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Release time as Head of English?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by dreamweaverplusactor, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. dreamweaverplusactor

    dreamweaverplusactor New commenter

    So, I'm head of English at my 1-form-entry school and am finding it really hard to keep up with everything I need to do for writing and reading - looking at books, observations, being prepared for data talks with my SLT, sorting out events such as World Book Day, stocking the library with books, making sure we have decodable books for KS1, displays, managing the accelerated reader and leading/booking CPD sessions etc. (sorry for the list; another one just kept springing up after I thought I'd finished!).

    Some of my colleagues have commented that at other schools they have worked at the head of English was given time on top of their PPA to do all this.

    I'd like to just get a sense of the usual practice before requesting anything.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    It will vary from school to school. Ours gets an afternoon every three weeks or so but we're a much larger school than yours.
    Talk to your head if you can't keep on top of it all. It's a lot to do in your own time .
  3. Josh7

    Josh7 Occasional commenter

    You should be given release time if you are required to do lesson observations & scrutinize books.

    If you are not given release time you can't carry them out.

    Are you the first co-ordinator your school has had? Not sure why you have got to stock the library (is that a new thing in your school) or make sure there are decodable books (unless you're in a brand new school).

    If you are being told to do those tasks as part of your remit you should ask for the time to do them.

    In my 2 form entry school the literacy coordinator only is given time when needed, not as a regular event.
  4. nancymancey

    nancymancey New commenter

    I get an afternoon a week. Our maths lead gets a morning a week x
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    At our primary school, Maths and English leads are SLT and get 1 day a week release - half a day PPA and half a day management/subject leadership.
  6. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    I once had a release cycle with English, maths and data coordinator so we had half a day every 3rd week.
  7. chainreader

    chainreader New commenter

    I work in a 2-form entry school and get an afternoon out for English. The maths lead also gets an afternoon out.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I've only worked in smallish primaries, such as yours, and have never known anyone to get regular release time. On the odd occasion for a specific task, yes, but not otherwise.

    From your list
    Looking at books: Ask for a staff meeting to do this as a whole staff collaborative effort. Much more useful and time efficient.

    Observations: Not your role, but if you do them with SLT, then you must have time out of class to do so.

    Data talks with SLT: Only once a half term at the very most and data should be prepared for you to merely scrutinise. These meeting should not be in PPA time and if you have to sort out the data yourself, ask for some time to do this specific task.

    World Book Day: Delegate to someone willing or just go with dressing up. It's once a year and needn't be a big deal.

    Stocking the library: As someone else has already said, surely the library already has books? Otherwise just ask the school council to compile a list of 3 books suitable for each year group and give the list to the office staff to order. Job done.

    Decodable books: Should be part of your phonics or reading scheme and already in place. It should follow seamlessly from EYFS, so don't start with KS1. However the KS1 and EYFS leaders might be best placed to actually sort this out.

    Displays: Cannot possibly be your role and if they are part of a rota for public ones, should come up rarely and be delegated to able year 6s.

    Managing accelerated reading: Shouldn't take very much work, especially in a small school. And the SENCO should take the largest role in this surely?

    Leading/booking CPD: Can't be that big a job. Most schools have no money for any such things, so they never happen. If you are leading some, then ask for an afternoon as time to complete this specific task.

    Unless you are in a brand new school or are a new leader after a school has gone in to SM, there really isn't a lot on your list that should take too much of your time in such a small school. Does anyone else in school get subject leadership time?
    digoryvenn likes this.
  9. dreamweaverplusactor

    dreamweaverplusactor New commenter

    Thanks for the feedback. So it looks like it depends on the school.

    I wish some of them were that simple caterpillar!

    Looking at books: I'm supposed to do this regularly to check that everyone is making progress. I can't take up staff meeting time more than once a half term to do it.

    Observations: It has been given to me as my role. I get time to do them but not to do any write ups for feedback (always have to have evidence that I've done them obviously! ).

    Data talks: I'm supposed to come to any meetings having annalysed the data and to have spotted any gaps or groups that aren't making sufficient progress (even though with only 200 children the data is pointless and impossible to actually get trends from).

    World Book Day: this has always been an expectation in the school that we go above and beyond to (I think) 'compete' with the other schools in the town - always have to have workshops, an author visit or something akin to those.

    Stocking the books: We have lots of books, but SLT are constantly complaining that they are too old. So I have to get them in. Then, I have to stamp them and create Accelerated Reader labels for them all (which is a huge job).

    The phonics books are very old and apparently not fit for use any more so I've been looking for decodable books. I have delegated this to the class teachers but then I have to do the ordering and filling out the finances etc.

    Managing Accelerated reading: See above for labeling all new books that are on the scheme, and apparently I should be checking to make sure teachers are keeping on top of children who are scoring below 70% in too many tests .

    We have lots of CPD events. Not sure how our school is funding it then. But we give staff lots of training. Whilst that can be good, I'm expected to be constantly finding CPD sessions and any in-house training I'm supposed to lead.

    This is the admin that makes this job so demoralising.

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