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

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

  1. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    It's actually 10% of your weekly <u>teaching</u> time, which makes it somewhat less than you might think from the above.
    Never mind -
    But what's all this about "PPA <u>cover</u>"?
    What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
    However, as the politicians know, the way one describes something is actually extremely important. It betrays how one's mind is working and gives people an impression - sometimes the wrong one.
    As long as you call it "cover" you are showing you have the wrong mind-set about it, and you are also giving the wrong impression to other people.
    In these economically challenged days, when PPA time is under threat, the last thing you want to imply is that person teaching your class is "covering" for you!
    This is because the word "cover" has historically been used for a temporary, arrangement caused by an unexpected absence. It has the connotation that the person being "covered for" really ought to be there, and would be if only they could.
    Worse, it has the connotation that the kids aren't getting as good a deal as they would if the "proper" teacher were there teaching them.
    The reality is, as pointed out above and as a secondary teacher pointed out earlier, that the cover teacher is not "covering" you. You are not unexpectedly absent. You are not ill. You are quite capable of being in with the class and teaching them.
    You are simply not timetabled to teach them at that time. So he/she is not <u>covering</u> for you or for your PPA time. If the teacher were absent and you went into the class, then you would be <u>covering for him</u>!
    That we use the term PPA cover is indicative that somehow or other, primary school teachers have not really, fully grasped the concept of PPA.
    It;s as though a parent described a school as "covering" for her while she went out to work during the day. Or perhaps a better example, it's like a teacher describing the parents of children in her class as "covering" for her (the teacher) during the evening and the night when the school is closed.
    When you have your PPA your class is taught by another teacher. To all intents and purposes it is his/her class while he/she is teaching it. It's as simple as that.
     
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And so some asgreement has to be reached as to the planning.

    Sorry to go on but nobody has come up with a blanket solution to this yet.
     
  3. I moved into tertiary years ago and am now retired, and I'd like to ask how Heads can be so dictatorial nowadays, eg announcing in the morning that there would be a meeting (on a not that urgent matter) after school that day or even the next. First, how come individuals or the staff jointly don't object that they can't rearrange their time just like that, or get their Union reps to do it on principle? Then, what's happened to Heads that they should act like that, except when unavoidable?
     
  4. Actually, HLTA is not a qualification it is a status!
     
  5. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Yes, inky, there is a blanket solution to this: it's called the contract.
    It's quite simple. When you are timetabled to teach a class, then you are responsible for the planning, teaching, and assessment of all of the students in that class. Because of this, your contract also entitles you to 10% PPA time each week, in which to carry out some of the work related to this.
    That's the rules.
    The fact that your school breaks them, and that you allow it to doesn't mean that there is a lack of a blanket solution; it means that your school is ignoring the blanket - and legislated - solution.
     
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    There is no such thing as a PPA teacher - or shouldn't be.
    The pupils/students are entitled to an education and if you are not delivering it because you are busy doing PPA - just as important AS the bleedin' teaching - then someone else will be teaching them something. Or ought to be! Something useful. What that something is should not be determined by you. You are doing something equally important with your professional time.

    YOU should not be covering lessons for other staff. if you do cover then YOU are baby-sitting. Why are you doing that? It is not your class/group for that slot. They should be doing something productive with a person employed to teach them. School must get cover. That is not your role.
     
  7. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I'm interested in what you mean by assessment. Of course, I mark [assiduously, as it happens] and give feedback on lessons and children's progress to their classteachers. I also contribute to meetings, both formal and informal, in which individual children's progress is discussed. I don't do APP though I give my informed input often enough.
    We have a bit of a standoff here, it seems. In my school [and I suspect in many others] I often just get given the day's maths and English lesson from the schemes we use, together with whatever needs to be photocopied and the Success Criteria.There was one teacher who had a problem with me not doing success criteria but I stood my ground. How can I do success criteria when I don't know what's gone on in the previous few lessons? The schemes are another story, of course. Since I know my colleagues and the children well, there's some confidence that I will do my best and am familiar enough with the schemes to do a decent enough [satisfactory???] job. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.
    I don't think many schools ask the teacher who does PPA to do core subjects. Since I do it am and pm, I do have to do this. I would love to do all the art or the main science input each week but guess what? Someone's on a courseand I'm moved around.

    As I've said before, my school is pretty generous with PPA.



     
  8. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    You're right. I am a teacher, and a bl00dy experienced one at that.
     
  9. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    To everyone else!
     
  10. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It makes no sense that you (inky) just fill in with literacy/numeracy. How can you track effectively? Not good for continuity. Not fair to the kids. You should be delivering a discrete area which is entirely within your control/oversight.

    I know that in the event of unforeseen absence someone will be needed to take core subjects but it is nonsensical to deploy staff routinely to dip into core and ruin the general overview that the usual teacher should command.

    The HT should be giving you a proper area. How can you give as good value as the teacher who's responsible for the planning? Not your fault. Primary just fudges this issue and doesn't always deploy staff effectively.
     
  11. I'm neither! I care about the kids not the kudos. I've lost count of the time teachers haven't been ready to deliver lessons because they left stuff at home, lost their memory stick, forgot to plan, blah, blah, blah! For supposedly intelligent people, teachers can be incredibly stupid.
     
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    In that case I should never teach maths or Englsih since I only have a class once a week.
     
  13. Flo71

    Flo71 New commenter

    In my school we have 2 part time teachers who cover PPA, they plan their own lessons and have PPA time too. If a PPA teacher is off then our HLTA steps in but although she will cover the class she will not teach a lesson. She will only do 'activities' with them and has a sour face while doing it.
     
  14. Becktonboy,
    How is it that all these University Graduate trained teachers do not know the terms under which they are employed: what they must and what they may do, what they may not and what they cannot be obliged to do? And why do they not know the same for TAs, to make sure they are not doing on the cheap jobs that only QTs are allowed to do, thus depriving other teachers/supply teachers of a job? I moved into tertiary years ago, but colleagues in both sectors then knew their rights and were not slow to get their Union to defend them. I'd love to know what's the matter now.
     
  15. A "united front" eh? That says it all about the teacher-pupil relationship now, even in Primary.
     
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    There is such a thing as custom and practice. Young teachers are often easily bullied by senior staff. Short of wading through forests of legalese there's no way of knowing the exact terms and conditions of employment. There's very little that's unambiguous. What exactly is directed time? And as for knowing about the TAs! In my establishment we have a vast crew of TAs at Level 3 who don't even have L2 quals in Maths or English - let alone the ability to work without supervision. Nor are teachers invited to feedback on their performance or permitted to know what is expected of them. This is because (if we did know what their levels meant) we'd be asking them to do a damned sight more work and causing an uproar which the SLT wouldn't like one bit. Some of them will tell you what their pay grade is but teaching staff are kept well away from directing their own TAs. It's like British Leyland in 1973 where I work.


    Bullying is prevalent in schools amongst staff as well as students btw. It's a profession that seems to attract the dictatorial and dogmatic. The unions will give different advice to the HTs and both will swear they have the definitive answer.
     
  17. I agree

     
  18. I agree
     
  19. As a qualified HLTA I feel I work closely enough with class teachers to be able to deliver their lessons to a very high standard!! And having been present in many teacher's lessons I would even be prepared to argue that my fellow HLTA's and I possible deliver better lessons than a supply teacher who has no connection with the children or their topics!!
     
  20. veritytrue

    veritytrue New commenter

    inky you need to grow some b*lls & insist on your entitlement.
     

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