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Losing Gained Time

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sarahboo, May 24, 2018.

  1. sarahboo

    sarahboo New commenter

    Ok, so I've been told today that after half term 12 extra hours teaching will be my timetable per fortnight.
    These are lessons which were on a colleagues timetable before she left following WRS. They had been covered since November by a string of supply teachers.
    As a HOD the list of things that have had to be put off has grown over the past seven months, but I tried not to worry about it as I knew that I would have gained time after my year 11 and 13 left. But I am now feeling overwhelmed and very stressed.
    I have already expressed my concerns to my line manager - along with giving him a list of over 100 hours of work that needed to be done before the summer break - I had hoped a large proportion of which would be done in my gained time.
    I have only just been able to cope with day to day teaching, including all the exam classes, four different exam specs, and setting cover for all of my ex colleague lessons since November (often for non specialist teachers).
    Can they do this?
    (My union isn't answering the phone, but i have emailed them)
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Gained Time
    Gained Time is covered by the NASUWT action short of strike action instructions.

    Instruction 21 says: "Where teachers are released from timetabled teaching commitments as a result of pupils being on study or examination leave, members should refuse to undertake any activities during that time other than in Section 4 Paragraphs 76-77 of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD).

    "During the year, teachers may be released from some of their timetabled teaching commitments as a result of pupils being on study or examination leave. Such time is known as gained time.

    During gained time, teachers are only required to undertake activities from the list below, which were previously listed in Section 4 of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document:

    • developing/revising departmental/subject curriculum materials, schemes of work, lesson plans and policies in preparation for the new academic year. This may include identifying appropriate members’ materials for use by supply staff and/or cover supervisors;
    • assisting colleagues in appropriate planned team teaching activities;
    • taking groups of pupils to provide additional learning support;
    • supporting selected pupils with coursework;
    • undertaking planned activities with pupils transferring between year groups or from primary schools;
    • where the school has a policy for all staff to release them for continuing professional development (CPD) during school sessions, gained time may be used.
    Defining the use of gained time is to avoid teachers being directed to activities during this time which do not require the skills and abilities of qualified teachers and to enable them to focus on tasks which enhance teaching and learning.

    Members should not accept direction to undertake any activities in gained time other than those contained in the list above.


    I have highlighted some parts in red that I think may be especially applicable to you. The key for me is that you would be teaching. Not admin. Not paperwork. You'd be teaching kids who need to be taught.

    So, as a union rep for many years, I'd find it hard to support you. I think that a technical case might be made by the union but I don't think they could argue it with much vigour. I wonder what other union reps make of this.
  3. sarahboo

    sarahboo New commenter

    I guess my problem is that in essence I'll be doing cover so that the school don't have to pay for a supply.
    As a HOD working 70+ hours a week already it feels like I'm now at the end of my rope!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Even if you had the gained time, which as it happens is never actually "in the bag", you are still going to have the same job next year. The feeling of being at the end of your tether cannot be a result of not having this time. It is a result of workload issue which are not likely to be resolved unless you are pro active about them, and present the issue as it is to your managers, in the way you have explained it here. If you feel cowed out of doing that for fear of negativity, then maybe it's time to reassess your workplace or your role altogether. As a HoD it is sad that you have been allowed no scope to feel happy for those classes to regain opportunity to work with a subject specialist-your role and sheer workload have removed you from the hands on satisfaction of progressing children with your expertise.
    Is that what you wanted? You are a teacher and yet you are forced to feel pained by being asked to teach. Had you thought of your situation in this way?
    gadgetgirl123 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I don't think there is actually any rule against them rewriting the timetable after year 11/13 go, and I've known a couple of years when we covered someone from half-term onwards by doling out their groups to the remaining members of staff.

    But that's a lot of lessons, especially for a HoD who has more of those long-term development tasks than the classroom teacher.

    It's obviously in the interests of the students (and future departmental results) to get them some consistent teaching - if you'd had a single competent supply teacher covering to this point, it would look like a money-saving strategy, but this looks more like an effort to give those groups a boost with an experienced subject-specialist. Apart from year 9 groups who won't be taking your subject next year, it has to be in your interests.

    I would look for some solutions to propose. Are there other members of the department with gained time, who could take a group apiece? Could you suggest that you (and your colleagues) take on the majority of the lessons, but that they get in supply one day a week to free you up for the department development work? If doing that, it might be better if you are released from your lessons with your existing classes, who've been getting the better deal all year, rather than the ones you're taking on now. If you have an activities week, could you be given that week to do the development work?

    If next year's group allocations are in progress, then it would be particularly useful if the groups concerned could be picked up by a teacher who will then teach them next year - it changes it from being "a few weeks covering someone else's class" to "getting an early start for next year" - more of an incentive for both students and teacher to invest in it.
    Lara mfl 05 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    The school thinks you must be the best teacher and that is the priority. Teaching kids who need to be taught. Nothing is more important than that.

    So a whole shed-load of other stuff won't get done.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    if this happens, you do not mind so much if the load is spread out equitably among the other members of the department. It is galling when the burden falls on one or two people. We had an HoD, mercifully briefly, who used to dump most of his non-exam classes on us, once Year 11 had left. Since he had four or five Year 11 groups, we hated him for this.
    -myrtille- and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    This must ve very stressful - see gp. It us a pity the Extra Work cannot be shared more...and highly unfair :(
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    As a middle manager paid a TLR occassionally you have to help out the school but rather than feeling at the end of your rope, you gracefully do what is needed but accept something else on the list is not going to get done.

    When asked why a task wasn't completed, you explain that due to heavy workload you have not had time. If you keep absorbing more and more work, it will be expected and your wellbeing will suffer.

    Keep an ongoing list of what still needs to be completed as evidence.
  10. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    Bottom line

    As hod you want to get the best possible results for the students in your department

    Teaching these students will help a hive this

    Doing paperwork will not
    agathamorse and grumpydogwoman like this.
  11. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    Should say help achieve this
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    Mmmm...but be careful OP. As a manager and a leader you shouldn't be taking on other's workload and being foolish. Better to share the load....ratger than have others sit back and watch you do all the work :cool:
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    What does it say about us when we regard paperwork as more important than the core business of getting in front of youngsters and teaching them?

    I know which is easier. Give me the admin a million times. Sure. But it's a funny old world where teachers are complaining about having to ....... teach.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes and Teaching as we know it has become even more paperwork heavy than ever before. Largely due to some poor hts/ ceos/ slts demanding teachers produce it for them o_O
    ATfan likes this.
  15. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @grumpydogwoman has a point but it is the fault of managers, not teachers. I sometimes resented having to teach a class because it got in the way of the of the paperwork burden. I would much rather teach, not do unnecessary pen-pushing. I felt like someone working in a restaurant, who simultaneously had to be the chef, the maitre'd, and wait at tables.
    ATfan and agathamorse like this.

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