1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

What's the official bottom line on NQT's and cover?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by youngjen84, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Hello!
    I have been told some conflicting reports on us NQT's being taken for cover in our "free's" and that we shouldn't be covering at all (so people have told me) Is this true? I don't think it is, as we were given help towards the end of our PGCE year on cover lessons....but it has got me wondering just. I had 2 cover lessons last week and just did one today, I don't mind at all doing my bit but I had planned to observe another teacher today and was a bit peeved I didn't get to in my free....I know PPA is protected but I thought I read somewhere our free's(which we will only get this year) were to do CPD and all and not to cover...oh well............

  2. Hello!
    I have been told some conflicting reports on us NQT's being taken for cover in our "free's" and that we shouldn't be covering at all (so people have told me) Is this true? I don't think it is, as we were given help towards the end of our PGCE year on cover lessons....but it has got me wondering just. I had 2 cover lessons last week and just did one today, I don't mind at all doing my bit but I had planned to observe another teacher today and was a bit peeved I didn't get to in my free....I know PPA is protected but I thought I read somewhere our free's(which we will only get this year) were to do CPD and all and not to cover...oh well............

  3. I do the same number of covers as experienced teachers. I dont think frees are protected at all, only PPA is

  4. writerdreamergirl

    writerdreamergirl New commenter

    You shouldn't be doing covers before Christmas -your frees are there to give you more time to prepare and as NQT time when you do stuff for the induction including seeing other teachers, otherwise why are you given more frees than general teachers? If I were you I'd have a chat with the union rep and just check what the union says I know that NASUWT has a list of ten things that you're not supposed to have to do during your NQT.

    Some schools are more strict than others - did my NQT in two schools first school did covers maybe one a fortnight - second school only did one at the end of the school year!

    Is your mentor getting a free period to have your mentor meeting with you? That's another thing you need to ensure you're getting that's vital!

  5. PPA is protected, no other non-contact time is. (Guidelines state that the headteacher/principal must ensure a reduced timetable
    for teachers taking part in induction. This means teaching for no more
    than 90 per cent of the time that another mainscale teacher (who does
    not receive a teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payment) would
    be expected to teach at the same school.) However, most schools avoid using NQTs too much - if you feel you're getting an unfair deal speak to your mentor. We've had instances where the person who organises cover hasn't realised a member off staff was an NQT. The 10% NQT time doesn't have to be allocated on a weekly basis, although in most secondary schools that seems to be the case. It can be provided as blocks - ie days for NQT conferences and the like.
    Re meetings, writerdreamergirl - mentors aren't required to have a protected non-contact. Our LEA advises mentors to allocate half an hour per week per NQT but this is only a guideline, and it's not all for meetings - I spend a lot of my time as a mentor following up paperwork, observing lessons and planning training. (I currently mentor 12 NQTs as well as trainees from 2 Universities and get 5 hours for that.). The only requirement other than this is for half-termly review meetings. Meetings with subject mentors are less formal usually. No-one wants to wait for a planned meeting on say Friday if there's an issue on Tuesday, so it's better all round if the NQT has less formalised contact witht he mentor who works with them on a day to day basis.
  6. p.s. the extra 10%, however it's allocated, should be for NQT tasks - CPD etc, not planning and marking. Arrange to obserbve others teaching etc in this time.
  7. Sorry, just noticed this. Not ALL of your free time is PPA or NQT time - there'll be a further allocation in your timetable of non-contac. At my school, a mainscale teacher teaches 21/25 periods. 2 of the non contacts are protected as PPA, the others aren't. NQTs get a furtehr non-contact for CPD and days throughout the year which make up the 10%. Hope that clarifies what I said previously.

    I suppose the over-riding issue here is the workload agreement that applies to ALL teachers. There is a limit to how many covers youcan do in a year - 38 or thereabouts, IIRC. Might be worth keeping a tally.

  8. All teaching staff can do cover whether they are NQTs or not, also it makes no odds on whether Christmas has passed or not. The unions can say what they like, but a union recommendation is not law. However all teachers within a school should do the same level of cover throughout the year, if you find you are being used more frequently than other teachers then see your NQT mentor and arrange for some of your 'frees' to be timetabled as NQT time so that they become protected, as some schools may have a policy of using thouse with the most 'frees' first.

    The good news though is that from September 2009 no teacher should be doing cover except in an emergency (staff illness).

  9. As far as I am aware, welshman is right - there's no set requirements especially for NQTS, just for teachers as a whole. I've been doing an hour a week and I've found it fairly good for a few reasons:
    1. I've learnt not to plan to do anything in that period as I'm always taken for cover the same period each week. Obviously this allows me to not leave tasks for that free period only to find I no longer have it avaiable (as I did the first two weeks!)
    2. My school are relaxed and I am usually able to get a class set of books marked during that period as behaviour is good at my school.
    3. It allows me to establish a 'reputation' as a member of staff. This is particularly true with a Year 9 class to whom I do not teach my first subject. I covered a member of my department and the students decided to 'push their luck', not realising that I was actually a teacher of that subject; clearly since I knew the schemes of work and exactly what they should have been doing, this failed. Again, with a Year 9 class I covered for German (not something I teach, but I took it until A Level so I know Year 9 level German!) - they took one look at me and thought "aha! We can get away with not doing the work here!" and instantly claimed that they didn't understand the work. I told them not to worry and translated the instructions into English for them, much to their surprise. More students know my name and know that I'm not going to let them slack off.
    4. It allows me to occasionally see my students in an altnernative environment, e.g. I covered an art class which had half of one of my GCSE classes in it. It was interesting to see them in an alternative environment, and, since they were simply sketching, to spend some time talking to them and getting to know them - especially the quieter ones.
    Cover's not all bad as an NQT!

  10. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    To clarify, an NQT is entitled to teach 10% less than a normal classroom teacher. This is their NQT time and this is protected, directed time. This means that an NQT may only be directed to use this time for training and similar things related to their induction (meetings with mentors, observing other teachers, attending training etc).

    In addition, the NQT is entitled to the further 10% PPA time afforded to all teachers. Again this is prtected time, however it is non-directed time. This means that the NQT may not be asked to complete certain tasks. They are free to use this time for their planning and marking etc as they see fit.

    All of this should be clear on your timetable. You should know which 'frees' are PPAs and which are NQT-time. If you have any additional non-contacts that are labelled neither PPA or NQT, then these are just ordinary frees, which are part of directed time and mean that you may be used for cover like any other teacher.
  11. No-one should be doing that much cover. If you do an hour a week, every week, you will be going over the maximum set out in the workload agreement.

  12. How so? I work 39 weeks per year...the maximum is 38 so I only need to not do one week.

  13. ...well, as long as you DO get that week. School's oughtn't be using staff so routinely in any case. People who DON'T raise it as an issue are undermining the workload agreement in my opinion.
  14. Further more, the guidance says "From September 2004 there will be an initial contractual limit of 38 hours per year. The National Agreement makes clear that the objective in the longer term is for teachers at a school to rarely cover at all. To achieve this objective, schools will need to find new ways of managing cover."
    What that means is that schools should not be leaving it till September next year to reduce the amount of cover teaching staff are doing - better procedures should be in place already. I've done one cover since September, that was last Tuesday. Last year I didn't do any, the previous year I covered 9 times. If some schools can achieve this then others ought to be able to, and are expected to. Please don't let your school cheat you out of the time you need to do your job effectively!
  15. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter

    I am quite interested in this question as well. I am actually doing a maternity leave contract but through a supply agency. The school have registered me with the borough as an NQT however, i seem to be being put on cover left right and centre. It is not just once or twice a fortnight either. Before the half term, for two weeks solid, I was put on cover in absolutely every free lesson throughtout the week. Have I lost the right to be counted as a 'real teacher' simply because I have been employed by an agency? I do have to do all of my own planning and marking as well as agreeing curricular targets for IEP's and all forms of assessment and reporting. As far as my HOD is concerned, I am a full time member of staff in the school and has voiced this to the powers that be.

    Any thoughts????
  16. ^ We have a similar situation in our school - a long term supply NQT if that makes sense.

    I don't know the official rules to be honest but our CPD team are excellent at protecting NQT frees. I did 300 minutes of cover in 3 days at the beginning of term.... my mentor found out and went mental at the cover office.
  17. madwoman

    madwoman New commenter

    an NQT is only entitled to their PPA and an additional 10% they can be required to cover
  18. Taken from the TDA site

    All NQTs, including those working part-time on a pro rata basis, should have a timetable of no more than 90 per cent of other mainscale teachers. This reduction in teaching duties is in addition to the 10 per cent planning, preparation and assessment time allowed for all teachers. Further details of headteachers'/principals' obligations to provide a reduced timetable are available in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document, 2010.

    This time should be used for activities relating to the NQT's induction programme. It should not be used as unspecified non-contact time or to cover for absent colleagues.
  19. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You can be used for cover for amaximum 38 hours per year and, if in an LA school where Rarely Cover applies, teachers shouls only be covering for colleagues in exceptional circumstances where the school will not have had time to make other (supply) arrangements.
    Thus, a planned absence by a colleague (a course, hospital appt etc or illness notified with time for getting a supply in) should not be covered by any teacher. Some schools have CS on staff for such eventualities.
    You cannot be used for cover in your protected PPA time or in your NQT time. You can be used in the other non-protected free periods.
  20. Let's clear up a few things here.
    ALL NQTs who are on induction - regardless of who the employer is (e.g. a supply agency) must, by law be provided with, as a minimum, 10% PPA time and 10% NQT time that is protected and cannot be used for cover in any circumstance. Other free time COULD be used for cover, but with 'rarely cover' in place it means that only in exceptional circumstances and where it is unavoidable should staff be taken for cover.
    The 10% NQT and 10% PPA time makes a timetable reduction of 19% overall in class contact time - the PPA time should be used for planning preparation and assessment and the NQT time for things related to your induction and meeting the core standards. In general good schools avoid usinmg NQTs for cover. Supply agency teachers on contracts that mean they are registered for induction (i.e. the post lasts at least a term) should NOt be treated less fairly than any other member of staff. The school has a duty of care towards all its staff whether directly or indirectly employed.

Share This Page