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Inset part time staff

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by bulldog, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. bulldog

    bulldog New commenter

    I am TA2 with lots of EY experience but due to circumstances took a very part time role as TA1/lunchtime supervisor in a preschool within a primary school.
    I also am a part time childminder. I made all these points at interview, that I wanted less hours and less stress/responsibility, I was offered the job immediately.
    It is a 3.5 hr a day role.
    I am now being told I am obliged to attend inset days, all day. I have disagreed with this as my contract is term time only...no "+5 days" etc.
    I have attended one, but mainly as it was my first day, but now being told I'm expected to continue to attend.
    The subject matter is of no relevance to me or my role, I do not have key children, plan or track progress!
    I'm feeling pressured as my contract is temp and dont want to rock the boat, but I took the role on to suit my and my families needs, and they are aware of my other job also.
    What can I do?
  2. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Do you have a contract which states you should attend all INSET days and are paid for those full days?. In many schools TAs are not expected to attend INSETs as they don't want to pay them and may be asked for the odd one when they want whole school staff present and it is relevant to everyone. Was it mentioned in your interview. Even part time teachers only need attend INSETs on a pro rata basis so if 0.5 should only need to attend half the INSETs unless they choose to do more.
    If you are not contracted for INSETs I would write a polite email to the Headteacher explaining that as you had informed them of your other employment at the interview you are not available to do a whole day INSET. If you normally work that day then you could work your normal 3.5 hours or save them for a different INSET that is more relevant and then stay all day. Depending on how well you can talk to your Headteacher you may like to have a chat about it in person.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think that term time does usually include the 5 days INSET. However, you should only go to these if they are on days when you are contracted to work. As far as your contract is concerned, I think that they count exactly the same as other days, so it is not pro-rata. If you are paid for that particular day, then you go in; if not, you don't. @May2, I don't think that part time teachers do INSET pro rata. You go to those during your usual working time, and not to those outside it, except by special arrangement. If INSET days are spread out evenly by weekday, then it amounts to the same thing, but they may well not be. To take an extreme position, if all INSET was on Fridays, part timers who don't work on Fridays would need to go into work more often than those who don't under the pro rata principle. INSET days are part of the term for teachers - that is why many school calendars list them as term time and then indicate them as days where students don't go in.

    It is possible that your terms are defined differently according to your contract - you would need to check. There should somewhere be details of how your pay is worked out.
  4. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    As Piranha says, teachers only attend inset if it is their normal day to work. Otherwise, it is by mutual agreement and with extra pay. Support staff in my schools always have 'term time plus 1week' I.e. Inset days in their contracts but you would need to check. If you haven't, then they can't insist. If you have then you should attend pro-rata over the year. E.g. I have a mornings onlyTA attending tomorrow just for the morning. Other three days a week TAs have negotiated with me as to which days to attend. If I need them to do more, I pay extra but can't direct them to attend.

    If it is in your contract but you had that conversation at interview then you need to ask to have it removed as you are being paid for those days pro-rata. Go and talk about it.
    bulldog likes this.
  5. bulldog

    bulldog New commenter

    Thank you all.
    My contract states term time only, nothing about inset days. I did contact HR at the council who employs me, they told me I shouldn't be doin inset. I did say this in school but they say its decided by the board of governors.
    They have told me to fill in a timesheet as it is classed as overtime.
    Other lunchtime supervisors in school do not attend.
    They say my role is "different" though.
    Nothing at the last one was at all relevant to me and I know the same applies to the next one.
    I like the job as the hours suit me and my other commitments, so I dont want to lose it by appearing stroppy.
  6. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Are you in a union? If not, you really should be.

    They probably are taking advantage a bit. It really depends how important this is to you. If you can't do your other employment due to this, or you are not being paid or getting toil for it, I would keep fighting. If not, it is only 5 days a year, and 5 days that are not particularly taxing. It may well be a battle I wouldn't fight. Your call though.
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    And regardless what hr say, I have never heard of ta's not going to inset. My assumption is that it is term time. If you don't normally work that day, then that is different. At our place, part time staff do pro rata things like meetings and twilight inset.

    So overall, I do think you are obliged to be there IF you work that day. Whether or not you should be there all day is another matter and where they are possibly taking advantage.
    bulldog likes this.
  8. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    I have possibly read this wrongly, but if you are only a lunch time supervisor, meaning supervising lunch and playtime over that period then I wouldn't think INSET would normally be relevant however you say it is pre school so are you covering other qualified staff while they have their break between morning and afternoon sessions and so are in effect supporting EY activities after the children have eaten? Whatever the case you could be expected to do your 3.5 hours as normal on that day.
    Dynamo67 says they have never heard of TAs not going to INSET . Well in my primary they never went except about 3 times in a 10 year period when they wanted whole school and not only paid them to come but the cleaner, caretaker and cook. I also know others in secondary who don't normally attend. I am sure it varies with each school and if bulldog is not happy they really need to have a chat with headteacher especially if a whole day has affect on other work or family commitments
    bulldog likes this.
  9. bulldog

    bulldog New commenter

    May02 you are correct!
    I am.lunchtime supervisor but because I have EY experience I cover staff lunchtime. I do not however have any part in planning or tracking children's progress etc.
    I am happy (ish) to do my 3.5 hrs, despite it not being relevant to me, but I feel they are trying to "force" me into full days, which I dont want to do, hence me taking on a job that is a lower scale than my qualifications and experience.
  10. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    In all schools I have ever worked in (it is secondar y) term time contracts have always been 190+5. At least for TA's anyway. I will say that with a lack of knowledge of the primary system I am unsure what exactly your job role is?
  11. chey

    chey New commenter

    At my county council TA job descriptions are as follows , TA1, TA2, term time only ( inset days paid as extra BUT you do not have to attend or be asked to attend ) TA3 or HLTA paid term time and inset days so required to attend - hope this helps .
    bulldog likes this.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    So you TA in the morning session and then do a lunch-duty? 5 days a week? You always go home at 12:30 or similar? So you basically do something like a standard 9 to 12:30?

    Well, if it's a training day then do your normal hours. No more and no less. Frankly I'd just wave ta-ta with a smile and off I'd go. What are they going to do? You sound too valuable to lose.

    For that money they want blood? Nah.
    bulldog likes this.
  13. bulldog

    bulldog New commenter

    Grumpydogwoman that made me laugh! Yes that's how I feel, I get paid £7.10 per hr.
    Basically I go in mid morning, set up for lunch and help over lunchtime, then cover when staff go to lunch.
    No paperwork, no key children!
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Just attend your normal days and normal hours. Or rather the days and hours for which you are PAID.
    bulldog likes this.
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Dear Headteacher (or Dear Mr Brown/Joan/Joe - whatever you would normally say)

    Attendance on Inset Days

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend professional development that is relevant to my role as a Teaching Assistant and Lunchtime Supervisor. I am keen to provide the best possible service to the pupils and staff of the school.

    However, I am faced with somewhat of a dilemma here. A double dilemma in fact.

    Firstly, my contractual hours are 10.30 - 14.00, paid at a rate of £7.10 per hour. I understand that for the Inset days, I would be expected to be in attendance for longer than this. May I be assured that I would be paid for the extra time that I would be giving the school if I were to attend?

    Secondly, my hours of 10.30 - 14.00 are those that fit in with my other commitments, both personal and professional. It would not always be possible, therefore, for me to attend a full day on each and every occasion, even with payment, as I would not wish to let other people down.

    Could we therefore look at both the dates and the content of the Inset days that it is proposed that I attend, to identify those which are directly relevant to my role? I am thinking that anything to do with Child Protection and Safeguarding would come into this category, and I would wish to try to make alternative arrangements if possible. However, anything that involves planning, tracking the progress of children, etc. would not. These do not apply to my role where I work in the classroom as directed by the teacher.

    With which member of staff should I discuss which of the upcoming Inset days is most appropriate for me, so that I can try to rearrange my other commitments in order to see if I can attend?

    May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year


    Best wishes to you too, @bulldog , fpor 2016


  16. ScotSEN

    ScotSEN Senior commenter

    Think Theo has got it exactly.
  17. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I am writing with my tongue slightly in my cheek here...

    But if you are only being paid £7.10 per hour, that is only slightly above the National Minimum Wage per hour...

    ...if you are being directed to attend INSET but NOT being paid for it (I see you say they class it as overtime, so presumably intend to pay), your hourly rate is likely to drop below the NMW, averaged out over all the hours you work.

    If this is the case, you can claim compensation at 80 x the current NMW!

    Without my tongue in my cheek, you WOULD be entitled to be paid slightly more to cover holidays, as your calculated working hours must (now) include overtime. If anyone asks why, you just darkly mutter "Bear Scotland" at them! ;)
  18. bulldog

    bulldog New commenter

    Hope its ok to return to this!
    I attended for my 3.25 hrs, inset covered "O track" totally irrelevant to me and my role! I dont have any key children, no planning or tracking.
    Good news my contract has been renewed, but another impending inset which I have no desire to attend and waste another 3hrs.
    I did get paid overtime for it, so assume by that it was out of my normal contracted hours, and I could have earned more in that time doing my other job.
  19. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Our TA contracts always have the number of weeks you have to work so if it is 38 then you don't have to do inset days unless they pay you. If it is a 39 week contract then you have to work the inset days as you are being paid for them.
  20. bulldog

    bulldog New commenter

    Its 38 week contract. I am a lunchtime supervisor, how does O Track affect my role?
    I had to fill in an overtime sheet, so clearly its over and above my "paid for" hours.

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