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Is this unreasonable?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by adrixargentina, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    My HOD wants to meet an extra half hour a week to talk about year 11 planning. I've offered her an hour during my lighter week 1 but she wants to seem me in week 1 and 2 of my timetable. I cannot see where I can give her the time during my week 2. My week 2 is:

    Monday: morning briefing, 5 lesson day, lunchtime intervention usually, nothing scheduled after school;
    Tuesday: morning form tutor meeting, 4 lessons (1 PPA) either departmental meeting or CPD after school unless parents eve;
    Weds: no morning meeting, 4 lessons (1 PPA) but have a year 11 period 6 class;
    Thurs: CPD 815-840, 5 lesson day.

    Do you think it's reasonable to give over yet another half an hour during my week 2 outlined above. I have a bad feeling HoD will try and use my PPA because it's technically planning she wants to do.

  2. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    technically speaking no one can tell you what to do in PPA time. but it is amazing how many schools, especially in Primary are now ignoring that rule.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Just because it's planning-related doesn't mean your HoD can hijack your PPA to discuss it. STPCD also says " A teacher must not be required to carry out any other duties during the teacher’s PPA time". Having a meeting with HoD is "other duties" IMO, irrespective of what the meeting is about, so you can't be directed to do it.
  4. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Assuming STPCD, and that there is not an extra hour above your PPA entitlement, then, as stated above, you cannot be directed to attend a meeting during PPA. However, provided that your total directed time allows it, you can be directed to have the meetings after school. Whether this is preferable to having it during PPA time is up to you - you can agree to it but don't have to.

    And, of course, we don't know if STPCD applies to you - does it? If not, then there is not a lot you can do. If you are under STPCD, then I suggest as a first step bringing out the rules. If that does not work, you will need to decide whether to escalate things via your union.
    strawbs and JohnJCazorla like this.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I smell a rat.
    A HoD who insists on meeting you on a weekly basis about planning sounds like puppeteering from above.
    If it's just a case of a unified approach in the heated run up to exams, some of it can be done quasi discursively by email.
    So why the insistence? Why is she actually giving a half hour of her time weekly?
    It's just a nebulous feeling I get from your scenario.
    (Of course I am able to be wrong)
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    Yes I think HoD wants to throw me under the bus. But anyway, I'm not sure about STPCD. I'll have to ask if she pushes the issue again despite me offering her an hour in week 1. Thanks for your help.
  7. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    P.s. a member of SLT said that because it's a planning meeting, it could take place during PPA because the PPA means planning, prep and assessment. Is this true? Why should I give over my planning time to a meeting?! I teach 19/20 lessons in Week 2.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Already answered in posts #2 #3 and #4 !
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    In that case you need to tread carefully, and remember where we are with our virtual cups of tea...

    If you have your own Y11 groups and have had them thus far since September without such arrusing about at all, a weekly planning meeting smells like nouveau-support measures, especially since curiously "a member of SLT" has attempted to legitimise them.
    Why so were you conversing with them about it anyway? Interestingly they were able to legitimise the meetings so compactly.
    Welcome to pernicious allegiance.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I had not thought of it that way, but I do wonder if it is allowed. To expand the quote given by @Rott Weiler: All teachers who participate in the teaching of pupils are entitled to reasonable periods of Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time as part of the 1265 hours referred to in paragraph 51.5 or pro rata equivalent (as the case may be) to enable the discharge of the professional responsibilities of teaching and assessment. PPA time must be provided in units of not less than half an hour during the school’s timetabled teaching week and must amount to not less than 10% of the teacher’s timetabled teaching time. A teacher must not be required to carry out any other duties during the teacher’s PPA time. It only says that they are entitled to reasonable periods of planning etc, and that duties other than PPA may not be required. It does not say that the teacher can decide what planning to do, or that the school cannot tell the teacher what to do if it is part of PPA.

    I do not like this way of looking at it, but it is feasible. Has it ever been tested, does anybody know?
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I suspect that's exactly what the school will argue. My view is that directing you to attend a meeting about planning is not the same thing as doing planning but the wording of STPCD is far from clear on this and there's plenty of scope for argument.

    AFAIK nothing in the PPA rules has ever been tested in a court or employment tribunal. If it has the outcome has not been publicised.

    Not for the first time I wonder why unions don't bring more test cases. Although to be fair OP's specific issue here is pretty minor and probably not worth spending unions' limited resources on a test case.
    Piranha likes this.
  12. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    I met with our union rep and he said that PPA is protected. He also said that before/after school, lunch and break are out of the question. He said that I could suggest being taken off timetable if a meeting is required in week 2. That way I'm "looking for a solution and not saying no".
    strawbs and FrankWolley like this.
  13. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Good advice!
  14. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    As a HOD, I would never ask a department member to regularly give up PPA time (I've occassionally asked them to meet for one-off moderation sessions, which I know they'd prefer to do in school hours than out of school hours).

    Your offer of meeting in Week 1 seems incredibly reasonable.

    However, I would say that if this is a genuine invitation to co-plan with your HOD, then it could be really helpful. If you're going to get together and plan as equals, then it'll be really positive and you'll save each other time and work. Maybe try to find out from your HOD exactly what they want to do. Is it co-planning? Or, does she just want to grill you about your planning (in which case follow your Union Rep's excellent advice)?
    strawbs likes this.
  15. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    Definitely grilling. HoD told me in October that she didn't want to share her y11 planning with me and that I have to do it all myself even though she knows I haven't taught y11 in a good few years. Bizarre behaviour.
  16. diddydave

    diddydave Lead commenter

    Very bizarre, but also - if she makes a suggestion on something you need to do you can say "Brilliant, so can you show me how you've done it for class xxx so I can get it right?"
  17. Mrs Grumpy

    Mrs Grumpy New commenter

    Perhaps.... no, that could never ever happen .... she's just trying to pick your brains??
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Why? Provided it is within Directed Time limits, I would have thought you could be directed to attend after school.

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