To think that INSET days are.....

(239 Posts)
thismousebites Mon 15-Jul-13 23:04:26

basically just another day off?
So, all you teachers out there, what exactly do you do on INSET days?

Wolfiefan Mon 15-Jul-13 23:07:20

Child protection, assessment, teaching and learning etc.
In SErvice Training.

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:07:55

Day off for you.
Mixture of lectures seminars workshops and the rest for us. With timetable, power points, activities...
Depends what the focus is.
It's a training day, which given the amount of whinging about teachers on here is a good thing. We ought to have one a month really, to keep up with all the excitement.

numbum Mon 15-Jul-13 23:08:26

Cleaning, training, report writing, development plans, reviews....We do actually go in to work on those days you know!

CubanoHabana Mon 15-Jul-13 23:09:09

Do you not want your children to have the most up to date and well trained teachers? A lot of employers arrange courses to top up training, why should teaching be any different?

numbum Mon 15-Jul-13 23:09:12

When I say cleaning I mean sorting/updating displays! We don't actually dust and polish grin

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 15-Jul-13 23:09:41

Erm as others have said inset days are only days off for the children.

I'm surprised an adult doesn't know that.

kim147 Mon 15-Jul-13 23:10:02

It's a training day to catch up with the latest initiatives the Goverment think teachers need.

And there's lots of initiatives. Which will be out of date next year as the newer initiatives replace the current one.

For example - the new curriculum needs planning in schools. That's a big job.

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:10:03

Don't get all frothy, it's a bored person fishing for a rise.
Hey OP, become a governor and attend them! That could be lots of fun!

TroublesomeEx Mon 15-Jul-13 23:10:16

Training on the latest Government education initiative.

That sort of thing.

numbum Mon 15-Jul-13 23:10:38

alisvolatpropiis didn't you know the parents assumed school staff spend inset days in the pub?

schooldidi Mon 15-Jul-13 23:11:53

We do a load of training, generally loads of meetings, workshops, lectures. Some of them are interesting, some of them are mind-numbingly boring but necessary. I would ALWAYS prefer to be on holiday with the kids (seeing as the number of school days hasn't changed in decades, but teachers now have 5 days of INSET to do outside of those 190 compulsory school days), sometimes I would even rather be teaching my classes (one memorable INSET, I would rather have eaten my own leg than been there)

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:12:31

first aid training
safeguarding training
training on new software/systems
training relating to specific SEN pupils
go on courses at/with other schools to share ideas/experiences
work on targets for school development plan/Ofsted iprovements

and tonnes more

come on OP, try harder, if you actually have kids in school you can't be so unaware surely?

gordyslovesheep Mon 15-Jul-13 23:12:35

yeh course they are all the lazy sods do it drink tea and dunk biscuit all day long hmm

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:14:13

You could always play invisible INSET bingo, you need a like-minded colleague within eye-line who can keep a straight face.

CubanoHabana Mon 15-Jul-13 23:15:16

gordy don't forget brunch... It's our heads recent concession to lower budget, brunch instead of lunch and biscuits!

thismousebites Mon 15-Jul-13 23:16:30

I was just curious seeing as last Friday our school had an INSET day, yet when I walked past the school the gates were locked and the car park was empty......strange.

ParkerTheThief Mon 15-Jul-13 23:18:15

Perhaps the teachers were attending a conference or course elsewhere.

gordyslovesheep Mon 15-Jul-13 23:18:19

maybe they where away training - which loads of organisations do's not unusual to go to centrally LEA organised training

tethersend Mon 15-Jul-13 23:18:35

We learn how to ruin children's lives of course.

Its no easy task.

AudrinaAdare Mon 15-Jul-13 23:19:31

They are also unpaid days iirc.

cozietoesie Mon 15-Jul-13 23:20:07

They would have been off at a centrally based location - more efficient on resources to locate training at one single school for - say- five schools or at a central facility that has the necessary equipment to hand.

You would barely believe the pressure on Inset days, OP - so much training vying for inclusion.

ParkerTheThief Mon 15-Jul-13 23:20:17

Last INSET we had I had to leave my house at 6.30am and travel for two hours to attend a course. I didn't get home until early evening. I'd much rather have been sitting around drinking coffee and gossiping.

Mind you, nice to know that some parents probably thought we were lounging around at home because the school building was shut.

OddBoots Mon 15-Jul-13 23:20:42

The holidays were made shorter to allow for them, weren't they?

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:21:37

We sometimes have INSET days that are held at other schools in the area. So we get into our cars and drive there.
You could ask the head instead of plaiting clouds into nets for innocent teachers.

PTA Mon 15-Jul-13 23:22:22

They could have been at the local education offices, at another school in their cluster, at the local high school, at outside training facilities, at a local hotel for a big meeting....... The list is endless.

They wouldn't be allowed just to take the day off.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 15-Jul-13 23:22:32

They are extra days on, historically. Used to be holiday, now no longer.

Before INSeT days, teachers had 5 days more holiday. That's right, the training days came out of teachers' holiday. Any others out there who remember the first year they were introduced? (It was 1987/88, my probationary year).

ParkerTheThief Mon 15-Jul-13 23:23:53

Good old Kenneth Baker...

lucjam Mon 15-Jul-13 23:25:01

training, training, training, as the provider of said training I can assure you that inset days sell out first and very fast, we have bookings already for feb half term 2014!

complexnumber Mon 15-Jul-13 23:25:08

What a crass op

You do realise that pd days do not come out of the teaching year?

ParkerTheThief Mon 15-Jul-13 23:25:25

Mind you, nice use of the word another in the OP. guaranteed to rile at the end of term when exhaustion and end of term hysteria start to creep in.

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:25:26

Can teachers start a thread counting off all the whinging of all the parents forced to look after and entertain their own children for 6 weeks?
All the 'They're fighting, they're bored, they won't do anything, ooooooGOD when will this unbelievable torment end and they return to school?'

maddy68 Mon 15-Jul-13 23:26:19

yes sometimes our insets are at a different school or at a conference centre deoending on the nature of the training we are having -

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:26:55

Of course sometimes a school has INSET days when the teachers aren't there. They've already completed that extra time doing evening sessions on top of their school day.

Other jobs provide mandatory training on working days. Perhaps someone could explain why teaching should be any different?

And yes, those 5 days were taken from teachers' holidays, and pupils' schooling days were unaffected.

When I was at (primary) school, they called them Teacher Training Days.

Although, with all those days off, I'm surprised I managed to learn that... <rolls eyes>

thismousebites Mon 15-Jul-13 23:31:19

Re the six week hols.....I just love the fact schools stick in a couple of INSET days at the start of the hols and a couple at the end of the hols.
Why not just state seven week hols instead......much more upfront.

McNewPants2013 Mon 15-Jul-13 23:32:44

What happens with snow days.

I know ds school takes impromptu inset days to cover snow days.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:33:07

You've obviously decided training days are holidays. Do you think that about mandatory training in other employment fields?

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:33:51

Sorry, that was addressed to the OP.

cozietoesie Mon 15-Jul-13 23:34:25

Now 'snow days' are another issue altogether and I think you'd find huge resistance among many teaching staff to making contractual arrangements for those.

Nanny0gg Mon 15-Jul-13 23:35:03

Why not just state seven week hols instead......much more upfront.
Because they're not actually on holiday.

But you're not interested in the answers anyway.

Have your holidays started already?

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:35:16

*When I was at (primary) school, they called them Teacher Training Days.
Although, with all those days off, I'm surprised I managed to learn that*

You had the same number of days off as pupils had before the introduction of these days.

BrigitBigKnickers Mon 15-Jul-13 23:36:05

First aid training
Fire safety training
Phonics workshops
Grammar workshops ( from so called experts who know less than me...)
Planning/ prep for the next term
Performance management
Curriculum updates
Conferences (one recently was in a theatre where inspirational speakers such as Kris fucking Akabusi tortured us for two hours with his drivel hmm and no am not a PE teacher... )

Yes some are a waste of time but we still have to go, we are still in work and no we are not paid for them.

They are a part of the school holidays for children and not to be considered as a missed opportunity for free child care.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:38:23

Doctors take study leave to enhance their CPD. I attended mandatory safeguarding training last week. Are these holidays too?

ageofgrandillusion Mon 15-Jul-13 23:39:24

This whole idea of not being paid for them is disingenuous though isnt it? Teachers get paid 25-30 k a year or whatever and part of that contract is that they are in school 39 weeks a year? Plus inset days. So they do get paid for them really dont they?

Irishchic Mon 15-Jul-13 23:41:12

It is interesting though, how the INSET days are always tacked on to a bank holiday, or at the end of the Christmas or Easter hols, is this supposed to make them more convenient for the teachers, or the parents?

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:41:25

the poster saying there were no staff at their school on the inset day - they can also cover the time in "twilight sessions" over a few evenings and then have those named inset days as extra holidays - my BIL managed to get his state primary school a 2 week half term by adding all 5 inset days together in one block, but they did weeks and weeks of evening sessions instead - first time ever those teachers got to take holiday out of regular hol dates

what always pees me off is parents who moan about having to find childcare for these odd days here and there when they are published at the start of the year !!

ageofgrandillusion Mon 15-Jul-13 23:41:57

To put that another way, if they are not gettin paid for them that implies they are doing them voluntarily does it not? In which case, they dont actually have to do them. So why do they do them then in that case? Because they are part of their contract - a contact for which they are paid. So in the grand scheme of things - they do bloody get paid for them.

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:42:51

irish - not always tacked onto hols. no - my kids attend 2 schools - both had different mondays off within the past month!

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:43:21

They aren't "always" tacked onto the holidays. If schools are using external trainers they have to take the dates they can get.

thismousebites Mon 15-Jul-13 23:43:53

Why do teachers need these extra days off?
Surely they learnt all this stuff before they got QTS.

herethereandeverywhere Mon 15-Jul-13 23:44:08

Save for curriculum updates; once you've done that training once, what changes? Surely the total change/refresher could fit into one day per year?

Does everyone with a pastoral/care role in the public sector have so many training days every year?

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:44:09

INSET days at start and end of school year makes excellent sense - loads and loads of admin to be done, new teachers to find their feet etc

ParkerTheThief Mon 15-Jul-13 23:44:13

I think that too often the perception is if we're not actually teaching we are not working.
Therefore people see teaching as a 9-3.30 job with extended holidays.
Planning, preparation, training don't seem to be recognised at all.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:45:08

To put that another way, if they are not gettin paid for them that implies they are doing them voluntarily does it not? In which case, they dont actually have to do them. So why do they do them then in that case? Because they are part of their contract - a contact for which they are paid. So in the grand scheme of things - they do bloody get paid for them

They are compulsory, but teachers were not financially compensated for losing 5 days of their holidays when they were introduced.

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:45:40

*Why do teachers need these extra days off?
Surely they learnt all this stuff before they got QTS.*

of course mouse, and we all know nothing ever changes in education don't we. there are not new standards, new initiatives, nothing ever needs updating to make it better. Oh no hmm

ParkerTheThief Mon 15-Jul-13 23:46:00

OP, your last comment has convinced me you are just trying to wind us up.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:46:22

*Why do teachers need these extra days off?
Surely they learnt all this stuff before they got QTS*

Oh sure. No professional job changes over the years... hmm

ilovesooty, that's why I rolled my eyes wink

I do wonder if people had the same misconceptions about teachers' 'time off' when they were called training days - it seems that INSeT is open to more misunderstanding, if you don't understand what it stands for.

I say that as a child of two teachers btw

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:47:28

OP: do you actually know anyone in employment who undertakes professional development?

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:47:49

I reckon anything I know that is over two years old is past its sell-by date. The sooner they have those MIB memory-eradicators as standard issue for teachers, the better.

shockers Mon 15-Jul-13 23:47:52

This whole idea of not being paid for them is disingenuous though isnt it? Teachers get paid 25-30 k a year or whatever and part of that contract is that they are in school 39 weeks a year? Plus inset days. So they do get paid for them really dont they?

Has anyone said they don't get paid?

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:48:11

Sorry, Stetsons blush

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:50:13

Has anyone said they don't get paid?

They don't get paid in the sense that their salaries were not adjusted to account for 5 extra working days.

partystress Mon 15-Jul-13 23:51:06

Can't help getting frothy... Just done a back of fag packet calculation. If the hours I work were spread over a 'normal' 47 week year (4 weeks hol plus bank hols), I'd average 43 hours per week. That is working, not including breaks. So even if INSETs were just another day off, I think what with my degree and post-grad qualification (and zero job security now that heads can hire and fire at will) I'm still giving pretty good value for my £25k pa.

McNewPants2013 Mon 15-Jul-13 23:51:25

I'm off work every Monday and Friday, so inset days for me are heaven.

The only issue that I had was not being told till 2 weeks before spoke to the head teacher and now we are told at least a 8 weeks before hand. ( not that I had much planned, but handy to plan days out with the kids)

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:52:01

In that sense it was the equivalent of workers being told that their A/L would be cut and all compulsory CPD was to be done on days they would previously have taken as holiday.

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:52:55

OK, for those being deliberately obtuse, here's a few examples of why "once and for all" does not work

our school sends out a detailed parent questionnaire and then bases its school improvement plan on the responses. every single year. this may involve huge changes to the curriculum or timetabling, whole school behaviour policies etc It is a good school with some areas outstanding according to OFSTED - does that mean they should not bother trying to improve all the time?

they may need a whole day of training on a new software records system

or a whole day first aid refresher course - or do you think having done something in the distant past when they were students is good enough?

they may have a pupil starting with complex care needs that may involve a detailed talk on diabetes, epilepsy etc from a medical professional

S'alright sooty. I was distracted by the vile man on big brother and didn't do the sarcasm very well.

Although now I'm distracted by the fact that people who have to teach our children don't need occasional training to learn about the latest fad best way in which to do that grin

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:55:06

It is a good school with some areas outstanding according to OFSTED - does that mean they should not bother trying to improve all the time?

They'd find themselves hammered by Ofsted for "coasting" if they didn't.

snowmummy Mon 15-Jul-13 23:55:50

OP, I cannot believe the ignorance of your posts.

thismousebites Mon 15-Jul-13 23:55:58

Yes, I do know someone who has to undertake extra!
The difference is that I have to go on a week long training course every year in order to be allowed to do my job.
I have to pay roughly £2,000 for this and I lose a weeks pay.

phantomnamechanger Mon 15-Jul-13 23:56:46

fyi OP - a friend of mine is in utter despair as Ofsted have just announced their visit to her school - the displays are half off the walls, the kids are hot and tired, they are having class parties, achievement assembly, meet the new teacher for next year and rounder tournaments all week. Ofsted are stupid coming in the last week of the school year, just stupid!

Eyesunderarock Mon 15-Jul-13 23:57:33

Never mind mouse, why not be a teacher instead?
Quick bit of training and off you go!

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:58:31

*Yes, I do know someone who has to undertake extra!
The difference is that I have to go on a week long training course every year in order to be allowed to do my job.
I have to pay roughly £2,000 for this and I lose a weeks pay.*

So because your employer exploits you you think everyone should be in the same situation? Or do you reserve your resentment for teachers?

herethereandeverywhere Mon 15-Jul-13 23:59:16

what always pees me off is parents who moan about having to find childcare for these odd days here and there when they are published at the start of the year !!

Have you tried to find childcare for odd days when you don't have relatives living nearby? You can pay an agency a vast amount of money to send a stranger to sit with your children all day but aside from that if your regular provider/helper doesn't automatically have space on odd days it means taking more time off. I'm not suggesting teachers are responsible for this, but advanced notification does not make the problem any easier.

I do chuckle at all the hard done by teachers. If you don't like it, get a different job, one that only has 25 days holiday a year.

As I say to my teacher friends complaining about being at school at gone 8pm (wow!) for parents evening, "don't worry, if there isn't a holiday this month, there'll be one along next month!"

Also hollow laugh to teachers were not financially compensated for losing 5 days of their holidays when they were introduced. I'm no Tory but I expect Mr Baker was trying to get the tax payer a little more 'bang for their buck' when he introduced this. Given the number of weeks of the year that teachers do nothing because they're on holiday (again).

I'm sure they all work terribly hard whilst schools are open though.

ilovesooty Mon 15-Jul-13 23:59:46

*Never mind mouse, why not be a teacher instead?
Quick bit of training and off you go!*

And once she gets QTS she'll know it all and never need any training again. grin

phantomnamechanger Tue 16-Jul-13 00:00:04

OP - did you KNOW about those terms and conditions when you took on the job though, and that YOU would have to foot the bill?

it does sound a bit rough but I don't see how it has anything to do with what teachers t&c are

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 00:00:48


As someone who moans like hell about random days off for INSET, even I know that the INSET is there for a reason! I moan because it buggers up my routine, but I would far rather have that 5 days a year than a teacher that couldnt see an abused child in their class, or didnt know how to best implement the latest technology for example.

Would you complain about a doctor doing INSET days in order to keep with the latest advances in medicine? No? Then why is education any different? Without them we would still have children learning by rote and getting slippered when they got it wrong.

ilovesooty Tue 16-Jul-13 00:01:57

In fact I started teaching before the introduction of INSET days. They did represent a worsening of T&Cs.

ilovesooty Tue 16-Jul-13 00:02:49

Would you complain about a doctor doing INSET days in order to keep with the latest advances in medicine? No? Then why is education any different?


snowmummy Tue 16-Jul-13 00:02:50

so, herethere it sounds like you view the education system as a free childcare facility?

MidniteScribbler Tue 16-Jul-13 00:03:12

We sit around all day and get drunk and laugh about stupid parents. You know the ones - the idiots that like to post stupid things about teachers on internet forums.

Then we have an orgy.

Ericaequites Tue 16-Jul-13 00:03:29

Why not hold these on Saturdays when the children are off. It's very inconvenient for parents.
Moreover, I live in the States, and work in a family business. My hours are good, but I don't have more than a week of holiday a year.

snowmummy Tue 16-Jul-13 00:04:13

and you'll find teachers work hard during the holiday. We all like a headline but why not try to look a little deeper?

ilovesooty Tue 16-Jul-13 00:05:43

Why not hold these on Saturdays when the children are off. It's very inconvenient for parents

I'm sure that will be on Gove's agenda soon.

Currently if they did that they'd have to give teachers weekdays off in lieu.

cozietoesie Tue 16-Jul-13 00:06:00

No, No, Midnite - you have adult circle time training followed by enhanced interaction training.

phantomnamechanger Tue 16-Jul-13 00:06:09

hereandthere - of course advance notice makes it easier - DH or I take days off work for training days to look after our 3 kids - what's so hard about that - when the dates are published well in advance - the schools don't look at the weather forecast and think let's spring a random day off on them you know! some people have said they do not get enough notice - unless that is out of the schools control eg a course being rescheduled at a venue, then that's bad.

I do chuckle at all these hard done by parents - if you don't like it, you can always home educate you know......

lurcherlover Tue 16-Jul-13 00:06:25

Yes, OP, if teaching is such a breeze, do come and join us at the chslkface...

I have done tedious-but-necessary inset (how to use new data monitoring/tracking systems, new report software etc), sad-but-necessary inset (child protection), pointless inset (new govt initiatives) and the odd bit of inspirational inset (usually time to plan resources and teaching ideas in teams or with teachers from other schools). When would you like me to do this inset? After school? Yep, we do that, on three "twilights" a year. In my holidays? Oh yes, do that too - because historically, on those days when your kids are at home, I would have been too. No longer...

phantomnamechanger Tue 16-Jul-13 00:07:53

Why not hold these on Saturdays when the children are off. It's very inconvenient for parents

hahahaha, yes, poor parents being inconvenienced by their own children! schools are only free childcare after all!

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 00:09:44

Why not hold these on Saturdays when the children are off. It's very inconvenient for parents.

Because inconvenience for the teachers, most of whom are parents too btw, doesnt matter!

Well done, you get full points on my "Fuck you, this is all about ME!" meter! And no, I am not, nor have I ever been, a teacher.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 16-Jul-13 00:14:37

I know INSET days are inconvenient to parents, because I am one, and that means I have to work (and can't take holiday) on my DC's INSET days.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 16-Jul-13 07:05:11

"I'm no Tory but I expect Mr Baker was trying to get the tax payer a little more 'bang for their buck' when he introduced this. Given the number of weeks of the year that teachers do nothing because they're on holiday (again)."]

You missed out that the holiday is unpaid

nice goady thread.

Not a teacher, never been a teacher, but I do know a few of them. I am laughing at the suggestion inset days are holidays! <shakes head and backs away from thread!>

icklemssunshine1 Tue 16-Jul-13 07:17:15

I'll just say the one thing I always say when I hear how "easy" my job is because of my "short" days & "long" holidays...

OP, you do it! Seriously if our job is so rosy, retrain & do it. Don't criticise til you've experienced it & don't say you know what schools are like just because you've been a pupil once & you read shite in the DM, actually do it!

fuckwittery Tue 16-Jul-13 07:18:39

I would prefer the inset days to be in the holidays for children, or always at the end or beginning of term, so working parents could plan childcare properly, and teachers should of course be paid for them. It is hard to plan for a day in the middle of term for many.

So, is the reason they are in term time, because the government made these training days compulsory, but refused to pay teachers extra? So it was a choice between closing the school, or working 5 extra unpaid days? If the INSET days are in the school term as it was before INSET was introduced (ie INSET has reduced number of days for children, but teachers work the same amount of days), surely teachers are being currently paid for them? Or have I misunderstood?

Flobbadobs Tue 16-Jul-13 07:19:42

My DD's teacher retires this week after 30 years of teaching. I was talking o her before the last inset day and mentioned that I bet she hoped she's have gone by the time another one rolled round and she just sighed and said "no one will ever be that lucky" grin
I have the impression from her and other teachers I know that they can be a PITA for the teachers too!
Wird thread to start, didn't realise people were actually that ignorant..
YABU snd goady.

Flobbadobs Tue 16-Jul-13 07:21:20

iscklemiss I would love to retrain, I think I could do it as far as the children are involved, it's just the rest of the crap I'm not sure i could take!

muddymary Tue 16-Jul-13 07:24:39

I'm a teacher and I hate inset days! We have so much pressure to get our kids to make 'rapid progress' then we have to take a day out from teaching to listen to someone tell us something which they already told us last year but has changed slightly.

There are only two good things about inset days - the buffet and the fact that we're allowed to dress comfortably ie jeans and trainers!

exoticfruits Tue 16-Jul-13 07:25:04

I am surprised that OP wants her DCs taught by staff who are not up to date on training or thinks that training is a holiday for teachers.

ConferencePear Tue 16-Jul-13 07:26:38

Do you have a son OP ?
The last one I went to was to try to raise boy's achievement at GCSE.
The first part was looking at the differences in the way boys and girls learn. The second part was looking at lessons plans to see how we could put the theory into practice.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 16-Jul-13 07:30:27

Teachers' directed hours increased when INSET days were introduced. So children get the same time in school, and teachers get longer. I agree that it easier to manage them when they are put by a holiday rather than randomly dotted around, but then I suppose that limits what you can do in them perhaps, with limited availability of training providers?

fluffyraggies Tue 16-Jul-13 07:33:54

Honestly - a few years ago i may have been a bit on the fence about how hard teachers work/how much of the school holls is holliday time for the teachers as well/finish at 3.30 ... nice for them, etc. etc.

Then i got a job as a TA.

Teachers work bloody hard! I would not want their job. It is not a 9 till 3 easy ride.

They put in hours behind the scenes and ''out of hours'' that 90% of the parents are totally unaware of. Most of the teachers i worked alongside were arriving at school at 7am, not 9 when the kids roll in. Even those with excellent time management skills (before anyone says they should be managing their time better) were still working at school till 6pm every night, going home, seeing to their own family, and then staying up till all hours of the night during the week with piles of paperwork, marking, lesson planning etc. That is a 12+ hour working day, without traveling time.

What with all this plus the pressure of the actual job during contact time, ie: actually with the pupils - which works out as quite a surprisingly small percentage of their working day - i think we should be applauding and supporting our teachers more than we do.

indyandlara Tue 16-Jul-13 07:34:11

My LA publishes Inset dates 2 years in advance. Plenty of notice I think!

MidniteScribbler Tue 16-Jul-13 07:36:25

fuckwittery The reason that so many INSET days are held at random times during the year is because of scheduling. Much training is done by outside trainers, and they can't be at every school at the beginning and end of each holiday. Days have to be booked when they can be fitted in.

At our school, we're at school for an extra week at the end of the school year after the students go home. During that time we have a number of end of year briefings, have meetings to organise the following years classes, clean out all the rooms and swap around where necessary, a whole lot of filing and paperwork, and a handful of internal training programs. Before the students come back for the start of the new school year, I've already been at school for two weeks, having meetings with the other teachers in my year, as well as meetings with specialists for certain students, perhaps training for certain pieces of equipment needed for students with special needs, we do a whole lot of planning of calendars for the year, scheduling of school functions. Oh yes, and somewhere in there we have to plan the whole curriculum with the other teachers in my year. Set up a room, prepare the first couple of weeks lessons, organise books and stationery, photocopy anything needed, get a grasp on every student in my classroom that year, determine their needs and individual learning targets and differentiate all of my lessons to account for them.

We all generally roll in around 7am and out by about 6pm for those weeks. Fitting in whole day training courses is just simply not feasible.

I don't know any teacher that actually likes these days. They're often repetitive, annoying or downright cheesy. Trust me when I say that I'd rather be in my classroom. But they are necessary.

AuntieBrenda Tue 16-Jul-13 07:41:10

Snow days - we did twilights to make up for them
Inset days - we have 1 at the start of autumn term every year. 6th form come in and we get their admin done. We have meetings analysing exam results. We have first aid / sen training regarding any new pupils.
Other inset days - in house training and one occasion this year where all the schools in our lea went to another huge school for gcse training as it was cheaper

Hth OP

ShadeofViolet Tue 16-Jul-13 07:42:58

The OP must be a Wright Stuff researcher!

jamdonut Tue 16-Jul-13 08:01:05

I'm a TA. I do INSET days for which I am paid. I am not paid for "holidays" ,my contract is "Term -time plus 5". I get holiday pay,for holidays that I can only take in school holidays.

INSET days are usually training of some sort,either in school or elsewhere. We've been to a Local Authority training where all the teachers and TA's from all the surrounding schools attended. We've been on "Team Building" outdoor excercise-type courses (at the beginnning of January...Brrrr) and we have in-house training. Sometimes it is just planning together,and sorting out classrooms,taking down displays,re-papering the boards ready for the new term. There is always something to be done.

It annoys me intensely that people get so worked up about it.

I get annoyed on motorways with miles of cones and not a workman to be seen, but I expect someone will tell me they are doing a dangerous and necessary job and not drinking tea somewhere hmm

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 08:17:09

I have been on holiday since 27th June. I'm going to have P1 for the first time in August, so I have spent some time every day of the last two weeks doing phonics training, researching the latest thinking on teaching reading, reading up about the latest thinking on teaching number, making resources, etc.

My daughter has been in holiday club/summer school to allow me to do this. I'm going to stop on Friday and have a week's holiday away with my family, if that's okay with you, OP. hmm

I worked in university administration for 15 years before going into teaching. I have never met such dedicated, hardworking people as teachers. Never - teachers care about the children, they care about doing the best job they can by them. They couldn't do the job any other way.

I think teaching looks like a nice job to the ignorant. We arrive at the classroom door, nicely dressed, with big, welcoming smiles for your children. We wave them off at 3pm, then you don't know what we do after that. You don't know what we do on inset days. You don't know what we do during our long holidays.

So you assume we do nothing. What a striking lack of imagination.

jacks365 Tue 16-Jul-13 08:35:19

I'm a parent not a teacher but last summer my dd's school was open at least three days during the summer. One was for A lvl results and the support students needed when they didn't get their grades, advising on options, doing the admin to resit a year etc the other two days are due to gcse results and the following interviews to confirm subject choices. I know teachers work hard and long hours, one friend is constantly marking, swimming lessons, gymnastic, horse riding, everywhere she goes a big pile of books goes with her in case she gets five minutes to mark.

thismousebites Tue 16-Jul-13 09:28:19

Some interesting replies.
And, my view on this subject may be seen by some as being unreasonable, but I don't think I was being unreasonable to ask the question in the first place.

viewwitharoom Tue 16-Jul-13 09:54:47

Not unreasonable to ask but there is always the underlying implication, like so many threads on here, that here are another bunch of public service workers having a jolly at the tax payers expense.
So many people think they know so much about other professionals, how they work, what their contracts are, how they could do it better. Sadly these people have no idea what goes on behind the scenes and what is worse lack the self awareness to even imagine that there may be a bigger picture.
I probably shouldn't have read this thread!

babybythesea Tue 16-Jul-13 10:15:38


I would prefer the inset days to be in the holidays for children, or always at the end or beginning of term, so working parents could plan childcare properly, and teachers should of course be paid for them. It is hard to plan for a day in the middle of term for many.

So, is the reason they are in term time, because the government made these training days compulsory, but refused to pay teachers extra? So it was a choice between closing the school, or working 5 extra unpaid days? If the INSET days are in the school term as it was before INSET was introduced (ie INSET has reduced number of days for children, but teachers work the same amount of days), surely teachers are being currently paid for them? Or have I misunderstood?

Ok, let's see if I can answer that for you. Start with the idea of putting them all next to holidays, because that makes sense for childcare etc as you say. Schools can do this sometimes, because they have someone on the staff who can organise some of the training or they are doing something which doesn't need an outside trainer. Or they got lucky and managed to get a trainer in on a date next to a holiday.
But, say they really need training on a particular subject, they find a trainer, but he's not available on the date they want, he can only manage a mid-term date. Suddenly you have a choice between not getting this essential training, or having an INSeT day mid-term. So your child is off on a random Wednesday which isn't ideal but isn't necessarily in the school's control.

However, having dictated that teachers needed these opportunities for training (the government made the training days compulsory as you stated above) it was also dictated that the children should not lose 5 days of their education. So instead, teachers lost five days of their holiday. A mid-term INSeT is added on to their education at the end of term instead (they might now break up on the Thursday instead of the Wednesday of the final week of term). So they do the same number of days of learning as they ever did. And, just to make life more fun, the government also refused to pay extra. So teachers, compared to before the days were introduced, work unpaid on five holiday days, or have five days less holiday for the same pay, or however you want to look at it. It isn't a reduced number of days for children.

sarkyone Tue 16-Jul-13 12:00:12

And to prove the mess it's all in ... I'm a teacher, my son starts reception in September - we don't share 1 INSET day across the year so I too have to find childcare for the 5 days whilst parents at my school have to find childcare for their kids too

Dahlen Tue 16-Jul-13 12:06:58

As a working parent, are INSET days bloody annoying and inconvenient? Yes. As a parent with children in education, am I glad that teachers are regularly updating their knowledge and skills? Double yes.

Nearly all professions have regular training days. They are a fact of life. Teachers cannot be trained while they are teaching. In an ideal world (for working parents) yes it would be good to have those training days take place in the holidays, but it's not an ideal world. The same trainers often have to cover many different schools, so they have to spread it out over the year.

Now what would be useful is if the government could fund wraparound care adequately to cover early school finishes at the end of term and INSET days etc.

Fenton Tue 16-Jul-13 12:13:19

This is a goady thread if ever I saw one.

OP why don't you re-train as a teacher?

Mcnorton Tue 16-Jul-13 12:19:36

I can't believe there are people who don't want the people teaching their kids to be fully trained, confident in their roles and up-to-date in their skills. It's not easy finding childcare that's true, but they are (in my area) published in advance.

My son's teachers are brilliant, hard-working, I have nothing but admiration for them and value the job they do. I could never be a teacher - their job is hard and often thankless, and made harder when government policy shifts about requiring them to be retrained halfway through an academic year. They are parents too, so any childcare issues we have, they have. Thank goodness fro well-trained teachers.

MaybeBentley Tue 16-Jul-13 12:24:20

Just wait ... we are winding up to the next thread/s about teachers' holidays any day now! wink

ShabbyButNotChic Tue 16-Jul-13 12:36:47

inset days are the only chance we get to do things we cant to with kids about. Our school closes friday lunchtime, we actually finish next tuesday evening. We have a 6hour course in first aid on monday, tuesday morning we have a safeguarding course, tuesday afternoon we are meeting with senco to discuss the needs of the new intake. We also go back a day before the children in sept to get things ready. Most of us will also be in casual hours for the first 2 weeks of the holidays to sort out the rooms/swap classrooms/ organise our paperwork/ prepare for displays/ clean out our overflowing desks and in trays.

It really annoys me when people assume that as you work in a school you automatically have all the holidays the children have! Its not just teachers, its support staff, childcare providers, site managers, caretakers, cleaners. They all have stuff that can only be done when children arent there!

Emilythornesbff Tue 16-Jul-13 12:46:13

I would have thought it's obvious that inset days are important for training etc.
But it is v disruptive from a child care point of view for working parents.
Maybe the kids could still go to school but be "looked after" by a holiday club type thing.
<scurrys off to sketch beginings of such proposal to Gove>

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 13:04:33

Our council used to run holiday activity/sports camps in local high schools in the summer - this struck me as a good use of the buildings.

The camps were dirt cheap as the premises are council-owned, and they were staffed by council employees so no hassles over CRB checks, no worries about trusting that your children were with properly-trained people, etc.

People forget as well that we teachers need to find childcare for our own children on inset days too! Yes, we have the great advantage of all of the holidays with them, but the inset days are when I'm at work and DD's not at school, so I have to make provision for her too, just like any other working parent!

thismousebites Tue 16-Jul-13 14:41:02

I used to teach but left to go self employed way before inset days were introduced.

ilovesooty Tue 16-Jul-13 18:04:39

Does the stuff you learned when you were teaching enable you to walk into a classroom now and teach with no refresher trying OP? After all, you learned it before you got QTS.

I see now why your CPD costs you. I'm self employed as well as in paid employment and I have to pay for my CPD. You didn't mention being self employed before though.

You made the choice to become self employed in an area where this professional training is necessary. It's not the same as the government imposing it on you and I imagine your CPD is NOT criticised and derided by ignorant bigots sneering about it.

Final question : I assume you set the training costs against your tax?

lynne999 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:05:14

Makes me soo angry when non school staff think they know it all!! We would rather have the kids in then sit through endless but necessary training!!

ilovesooty Tue 16-Jul-13 18:06:14

Bloody phone refresher training

ShellyBoobs Tue 16-Jul-13 18:09:56

You could have easily fitted, "basically just another day off?" into the subject line so that we didn't have top open the thread.

For that reason alone YABU.

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 18:16:23

We would rather have the kids in then sit through endless but necessary training!!

Absolutely! Imagine how we all felt when our HT kicked off a training day with a clip from Mr Bean ... hmm grin

ivykaty44 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:16:42

I wish they would do the inset days all together at the end of July

ivykaty44 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:17:00

during term time - not in the holidays!

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 18:18:35

Oh jeez no, please spare me from five days of clips from Mr Bean and Powerpoints with 100 words per slide, all at once! sad

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Tue 16-Jul-13 18:23:55

Ivykaty - we have 2 of our Inset in September. One is analysis of GCSE results and new whole school areas of focus. The other involves our performance development target setting for the year and creating individual action plans for our new year 11s. Neither of these can be done in July.

Also, we always have a lot of new staff starting who need this time to get to grip with school policies too.

Other Inset through the year includes epipen training (yearly), safe-guarding, pastoral issues, new initiatives, curriculum changes, training on new computer software etc.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 16-Jul-13 18:26:24

So. Many. Sarcastic. Responses. Welling. Up. Inside. Can't. Cope. Aaaargh

ivykaty44 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:27:09

Then I wish you had 5 days in july and then two days in september

not sure why you would all be watching Mr Bean, training needs to be motivating but not silly and always the same

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 16-Jul-13 18:27:56

Seriously? You used to teach but you ask why teachers need CPD?


PeriodMath Tue 16-Jul-13 18:29:37

Another OP who thinks teachers turn up at 8.55am and are out the door at 3.05, yes?

Go away. Not. Worth. It.

Dd used to think they were INSECT days and the teachers spent them doing bug hunts. I still secretly like to think some where there is a school where they do this!

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 18:33:37

Our Inservice days are:

The day before the pupils return in August.
The two days before the public holiday for St Andrew's Day.
One day before the mid-term holiday.
Coincident with one of the May bank holidays.

Seems designed to cause minimal disruption to parents, IMO.

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 18:34:44

training needs to be motivating but not silly and always the same

Tell my former HT that! grin

Hulababy Tue 16-Jul-13 18:36:18

Various training and updates - safe guarding, child protection, H&S, curriculum matters, phonics, etc.

However, walk past the school next week and yes school will be closed despite there being 2 training days.

This is because we have already done the required hours as Twilight sessions - 4 long evenings after school. We took these in this way as we were having a new Phonics programme launched and the person running the training prefers the training done as such, plus it meant it was at the point in the year when we actually required it.

ivykaty44 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:38:00

Training probably needs to be sorted then so it is not head teachers - s this the norm?

most of my training while working has been done out of house and not my boss so to speak

ivykaty44 Tue 16-Jul-13 18:39:42

hulababy - that is my point - why do twilight working when the school could be closed and you do it during the same dates but int he day time - stop all this extra evening work.

No one really wants to be working all day and then training at night

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 18:39:59

Councils can't afford to pay for external people all the time, so our training is usually delivered by an HT (your own school or one in your cluster), or another teacher or council employee who has particular expertise in the area to be studied.

Hulababy Tue 16-Jul-13 18:42:37

Needs to be a certain times in the year
Needs to be a times when the external trainers can come in
Not always convenient for a full day (ie the phonics)


SoupDragon Tue 16-Jul-13 18:44:39

I used to teach but left to go self employed way before inset days were introduced.

Haven't inset days been around for donkey's years? confused

CitrusyOne Tue 16-Jul-13 18:45:26

I don't think anyone has actually answered the question in the op.




Hulababy Tue 16-Jul-13 18:47:34

Since late 70s iirr, so been around some 20+ years now

ParkerTheThief Tue 16-Jul-13 18:48:45

If the OP left teaching preINSeT that must have been before 87/88

OP you weren't unreliable to wonder what happens on an INSeT day, but the way you asked was inflammatory

Hulababy Tue 16-Jul-13 18:49:14

No point in having INSET in July if a new programme/system is being implemented in October or there is a need for moderation in March?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 16-Jul-13 18:50:04


so the OP is a very old Fairytale character who appears to live under a structure built to span a river

Hulababy Tue 16-Jul-13 18:50:45

Sorry - decade out, late 80s they were introduced, 20+ years ago.

twinklyfingers Tue 16-Jul-13 18:51:14

I always tell my class that the school is a very boring place without children. I hate INSET days. Sometimes we go to other schools or local authority offices to be bored/demoralised there instead.

They stick them onto holidays because they figure parents already have to find child care then anyway.

They can't be all together because you often have to agree something at one, then trial it in your classroom, then come back at the next one and review it and discover everyone's been doing it differently/everyone hates it/you've been doing it wrong/the local authority doesn't care about it anymore/someone's had a "better" idea and you've got to start the whole process again.

CitrusyOne Tue 16-Jul-13 18:51:17

agrees with Jamie and waits for message to be deleted

WeAreSix Tue 16-Jul-13 18:52:01

Here's my wooden spoon for you to borrow OP. But you can keep it if you use it for shit stirring.


SoupDragon Tue 16-Jul-13 18:55:44

So what were the 5 "occasional days" we used to have off when I was at primary in the 70s?

HooverFairy Tue 16-Jul-13 19:49:58

Well obviously INSET days are tagged onto the end of holidays so that teachers can take advantage of cheaper flights home from their exotic holidays they take for 13 weeks of the year.

The fact that they inconvenience you and your free childcare arrangements, well, that's just a bonus really.

I love being a teacher smile

YABU for asking the question, given the fact you used to be a teacher. INSET days are for training, YABU for not being clever enough to work that out knowing that already.

Groovee Tue 16-Jul-13 20:13:16

Sometimes I'm on a course within the school, other times I have to travel elsewhere for the course. Other times I've done home visits for new children starting nursery and quite often after the summer and christmas, we're getting the nursery furniture out of the storage and back in to the nursery after the deep clean.

I've also helped pack up a school which was closing.

Whogivesashit Tue 16-Jul-13 20:15:58

Why do teachers need these extra days off?
They aren't EXTRA DAYS OFF. They are working days! Blimey read ALL the thread.

fuckwittery Tue 16-Jul-13 20:18:30

Thanks babybythesea I hadnt thought about external trainers' availability.
The government decreeing teachers should work an extra 5 days is outrageous, I would be up in arms if I had to lose some of my hard earned holiday to do training, and I definitely think teachers are paid a fair wage for what they do (bloody hard job) and should never have been expected to do a week's more work for no more pay.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 16-Jul-13 20:26:09

Wow mouse you haven't taught in since pre GCSE and you think you know about teaching in schools, or you are spouting yet more bollocks.
I don't believe that you where ever a teacher.

Shootingstar79 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:07:45

Inset days do not in any way impact on your Childcare issues. They are days that the children would be on holiday anyway-not extra days holiday for them

Teachers come in (or attend training elsewhere) for training/CPD on 5 days during the children's holiday allocation. Because the teachers are in, parents wonder why they can't just send their children in to be babysat missing the point that the Inset days are during the children's holiday not extra days off for the children while the teachers are swanning around school doing nothing. arrgghhh.

Blissx Tue 16-Jul-13 21:19:45

Ah well, some MNetters have obviously become bored with nurse/GP bashing and gone back to teacher bashing. Sigh!

To those who seem to think if they hear a teacher moan and retorts they should try it in the 'real world', we're usually moaning in order to to stick up for our jobs against the disdain in this country, to show we do actually work and have positives and negatives just like any job.

When I was in South East Asia on Honeymoon, a local shook my hand when I told him what I did for a living and said 'thank you for all the important work you do educating children'. Heavens above I nearly fainted: so used was I to the 'hate' in this country!

mumandboys123 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:21:38

oh, not on every aspect of the job, latest initiatives, departmental planning, moderation of exam work to make sure we're doing right by the students, reviewing schemes of work, discussing 'what works' and therefore learning from/with colleagues.......and I like tethersend idea... how to ruin lives. I shall ask for that to be put on our next departmental meeting agenda.

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 21:25:09

Beautifully put, Shootingstar79.

MiaowTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:27:20

INSET days (or as one of my old classes charmingly called them "inseCt days").

Someone decrees they need powerpoint for whatever the object of training is and that they'll therefore need the IWB in class 5.
We all troop along to class 5 and cringe because it's an infant class and so we're destined for an entire day of sitting on piddly little infant chairs.
Death by powerpoint commences.
Powerpoint slides meander down the alley of "oh and don't talk to anyone for more than X minutes because they can't sustain concentration"... for bloody hours.
Head does the chip shop run for lunch and proceeds to stink her posh car out with fish and chips on the grounds that "I'm trading it in tomorrow for my new one so it doesn't matter"
Renew acquaintance with the feeling in one's arse cheeks at lunchtime.
Resume for afternoon - class 5 is now either freezing or sauna temperature (since the heating's never berluddy on for inset days) - lose will to live and wish you were teaching the kids on the most windy (for kids turn into psychopaths when it's windy), indoor playtimes all week, fractious Friday afternoon ever rather than dying slowly and numb-buttockedly to powerpoints.

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 21:43:19

Miaow How about having to do every little task according to co-operative learning strategies?

Number Ones draw a rectangle on the flip chart paper with a turquoise pen.
Number Twos draw a line from each corner of the rectangle to the corners of the paper.
Number Threes write, in green pen, something everyone in the group likes in the first section on the paper.
Number Fours get the felt-tip pens and draw a picture of the thing everyone likes.


Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 21:49:58


Fuck off! Seriously? THAT is the crap that they have you do on INSET days?! Wow, I take it all back! INSET is pointless, annoying and was invented purely to piss off teachers and parents alike!

acsec Tue 16-Jul-13 21:50:35

At my school we have teachers attend our INSETs sometimes we can attend theirs other times - usually if we have a guest speaker for example so we can share the booking costs.

MiaowTheCat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:57:26

Oh god don't get me started on the ones that make you do the activities as if you were the children - always had a particularly spiky and venomous spot in my heart for those ones!

I was grateful I had colleagues with a sense of humour when we went to one diocesan training day and were given the "icebreaker" (barf) of bashing balloons up in the air and shouting out one thing we loved about school.

So all the swots are there shouting out "lesson planning!" and "differentiation!" Meanwhile I couldn't keep my gob shut any longer and shouted out "home time" and promptly all my colleagues followed suit - so we were the one school in there shouting out things like "coffee" and "lunchtime" while the others trotted out the expected answers. Our head had been like the second person to follow suit and shouted out similar stuff to me when I'd instantly lowered the tone right down!

I'd make a shite sycophant.

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 22:13:33

WHY are there still SO MANY people who continue to bang on about having to arrange childcare on INSET days? INSET has nothing to do with it - your children would be on holiday anyway and presumably need caring for. The only difference is that some of them are during term times. This suits some people, and not others. Nothing much to be done about that.

Shock horror news alert: parents need to organise childcare for their own children. Who knew?

potatofactory Tue 16-Jul-13 22:21:05

What an ignorant post.

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 22:23:22

Clam I can see where the annoyance comes from, it isnt the days themselves, it is often the short notice.

You think you have everything covered for the holidays by swapping favours, bribing the grandparents, paying £££££ for holiday clubs etc and maxing out your own holiday allowance meaning you never see your OH and a family holiday away is a pipedream and then Whallop! an INSET day is announced at the beginning of that halfterm so max of 6 weeks notice. Our school calendar always has "3 further INSET days to be announced".... and you just know that it will be on the day that you really cant get time off and havent been given enough notice to make other arrangements.

If they were announced at the start of the year like holidays are then that would make it easier to arrange time off. I know some schools do that, I wish all of them did.

potatofactory Tue 16-Jul-13 22:26:15

I mean OP confused

potatofactory Tue 16-Jul-13 22:26:49

Just what we all need on the last day - cheers!

potatofactory Tue 16-Jul-13 22:31:04

I don't get why winding up people working hard is an an attractive prospect. Piss off.

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:06

bogeyface Well, as all the schools I've ever been associated with (as a teacher and as a parent) publish all dates, including INSETs, at least a year in advance, that's an issue I don't recognise. I would say that such short notice is bad practice, in general.

Euphemia Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:20

When I was an NQT we used to go to county-wide training sessions for half a day once a month.

The facilitators hated that you chose to sit next to people you knew. Despite us all being adults, with the freedom to sit beside whomever we chose, and despite us having been put into county-based tutorial groups at uni so we would "have a ready-made network for training days, etc.", the facilitators would insist on starting off with an ice-breaker designed to mix us all up.

Without speaking, line up according to your birth month, from January to December.
Write a question, your name and table number on a piece of paper, fashion it into a paper aeroplane, and fling it across the room towards another table. When an aeroplane lands on your table, open it up, read the question, go and find the author, and discuss possible answers to his/her question.

I shit you not. hmm

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 22:35:32

Ok, so it is bad practice, but it happens. Covering 13 weeks holiday is very hard, we all know that, having to find another week can be the straw that breaks the camels back.

I am not saying that INSET days should be gotten rid of, assuming they are used for useful things and not playing fecking stupid balloon games or pretending to be 7 years old for that day! But I do understand the frustration of having to find yet another week of childcare on top of the 13 weeks holiday.

mummytime Tue 16-Jul-13 22:36:38

One school I knew did most of their training as twilight sessions, so they could use the Insets to make holidays longer. However even then the school wouldn't be locked as teacher's would be in doing bit of work (rewriting schemes of work, marking, lesson plans, sorting out equipment/storerooms/costumes etc., producing written reports, collating evidence for career progression etc. etc.).

Most days of most holidays there is someone in most schools I know (Christmas day is an exception).

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 22:37:18

IT'S NOT ANOTHER WEEK ON TOP!!!!!!! Children's holiday entitlement is the same as it's always been. And if they dropped INSET days, then teachers might regain the holiday that they were originally taken from! <<hollow laugh>>

babybythesea Tue 16-Jul-13 22:52:18

No problem fuckwittery. Glad it was comprehensible!

I think you'd find that teachers did make a fuss, but I suspect the attitudes then were similar to now. The prevailing opinion at the moment is that teachers get long long long holidays so could easily give up 5 days without hardship. Any attempt by teachers to point out that their school hours are longer than the kids' hours is assumed to just be them whinging, when really they don't know how the 'real world' works, and they should get over themselves and count themselves lucky. So if it was the same then, I can't imagine there was much public sympathy, and there's no way now that those days could be reclaimed or the money suddenly found to pay the teachers for them - can you imagine the DM headlines??!!!

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 23:09:17

In my school they have 13 weeks holiday AND 5 days INSET. That is 14 weeks. (13+1=14)

At no point in my 40 year life have school holidays been 14 weeks.

Please dont "SHOUT", I am neither blind, nor deaf.

babybythesea Tue 16-Jul-13 23:18:36

Bogeyface - what happened when the INSeT days were introduced was that the govt decided that these days should not be allowed to impact on the amount of time children were being taught for. So the five extra days were indeed drawn not from term-time teaching days, but from holiday days from the teachers. So if the INSeT days were removed you would still have the same number of days to find childcare for. However, where you might find it changed would be that those days would always come in a block.
At the moment, if a school does an INSeT day mid-term (maybe due to availability of an external trainer) that day is then added on the end of term for the children (so they now break up on the Thursday instead of the Wednesday).
As a parent, you now have to find childcare for one random day mid-term, plus instead of two days together at the end of term (Thursday and Friday) the children are now in school on the Thurs leaving you with just the one day to cover (if that makes sense). That might (or might not) prove harder depending on the childcare you use.

It's probably the muddling up of days that makes it harder to compare because it doesn't work out as one straight week anywhere in the year, just odd days here and there.

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 23:25:56

"Please dont "SHOUT", I am neither blind, nor deaf."

But the point has been made several times on this thread and you appear to have missed it.

State school children in the UK attend school 190 days per year. Teachers work (in school) 195, 190 teaching children, and 5 on INSET.

cls77 Tue 16-Jul-13 23:26:57

I'm a nurse and all I can add to this is its a good job our mandatory training updates (many of which you've quoted are yearly) and continuing professional practice do not involve all members of a ward/unit. Why don't teachers take a day out like other companies do to ensure the service continues to run.
I don't mind inset days - with the exception of a week on Monday which has now been changed from an inset day to a day for children to go in until 2pm! When most other schools end on the Friday before. I've even lost a day of childcare camp organised months ago as its my DD last day of primary sad

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 23:28:42

And once more, just to be clear, INSET days ARE holidays for the children. They are not holidays for the staff, even though they were taken from the (unpaid) holiday that teachers once had. It therefore makes no difference to the childcare you need to find. It is and always has been 195 days, regardless of what teachers may or may not be doing on 5 of those days.

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 23:29:33

I stand corrected baby but holidays are longer now! Ours are off for

1 week October
2 weeks minimum Xmas
1 week Feb
2 weeks minimum Easter
1 week May
7 weeks Summer.

It used to be 6 when DS started but now it is 7, every year. So that is 14 weeks plus the random inset days.

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 23:31:27

cls77 Who's going to teach my class whilst I'm doing this training? And how am I going to liaise with colleagues, or participate in whole-staff training on new initiatives that involve discussion and input from everyone? How many times should a school pay an outside provider to come in and run courses to small groups in dribs and drabs?

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 23:33:30

bogeyface I promise you, it is 190 days in school for children in England.

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 23:35:24

I have and always will defend teachers to the hilt, but the numbers dont add up, at least not here! And as someone who doesnt need holiday childcare, it is neither here nor there, I was just trying to explain why some people may be pissed off.

Set holidays are far easier to arrange child care for that set holidays and 5 random days, whether they come under the 190 days or not.

Bogeyface Tue 16-Jul-13 23:37:04

than not that!

I didnt want to have a row about whether the days count as holidays or not, just trying to say that thinking you have it sorted only to have a random day chucked in 6 weeks ahead is bloody annoying!

clam Tue 16-Jul-13 23:38:18

For you, maybe. But every time this thread pops up, there are as many people whingeing about days tacked onto main holiday blocks as there are about random days.
As I said earlier, you can't suit everyone.

thismousebites Tue 16-Jul-13 23:45:39

I think Euphemias post @22.32 answers my question, thankyou.

sameoldIggi Tue 16-Jul-13 23:46:40

An inset day isn't like a day off, to answer OP's question. It is like a day spent in a normal, office-based job. wink I have done both so feel able to compare.

DadOnIce Tue 16-Jul-13 23:47:51

Training days on Saturdays? Oh yes, great idea hmm The Goady Fuckers on here do realise many teachers are also parents, right?...

ravenAK Tue 16-Jul-13 23:51:41

We had 2 hours on What To Look For If You're Buying A Fire Door last term.

On the whole, I'd prefer to have it back as holiday time...

thismousebites Wed 17-Jul-13 00:03:04

Buying a fire door?
Sounds like the majority of INSET days are a waste of time really.
And, for those who get advanced warning, well done. The most we get is " there will be INSET days in the future and we will inform parents later". Not really helpful when you get just 2 weeks notice and have to start juggling customers around.

Bogeyface Wed 17-Jul-13 00:06:52

The problem is not teachers, or INSET days that teach something worth knowing (like how to spot a neglected or abused child for example) or even childcare.

Its the fucking managers, sitting in offices with no fecking idea of what it is like being on the front lines. The same as in the NHS, the forces, the county and town councils.......

when I was working in school my ds was also there, so not only did I have inset days, but I also had to find childcare for ds. all on my splendiferous salary of £10K a year (and I was paid more than other TAs as an LSA).

I was also sent on training specific to supporting the child I looked after, and not only was I not paid, I also had to find and pay for childcare for ds.

Such fun!

yetanotherstatistic Wed 17-Jul-13 01:09:09

Bogeyface our school is like yours. Only Inset day we have plenty of notice for is at start of autumn term. The rest are notified with max of 6 weeks notice. Absolutely hopeless if your employer insists on booking all your holiday in one go or if you work shifts or can't easily switch holidays with someone else.

Getting childcare for odd days is a nightmare with all the schools taking different days for training so no holiday clubs operate. This is crying out for some joined up thinking so that teachers can get their training and parents can work. Even the government must be able to work out that 13 weeks away from school to be covered by two parents each with 5 weeks holiday doesn't compute (let alone if you are a single parent trying to cover it on your own)

Bogeyface Wed 17-Jul-13 01:22:13

Yet the reason I couldnt work as a single parent was purely the holidays. I can do it now (just need the job!), but then I had nothing. 13 into 5 doesnt go!

ravenAK Wed 17-Jul-13 01:45:50

OK, fire door nonsense notwithstanding:

1) Every teacher I know would rather not have five days docked from their holidays & subsequently worked unpaid, but hey ho, it happened in the '80s. We're mostly over that now. So long as no-one else confuses it with 'extra days off', which, with monotonous regularity, they do. It isn't 'extra' - your dc (& mine) still do the same days they would've done in the 70s - & it isn't time off.

2) Some of the INSET stuff we do is vital - not nearly enough of it is from my POV, but then I've been teaching long enough to watch the carousel turn a couple of times. For less experienced staff, more of it will be useful.

3) Teachers have childcare to sort too - we pay CMs or beg favours just like everyone else when our dc's school is doing INSET. & yes, it's a total PITA. Couldn't agree with everyone else more.

4) Yes, INSET days are often a bit of a doss. Something pointless is being waved at you via the medium of Powerpoint. You're wearing jeans. You're playing Battleships with your HOD, who has seen this particular Powerpoint 4 times to your 3....

They could replace all of them - well, just the important bits would be good - with twilight sessions tomorrow & I would not grieve one bit. I just take umbrage at being blamed for their existence!

that's why I got a shitty paid job in school bogey. gave up my career because as a single parent I couldn't do it all.

englishteacher78 Wed 17-Jul-13 05:59:15

If schools are only letting you know at short notice that's a PITA for teachers too (who will gave planned lessons for that day). It's probably due to an issue booking a specific trainer.

mummytime Wed 17-Jul-13 06:43:42

Bogeyface - my children have never had 7 weeks off in the summer, it sometimes is more like 5 1/2 than 6. They never have more than 2 weeks at Easter and Christmas; unless the Easter holiday runs into the may bank holiday or an inset day is tagged on. Half a week of their summer holiday is often made up of INset days too, which is why my youngest goes back to school before the older two.

We usually have most of the INSET days in the calendar by now, one or two may be inserted in the calendar later in the year when the specific trainer they need is booked.

FrustratedSycamoresRocks Wed 17-Jul-13 06:47:22

On inset days I... Spend more on childcare for 3 children than I am paid for going into work for training.

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 06:57:45

I would absolutely swap those days for twilights. I would much prefer two and a half hours after school fourteen times per year than five Inservice days.

Okay, we're tired at the end of the day, but I think the sessions would be more focussed and one's colleagues would spend less time moaning "When are we going to be allowed to get into our classrooms? I want to tidy out my cupboard." hmm

Hedwig06 Wed 17-Jul-13 07:29:07

We also have had 7 week holidays for the last couple of summers plus 2 at Easter, 2 at Christmas, etc.

We also only get a couple of weeks notice for teacher training days. Usually they add them onto a newsletter so some parents miss them. I've seen quite a few times people going to school on days which are training days as they've missed the "notice".

Luckily I work from home so I can cover them but it is very annoying when you've had to cover it with a couple of weeks notice and then you see the school deserted or just a couple of teachers there.

We are in Birmingham.

englishteacher78 Wed 17-Jul-13 07:33:40

That seems strange to me. With regards the holidays etc. The number of days children in STATE schools must be in school is enshrined in law. The short notice is unacceptable. Our INSET days are announced over a year in advance.

MiaowTheCat Wed 17-Jul-13 08:44:14

We used to work quite closely with the secondary to try to make sure our inset days were the same date as theirs, and would tack as much as we could in as twilights to try to reduce disruption, and the dates were always on the dates for your diary that went out at the end and start of every term - they were regarded as being set in stone once agreed and not fiddled about with.

Didn't stop it being a continual source of surprise to some parents, or bitching-fodder to others and the number of parents who'd told their kids shit like "oh the teachers are all going to the beach so you can't go to school tomorrow" was interesting.

Good insets - fine, half the shit you get forced to sit through plugging some fad that will be forgotten and quietly scrapped in 6 months - fucking pointless bollocks for everyone (apart from the trainer pocketing hundreds of quid for it all).

Shootingstar79 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:22:24

Bogey face, unless your children are at private school, your children's school is open to children 190 days a year. This is a legal requirement. No state school can just change it on a whim.

There may be closures for snow days but they are an exeption and published days at the start of the year will always be 190 days.

cls77 Wed 17-Jul-13 09:48:32

Clam I didnt say schools had to pay outside trainers for dribs and drabs, whats wrong with a day out of lessons - which my daughters teacher seems to do anyway for "professional learning" where you attend a training day, and dare I say it an after school meeting with colleagues for internal updates? Also, who do you think looks after you and your relatives/friends when we are on training? This isnt about the fact that the inset days are there, but the inconsistency of it all, and the late notice - to talk about bl00dy fire doors?!!!
Bogeyface - my point exactly! Its the managers grrrrr

indyandlara Wed 17-Jul-13 11:00:59

This coming session we have the following INSETS
1. Launching new schemes of work for new session. (A yearly occurrence ) then liaison time with LAs.
2. EAL and equalities training.
3. Assessment and moderation of new Science scheme. I am writing it during the holidays so we couldn't do a session about it in August.
4. Expressive Arts training day.
5. Self evaluation and planning for new session.

All these days are vital if we are to move on. We also have 10-14 twilights. We could not lump then together in August as we actually need to teach them before evaluating.

Blissx Wed 17-Jul-13 13:33:11

"which my daughters teacher seems to do anyway for "professional learning" where you attend a training day". That will be for Subject Specific training or Year group training if Primary, csl77, so will be individually focussed.

Whole INSET days are for whole staff training relevant to teaching in general. What you propose would not work if the school wanted to get an expert in, such as someone from child protection or OFSTED or someone who coaches on different teaching techniques etc. These people often charge around £1000 for the day - do you expect the school to pay for upwards of 100 staff, so they can each see the expert individually on different days? £10000+ is an awful lot to take out of a school budget, wouldn't you think?

What with all the numerous changes happening in education, it is important all staff know what is actually going on, rather than sound bites from the media or do some people on Mumsnet expect all teachers to get their information from the Daily Mail or similar?

Childcare is a pain - always has been and always will be. We accept it when we have children. So in the same way you have to arrange childcare for your DC for an INSET day, so do I when my DD is off from her school on a different INSET day to me and I have no GPs on either side or family near to help. Big deal. It's what I signed up for and wouldn't change it for the world!.

cls77 Wed 17-Jul-13 14:43:17

Blissx Of course I'm not advocating a 10k spend on training, that's ridiculous! I actually meant if is general teaching updates generic to the whole country from legislation or department updates then why not a county training day attended by set number of teachers per school each time. Ofsted etc train at set venue and repeat, instead of at each school so they wouldn't cost any more but general schooling wouldn't be so affected.
Do you not think NHS have updates constantly on research based practice, continuing professional development and legislation changes?!!! They don't close wards for a day because of it do they?

cls77 Wed 17-Jul-13 14:47:58

And I have said I don't have a problem with inset days but te lack of notice when they are changed/booked. I expect to pay for childcare as you said but I paid for it and then couldn't get any refund when the school cancel an inset day to be rearranged! Obviously didn't book an outside speaker that day, but instead expect our DC to attend the last day of the school year on a Monday!! until 2pm?!

indyandlara Wed 17-Jul-13 14:49:59

In schools however we do not work on shift rotas so in order for groups of staff to attend, supply has to be brought in. Schools cannot cover huge absences internally, primary schools especially.

englishteacher78 Wed 17-Jul-13 15:12:32

You shouldn't be getting short notice that's bad practice most school calendars are agreed over a year in advance and published on their website

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 15:20:26

If DD's in hospital, I don't care which nurses are looking after her. If she was unlucky enough to be in hospital for 190 days, I might, but that would be unusual.

When she's at school, I expect her to be with the same teachers every day, not random supply teachers because her teacher keeps having to go to training courses. Is that really preferable to the money being spent on resources to benefit the children?

To make a training course viable, you probably need 20-30 participants. That's a lot of supply teachers for the schools to be paying for, numerous times per year.

Claudiecat Wed 17-Jul-13 16:46:35

Haven't read the whole thread but suffice to say teachers can be parents too. Be thankful you don't live in the US or Canada where children have between 9 and 12 weeks off in the summer.

Blissx Wed 17-Jul-13 17:04:02

cls77, you make some good points, but the main problem with your centralised INSET theory is that due to Academies and Free Schools, there is no central control and therefore no coherency between schools anymore. Not the fault of teachers but the government. Another negative in that Academies policy in my book! Much like having different Health Trusts with no talking to each other, I would imagine. Anyway, different horses for different courses as the Health Service cannot be run in the same way as education and vice versa.

It is appalling that your INSET was cancelled and I am sorry to hear that. It is annoying, but surely a one-off as is certainly not common practice?

clam Wed 17-Jul-13 17:22:03

cls77: "and dare I say it an after school meeting with colleagues for internal updates?"

You think schools don't already run after-school meetings? We have two a week already.

@ those people who claim 7 weeks' summer holiday: what are your dates? Our county breaks up on Weds 24th July and returns on Monday 2nd September, with some variation for locally arranged INSet days. I would imagine that that's fairly standard. I make that 5 full weeks, plus a few extra days. Where does 7 weeks come from?

FuckNugget Wed 17-Jul-13 17:30:44

I never understand the furore created by some people over the time teachers don't spend teaching hmm. Even if they did spend all their 'holidays' sunning it up and having fun, then so what? Are they not entitled to choose a career with 'perks' based on industry standard? Do you also judge those who choose careers for their perks? Gym membership, medical insurance, bonuses, etc. etc. Why are other school staff not judged in the same way like TAs, admin staff and dinner ladies. Surely those lazy fuckers should find a job that has less holidays? How dare they choose a career that helps them fit around child care or for whatever reason they go into it.

Besides, I'm judging you all for working 5 day weeks, 9-5. All you lazy people enjoying evenings and weekends to yourselves! And don't even get me started on shift workers! not really, I work part time myself grin.

If you don't like the policy, blame the policy makers, not the teachers wink.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 17-Jul-13 17:33:59


Ah i see, forgot to say that at the beginning, did ya?

What a load of fol de rol

Off to eat my supper now.

cls77 Wed 17-Jul-13 17:38:09

I genuinely think teachers do a cracking job, and wasn't trying to make any point other than an alternative way of inset days, which obviously wouldn't work either!
Pain in the arise with the changes inset but its the last in primary as we are off to secondary academy in September!! Lol *Blissx"!!

cls77 Wed 17-Jul-13 17:38:47


LittleEsme Wed 17-Jul-13 17:40:24

My INSET days, I go down the pub after a long lie in, and laugh at other folk slaving away.

Cos that's what OP wants to heat, right? wink

thismousebites Wed 17-Jul-13 17:41:15

My DCs finish on Friday 19th
They go back on sept 9th as inset days have been added onto the end of term and the beginning of the next term
That is 7 weeks, no?

Euphemia Wed 17-Jul-13 17:41:21

FuckNugget I put it down to sheer jealousy.

clam Wed 17-Jul-13 17:53:34

So their other holidays will appear shorter than some other schools, as they won't have INSeT days elsewhere in the year. They all will attend school for 190 days a year, however.

storynanny Wed 17-Jul-13 17:57:08

Ah, Inset days..... We have to do them to keep up with the reinvention of the wheel. In my experience teachers don't particularly enjoy them, they are just a necessity. We do actually prefer to be working with real children believe it or not.
I've attended at least 10 inset days all about phonics and reading over the years. It's still being continually updated, changed, changed again, new this new that. Guess what? I still can teach children to read even though I must have being doing it "wrong" several times over the years depending on what was in or out.
It's a real pain for working parents if the school doesn't give enough notice.

DadOnIce Thu 18-Jul-13 15:26:24

And don't forget teachers aren't paid for the holidays. Just before any more people have a rant about that.

weirdthing Thu 18-Jul-13 16:50:01

In Northern Ireland we get 8-9 weeks off and - guess what - NI girls outperform all other cohorts at GCSE in the UK. So stick that in your '7 weeks holiday' pipe and smoke it op! Seriously, isn't it a good thing that your kids get a big holiday?

weirdthing Thu 18-Jul-13 16:51:18

Any school I ever taught in had the Inset days marked on the school calendar at the start of the year. Please also note that a lot of Inset training is done after the school day too.

clam Thu 18-Jul-13 16:56:54

Yeah, weirdthing I'm staggered by these reports of schools who give 2 weeks' notice. I can't see it's necessary and it's just asking for trouble with disruption to parents.

spotscotch Thu 18-Jul-13 17:05:00

I don't know why teachers always lower themselves to these types of threads. It just perpetuates the idea that teachers are a bunch of lazy shirkers.

I just rise above it these days and accept that every fucker reckons that they know all about the world of education, just because they once went to school, and occasionally go into a school building for a parent's evening/school play.

Don't let it bother you. Oh and enjoy the upcoming holidays (God knows it's one of the only things keeping me in teaching these days!)

spotscotch Thu 18-Jul-13 17:05:51

Sorry I meant the idea that teachers are a bunch of lazy whiners!

ivykaty44 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:09:07

I just wish the schools were shut for 2 months in the summer the teachers are worn out at my dd's school and could do with a long break to refresh ready for the next term - why drag out the summer term after all the exams just to tick boxes.

last week my dd had three half days of doing nothing and this week hasn't been much more interesting, why insisist on this 190 days per year.

better the teachers are giving quality and rest than stretch to the limits

JakeBullet Thu 18-Jul-13 17:17:47

It might be seven weeks for them this mouse but can assure you it won't apply to the teachers. They will have to pitch up somewhere to train, either in your school, another school or a central location. My sister is only TA but even she has to attend these things.

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