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Trapped time

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by Rachel2812, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Rachel2812

    Rachel2812 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I’m hoping someone can help answer a question about trapped time in my timetable - I haven’t been able to find the answer to my exact situation anywhere else!

    I am a full time secondary teacher teaching 44 hours out of 50. One of my lessons didn’t fit in my timetable so I was asked to teach it at the end of the school day 3pm - 4pm (the school day finishes at 3pm). In return I’ve been given an extra free on my timetable on a Friday morning period 1.

    The hour on Friday is my time I’m getting back for teaching the hour after school but it is currently trapped in my timetable. I have to be in school for form time on Friday morning so have to be in school during that free hour.

    My question is: should I be able to come in later on that Friday morning and have my form time covered?

    thanks in advance for any replies
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The students in the class have to stay behind an extra hour on Friday when everyone else has gone home? I'm surprised they didn't complain!

    I'm not sure what you describe is trapped time. Sounds like it's directed time. Are free periods generally, for all staff, part of their 1265 hours directed time (assuming you are on STPCD conditions)? Can staff leave the premises during free periods?

    If the free period at the start of Friday is in directed time then by adding an extra period at the end of Friday have they exceeded your 1265 hours?

    There are no rules about so-called 'trapped time' - the concept is an invention of the unions not recognised by the DfE or STPCD - but I understand it to refer to time that isn't directed time.

    In your position I'd certainly be asking not to have to come in until period 2 Friday. You agreed the end of Friday lesson to suit the school, it wasn't your request, you shouldn't be disadvantaged in this way.
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I don't think there is anything against the rules here. Except, if you are under STPCD or similar and the school insists on you coming in for that hour on Friday morning, then you are adding an extra hour a week to your directed time, which may take you above the limit. You might be able to get out of some after school meetings, perhaps, or save the directed time in some other way. Sadly, the school could respond by saying that you have to be there for registration but can do whatever you like during your free period. That would make it trapped time, but sadly, there is nothing in STPCD to stop it happening.

    You haven't mentioned whether you have raised this with the school. If not, the obvious thing to do is to ask.
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I used to teach an after-school lesson for a small number of pupils, and it always ended up being Friday because that suited them better than other days.

    Anyway, definitely not unreasonable to ask if your formtime can be covered on Fridays. At worst they say no.
  5. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I used to teach an after school lesson for a small group, and it was left to me to find a suitable date with the students. Strangely, it kept being the same day as staff meetings. An odd coincidence.
    Rott Weiler likes this.
  6. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    If you're full time, is there even such a thing as full time? Surely you should be in school all the time but have some periods off?
  7. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    Sorry that should say, 'Is there even such a thing as trapped time?'
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    That free period is "time off in lieu". If you had a day off in lieu (perhaps after doing a weekend residential), you wouldn't expect to have to be on the premises.

    As Piranha says, the thing that might make it not allowed would be if it takes directed time over the limit. One lesson a week after school hours may well not, and so asking about a late start to compensate is more about "I'm doing you a favour, how about this in return?" However if someone were teaching after hours on multiple days, then it probably would take their directed time too high, and so finding a way to reduce the hours they were directed to be in school might be necessary.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Usually this is true, but somebody teaching after school might be offered a period off instead. If this were not at the beginning or end of the day, it would be "trapped time", but unfortunately there is no rule against it. Technically, the school could compensate for the extra period as the OP's school has done, and as my school did for me in similar circumstances.

    From my point of view, when I was teaching an after school lesson, I was quite happy to be in school for my extra free, as it just meant less work to do after school. I was more likely to make good use of it than if I could simply come into school late. And I managed to miss a few boring meetings! But that suited me, and may not suit the OP.

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