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PPA Time Clarification

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Colcol40, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Colcol40

    Colcol40 New commenter

    Hi, I’ve been told that PPA time cannot include your usual lunch break. I’ve looked at the union documents and the government advice and I think this is the case. Please can someone confirm or tell me I’ve been misinformed!! Thanks
     
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Wherever I've worked it's always been based on contact time, but then I've not worked anywhere where they've tried to pare it back to the minimum.
     
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    From STPCD. 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. (My underlining). I interpret this as meaning that it has to happen during normal lesson times. It stops a school from expecting staff to teach for the whole of the school day and then directing them to stay after school for their PPA time, which would be possible within standard directed hours if there were not many staff meetings etc. I assume that when you refer to your usual lunch break, that is not in the timetable teaching week, so I think you are right unless...

    I have assumed that your contract is governed by STPCD. If it is not, then it depends on your contract and the school's policies, and none of us can tell you what they are, even though we can say what we think they should be. If you are under STPCD, then that should be the first place to go to if you are unsure about what your rights really are.
     
    Stiltskin, strawbs, Pomza and 3 others like this.
  4. Colcol40

    Colcol40 New commenter

    Thank you that’s really helpful.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If you are on STPCD PPA is within your 1265 hours of directed time. Your lunch break is not part of directed time. So aside from any other issues PPA, whenever you do it, must be within your 1265 hours directed time calendar.
     
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think it is stronger than that - it must be during the school's timetable teaching week. If this were not the case, it could be after school. STPCD does not say that a teacher cannot be directed during the school's lunch time, only that there is entitlement to a break of 'reasonable' length, whatever than means. So, if it were not for the rule about being in timetabled teaching time, it would be possible for a school to make somebody teach for five hours every day, with the school lunch break being divided into half an hour break for each teacher and half an hour PPA. As long as meetings, registrations etc did not amount to more than another hour a day on average, this would be within the 1265 hours.
     
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes - I didn't want to repeat your advice! ;)
     
    Piranha likes this.
  8. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    It does worry me that with more and more schools not subject to STPCD, we could see the sort of approach to PPA that I dread actually happening. I am sure that schools could manage with fewer meetings, so they could still say they met the 1265 hour rule and employ 10% fewer teachers.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If you work more than six hours per day you are legally entitled to 20 minutes (minimum) uninterrupted rest break. So that cannot and should not be used for PPA.

    For your own sake do not sacrifice that 20 minutes. You can choose to work through it and leave earlier but that's your choice. You cannot be directed to do so. The school cannot allocate your PPA time to take place during your designated break. Find out how long and when your break is scheduled. PPA time cannot be scheduled during those minutes.
     
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    A school near me has announced it's going to close at 1.30 on one day a week, so all the teachers can have PPA then, saving money on PPA cover. It's not clear how that fits the rules that it has to be during timetabled teaching time.
     
  11. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    Teachers in a school my friend is at teach 42 hrs over 2 weeks. But they get only 4 hours of ppa. This would be just below the 10 percent. Does anyone know if it is against the rules ?
     
  12. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If the school uses STPCD, as would be the case for LA schools and some others, then yes, it is against the rules. If not, the school can make up its own rules. What sort of school is it?
     
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I would think it is against the rules, but I can't see why staff would not agree to it, as it doesn't affect them adversely. Indeed, some might like the fact that it allows pairs or groups to do some planning together. How this fits in with their obligations towards the students I can't say.

    Or, have they extended the day so that staff teach for longer on the other days? That is something I would complain about.
     
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    @frustum It's still during the 1265 hours of directed time. I'd have no problem with this provided the school day hasn't been lengthened as described by @Piranha
     
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I'd agree that it seems fair enough to staff, even if it's technically against the rules. Of course parents are now faced with having to pay for childcare. I don't know what happens with support staff - possibly they'll lose hours but make it up by providing after-school care that afternoon.
     
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Very good thinking @frustum. it hadn't occurred to me that it's an excuse to send support staff home and save money that way! How naive I am. How stupidly naive.
     
    UpperPayShelf and agathamorse like this.
  17. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    And if they can get away with it, they can save 10% or so of their teaching staff costs.

    I do wonder what parents think of having to find somebody to look after their children for an extra afternoon. And I also wonder if sending them home at 1:30pm is early enough to make 10%. Afternoon sessions at schools are often shorter than in the morning.
     
  18. Happygopolitely

    Happygopolitely Established commenter

    I will check with them.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I assume they have slightly longer hours on the other days.
     
  20. CalF123

    CalF123 New commenter

    I’m a deputy head/ business manager and this is similar to the model we operate.

    Basically, we don’t allow PPA time during the school day. It’s our belief that all output by teaching staff during this time should be exclusively focused on the reason we are there- the pupils. This policy enables us to maximise the output from our resources, and reduce class sizes.

    Teaching staff are able to take their PPA time before 8.30 am or after 4pm.
     

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