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Size of Guidance Caseload

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by MrsMacGregor1, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. MrsMacGregor1

    MrsMacGregor1 New commenter

    Apologies if this has already been discussed somewhere but I am curious as to how large the caseloads are for other PT Guidance staff in Scotland. I have the largest in my school - I have a caseload of 193 pupils, Named Person and Child Protection Officer for approx 310 pupils & have subject & PSE teaching commitment as well as varied remit including enforced lunch & break duty 5 days a week.Is this similar for most?
  2. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    I'll go through each in turn

    Limits are negotiated locally, but this seems within usual parameters

    Named Person is not happening at present so I don't know why you are doing this

    As for Child Protection Officer - the bucks usually stops with the HT or DHTs so again I don't know why you would want to take this on

    It's not enforceable. You don't get paid for lunch duty. You are entitled to walk out the door each lunchtime and not come back until the bell rings. If you have some sort of school arrangement where you get period back for dinner duty - this has to suit you. 5 days a week? Come on.

    It seems to me you're being taken for a mug. Develop a spine and say no. You work to live, not the other way about.

    If anyone questions your approach - look at your job description. It will not mention named person, child protection officer or enforced dinner duty, because legally it can't.
    davieee, subman68 and bigjimmy2 like this.
  3. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    Eh, you can't have enforced duty at morning break or lunchtime! You simply cannot be forced to do it, so I've nothing else to say about that.

    I am confused about the difference between your caseload and your child protection remit (which itself will be rare for a guidance teacher). Why are you not just CPO for your caseload? That makes no sense to me. 193 is a reasonable caseload, I wouldn't be concerned about that, in fact you should be glad that it's not larger.

    It's a massive job, and I don't think people really quite realise how massive until they actually do it, though I'd hope the CPO element is reflected in your salary, otherwise just refuse to do it.

    What's the reason behind your question, are you feeling overworked? As effin says, you might be letting yourself get taken for a mug, if you're not happy stop the breaktime duties and CPO work.
  4. cj2105

    cj2105 New commenter

    Approx 250 and a teaching commitment of 8 periods a week
  5. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Established commenter

    Did you not know these things before you accepted the job?

    Not being funny but recently I've seen at least a couple of colleagues doing PC temporarily - "it's what I've always wanted to do" - and then not coping.
    Effinbankers likes this.
  6. MrsMacGregor1

    MrsMacGregor1 New commenter

    Thanks for you reply. I didn't know about the size of caseload and enforced lunch and break duties because the caseload for me and my colleagues was smaller when I acted up for a year and also the duties weren't enforced at that time either, we were allowed to take breaks, so no, it all increased/changed once I was permanent in post for a while.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  7. MrsMacGregor1

    MrsMacGregor1 New commenter

    In reply:
    Thanks for taking the time out to reply. To answer your question at the end first: yes I do feel overworked because I am in a worse position in comparison to my equals and have raised this in person and in writing to senior management on several occasions to little effect so wondered what the situation was in other schools.
    Re CPO - in our school the 3 x PT Guidance staff plus PT Support are trained CPOs and then the DHT Support is overall in charge of CP - that is a similar picture in the other secondary schools in our authority from the looks of it so it is in our contract and I am not disputing that point but was using it to illustrate my large remit of duties.

    Correct, Named Person has not apparently officially been finalised yet, however the authority has a "Named Person" box on a lot of their official paperwork which they expect you to type your name in e.g. for reports to the Children's Reporter, CP paperwork and during In Service day updates senior management regularly refer to the Named Person and give our names. The council also apparently audited our school to ensure that the Named Person for each child was a promoted member of staff so like it or not it's here to stay, certainly as far as my school is concerned.

    You're absolutely right, I am taking myself for a mug but because senior management weren't recognising that, I wanted to check to see whether I was being unreasonable by complaining to them about it. Unfortunately when I acted up at PT Guidance for a year or so before applying for the permanent job several years ago the situation wasn't as bad as we're in now as we had more PT Guidance staff in the school at the time. The situation is getting worse due to staffing cuts unfortunately. Re lunchtimes we have been told to find the time directly before/after lunch to take a short break. I have pointed out that's not physically possible when I teach directly before and after lunch so yes I have on occasion left the building to take a well-earned break and left the base with no cover.
    Thanks again
  8. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Established commenter

    Sounds like you need to get things sorted, especially before they seriously affect you and your health.
  9. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    PT G in my school have approx. 200 case load but teach 20 periods a week. Yeah how can you be PT G and teach that much. Everyone of the PT G has a day where they are on all day no non-contact, they have to ask the pupils to have a crises on another day. My LA are also using the "named person" idea, it has been pointed out to them that there is no such thing, they have firmly put their collective head in the sand over this.

    As for the lunch/break duty, honestly grow a pair. Just say you cant/wont do it. Most teachers do a duty each week (why, I don't know but we do) to be told you are on every day is a joke, just don't do it. I often wonder if at the DHT interview they explain that the DHT will do every lunch and break duty? no don't think so. Schools should have staff that are given the time and pay to do these roles.

    As a profession we let ourselves get shafted, any wonder we get such crappy pay offers.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  10. ladywholunch

    ladywholunch New commenter

    Most PSHE teachers have a house attached with pastoral responsibility for between 180-200 pupils.

    You should have at least fifteen periods of non-contact time to allow case conference/phoning parents and carers/ prep etc.

    No member of staff is obliged to perform supervision duty at breaks.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  11. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Remember if you only have 15 periods of non contact but still teach 20 periods (35 period week) you need to use a chunk of this time to prep lessons, marking in fact all the normal class teacher stuff. No matter what others think being PT G is not an easy shift.

    Growing a pair is not a great phrase to use in my previous post, I would suggest that your SLT are more than taking advantage of you and you should not tolerate it. They are almost forcing you to be off long term with stress with the workload they are giving you.
    bigjimmy2 likes this.
  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    This isn't quite true. We are all entitled to a break and lunch break away from the premises but if you don't have a full timetable, there is nothing to say this break has to be at the same time as the pupils' break. It's not clear what role the OP is doing - it might be simply supervision which would count as a "non-teaching" duty but it could be related to the pastoral role. Promoted posts often include the responsibility of being on duty over lunch and breaks. Five days a week does seem excessive - what are the other PTGs and SMT doing at these times?
  13. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    It is 100% true

    Teachers in mainstream schools have defined lunch hours. Usually a bell rings to indicate it. How management uses the other parts of the day and whether you have contact or non-contact is up to them, providing it falls within national class contact rules i.e. max of 22.5 hours in front of a class. But you cannot be compelled to watch weans during lunchtime - it's not in your job description.

    You can walk out the door and nobody can say a thing as long as you're back when it rings again and you have a class to teach.
    TheBigA and bigjimmy2 like this.
  14. TheBigA

    TheBigA Occasional commenter

    So, I still don't understand the CPO aspect - why are the PTGs not CPO for their own caseload? That makes no sense to me. As has already been said, a guidance/pupil support job is not an easy shift, it is challenging and emotionally draining, but you must stand up for yourself and take a firm line.

    I honestly cannot understand how your SLT (or you for that matter) think you could be forced to supervise all break times, this absolutely cannot happen. It is voluntary and you should be thanked for any voluntary supervision you offer. My advice to you is simple - stop the supervision duties straightaway, there can be no action taken against you as a result. SLT might not be happy, but who cares, your wellbeing is more important. Are other PTs expected to do this?

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