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PPA time for restorative?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Andrew_1993, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Andrew_1993

    Andrew_1993 New commenter


    The school I am working at have recently started getting staff to have restorative conversations with students with a mediator in a room during the school day for serious issues such as truancy, defiance, verbal abuse etc.

    While I am all for restorative talks with students, the school will only let us have these 'mediated talks' during the school day, which means our free periods. So far, I have lost four free periods since the start of the term due to having restorative talks. These have not worked, as the students have continued their behaviour in lessons and the relationship has not improved, one student came into my lesson and did the exact same behaviour and I have been booked in for another restorative talk. Last year, I would remove students from the detention/Isolation room and have a restorative talk and that would be done. I would give one chance for a restorative then give up if the behaviour continued.

    However, I am finding it very frustrating as I only have three free periods a week, and one of these can be taken up for cover work if needed. If we do not have these restorative talks, we are recorded on it, pulled up by SLT/Inclusion and reprimanded for 'not following the school way'.

    Is the school allowed to direct us during our PPA time for restorative talks?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    That's not surprising. I think that quite often such disciplinary methods are about having a record that something apparently meaningful was done and going through the motions rather than actually doing something that has an effect. Of course, having a talk with a student won't work because there are no consequences. The student simply repeats the bad behaviour and all that happens is that they get another talk. Your time is being wasted so that the school looks better on paper. If you refuse to give the talk, you are blamed and become the scapegoat.
    I think you need to involve your local union branch and organise staff to attend meetings about this.Have a vote on it, organise a confidential staff survey and present the results to your head. Ask for meetings with the head to discuss it and suggest alternatives. Keep a log of failed talks with details of repeated bad behaviour.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I'd be so assertive in such a meeting that the student would walk out and the SLT wouldn't involve me in future. Result.
  4. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    when did "restorative talks" take the place of the student being made to apologise?

    When was it decided that students get time out of lessons for this, whereas staff lose their own time?

    I can't think of a clearer example of how teachers have become devalued.
  5. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Cat o' nine tails should fix the problem. :D:D:D
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It is not allowed to do so.

    52.5. 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.


    Meeting with a student is neither preparation for lessons, planning, nor assessment.

    Outcomes of such meetings could be used to INFORM P and P but the meeting itself is beyond the bounds of P, P and A.

    That's certainly the position of the NASUWT and, I think, most other unions. I certainly would not be meeting students when I could be preparing resources, planning ahead or assessing what I've done.
  7. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    If you are under STPCD then they cannot take away your free periods if this cuts your PPA time below 10%. If you have some excess, then I think that can be used. I agree with the comments about the nature of these meetings. There might be occasions where a teacher does say or do something inappropriate, but usually these are a way of making a teacher share the blame for a child's behaviour.
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    madcatlady, Pomza, bajan and 2 others like this.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Gotta say?

    A restorative?

    I checked into this thread thinking that someone had been apprehended having a quick snifter between lessons. You do whatever it takes to get through bottom set YR10 Maths on a Friday afternoon. I don't blame you. Who doesn't need a stiff one?

    But it wasn't about that. Shame. :(
    jarndyce, lrw22, dodie102 and 7 others like this.
  10. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    I worked in a school where they completed overhauled the behaviour policy, going from zero tolerance, which worked very very well and resulted in very few students being removed, to all tolerance with restorative conversations which we were expected to do during lunch time and break, where we only had 20mins. Due to the all tolerance system, the kids were out of control and the students didn't care about anything we or SLT said...in fact they couldn't even control them. So, we pushed back and eventually restorative conversations went out the window and most of the leadership team too.
  11. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    That's all very well if staff stand firm as a group, but when most staff are too scared to say a word, the head will do as he/she pleases. It happens because staff won't stand together and do something collectively. Too many people see their union as an entity out there, which they call upon as if it's a glorified insurance company. It's not-the union is them.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Yep @baitranger

    I regularly bang on about that.

    "The union" isn't a bunch of people in some office. Primarily? It's us. At school. Knowing our rights and responsibilities and acting accordingly. There is no cavalry ready to rush in on our behalf.

    You need union resources if your career is threatened by false allegations or discrimination in the workplace or something that needs legal representation. Maybe to pursue a Settlement Agreement.

    But most things ought to be solved by US. Being adults and knowing what we have signed up to e.g. directed time, 1265 hours, not being compelled to do trips, how many meetings etc etc etc.
    s10327, Alice K, agathamorse and 3 others like this.
  13. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    After almost every sentence of the OP my reaction was ***?!

    Sorry. Not any help, but seriously... ***

    ABSOLUTELY NOT something to be carried out in PPA time. What are they thinking?!
    Alice K and agathamorse like this.
  14. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    *** was similar to ‘what on earth’.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. Andrew_1993

    Andrew_1993 New commenter

    Update: I have now had my final free of the week to be taken up for a restorative with a student who has thrice sworn at me.

    I am at the end of my tether with this system as I feel like I am being punished for student's behaviour. I have spoken to the union rep to discuss the restorative system because I mustn't be the only member of staff who feels like this.
    nizebaby likes this.
  16. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    As the sentiment towards restorative conversations is so negative in this thread, I just want to say that in our school such conversations are valuable and we have seen a real decline in poor behaviour.

    It forces pupils to acknowledge their role in the circumstances leading to poor behaviour. It also gives then a chance to say what they felt was unfair or misunderstood, which reduces the risk of them getting all wound up in between a heading where things ended badly and the next lesson. In other words, it gives a fresh start sooner, and an opportunity for understanding in between.

    Obviously there will be some students it occasions where this will be unsuccessful and possibly pointless.

    Obviously some schools will do it badly without understanding how to do it, they have just decided to follow the trend set by more creative schools and just hoping that going through the motions is itself the answer, I suspect above responses reflect this approach of leadership in their schools!

    For us though it really works and is embedded alongside a strong school ethos which is delivered in all lessons as part of teaching.
    miss_smith likes this.
  17. Andrew_1993

    Andrew_1993 New commenter

    I understand the point of these and would value them -however staff are loosing their valuable PPA time, -While we are being scrutinised on our books and lessons.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Are you forced to use PPA time for this? That is the main reason the OP is complaining...
    nizebaby and agathamorse like this.
  19. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    No, obviously that is wrong.

    As I said, I was just posting against the general sentiment that even trying this approach is wasted and harms teachers in some way.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I don't see why it needs a label.

    You get a youngster in a quiet space later and ask them why. You listen. Properly listen.

    Then you explain why the rules about swearing or mobiles or mocking classmates for being fat exist and what those rules are intended to achieve. And how following those rules and getting into the habit of not swearing, not endlessly consulting your mobile and not mocking people may just help them with a job or with the DWP and hope that they eventually "get" it. Sometimes they do.

    But restorative blah de blah? As if it's some kind of a system rather than just plain obvious?

    But it really ought to be done after school or in breaks. By someone paid to do it. Maybe someone in SLT or a designated counsellor. But not during lessons!!! Coz they will be...missing other lessons and getting behind and will then play up even more!!! :mad::mad::mad:
    nizebaby, agathamorse and Flanks like this.

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