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

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

  1. She plans the lessons that are PPA times, NQT times and Management times - basically the regular timetabled sessions. The other times (cover for teacher performance management, courses) are planned for by the teacher and left for her. It makes sense that the teachers leave her the plans for the sessions that they are normally there for seeing as they would have taught the previous session. However she plans for all of her timetabled PPA covers, NQT times and Management times. Her PPA is to plan these sessions.
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    If I did, say, art, every Wednesday afternnoon, I'd be able to plan. But when I'm just delivering one maths lesson out of five in a week, I cannot plan it as a separate entity.

    By the way, as marking is part of assessment I did make some growly noises when everyone seemed to be offloading their Big Writing on me. That was a day's marking in terms of hours but no maount of moaning cut ny ice.
  3. So are you timetabled for any regular 'set' sessions per week then? Because if you are, those are the sessions that (in my school) you would be planning for, hence the need for your own PPA.
  4. And if you are not planning for the sessions you teach, does that mean that the teachers are planning for their own PPA cover? This surely defeats the object of PPA cover. Sorry, if this has been covered - cannot be doing with trawling back through the thread!
  5. PPA should be sacrosanct. If PPA cover staff are absent then it is the HT responsibilty to make sure other cover is in place. Absences are foreseeable and should be dealt with accordingly. I certainly don't think it's taking things too far to stand up for your legislated rights!
    Only too often are HT willing to take them away if they can get away with it!
  6. You might not agree with HLTA's being used to cover PPA time - but get over it!! We are trained and we are more than capable of following what some teachers laughingly call 'planning', that is if they can actually be bothered to let us have their planning.
    You'd soon moan if HLTA's no longer existed. Some of us go to work before 8a.m.(even though we don't get paid untill 9a.m), to do the photocopying and preparing of resources that some teachers feel is beneath them, and often don't leave untill 4.30p.m. One of the teachers I work for arrives at work at 8.45! We also go in during school holidays to prepare your classrooms, put up displays, label books and drawers etc because half of you wouldn't do it for a gold pig!!!
    HLTA's and TA's are worth their weight in chocolate and it's time some of you teachers remembered that.
  7. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    What about us that DO remember it? Can I have some chocolate or a golden farm animal?
  8. You are not entitled to PPA on inset or bank holidays, if the kids are not in there is no entitlement. PPA missed cover due to illness/absence should be made within 2 weeks of missing. We keep a list of missed PPA and supply is called in after 2 weeks if not covered.
    I have been a HLTA for over 5 years and put in many hours planning and assessing my lessons. I'm always on the look out for more interesting lessons to engage the children as well as updating the new scheme/outlook for the whole school. I feel that I am an expert in my role as I teach one area of the curriculum which I have to write new schemes of work when none existed. The teachers are supposed to be responsible for my lessons but they can't get out of the classroom quick enough and are happy for me to be responsible. I hope it is because they trust my professionalism and skills.
    I do have a degree but not a PGCE and feel that some teachers talk about HLTAs in a derogatory way. In 5 years I have a lot more experience that many NQTs. I do involve teachers about behaviour issues in my lessons as I feel that we must all support each other and show a united front to the kids.
  9. I think that I'm lucky because I work in a school (primary) where there is a really supportive team spirit. Our PPA is covered for one hour by trained PE specialists from an external company, so the children do games etc with someone extremely competent and well-trained. The other hour is covered by a HLTA. Yes, I plan and mark and I also do the initial input in the morning so that the time is spent doing a meaningful activity rather than a 'lesson' actually taking place. This suits me fine. Our HLTAs are just wonderful. The children see us all as part of the same team and behave appropriately. There is also flexibility. If my HLTA is off (either planned or unplanned) then I will take the class for the afternoon and not have my PPA but I know that it will be repaid at a time to suit me. She is also willing to arrange swaps if I have a genuine need to be away from school on a different afternoon. I'm flexible for her and vice versa. Our head is absolutely set on ensuring that everyone gets their PPA but appreciates our flexibility in a tight situation. It just works for us.
  10. Obviously not in my school! I am the one in during the holidays, not the TA or HLTA. I do the displays and label books. I am in early and leaving late. Some TAs and HLTAs do work a bit over their hours, but not a huge amount and not regularly.

    However, I do agree that a good TA is more than worth their weight in gold and I currently work with some fab ones :)
  11. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Either you're a martyr or the school is exploiting you shamelessly. Either way, you are doing your colleagues, countrywide, no favours.
  12. I'm sorry to say this but as a head of a very small school(1 full time teacher, 1 x0.5 and me 0.5) I don't feel very sympathetic. I give my teachers the maximum PPA we can do at the cost of my PPA.We use a PE instructor and have used 0.2 teachers in past but this year we've decided not to do this as children were having too fragmented a teaching experience. I would like to give my staff more non contact time(particularlyfor planning/assessing together) but the budget just doesn't run to that and the children would suffer from not having continuity. A catch 22 I fear!
  13. I am a TA and we cover teachers PPA each week. We get paid a higher rate - level 3 instead of level 2 for 2hrs a week. We are sooo lucky! Does this happen anywhere else?? I'd be interested to hear how rates of pay vary for this type of cover.
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Yes, I am. EXCEPT THAT... Yrs 3 & 4 alternate mornings and afternoons! I only wokr three days a week now and do 2 days PPA cover in juniors. Gosh, another reason for me to be unpopular!
    Yr 6 is easy - I have my own routines and work together with the Yr 6 teacher in a way that suits us both but gives me the bulk of planning and assessment.
    Yr 5 - I do PE and RE and assess for RE. Our school follows the RC Here I am scheme and all classes have to do 2 1/2 hours RE a week. Each topic is about 4 weeks long and teachers are often behind with the requirements of the scheme. I can't plan since I neer know exactly where the class teacher is.

    Yrs 3 & 4 swap - am/pm. Anyone who thinks I should be writing success criteria for children without any knowledge of how they've done in prior lessons needs their head testing. This would apply just as much if I taught them at the same time every week rather than fortnightly.
  15. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Oh, and it makes a big difference whether I'm in a class [supported] am or pm [unsupported] because these are challenging classes.

    Now, it's the teachers themselves who've decided on this swap system. As often as not they can only gie me the details of what they want doing at some point before school in the morning or during lunchtime. One teacher last year used to disappear every lunchtime until five minutes before class.

    No wonder I get heartburn and no wonder I've no intention of bowing to demands that I plan!
  16. I'm surprised that so many people are unaware of this but HLTA pay scales can be equivalent to fully qualified teachers and in excess of salaries offered to NQTs. Weh ave 3 HLTAs and they are all absolutely fantastic - they have the respect of the children, they follow all school policies and they are well prepared. Long live the HLTA!!!
    My experience of supply teachers has not been good in the past, we do not use them in my school. No disrespect to the excellent teachers out there on supply but it must be incredibly difficult to come into a class who don't know you at all, assess each child's individual needs, liaise effectively with TAs and utilise the school resources effectively for the best learning outcomes. Our HLTAs can do all of that - and they do it well.
  17. So what does this prove? Some of the LSAs I work with turn up with two minutes to their start time. How can they be prepared for the lesson if they access the plan with minutes to spare? I bet you have to give more preparation time to be on the shop floor at Tesco.
    Having said that, I am not for one minute suggesting that all LSAs are like that. Thankfully I work with some brilliant practitioners but the respect goes both ways (I hope!).
  18. ..er HLTA's are NOT unqualified
  19. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Just be aware that you never know when you might need to work as a supply teacher. How will you feel about schools like yours then?
    I taught at three schools on supply so built good relationships with other staff, got my head around school policies, systems, most importantly of all got to know the children! Now I've got a contract at one of them. If there was no such thing as supply teaching, I would no longer be a teacher - 10+ years experience down the drain.
  20. PPA time MUST be timetabled as 10% of your weekly time table and therefore should never require cover, semi skilled or other.
    Unions fought hard for this and management is constantly trying to undermine the teacher's rights, which are a legal requirement and cannot be removed or held over at their convenience.
    If you are having problems seek help from your local union secretary, all unions know the law on this subject.

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