
  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    You are welcome, hope it's been some help. You seem to be getting what you are entitled to, which is good.

    Also, apologies for my awful typos. I don't proof-read. Naughty!
  10. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Hi. I worked at a large private school, and even between key stages there were inequalities in PPA provision. One KS2 teacher received almost 5 hours free, although they may have been required to provide cover for sick absences if they occurred, (there was a rota, so cover may not have been necessary). Another KS2 taught for one hour on Fridays!
    Compared with the above, KS1 staff fared less well, averaging 1.5 hour per week, dropping to .5 hours quite often. The KS1 school day started at 0830 and continued to 1530. If your state school does things properly and you get your 10% without argument, be glad.
  11. Hi
    I get two afternoons (2 hours a time). This is less than I am entitled to and the other NQT is getting the equivalent of a full day. I tried bringing it up, but was told that lots of schools don't give their full entitlement. I have decided not to rock the boat as it is only around 30 mins, but do feel a bit frustrated, as the other NQT is getting more.
  12. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    The way around this it to give you an extra afternoon once per half term (the 30 mins added up together over a few weeks).
    Yes, lots of schools don't give the full entitlement, but they do so entirely illegally.
  13. Your NQT time does not have to be provided on a weekly basis and it is perfectly permissable to let time acrue and then take that as a day (or more).
    I'm afraid that - 'many NQTs don't get their time' does not make an illegal act legal - It's like being caught doing 80 in a 70 zone in your car - the court won't let you off if your defence is that lots of people travel at 80 so you shouldn't be prosecuted.
    Having such an unfair allocation between the two of you could backfire if the schools wishes to claim that you are not making satisfactory progress - you can easily cite the lack of NQT time and the greater time given to the other NQT in any appeal. It would be very hard for the LA to support the school.
  14. Frustratingly I have suggested this and they have said no. They did say they if I could show it was justified I could have time in a morning slot to observe a literacy or numeracy lesson which I wouldn't be able to in my afternoon slots, but not for me to catch up the extra time.
    It's a bit tricky to make a fuss as some teachers get an afternoon's PPA (2 hours) and some get a morning (3 hours) so proving I wasn't getting enough wouldn't be easy as I have to base it on what other teachers are getting. Our seems very much the luck of the draw.
    Aah well. I may well arrange to visit another school to view literacy and maths one morning so get some time that way if they will allow it. Mind you what I'd really like my catch up time for is to do my APP or similar. Still, my school seems generally very supportive compared to others, so I think I should be grateful for that.
  15. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    It isn't about what everyone else is getting. EVERYONE should be getting at least 10% of their available teaching as PPA. If some end up with more, that's the luck of the draw. If anyone has less than 10% it's not allowed.
  16. chocolatelover

    chocolatelover New commenter

    I am in a really good school ... I get 2 afternoons (2 x 2 hours) and another hour on a Tuesday morning. In total 5 hours. I have also been on some course in the last half term, when I was there some NQTs were saying that they had some of their NQT time taken off them becuase there courses count as NQT time, which they do I know that, but I still got my 5 hours and then my day for my course.
    I think it is more complicated to put me back in the classroom and then put the other teacher somewhere else. Esp as she plans what she teaches during that time and I wouldn't have anything prepared unless I had notice.

  17. I get one full day. It is split into PPA in the monring and then directed NQT time in the afternoon. If I have a course it is usually worked into my NQT time so I would not get 1.5 days out of the classroom per week.
  18. I also have an non-teaching day. The morning is PPA time and the afternoon is my NQT time. I have a one hour meeting each fortnight in that NQT time with my mentor.
  19. Hi there,

    Can schools count Assembly (non-contact time) towards your PPA time? i.e. Four assemblys per week (25mins in length) amounts to 1hour 40 minutes per week.

    Thanks for reading.
  20. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    PPA has to be allocated in 'reasonable sized chunks' into order to allow it to be productive. Therefore, I'd argue that 25 minutes is not sufficient to contribute towards PPA. I think 'at least 30 minutes' is the accepted minimum time.

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