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What happens if your PPA cover 'teacher' is off sick?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by KAC89, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. I (nearly) didn't get my PPA yesterday, as the HLTA who covers my PPA was off. I was told I wouldn't get it this week, but they would try and pay me back 'soon'.
    I made it clear I wasn't happy, but wasn't sure where I stood regarding policy so asked to see the PPA policy as I couldn't find it and couldn't remember the procedure.
    (Later on during the day, someone was found to cover my class and my PPA went ahead as normal - and I still haven't seen the PPA policy!)
    So my question is - what is the policy in your school if your cover is off? Is supply brought in, or do you lose PPA on that day and get paid back at a later date?
  2. Our agreement is that if, in the unforeseen event of PPA cover teacher being absent, we work that session and have the PPA owed to us for the next possible session. No big deal. We are also flexible enough to move PPA sessions to allow colleagues to attend courses on our set days and we are allocated that session in lieu.
    Your reaction seems rather over the top - they said they would pay you back soon, can't see why you needed to make it clear you were not happy...
  3. If our PPA teachers aren't in then supply is called in for PPA.
    Ours is heavily protected, as it should be and as a staff we are incredibly grateful for that fact.
  4. In fairness to the original poster (sorry can't remember name!) it was probably the vagueness of the "soon" that caused the problem. I've had that happen in the past and it can seem as if you are moaning if you keep asking when it is going to be repaid. It soon becomes old news!
  5. If as a teacher you plan how you are going to use your PPA time it is not right that you don't get it at short notice even if the promise to repay it is there. If you have planned to mark an assessment to deliver feedback in the next lesson or wanted to prepare for something you planned to do later in the day then it is not acceptable to lose this. As teachers we are entitled to this time and for most of us it is necessary we get it when we expect to.
    Personally I also disagree with HLTA's being used to cover PPA time - my daughter has experienced a lot of this at her school and it is not good enough. With the Government trying to encourage teaching to become a masters profession and students qualifying with credits for an MA they are expected to complete within a certain number of years how can it then be justified to use an unqualified member of staff to cover a teacher for 2 hours a week?
  6. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    If the PPA teacher is sick, we try to get a supply in. That's not always possible, in which case, the time must be re-booked by the end of the following week.
  7. Agree with you on that one for sure.
  8. If the ppa teacher is off we often miss ppa. I would rather miss ppa than have a drafted in supply who I would have to prepare work for. This would take me longer than the ppa time I would gain.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    As a supply teacher I have sometimes been asked to do 'pay-back time' for someone who's lost PPA time, if the teacher I'm covering for has their own PPA and I would otherwise be 'unoccupied' and I'm sure it will be possible for you to recover your PPA.
  10. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    This is fairly reasonable, surely.

  11. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I can see why it would be annoying. Many times I have things planned for PPA time that I need to get done when I planned to do them. However, there is not much you can do about it if this happens. As long as you get it back sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Sane. Thank you.

    I also disapprove of HLTAs being used for PPA.

    PPA teachers do actually have a right to be unwell. When that happens, schools have to do what everyone else does and make shift.
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Well yes, but when a member of staff [qualified teacher] is off sick, that attitude comes across as rather spoilt, in my view.
    What happens when your PPA teacher is taken ill during the day or called away for an emergency?
  14. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    It always amazes me that primary teachers tolerate this.
    Imagine the secondary equivalent. All teachers are covered by the same rules, after all.
    In Secondary, if the teacher who happens to have your form group is off, and you happen to have PPA in the same slot, do you think they would be told just to step in?
    The rules are quite clear that teachers should cover "only rarely", and that PPA time is exempt from that and teachers must not be required to cover during that time. And regardless of whether you think the class are your "overall responsibility", during the time that is marked as PPA on your timetable, they are not.
    Of course, in many cases, teachers will want to support their school at times of difficulty in staffing, etc. I personally, would quite happily step in on most occasions to cover during my PPA. BUT, if anybody ever implied that it was to be expected of me, they'd get short shrift. And any other teacher who tried to imply that I was being in any way stroppy or negligent by arguing to maintain my contractual rights would be similarly advised where to go.
  15. Depends how much it happens I think, in one particular year, it happened 4 times in a term to me, and I've got to admit, it was getting a bit tedious to keep stepping back into class. We've now changed our policy and supply is called in to cover, carrying out a one-off activity (planned by them) if the PPA lesson is not transferable.
    I also disagree with TAs being used for cover - we started PPA years ago using TAs, and I was called out more to deal with disturbances, than I got PPA time, and it really stressed them out. We don't use them anymore.
  16. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    I shall be controversial here (ducks head in advance!). I have no issues at all with our HLTA covering classes as far as experience or ability is concerned. She is fab and I can say hand on heart that the work and experience and hours she has put into becoming a HLTA is comparable to my teaching practices and her college work covers more practical areas than my BEd did and is far more up to date. She is great and I would trust her with my class in a heartbeat. However, I appreciate that this is not the case in all schools.
    I do believe that HLTAs should assist rather than being landed in the teaching role, especially as they are paid nowhere near a teacher's salary. And when schools deny supply teachers work and land the class on an already overloaded HLTA it is not fair to either side.

  17. I'm not sure of the PPA policy in my school...I should check it! We are lucky in our school as our PPA is covered by ICT. We have 2 specialist ICT teachers who take he class on a set morning/afternoon for 2 hours. We are dual entry school so both classes fromt he same year group go during the same morning to allow teachers to plan together.

    This becomes a problem if one/or both ICT teachers are off sick. I work alongside the deputy head and inthe case that PPA is cancelled for whatever reason they ALWAYS send the HLTA to Her class and I have to be in class..apparantly because she needs the time more than I do. I see this as totally unfair and DID kick up a fuss after the 2nd time this happens.

    We also miss PPA at least once a term when the ICT techs do maintenance for the week (although I usually see them sitting around drinking coffe......or playing solitare on the computers!!!!. PPA is mandatory and the next time this happens I will be voicing my opinions as I use my PPA wisely and actually plan for the week and catch up on marking so I don;t spend my evenings and weekends and planning/assessing/marking and I can actually have a social life.

    I also missed a lot of my NQT time...the HLTA was supposed to coverme for this but if ANYONE in the entore school was off (we have 18 teachers on any one day) she had to cover them. I missed over half of my NQT time for the final term. I had been asking and asking and pestering the head for weeks and months but nothing was done. It all come to a head when they wanted to sign me off (about 3 weeks before christmas last year) and my paperwork wasnt up to date. Luckily I had logged every missed PPA and NQT session and I was finally allocated 3 days off one week and 2 the following to catch up (in school obviously).

    I dont see it as baing a pain in the ass or being stroppy, I see it as getting what I am entitled. As a previous poster said...secondary teachers aren't expected to cover!

    I also don't agree with HLTAs covering...our is lovely but finds it difficult to control the class and the work is never of as high a standard. I have however worked in some school where the HLTA has been amazing and one who I would have no problems leaving with my class. I think this point depends up the HLTA.
  18. I don't think it is relevant how great or how ineffective teaching assistants are when covering whole classes.
    It was always ludicrous to take teachers out of classes to do paperwork which is supposed to raise standards and then put teaching assistants in to cover.
    The powers should have reduced the bureaucracy instead.
  19. greenpaddy

    greenpaddy New commenter

    If our HLTA is sick then a supply is booked to cover PPA. However we have to plan for our PPA cover s0 end up spending PPA time planning 2 comprehensive lessons for my HLTA. I would prefer to go down the route of some schools - adjusting the timetable and all children finish at 2pm on a friday - then all staff have PPA time then. Along with assemby times this would give the required PPA time.
  20. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    No you don't. Your Head might tell you that you do, but he is quite wrong, and your union would be glad to put him right on this.
    This would also be incorrect. PPA must be given during timetabled teaching time.
    No, it wouldn't, because assemblies can't be used for PPA either.

    Apart from anything else, by finishing earlier on one day all you'd be doing is cutting down the teaching time, which would likely mean having too little time to teach the statutory curriculum,


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