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Planning Folders and the SLT

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Murray195, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Murray195

    Murray195 New commenter


    I am interested in finding out the expectation of teachers and their planning folders in other primary school settings. I have begun my third year teaching this September and have only ever taught in one primary school. Please tell me to 'suck it up' if this is the case in most schools but it feels the expectation is not maintainable.

    The SLT requests planning folders from all teachers to be submitted for scrutiny. As such we were issued with a set of expectations:

    1. Class information
    Class list
    Pupil Premium and AfA lists to completed termly (sheet which includes mapping of all provision for these pupils including intervention, group work and after school clubs
    Provision Map of everything that goes on in and outside my classroom

    2. Timetables & Organisation
    A3 Curriculum overview showing objectives of the NC being taught in all subjects for Aut, Spring and Summer
    Current topic web that would appear on website
    Weekly overview timetable - To show what happens in the classroom week to week (if anything changes it should be written on. All previous timetables to remain in the folder
    Weekly TA timetable - A Timetable to show every breathing moment of TA deployment in the week, including pupil initials of groups, highlighted Pupil Premium, EHCP and AFA

    3. Current English Plans - Edited to match the needs of chn (obviously), TA feedback forms including names of all chn in TA group with objectives for lesson. All plans to have highlighted where and when all PP, EHCP and AfA chn are in the lesson. Feedback sheets to be filed with corresponding lesson plan. All plans must be annotated as the lesson is taught. Ensure a section has been included to show how in that lesson you are stretching the more able pupils - with initials of chn.

    4. Historic English Plans

    5. As section 3 but for maths.

    6. Historic Maths plans

    7. Medium term plans for all subjects including plans given to PPA teachers and Superstars

    8. Teacher Target group assessment analysis sheets for intervention impact recording for interventions that run over a set time period. Separate 'Pre Teach' forms which are used for boosting known chn before the taught session.

    Any feedback sheet should have comprehensive comments of evaluation. All forms to include names of pupils or groupings highlighting the provision of ECHP AFA and PP pupils.

    At this point I am unaware how often I have to submit my folder for scrutiny but I can honestly say I am spending more time worrying about which form goes where, what form is used for what activity and have I included names of every child in my class so it is clear to someone else the provision of every child. I feel i am spending more time on this that planning the quality content of my lessons!

    Thoughts appreciated!
    drek and lanokia like this.
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter


    You work for idiots

    New job time.
    lanokia and Compassman like this.
  3. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Sounds like a massive evidence gathering exercise for Ofsted.

    Plans are for YOU to deliver effective lessons not so that SLT can monitor you.

    Contact your union and if you are NUT/NASUWT look at the Action Short of Strike Action guidelines.
    drek and lanokia like this.
  4. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    ***!!! Speechless.
    drek, snowyhead and lanokia like this.
  5. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    To my mind, this actually shows that your managers/SLT are not fit for their jobs. Putting anyone under such stupid amounts of pressure and demanding such a ridiculous amount of unnecessary work, should result in them being removed, as they obviously have no idea how to manage people, what a reasonable workload is, or how teaching impacts on learners

    BTW, what useful feedback do they ever provide from this process?
    highway61, FolkFan, drek and 3 others like this.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Got to agree with the other responses... clearly they don't have enough actual work to do, their role is surplus to requirements and they can be fired, saving the school money.
  7. drek

    drek Star commenter


    I'm speechless. Hey Nicky here is your workplace challenge! How will you go about sacking the management team, that are saddling this teacher with a completely ludicrous workload, and forcing many others to leave the profession?
    You say you are speaking to people in the profession?
    Check their teaching time-tables and leadership status.
    Anyone improving anyone else's practice has an input in the above workload. Instead of concentrating on their own classes and teaching, they device agendas and forms to increase the workload of others in their non teaching time.
    Speak to someone whose Only Job is teaching and hear what nonsense they have to up with!
    highway61, lanokia and snowyhead like this.
  8. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    I thought we had it bad at my school, but this really is taking the pi$$.

    Most of that information is kept by the SENCo - do members of SLT/SMT not speak to each other?

    It is useful to have a planning file, maintained for your benefit, that contains information about the children in your class in terms of extra support required and what interventions are being provided, a seating plan and a copy of short and medium term plans. You might also include tracking information for the whole class. I can't think of anything else that would be useful to you.

    Personally, I like to annotate plans because that informs my planning for the next lesson but I defy anyone else to make head or tail of my scribbles.

    I worked in a school once where the head teacher took in all planning files each week and marked them. We were expected to reply to the comments by the time the folder was collected the following week, I chose to reply in my best illegible hand and eventually the head got the message.

    As Drek suggests, write to Nicky Morgan and Nick Gibb because they (apparently) want to know what it is that has increased teachers' workloads.
    lanokia likes this.
  9. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    You shouldn't be doing any planning for PPA teachers...
    snowyhead and Siddz like this.
  10. chubbyone

    chubbyone Occasional commenter

    Confused over this comment? I have always left planning for PPA cover. Shouldn't you do this? Thought the only time you didn't leave planning was if off sick?
  11. Siddz

    Siddz New commenter

    Agree with emilystrange. You should not plan for your PPA time.
  12. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    I think you might work at my last school! In the last year I was there, even our plans were micromanaged down to the smallest detail - we had a 27 bullet point list of what to include and how to format it. It was supposed to read like a script, with questions highlighted in advance and including what answer was desired and which child you were going to target to answer, in addition to groups, targetted work, TA support, SEN/EAL provision etc. I was criticised for not following the prescribed code of what should be bold/red/highlighted/italics. Our plans looked like they'd been written by rainbow brite by the end of it and woe betide anyone who didn't have a colour printer! Oh, and on top of marking, we had a set of curriculum expectations stuck in the back of exercise books that were supposed to be checked off and highlighted with a date after every lesson. Plans were cross-referenced with work and you were pulled up if you'd gone off plan in any lesson. And now you know why I left (along with about 70% of the other teachers).
    It sounds like it's a school either pooing themselves about an imminent ofsted, or that the subject leaders/SLT are box checking so they can update their CVs for a move up the greasy pole in the near future, or both.
    Either way, I agree it's a stupid amount of work to expect of you and is largely a pointless exercise solely for the sake of SLT looking like they're on top of monitoring teaching and learning standards. If you don't want to leave/can't leave immediately, I'd personally go with printing everything off and then making a few scribbles here and there, and only do more if they started giving you serious grief about it. Aside from that, just have faith in what you're doing and make sure your observed lessons go ok. And think about moving on.
    snowyhead likes this.
  13. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    If the person in your classroom, whilst your are undertaking PPA, is a qualified teacher then they have to plan the lessons. They will be subject to performance appraisal just like you and they will be expected to have met or exceeded Teacher Standards, which includes planning lessons. However, many schools employ HLTAs to 'cover' PPA time, in which case you would be expected to provide lessons plans. Although in my experience HLTAs generally teach Music, PSHE and another foundation subject following published schemes of work which lessens the planning burden.

    Contrary to popular belief, PPA teachers employed by a school are paid to plan and teach - they are not cover teachers.
  14. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    [QUOTE="Orkrider2, post: 11457767, member: 3542346"
    It sounds like it's a school either pooing themselves about an imminent ofsted, or that the subject leaders/SLT are box checking so they can update their CVs for a move up the greasy pole in the near future, or both..[/QUOTE]

    Even if Ofsted is imminent the kind of detail outlined by the OP for the planning folder is completely unnecessary because Ofsted don't ask for or expect to see lesson plans or planning folders. Prior to our last inspection we were told to collate a planning folder with a similar amount of **** in it because our LA consultant had advised SLT that was what was Ofsted expected to see. We were inspected about six months later. I offered my comprehensive planning folder to the inspector who came to my classroom, he declined to look at it. I took my folder along to the feedback session and it was declined again. The inspector explained that he had been offered several folders that day but hadn't looked at any of them because inspectors don't need to see individual teacher's planning.
  15. chubbyone

    chubbyone Occasional commenter

    Interesting point, and makes sense. Ppa in my workplace is covered by a mixture of teachers and HLTA.
  16. drek

    drek Star commenter

    it is definitely mangement who are directly responsible, via the middle leaders they control and direct, for teacher over workload. They claim it is to keep ofsted and educational consultants happy. All three parties responsible thus absolve themselves of any responsibility, by blaming each other.
    The 'strategy' works because nothing sticks.
  17. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Ask to be taken off timetable so you have time to do all this essential box ticking that is obviously the raison d'etre for being in the school, because having to go into the classroom and teach is severely curtailing your ability to do the admin job they are paying you for...
    cat2611, marlin and snowyhead like this.
  18. highway61

    highway61 New commenter

    snowyhead likes this.
  19. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Also, don't forget that by asking the teachers to keep a track of this stuff, it reduces the workload of the middle leaders and SLT. I worked with a member of SLT who asked us all to collate our tracking data, along with percentages (because she didn't know how to work them out herself) and colour coded by expected level and how many points children had progressed every half term, with copious notes on why they hadn't made any progress and what was going to be done about that in the next half term. Not only did these have to be in our planning folders, but a hard copy needed to be given directly to her so that she could put it in a ringbinder and thus earn a couple of grand extra pay for being in charge of data. I really wish I was exaggerating.
    cat2611 likes this.
  20. Mrs_Hamilton

    Mrs_Hamilton Occasional commenter

    I have to email all of those things too.
    Any MTPs and overviews at the beginning of the term and then each week all STP/weekly planning to be emailed to my 'line manager'.

    I am reassured by the replies you have received that I too am working for people who do not understand...

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