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Timetables - extra time

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Mr_G_ICT, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter


    how do you manage those staff who have been given extra time in their timetables under their allocation? (e.g. should be teaching a 44 but are teaching at 38)

    The school states it is down to head of dept to manage this, but do others face this challenge. do you set them additional dept development and leave them to get on with it, do you arrange meetings to track progress against the targets? do you just leave them to develop on their own.

    does anyone else face this challenge?
  2. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    It is rare for my department to have anyone under by so much (we have a lot of part timers so they are often happy to vary their hours). In other schools we had sufficient staffing to allow us to introduce an extra set so we could boost results in Yr 11. We have often used teachers to support colleagues in lessons either with behaviour or with specific groups. Equally, they tended to have extra cover lessons to make up any slack in their timetable allocation.

    I would suggest as HoD that you look at ways in which you can use them effectively rather than relying on them.
    HelenREMfan and strawbs like this.
  3. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter

    Interventions. Team teaching for difficult or large groups.

    As the teacher, I'd so much rather actual allocated tasks than the risk I'll be snaffled for cover during any given 'free' - makes planning meetings etc a nightmare!
    strawbs likes this.
  4. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    Beware as well that this could be a major source of discontent, both within your dept and across the wider staff if such people are seen to have a lighter load.
    As said above, I would look at putting on an extra set, either in y11 or in y7 if you have a very needy new intake for example. Alternatively double staff tricky middle groups. I would definitely create a timetable for them so there is no ambiguity.
  5. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    I agree with the above advice - I would definitely timetable something to avoid ill-feeling within the department.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that with schools looking to save money wherever they can, if your department is under-timetabled then it might well be targeted for redundancy / forced reduction in hours. If you can show a real, tangible benefit to the interventions, etc that your colleague has done with their extra time, you'll be in a much stronger position to argue to keep everyone at full-time hours.
    strawbs likes this.
  6. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    Using them for making borderline classes smaller/creating an extra group in years that could benefit, interventions or creating new resources would be best.

    As someone who had a couple of hours slack on their timetable this year, being used consistently for cover was a nightmare and I would rather have had a regular lesson. Particularly annoying when others in the department (we all had at least one hour under) ended up with a jammy slot where barely anyone was teaching and haven't had to cover once the whole year.
    sabrinakat and strawbs like this.
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It seems crazy that sone person can end up with six spare lessons, and it would seem much more sensible to spread that around. Even if you utilise all those lessons by splitting/double-staffing groups or running interventions, it would be more sense for more people have the lightening of their load that comes with having a smaller group. Way back, we used to have double-staffing on bottom sets (before TAs were commonplace), and it was spread around, particularly prioritising those who had a lot of large groups elsewhere.
    curl88 likes this.
  8. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Is your school's policy system consistent? The policy may read this way but will the reality be that they are given endless cover lessons. Many schools have a policy of tracking cover across the year against average timetable load. So that colleagues with an above average timetable get as few as possible and those below average shoulder more of the burden.

    To offset cover allocate them to a weekly "meeting" time where they write a sow or do prep/planning for colleagues. Resource creation is very popular with colleagues, particularly if they can put in requests and receive what they want and give feedback. Those with fuller timetables will appreciate the efforts to "lighten the load". What about have them write end of term question papers?
    As you are HoD this also means that you must ensure that they not seen to be lounging around in the staff shooting the breeze drinking caffeinated beverages etcetera during this time. Good/competent SMT will check on such things. Outstanding SMT would meet with your staff on a regular basis and check on their work.

    Obviously there is a whole host of ways to calculate staff workload. I personally prefer a sum of products of class size and amount of contact time. Having been involved in such organization fairly recently I know of a subset of colleagues who are quick to complain about how "full" their timetable is but their "full" timetable consists of 22 classes with 3 to 5 AS and A2 students. I did this with help of an excel spreadsheet, it was time consuming and I am aware that some schools would have a member of staff employed full time to do such work.

    If used positively this allocable time could be a boon. I wish you all the best with this dilemma.
    jarndyce likes this.

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