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Lunches and duties

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Chris_NW, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Hi, given recent budget cuts etc. our school is looking to make economies. One such economy is that of lunch duties - they are proposing to no longer pay staff for lunch duties - currently staff are paid £12 per duty and receive a free lunch in the school canteen. I understand that should they stop paying this then I can refuse to do it as it is not part of my contractual obligations but I wondered, by the time they will introduce this change I will have done lunch duties for 3 years - has this become part of my contract - similar to how when a relative's company stopped doing on-call and had to pay him a sum to compensate?

    Also, there's talk of no longer providing a lunch to staff when meetings are scheduled at lunchtime (small thing - baked potato + filling but it's the principle). Is there a requirement for them to provide a meal if they are asking for meetings at lunch or is it simply going to be a case of people saying no meal then no meeting which I am fully prepared to do?

    Any advice welcome!
  2. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Guffaw. No way anyone in my school does anything at lunchtime, except for a few churchy mugs who run recorder clubs etc.
    As for meetings in the lunch hour - I think not. We can all go down the pub if we want to.
    There is a creeping tendency for management to schedule things like IEP reviews, Speech Therapy reviews, and 'team meetings' in lunch hours. As long as you all stick to the same answers, you are OK - ie. "I can't do meetings in my lunch hour, it's not in my contract".
  3. Its a good idea to read your contract, the relevent sections are;
    '63.2 No teacher may be required under their contract of employment as a
    teacher to undertake midday supervision.'
    63.3 A teacher who is required to be available for work for more than one
    school session on any school day must be allowed one break of
    reasonable length either between school sessions or between the hours
    of 12 noon and 2.00pm.

  4. This thread made me laugh. Nobody in our school sits in the staff room at lunch at all. It's a given that we are 'on duty / available' for pupil queries / extra coaching etc every lunchtime. In my first half-term here, I thought something was wrong when I went to the staff room to 'have lunch' and it was deserted. Turns out this is the norm at a grammar school where a B at GCSE is 'not good enough' and C grade candidates are disapplied!
    We all have a weekly break duty too and it's odd if you don't run at least one club, be it after school or at lunch. A 12 hour day in school is a good one, but that's a grammar school for you. I'd jump at the chance of a lunchtime 'off' by doing a duty. And a paid meal?! Haven't had one of those during term time ever!
  5. MarkS

    MarkS New commenter

    Unless your school is an Academy, your terms and conditions are the same as the rest of us, so what is your point? A B isn't good enough in a comp either if a students has an A target...it's just that in a Grammar school, most kids will have A grade targets.
    I don't think it's good for anyone for teachers to have this level of overwork. I'm sorry but a 12 hour day shouldn't be normal (or 'good') for a teacher - you're either being worked too hard or your time management is poor...I won't pretend I know which.
    And I don't think it's a good role model for students to see teachers working through lunch and not having a break - they should see that it is normal to need a break from their work so that they are refreshed and ready for the next session...just like their teachers!
  6. My poin ti sthat my terms and conditions are the same as everyone else's (on paper) but the culture here is so engrained that it would be unthinkable to have a lunch break. Not officially 'not permitted' but talked about and definitely noted (and you'd only end up doing the extra 50 minutes of work in the evening anyway).
    Of course most of them here are predicted 12 A*/A at GCSE but there are a few who are not and even still, it is expected that they will have been 'dragged up' (by associating with those who are and by being in that pressured environment) and therefore get the A*/A.

    You're so right about the fact that we ought to take the breaks. My time management is very good (always has been, thankfully) but I do miss my old school where I'd take most of the hour off to chat and do easy things like photocopy. Those were the days...

    On the positive side, the workload here has primed me for my career change to law. Every cloud...
  7. AdmiralNelson

    AdmiralNelson New commenter

    I have worked in several grammar schools (and currently do so). I do not recognise this picture from any of them, even the ones with a very similar profile (re: results) to the one you mention - yes, we support students at lunchtime when nec. (and many clubs/sports/music/art etc activities go on then) - but the staff rooms are occupied at break & lunch with collegaues chatting...

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