National Union of Teachers calls for lesson teaching time to be capped at four hours a day - what do you think?

(426 Posts)
JaneGMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-Apr-13 16:04:18


We've been asked by Metro to find out your thoughts on the news that the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has said that teachers should spend no more than 20 hours a week taking classes (four hours a day).

The NUT called for new limits on working hours amid concerns that school staff are facing "totally unsustainable" workloads. In some cases, teachers are left with little time to eat, talk, think or even go to the toilet, the NUT's annual conference in Liverpool heard.

The NUT passed a motion demanding a new working week of 20 hours' teaching time, up to 10 hours of lesson preparation and marking, and five hours of other duties. Other duties include time spent inputting data and at parents' evenings. This marks a drastic reduction in teachers' hours, the conference heard.

NUT Coventry representative Christopher Denson claimed that official figures from 2010 show that a primary classroom teacher works 50.2 hours a week on average, while a secondary school teacher works an average of 49.9 hours. "The same data tells us that four in five teachers have worked all through a night to catch up with work and spend every single term-time Sunday catching up with lessons," Mr Denson said. He added: "It's essential that we act to ensure that what's already NUT policy - a maximum working week of 35 hours - becomes a reality for teachers."

Do you agree with the NUT's position?

If you are a teacher, do Mr Denson's comments resonate with you?

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Many thanks,


OddBoots Tue 02-Apr-13 16:19:29

How do they suggest the children are taught for long enough each day, maybe teachers are not essential for teaching?

LeeCoakley Tue 02-Apr-13 16:19:57

I work in an infants' school and our teachers do about 4 hours a day anyway. 4.5 hours a day in the classroom but out of that they have 2 hours a week PPA so total time delivering lessons is 20 hours a week.

LeeCoakley Tue 02-Apr-13 16:20:55


orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 16:20:58

Not sure I want to answer this. The Metro will just sensationalise everything. As a teacher I have very very strong opinions on this and support it, but am not prepared to go onto lots of detail for it to be pulled apart.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 16:21:17

I can see how it might work better at secondary than primary, where I feel that continuity of teacher is very important.

I'll be interested to see what teachers on here say about how it might work in practise.

Would one option be more support staff to help with classroom prep etc?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 16:22:48

Lee - good point. Thinking about it, that is what the teachers at DS1's infants do.

flowery Tue 02-Apr-13 16:28:13

I wouldn't be able to respond without knowing how much of a difference in teaching time this actually represents. Assuming being a primary class teacher involves more than 4 hours a day teaching, how would that shortfall be addressed?

tethersend Tue 02-Apr-13 16:40:52

"[...] In some cases, teachers are left with little time to eat, talk, think or even go to the toilet, the NUT's annual conference in Liverpool heard.

The NUT passed a motion [...]"

I am a teacher, and an ex NUT rep, and I can't get past this without making some sort of childish, puerile comment.

God help us all.

<fnnaarr fnnaarr>

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 02-Apr-13 16:41:30

we teach 5 x 1hr lessons per day though in a 25 lesson week, we get 4 non contacts - marking, planning, covering absence, ringing parents, chasing detainees, admin, photocopying, displays arranging trips etc. I have not always been a teacher and therefore am fully aware that my job IS NOT as difficult as some other professions. However, that said, I also know that my lessons and thus the learning are so much better when I have time to do good planning catering for individuals in the class. Currently about half my lessons are really well planned. It used to be all my lessons when I worked until 7pm each week night. I would love more planning and marking time. I am a professional. Some teachers would use that time ineffectively - as with any group you get good and bad. I did nid when I read the "don't get time ti go to the loo". That IS true but I am sure dentists, midwives, surgeons, doctors etc would say the same.

BrianButterfield Tue 02-Apr-13 16:44:01

I currently teach 21 hours a week so it all seems like a storm in a teacup to me. However I do know academies are working staff harder and harder so maybe that's what this is based on. I have done 22 hours before and that was fine. Obviously we would all like more PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time but I think 21/22 hours is reasonable, if a bit tight for time in the week.

I'm a member of the NUT and generally support them but I think they don't help teachers' cause with things like this which is fairly useless and will not help public perception of teachers as lazy.

PandaNot Tue 02-Apr-13 16:46:42

I'm a teacher and member of the NUT. I think this is just ridiculous. It's the amount that needs doing in non contact time which needs reducing, not the face to face teaching time. Sometimes I despair with the union and it's 'motions'.

Pozzled Tue 02-Apr-13 16:52:00

No, I would not support this. I do think the workload needs to be reduced, but you could not possibly justify paying teachers current rates if we only worked 35 hours a week in term time. To balance it out, you'd need teachers to work during most of the school holidays - perhaps providing childcare?

Personally, I'm happy to work a fair amount of extra term time hours in exchange for spending the holidays with my own children.

As far as the wider implications go, I think children need more than 4 hours of teacher time each day. In order to implement the NUT's proposal, either hours would need to be reduced, OR children taught by TAs more OR more than one teacher for every class. It just doesn't seem practical.

However, as I say, something does need to change to make workloads more manageable.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 16:54:01

4 non contacts in a 25 hour week envy. We get 3. I do 3 days so I get 2. Nightmare

BackforGood Tue 02-Apr-13 17:10:53

tethersend grin -my sort of thinking

I agree with PandaNot - it's not the teaching time that needs reducing, it's the 'everything else' that needs to be cut back.

When PPA was introduced, it seems so many schools just introduced even more 'gumph' that needed to be produced, so it didn't ease the load particularly.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 17:12:29

I teach 22 hours in a week.

I'd be more effective with a couple of hours more planning & preparation time, yep. I wouldn't reduce the hours I work, because IME it's never enough.

It'd be perfectly do-able at secondary - you'd just have one fewer teaching group & need to recruit more teaching staff.

However, it'd obviously cost a fortune, mostly because of added staffing, & mainly benefit students in state education, so it's not going to be something this government actually consider, let's be honest.

I'm not a teacher.

It's hard from a lay perspective to see how each teaching hour requires 30mins' prep/marking etc. Presumably some of that currently happens during school holidays, particularly for secondary teachers?

It would be helpful for the NUT to explain how teachers spend their non-contact time if they want widespread public support. To the man on the street (parent on the playground?) that is invisible and could be anything.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 17:23:04

I teach 19 hours per week, but am a HoD and a HoY. Teaching, like many other jobs, is the kind of job where you've never really finished. There's always something else you could do. I don't think motions like this help, really. DH occasionally runs training courses at work and always says afterwards how exhausted he is. He gets that teaching can be tiring. 5 lessons per day with a club at lunchtime can be exhausting, and I often find I haven't eaten, drunk or been to the loo in school hours. However, I am perfectly sure that plenty of other professionals find the same. This will simply be translated as "teachers think they should only work for 4 hours a day".

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 17:23:53

I would say it takes an hour to an hour and a half to prepare an outstanding one hour lesson. Longer if using data as it is meant to be used. Marking coursework takes about 20 mins per kid per week. Lower school takes about an hour to mark a set of books

cassell Tue 02-Apr-13 17:26:49

I'm not a teacher. I don't support this idea for several reasons.

IMO a teacher should teach for the full lessons in the day so in a 9-3pm school day that would be about 5hours and they then have 2 hours of a ''normal' working day (ie until 5pm) to do their planning etc. If they're not able to do it in that time then they work later/make up the time at weekends etc as those of us in other professions do.

In most professions a 40-50hour week is hardly uncommon and most other professions do not benefit from 13odd weeks holiday. I don't doubt that teaching is a stressful profession but then so are many others.

There has been enough dilution of teaching time with TAs etc who, while have a useful role to play, are obviously not teachers and shouldn't be used as a cheap substitute.

Whether there is too much preparation/paperwork required is a different issue and I'm sure that in common with most other professions there is a ridiculous amount of unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork - that would be a much better focus for campaigning.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 17:33:07

Happy to teach the full day, 5+ hours, it's not that which drives teachers into depression or to run from the job. Just cut the huge amount of paperwork and the insane interference and the continuous government interventions.
That would make a huge difference.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 17:33:54

'Lower school takes about an hour to mark a set of books;

Depends on the subject.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 02-Apr-13 17:40:31

I do think that a 35-hour week is utterly ridiculous though, when compared to any other profession.

Teachers cannot expect such short hours and the long holidays. And I know that teachers do work during the holidays, of course they do. But they could do that work from anywhere, whenever they choose.

I always wonder whether the NUT is really speaking for the profession when it comes out with these things. Reading this thread, it looks as if it isn't - one or two excepted.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:42:01


"It's hard from a lay perspective to see how each teaching hour requires 30mins' prep/marking etc. "

Not sure what the point of this comment is. That is how long it takes. I can't really understand why surgery takes as long as it does, or why it takes film producers (etc) years to make a two hour long film, but that's because I'm ignorant as to the processes behind these things.

If you don't understand why planning and marking takes so long, you could always shadow a teacher for a day to find out. Or just ask us?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:44:14

"Teachers cannot expect such short hours and the long holidays. "

Teachers are not paid for school holidays though. Personally I'm a bit fed up of working anything from 50-70 hours a week all year round, outside of the terms of my pay and conditions, and having no life outside school. All on the proviso that I get extra unpaid holiday time...?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:45:32

I wish the NUT would pick their battles more wisely...

And also that the media/British public would stop trotting out the same old lies and cliches about teachers and education.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 17:47:15

I agree with your last paragraph, cassell.

But if we teach solidly from 9-3 (actually it's 8.30-3.30 or thereabouts in most schools), then have 2 hours to 'do planning etc', then that means we'd need to plan, prepare & mark on a ratio of approximately one hour to each three hours of teaching.

I could quite easily do this, if I taught exactly the same lessons to each class each year regardless of their ability & previous progress, & didn't actually read the work I'm marking.

Can't see me hitting my performance targets that way, though, & I'm awfully glad my own dc's teachers make a bit more effort!

It's got to be a balance - I could teach five awesome lessons a week, & spend all the rest of the week planning & preparing 'em, or I can teach 30 relatively shit lessons & spend hardly any time planning. The question is where, given finite real world resources, you draw the line - & whilst I agree with the NUT that standards would go up if we restricted contact hours to 20pw, it's not going to be viable in the current climate...

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:47:53

Excellent comment ravenAK.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:49:08

Another thing - these calculations never mention the numerous "extra" evening things to do in addition to marking and planning, like weekly whole school and key stage staff meetings, clubs, etc.

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 17:50:24

As a parent, I think that's the amount of work out the classroom that needs to be reduced.
I agree about the huge number of hours teachers do. I also know their lessons aren't always well planned because of lack of time. But surely the issue is the fact teachers are expected to do a lot of admin stuff they shouldn't be doing, stuff that doesn't improve pupils results so that's where the focus should've rather than reducing the number if hours teaching (which would mean 2 teachers per class which I think is unsuitable for primary age children * and* the fact that sort if job isn't really suitable for job share anyway).

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:54:51

The problem is that in order to eradicate the admin side of things (in most schools), Ofsted and the government need to butt out and trust us to do our jobs. Which they won't do.

So, on we go with the endless tick sheets and tests and assessments and paperwork and admin, and less time for teaching...

InSearchOfPerfection Tue 02-Apr-13 17:55:05

The fact that teachers have some flexibility in their work, ie they can choose when to their work during the hols(!) shouldn't make people forget they have less flexibility in a lot of other areas. Eg they don't chose when to have their hols so they can't easily have some time off to take a child to hospital, have some time off if their child is ill etcetera...

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 17:55:53

Ok, I can't link to a useful plan, so I've cut and pasted the planning for a 45 minute maths lesson. Without the LO, SC, resources, and not in the correct format.
Look at the detail required, then multiply that by 25 lessons and add creating resources on top.

Rounding 1 place decimals
Use the bead bar to represent from 0 to 10. Point to the 1st group of 10 beads. What does each bead represent? Hang a blank tag after 1.2. Chn write number on w/bs. Round it to the nearest whole number Show 1.7 and rpt. Write down another number that rounds to 2. Share chn’s w/bs. Discuss 1.5. Rpt with other 1-place decimals.

Show a 100 bead bar. Say that the ends represent 0 & 1. What does each bead represent? What does each group of 10 beads represent? Chn hang tags to show 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.9. What number comes halfway between 0.2 and 0.3? Hang 0.25 after the 25th bead. What does the 2 in 0.25 represent? And the 5? See how 0.25 is a ¼ of the way along the bar. Write down 2 other numbers between 0.2 and 0.3. Show a counting stick representing 0 to 1. Point to 0.35. What number goes here? And here? (Pointing to 0.75, then 0.49 and 0.51). Now say that the ends represent 2 & 3. Count from 2 to 3 in steps of 0.1. Point to 2.2 and 2.3. Write 3 numbers on your w/bs between 2.3 and 2.4. Which of your numbers are closer to 2.3? And to 2.4? Think of another number that will round to 2.3, and now one which will round to 2.4. Which whole number do all your numbers round to? Point to various places on the stick and ask chn what numbers go there.

Display chart of chn’s long jump results (see resources). Sketch a number line from 3m to 4m with each multiple of 10cm labelled. Help chn to mark the measurements on it. Who jumped the furthest? Chn write the 5 lengths in order. How much further did Sandip jump than Chan? How much further did Ben jump than Chan? Chan than Sophie? Alice said she jumped further than Sophie but not as far as Chan. How far did she jump to the nearest centimetre? 3 chn jumped further than Jack but not as far as Sophie. Write down three possible lengths. What is Ben’s jump to the nearest tenth of a metre? How else can we say this? What is Sophie’s jump to the nearest 10 centimetres? TD
Chn place numbers with 2 decimal places on number lines (see resources). They round each to nearest tenth, then think of their own numbers to place on the line between given tenths.

Chn can: Know what each digit represents in numbers with 2 decimal places and use this to order them and place on a number line.

BackforGood Tue 02-Apr-13 17:57:06

Excellent post RavenAK

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 17:57:34

And yes, after decades of teaching, my SLT still expect that level of detail.
Can't just teach it, have to write down everything you intend to say.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 17:59:15

Our plans have to be more detailed than that TheNebulousBoojum

With individual differentiation explicitly stated for each SEN and EAL child (half the class, basically!).

We also have similar evaluation sheets to complete at the end of every single lesson, even a 15 minute guided reading session.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 18:00:25

Yeah, I have to write stuff down too. Also differentiated criteria for success can take ages to write

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:04:19

'With individual differentiation explicitly stated for each SEN and EAL child (half the class, basically!).

Yes, that too, and any IDd as G&T. I was just trying to give an example of why planning can take longer than 30 minutes, if anyone can link to a more comprehensive example then go ahead. smile
And the complexities of marking, evaluating and APP.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:05:10

I'd rather teach and cut down on paperwork.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:05:40

Fun isn't it?

It takes me ages to differentiate across every mini-group in the class. I think my lessons are split anywhere up to 8 ways, which also means 8 sets of resources and word cards and whatever else we need.

Voodika Tue 02-Apr-13 18:06:47

I'm a teacher and I work part time but spend much more time working than I am paid for.
I think that teachers do need a large chunk if time for PPA but that this should be a positive step. Whilst the class teacher is out I think specialist sports, art and music teachers should be employed so that the children's experience would be enhanced. With this in mind I think the school day should then be longer with teachers having some time each day for PPA rather than one large block when lots go home.

Tortington Tue 02-Apr-13 18:07:40

this thread is boud to be full of teachers. I'd like to preface the majority of what i will say with this - I think teaching is an important profession and is not invested in nearly enough. To much of what teaches have to do ( AFAIK) is in ensuring perfornace measures are being met.

as a parent, not a teacher i want to strip this down.

1) there are too many holidays - and teachers are technically paid for them. the teaching day could be shorter, and teachers could work more days

Plenty of society work damned hard, in damned stressful days and dont get the holidays that teachers do.

2) pressure on teachers comes from performance monitoring, this is so some dick in whitehall can look at stats and make huge policy leaps. Thanks god for teaching unions i say - about the only place where unions have teeth in the workforce anymore. there needs to be an overview at this point.

3) If teachers throughout the country have to spend each day lesson planning a different lesson and cannot re-use this material i would be very surprised. If this was the case, this is a huge waste of resources. There are online teaching resources

I remember going to parents evening and the bell ringing at 6pm and the teacher saying 'that's our bell' and i thought ' what do you want a fucking medal - i work my arse off too and do more evening meetings than you and work every school holiday.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:08:28

Also, (and I'm sure it's the same for you), like most schools we're not allowed to mark by ticking things anymore.

Every single piece of work has to have a comment and a target, to show progression for Ofsted. Even if you only spend 30 seconds quickly scribbling down one comment and target per child, that's 15 minutes of your time gone on 30 books. On ONE lesson's marking. 5 lessons per day.......

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:09:12

No, teachers are not paid for holidays.

Eye roll.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 18:09:15

Obviously it's different across different subjects and different schools. I teach drama & performing arts so don't have the same marking workload as. Say, an English teacher. On the other hand, my school expects teachers to do half-termly analysis of interim grades. For each class, we have to analyse sub-levels /levels of progress for the whole class and then for various focus groups (eg Free School Meals, SEND, G&T) As a HoD, I then have to do the same analysis for each year group in the dept. it takes approx 45 mins per set of analysis. I teach 12 separate classes and my dept covers all 7 year groups. That's over 14 hours of fairly pointless activity. Other schools don't ask for it... I also,have a massive workload where it comes to writing reports- i don't want to write generic, meaningless reports. It takes time to do it well. Planning also takes me ages, partly because there is no national curriculum for my subject and also GCSE specs are pretty vague (not complaining- I like this!) and partly because new OFSTED framework criteria is very hot on differentiation and independent work. Planning for a GCSE class of 28 which covers A* - E target grades, contains G&T students at one end of the scale and at the other, 4 recent joiners who have missed over half the year and speak hardly any English is going to take more than half an hour to do well.

I say get rid of the data analysis and let me focus on the planning. There is far too much needless paperwork. Cutting my teaching time won't make a difference.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:10:58

"There are online teaching resources"

Yes, because that's how differentiation and formative assessment works isn't it? I suggest you read mine and TheNebulousBoojum 's posts on the planning process to understand why we can't just use magical non-existent online teaching resources.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:12:36

"new OFSTED framework criteria is very hot on differentiation and independent work"

THIS. There are no shortcuts to how we are expected to teach now. It's put up and shut up or Ofsted will rate you inadequate.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 18:13:04

There are hardly any online resources for my subject and non at A level. Also as the government change everything all the time, the average shelf life of a reusable lesson is about 2 or 3 years...and when you deliver a lesson, you always want to refine it or make it better, so this is another process which takes about 3 years, and then they change it all again.

If anyone wants to write all my lessons and prepare all the resources then post them online, I would be more than happy to use them...but they all have to be differentiated differently anyway.

mercibucket Tue 02-Apr-13 18:13:35

I'm glad i dont have to bother with all that paperwork for a lesson plan. pretty pointless if you can hold it all in your head and reduce it to a few key words as memory prompts, yet time consuming for teachers. a very very small example of pointless tasks now done in teaching that were not used previously

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 18:14:13

Oh yes, online teaching resources. Why didn't I think of that. Hang on, I'll just google "Yr 10 AQA GCSE Performing Arts resources covering A*-E including EAL (Czech) " shall I? It's as easy as that... hmm

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:16:35

I'm still waiting for somebody to produce some effective online resources that target the numerous children with statements in my class, alongside the EAL children who speak 10 different languages from 4 different continents...

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:21:38

So, in answer to the OP, the NUT is on its own crusade. Don't cut the teaching hours, cut down and streamline the requirements for paperwork.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:24:04

Agree strongly with NebulousBoojam. Teaching is the bit I actually love - stop the endless requirements which require me to prove how well I am teaching whilst simultaneously ensuring that I haven't the time to do so.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 18:25:02

I work about 80 hours a week as a standard teacher I did about 75. I think that was when I taught 22 hours a week. I can't see how taking tai hours of contact time will reduce my workload down to 35 hours a week.

I do use online resources and we have schemes of work so our staff are not constantly recreating the wheel . Tweaking is still required .

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 18:25:58

Reducing class sizes would have more impact on my workload and improve standards - bringing us more in line with the independent sector .

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:29:53

Arisbottle I work about 80 hours a week

sad I'm dead on my feet when I do 70. You must be constantly exhausted.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 18:30:57

I get tired towards the end of a term/ half term. I work hard in short bursts and then rest. Quite manageable

ChunkyEasterChick Tue 02-Apr-13 18:34:10

As a science teacher, I used to regularly do 60+hr wks (before ML & going part time), including Sunday, and work 1-2 days a wk during each wk of holiday. Not everything can be left until the holidays though, so often I'd be in work at 7am, going home at 6pm when school locked up & working at home until 9/10pm at night.

Why? Because the government keeps moving the goalposts and changing what I'm meant to teach, how I'm meant to teach, who I'm meant to target, how I'm meant to identify those to target, how I'm meant to prove I've met the targets etc etc. In 9yrs of teaching, I have only taught the same scheme of work 2yrs running, once or twice. And this isn't because I keep moving schools!! This means I can't use last year's planning to teach this year.

Additionally, we have to plan everything from scratch because there are no "off the peg" resources that work without at least some sort of amendment...

It took about 3hrs to plan a 1.5hr lesson for a recent Ofsted inspection, to ensure we hit all the 'Outstanding' or 'Good' markers. Only for inspectors to see a mere 20mins & make sweeping judgements on the quality of teaching happening.

I am a member of the NUT but have to disagree with this idea. It doesn't help our public perception. The public generally likes to think teachers are feckless, lazy idiots, who moan more than they work. And yet want to entrust their children to our care for more & more hours, inc, for example, the holidays and so on hmm The NUT should focus on getting Gove to back down on some of his worrying & downright idiotic schemes for making us more 'professional'. Afterall, whilst we accept that say, a GP, has an equally busy working wk to us, and personally, I don't think I get paid that badly, we're not paid on anywhere near the equivalent level to other 'professionals' who are expected to put up with this kind of pressure & expectation.

Bottomline; get Gove to back off and leave us to be professional, as so many of us are, and not make suggest such rash, knee-jerk 'solutions' as this motion.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 18:35:42

Tracking and target setting take so long too. We track every kid in every year every term. It takes hours

reastie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:37:15

I'm a teacher and IMO the workload has increased greatly in recent years - alot more paperwork and time taken up with things of this nature. I work part time. I worked out I get 8 minutes given to me as non contact time per lesson I teach (and each lesson is 1 - 1.5 hours). In this time I'm meant to plan lessons, prepare my classroom (I teach a practical subject where I need to turn on ovens/get the washing machine on/get equipment out etc), write lesson objectives etc on the board before the lesson starts (no fancy pants projector for me), mark homework, update the school website for the classes homework so students and parents can access this from home and regularly key in grades/reports for students on the school system. That's in addition to reading reports in the SEN of students I teach (the classes rotate termly and I have to keep up to speed on what the individual needs of each student is), photocopying worksheets etc, keeping up to date with school emails and responding/following up where necessary. And I haven't even factored in paperwork/meetings/expectations of work I will do/needs to be done from management.

I can't think of another job where you'd be expected to do a presentation with such little preparation time, let alone prepare being 'on show' as it were for presentations for such a long time every day and having to do all this and be inspiring and deal with behaviour issues.

I love teaching, it is a vocation, but the pressure to do my job well is immense. Pre DD I purposely chose to only work part time as I knew I would never cope with the demands of working full time and feeling like I was doing a decent job. I just can't see how a full time teacher has the time to do all the work they need to to a decent standard unless they spend hours away from school doing it. It is the expectation that you will spend so much time out of what they give you to get the work done. I also have often struggled to have a loo break. I always work through my breaks and lunches. I never get time to sit down in the staff room! I do feel that the amount of time I'm given in school outside of when I teach is not nearly sufficient for me to do even a slap dash job, especially as often I won't even get the non contact time as I will be taken for cover when other teachers are absent/on trips etc. I would absolutely love to be given more non contact time to do my job more effectively and it is hard to sustain working so hard that your feet don't touch the ground on a long term basis and to have a life outside of school. Plus it drives me mad when people just roll their eyes at me and say I get the long holidays - I'm often working in the school holidays and I don't get paid for them - payment is pro rata for term time.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:37:53

I think I might retrain as a plumber.

reastie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:40:26

YY agree with not just increasing non contact time but also cutting paperwork.

FrillyMilly Tue 02-Apr-13 18:41:28

How would this work at a primary school level?

Genuine question. Do teachers really feel that their holidays are unpaid? If a primary school teacher is on £36k are you saying 'full time' they should be on £50k?

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 18:42:26

I see my holidays as unpaid and refuse to work in them.

tethersend Tue 02-Apr-13 18:46:15

TheNebulousBoojum, my old HoD did exactly that- she retrained as a plumber and was very happy.

I'm an advisory teacher now, and was shocked when I first started to realise that all the bits you do around teaching, when you think you're having free time, are what everyone else calls 'work' grin

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:48:22

"Do teachers really feel that their holidays are unpaid?"

Our holidays ARE unpaid. And boy would I love to reach the giddy heights of £36k one day.

As far as I'm concerned my unpaid holidays are compensation for doing on average over 60 hours a week when I'm only actually contracted for 32 a week.

Grockle Tue 02-Apr-13 18:48:54

I work in my holiday time but it's officially not paid.

I don't see how this would work in a primary or special school. I work in SEN and am working with the children for 5 1/2 hrs each day. That's not all lessons but things like playtime & lunchtime which to me counts as teaching time. We help the children learn how to engage, how to interact, to develop social skills, to eat with a knife and fork etc. I'd love more time for paperwork but am not sure this is realistic.

I'm in the NUT & this is the first I have heard of this hmm

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 18:49:22

Reastie don't you have time after the children have gone home(most people I know work until 6)along with PPA,weekends and holidays.

I used to have plenty of time pre dc and that was before the internet,white boards and guided reading.

My dp works a lot more hours,doesn't have the hols or the good plated pension.

You seriously think kids should just get taught until 1pm? What are we supposed to do then as parents pick them up or leave them to be taught by an endless stream of TAs or supply teachers.

Do teachers really think ridiculous requests like this are going to get support for striking?grin

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:50:16

Do teachers really feel that their holidays are unpaid?

It's a fact - not a feeling.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:53:00

"don't you have time after the children have gone home"

No, sadly we have a seemingly endless number of planning meetings, staff meetings, key stage meetings, and clubs after school.

JassyRadlett Tue 02-Apr-13 18:53:01

Heggie I absolutely see your point (and I think teachers get an incredibly rough deal) but I think making that argument about holidays actually does your cause a disservice. Many people on similar pay are doing similar hours for a multitude of reasons, to get ahead or due to a pernicious long hours culture. But they get much less holiday time.


JassyRadlett Tue 02-Apr-13 18:54:21

Sorry - didn't mean the 'ugh'; autocorrect + toddler.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 18:56:40

Heggie I absolutely see your point (and I think teachers get an incredibly rough deal) but I think making that argument about holidays

Again - it isn't an argument. It's a fact.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 18:56:58

I think this is a good idea. It will reduce the hours teachers work and give them better working conditions.
I am not a teacher (well not teaching anyway). I would support this 100%

heggiehog erm, I was asking? I wasn't claiming it doesn't take that long, I was asking why it does. It may be obvious to teachers what goes into planning, and there have been very illuminating posts after my earlier thoughts, but it isn't obvious to non-teachers - and my DM is a teacher with an outstanding rating so it isn't like I have no idea.

Showing the general public that for example a teacher can't even teach the same lesson once every year without preparation time because of differentiation gives us a hint. Telling us how many hours the average teacher spends doing grade estimates or writing reports gives us a hint. Telling us how long you have to spend chasing Johnny Smith's missing trainers helps.

The NUT can campaign for more non-contact time but unless the public has a clear idea of what that time is, they won't be sympathetic. Bear in mind that teaching as a profession has come on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of generations, so the public image of teachers still includes "sits at the front marking Y9 homework while Y7 do a worksheet and throws the rubber at you if you ask for help"...!

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 18:57:23

I don't feel hard done by at all, if I did I would do a different job.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 18:57:58

8 mins to prepare a presentation! That's exactly what it is like. Dh spends about 5 hours on a one hour presentation

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 18:58:10

'I used to have plenty of time pre dc and that was before the internet,white boards and guided reading.'

<sigh> So did I. The job has changed.

HariboAndWine Tue 02-Apr-13 18:59:40

I also wish the unions would choose their battles more wisely. Is it any wonder that the general public have such a negative view of teachers given the constant complaint and negativity spouted by unions. And I say that as a primary school teacher and union member. Teachers do work extremely hard as do people in other professions and the unions are doing us no favours by opposing every new initiative and implying teachers work harder than everybody else. I do work hard but refuse to believe any teacher who insist they work til midnight every night and through every holiday. I have never met a teacher who genuinely does this and fail to see why it would be even necessary. I do agree that the paperwork needs to be reduced to a level which allows teachers to concentrate on effective lesson preparation and delivery. I have no desire to spend more time away from my class as that is the part of my job I love.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 18:59:51

What argument, that we don't get paid for holidays? We don't. That's a fact. Those are the terms of our contracts.

If I do at least 28 hours per week extra above my contract, every week, over the course of half a term that could add up to 196 unpaid hours.

That is a ridiculous amount of unpaid work that I do every single half term. I also work during my holidays...

I'm not even sure what point you're making?

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:00:08

At our school clubs are only run on one day,teachers only do one each and they finish at 4.30. They have meetings before school and often have extra non contact for planning.My dc are already taught by TAs for RE,art and French.These are the things I've heard about.

As a parent I personally would like a little more info re who and when is teaching my dc as they already seem to have far too much time being taught by staff not qualified as teachers.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:01:58

Yes but HorryIsUpduffed the point is that this information IS readily available out there. All people have to do is ask us, or read threads like this, but most people won't bother to do that. They'd rather read and repeat the lies trotted out by politicians and the media.

So, thank you for showing an interest!

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:04:12

I work until around 11pm or 12 pm most nights and know lots of other staff do by the time of their emails . I do not work during the holidays though. That is the choice I make

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:04:48

So basically other professions should work similar or more hours minus the holidays,gold plated pension,PPA hours and pay more tax to fund the demands of teachers?

Well I agree that their job is a tough one, but what are they doing when they aren't teaching?

Lesson planning, marking, admin and data entry.

Why does it take so long? Find ways of speeding up.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:06:22

Ok starlight , I hadn't thought if just trying to do it quicker. wink

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:06:24

And on top have little security,pay freezes,increased work load etc,etc

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:07:16

"The NUT can campaign for more non-contact time but unless the public has a clear idea of what that time is, they won't be sympathetic."

Is it reasonable to expect that the public should have a minute-by-minute clear idea of what teachers do every single hour of their working life? As if there was a one-size model for us all anyway.

I don't have a minute-by-minute idea of what a GP does. I just know they're very busy, and have a lot of paperwork, on top of their patients and visits.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:07:42

"Why does it take so long? Find ways of speeding up."

Gosh, why didn't teachers think of that?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:08:50

Squarepebbles, I don't believe you have read a word of this thread.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 19:10:57

Square pebbles. What are you on about? If you want your children taught to a high standard then give teachers more time to prepare high standard resources.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 19:11:31

Happy to teach the full day, 5+ hours, it's not that which drives teachers into depression or to run from the job. Just cut the huge amount of paperwork and the insane interference and the continuous government interventions

I agree entirely. Every hour in the classroom needs an hour out and there simply are not enough hours.
I think that we could do with a rethink about the hours. In the primary school we could have more than one teacher a class. Reducing class size would be another option. However, anything that costs money will not happen.

I do wish that we -for once and for all-get rid of the myth that teachers get paid for holidays! They DO NOT get paid for holidays.

feelingdizzy Tue 02-Apr-13 19:13:39

I am a Teacher, my thoughts reading this ,Firstly am a member of NUT they didn't tell me.Feel left ou now..

In teaching the constant showing what you have done is a pain in the arse,the lesson plans-It can never go exactly as you bloody plan anyway because they are children not robots!!

I would like just to be able to do my job which I think I do well,and love it.Now all the teachers don't tell me you don't use online resources or re-use resources??? I work with SEN kids and obviously work need differentiating but doesn't mean that I don't re-use resources regularly,and without TES online resources I think I would resign.

Teaching is stressful ,but things like this don't do us any favours,honestly before being a Teacher I was a child protection social worker.Now that is stressful,in teaching nobody dies if I don't fill in an assessment checklist correctly.

I do think we are all so complicit in this feckin ridiculous level of paperwork,I think strike action should be on paperwork.Now that I would support .

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:15:59

I get in at 7am, I set up my lessons for the day , deal with emails and an then on duty at 8:15. One morning a week I am in a senior team meeting from 8:15. I also use that time to catch up with other staff .

Most days I have at least one free period, if not two . That time will be used to mark. It takes me about two hours to mark a set of books.

During lunch time I tend to be on duty , running a club or doing tuition .

Every day after school I am either in a school event , meeting , club or extra teaching session until 5pm.

Until 6pm I am usually on the phone to parents , dealing with statistics, working with other staff ( I am responsible for behaviour and rewards across the school) I will also be dealing with emails, inputting data, updating displays etc before going home.

I start work again about 9pm and then do my marking and tweaking of existing plans until about midnight .

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:17:13

Cut the time planning, oh yes.
Can we go back to proper teaching with textbooks and workbooks and children expected to work and not be entertained by some cavorting, exhausted multimedia expert spouting jargon?
Can we have a scheme for every subject composed of plans and resources for a sequence of outstanding lessons with all the requirements already in place?

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:18:24

I suspect I spend much less time planning than other teachers . I use Internet resources , we plan with other schools, have department plans and just tweak.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:18:47

I mean, if all the little sausages produced by the sausage factory have to be equal and pass a standard or the teacher and the school is failing, then surely the method of production should be consistent?

My Dad was a teacher-trainer. He was always whinging about the slow admin speeds of his students and lack of multi-tasking and efficiency skills, he said mainly came from never having been out of a school environment.

He said this as someone with severe dyslexia.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:20:23

I think ideally each department should have a scheme of differentiated work which would be classed as outstanding . That sounds very sensible to me , individual teachers then just tweak rather than going home each night and all creating roughly the same thing .

'I suspect I spend much less time planning than other teachers . I use Internet resources , we plan with other schools, have department plans and just tweak.'

Yes. My Dad had marking-parties, and planning-parties. He saw no point in reinventing the wheel, although it is also important to acknowlege that lessons cannot be re-taught the same year after year in primary at least, as teachers are often faced with either a different year group or just a completely different set of children.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:20:54

How long ago was that, Star?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:22:00


Yes, student teachers are very slow, when they're doing it all for the first time and may be very young still (not always). Sometimes NQTs are slow too.

Qualified teachers however do not have time to be slow. It's sink or swim in the real ocean. wink

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:22:02

I would not teach primary for all the tea in China. Every teaching thread, especially one involving primary teachers makes me feel like a shirker .

How long do non-teachers think it actually takes to mark a book to the standards Ofsted now expects? (Clue - you need to identify strengths and areas for improvement, initiate a 'dialogue' with the pupil to encourage them to improve the relevant feature, and respond to 'dialogue' from last piece of work. This all needs to be written in clear sentences so the pupil can understand easily.You can't use codes or shortcuts.)

How many books do you think a teacher has to mark in a week?

How many hours of marking would that be, per week, would you say?

I do agree that the NUT are barking up the wrong tree with their proposals, but the reasons behind them are perfectly sensible.

I don't see why teachers can't be more like consultants and use their training and pedagogy skills to 'manage' TAs and LSAs.

Children with disabilities are very badly let down by the fact that their TA's are no more than babysitters who protect the teacher from their disruptive behaviours. TAs can be very valuable, but they need skills. Teachers can impart these skills and monitor and manage. A more effective model surely.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:23:35

I am crap at admin, very willing to admit to that . That is why I have someone much more organised than me to do my admin . They are cheaper and quicker than me . I stick to what I am good to.

3 years ago TheNeb, when he retired.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:24:49

When I was a student teacher, I was told not to spend more than an hour creating a work card. A single work card.
One of the best things my college did was insist that every teacher-trainer spend a term as a class teacher every 5 years. Practise what you preach, and some of them struggled.

whokilleddannylatimer Tue 02-Apr-13 19:25:50

Can I ask what they propose happens to children the other hours? Will they finish earlier or be baby sat this extra time?

Will teaching be more effective or will they be ramming even more of the curriculum into less hours?

Do teachers not get paid for holidays? I thought you got a salaried amount each year that covered the holidays?

As a TA I was paid for term time only at a hourly rate then this was divided across the weeks I didnt work so although I got a wage I only got £140 a week for 30 hours.The teachers I worked with didnt get this they got a set yearly amount, so say 23k divided over 12 month rather than term time hours pay divided over 12 months.

Maybe its changed a lot but the school I was in did no where near the level of work after school Mumsnet teachers seem to do and got full breaks and dinners while the TA did playground duty sad

Honestly teachers jobs are stressful and undervalued but so are a lot of other jobs.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 19:26:17

Sometimes the speed at which I work amazes me! I never walk, always jog trot, never wee, eat on the go, do 30 things at once and try not to make phone calls as no time.My stomach always feels churned up and I often have indigestion. The other day, I was unlocking a cupboard which required bending over, thus eating a sandwich upside down and talking to a student at the same time. I'm did think to myself that this was crazy

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 19:29:02

I never ever see a TA. We don't have them in my subject because its not English, Maths or Science. So who do I instruct? Also TA's don't do duty at my school, but teachers do

tethersend Tue 02-Apr-13 19:29:18

Starlight, that would only work if teachers received more than rudimentary SEN training. I would like to see an SEN specialism for training teachers in the same way as subject specialisms are available, then each school employing at least one SEN specialist who could manage and train TAs (and teachers) as you describe. Mind you, you'd have to start paying TAs for the time spent training, as currently many are paid hourly.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:30:38

I disagree Starlight.

It is far easier to become a TA.I tried to "impart skills" as a teacher and sorry it was nigh on impossible with some. As a parent helper I've been appalled by some of the incorrect pronunciation re phonics alone that I've overheard by TAs.

Then there is the class management.

Teachers teach and TAs assist because they are two different jobs with different training and pay.

If TAs are going to be teachers they need teacher qualifications,training,pay and conditions(expecting a TA on teach all morning without a break is not on).

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:31:44


Teachers are contracted and paid for whichever band of the pay scale they are on, but it is spread out over 12 months. Just like TAs, our contracts and our pay only covers term time and school hours, around 32 hours a week I believe.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:37:32

Oh and I have a friend who is a TA who often gets left with the class,funny thing is she never gets given a TA like the teacher has.

I think far too many kids are already having too many poor quality lessons not covered by teachers,they certainly don't need anymore.

If TA's can be expected to be soley responsible for the teaching of a child with complex SEN, deliver the SALT and OT in their statement and run social skills groups then afaic they are sufficiently comptentent to deliver elements of a mainstream lesson, particularly the more rote-aspects.

mousebacon Tue 02-Apr-13 19:40:58

I agree with previous posters that it is not the teaching time that needs to be cut but the endless paperwork. APP, in triplicate, for 30 children, plus annotations cross referenced to their books etc helps no one.

Marking 90 books every day takes time. Every piece of work needs a positive comment linked to the outcomes of the lesson and then a 'next step' for that child's learning. My school have also introduced a 3 different colours of highlighter pen on top of the marking comments too. sad

I've recently dropped down to 0.8 (4 days) and the letter I received from the council stated that my contracted hours were now 25.95. Oh how I laughed.

Now I work in early years instead of key stage two I only get 30 minutes break all day - just enough time to tidy and set up for the afternoon.

I actually wish more parents could see what we do everyday (not to mention the MPs) just so they could comprehend what we deal with in terms of behaviour, expectations, target setting, lunch duties etc. I get the impression from many people that there's this belief that anyone can do my job (take Gove saying mums should cover strike action, for example). Far fewer people would believe this nonsense if they spent a day or two in school.

To those people who asked why we cannot just reuse old planning, it's because not only do the children change from class to class but the curriculum requirements differ, topics change, schools change their planning formats oh and if you're 'caught' using old planning you get bollocked for not individualising your planning hmm

FrillyMilly Tue 02-Apr-13 19:41:32

So what is the average salary for a teacher? 32 hours a week over 38 weeks a year is not a lot really even for the starting salary for a NQT. Surely it is expected that you will have to do more than that. Most people do more than their contracted hours in any profession. In my experience the average contracted hours in a non teaching profession is 37 hours a week with 4-6 weeks paid holiday. Do teachers find their workload matches this even if it is not done over those hours? I really have no idea about a teachers workload.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:42:56

"I think far too many kids are already having too many poor quality lessons not covered by teachers,they certainly don't need anymore."

That's a separate issue though. Nobody here is promoting unlawful practice and use of unqualified TAs? If that is really happening at the school you know, then it shouldn't be.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 19:44:31

The holidays are right, but the 37 hour week is longer.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:46:31

I work 3200 hours over 40 weeks. If I just had five weeks holiday I would still be doing 68 hours a week.

I acknowledge that I am a senior teacher , as a standard teacher I worked about 70-75 hours for 40 weeks. Spread over 47 weeks that is between 59 and 63 hours a week.

Squarepebbles Tue 02-Apr-13 19:46:36

It is widespread,as was reported only just this week.

So what is going to happen at 1pm when the 4 hours are up?Who is going to be teaching?That would be the TAs then.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:47:25

Hopes my maths is right smile

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:47:36


I generally work between 60-70 hours a week, as do all of my colleagues, and all the other teachers I know. On a very good week I might do 50 hours but that usually only happens once a term.

So, at least 28 hours above my contract every week.

It now takes 5 years of training and £36,000 of student debt (in fees alone) to become a fully qualified teacher. For this you will start on a salary of around £21,500 a year.

Hours vary but I honestly don't know any full time teachers who do less than 60 hours a week.

I don't know what the average salary is but I don't think it is actually very representative of what most teachers get, especially if London weighting isn't taken into consideration when calculating the average.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 19:48:45

It won't be 1pm, squarepebbles, children do have breaktimes and a one hour lunch time too.

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:49:36

Actually I am lying and do not want to mislead . After mid May my working hours drop.

Grockle Tue 02-Apr-13 19:51:48

Starlight, I have to disagree with your post about TAs being nothing more than babysitters.

Mine are highly skilled & I couldn't teach without them. They are experienced and knowledgable and I have great respect for them. I also know that they are paid appallingly for what they do & go to great lengths to thank them & show them gratitude. I know our parents feel the same.

MrsHeggulePoirot Tue 02-Apr-13 19:54:10

I work three days a week. I am a HoD, but get no time for this as my school has no money or time to spare. I teach 12.5 hours a week so just over 4 hours a day. I am likely to cover a lesson a fortnight and I have a tutor group which takes up a further 1.5 hours of my time. In my 20 minute break which follows straight on from tutor time I will be dealing with some issue of some description to do with someone in my form, or sorting out the registers, who wasn't there and when and amending all the bloody codes which need amending within three days of any absence. At lunchtime I am most likely to be running an activitiy (2 out of the 3 days) - this generally means I don't eat regularly or eat it on the go, or have to sneak bits of it during a lesson.

My classes are big and getting bigger, last year my 6th form classes were 13, 15 and 22 this year they are 17, 22 and 23. That is A-level students, some of them seriously struggle and it is almost impossible to spend the time needed with them in every single lesson. It is impossible to mark their work regularly as there are so many of them. It is impossible to get round to every student in a lesson to ensure they are all on track. Next year our A-level teaching has been cut by one lesson per fortnight, and we will have bigger classes again and we have to keep improving results

In any non-contact time I will be planning or marking - as others have said this takes up a massive amount of time, I choose to plan more and mark less but this is a risk and I can't do it all so something has to give. I have to fill in grades on our data management system for assessments and reports home to parents. These have to be updated on a regular basis as parents access them online so if they arent there then we'll get told off. I have to write tests for others in the department to use and collect this data, analayse it, run catch up and support classes and provide all manner of intervention to support weaker students. I have to keep their parents updated at all times about this. And their form tutor and head of year, and log it on our management system.

There is always some initiative going one that is supposed to be our focus and that we need to 'write into all our SoWs', or something where we need to be filling out forms saying where we cover such things in our SoWs. We are constantly getting berated for the amount of paper that we use and the cost of this, yet we are also expected to teach differentiated lessons with exciting groupwork using appropriate resources for each student/group.

I don't know that capping teaching at 40 hours is helpful, I think it would be more helpful for the teaching unions to stand up agains the ridiculous ever changing ofsted criteria and ridiculous amount of information about feedback and assessment that is supposed to take place every single lesson.

Other than all that, I love my job!

tethersend Tue 02-Apr-13 19:55:51

Starlight, having done both 1:1 teaching children with complex SN and mainstream classroom teaching, I think that although some of the principles are the same, each requires a different set of skills. Depending on the class, the lesson, the child and the nature of the SN, one is not necessarily easier than the other.

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 19:56:11

OK, in school 8-5.30ish during term time.
Work extra for up to three hours a night 5 days a week.
5 INSET 9-4
Three evenings a term from 5.30-8

195 days x 9.5 hours = 1852.5 hours
39 weeks x 3 = 156 hours
5 days x 7 =35
9 evenings =22.5 hours

So in a 40 week year, I work 2,066 hours which is around 52 hours a week.

Greythorne Tue 02-Apr-13 19:56:57

I don't understand the argument re holidays.

If you are a teacher on a salary of 30k pa, do you receive 30k (gross) pro rata-ed down to 38 weeks of work time?

Or do you get 30k gross?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 20:01:30

Teachers receive a salary for the year which is spread over 12 months. We are not paid for holidays, which is one of the reasons (I think?) why our salary is low compared to other jobs which require the same level of education, skills and stress.

Essentially the holidays are an important part of our terms and conditions because we are not paid for them! And they are used to justify the long hours over contract that we work during term time.

I think many members of the British public are under the illusion that we work short hours during term time and then get all these lovely paid holidays on top. It's not like that at all.

AuntySib Tue 02-Apr-13 20:05:02

Just listened to one of the speeches at the conference, by Richard Rose. he mentioned that in Netherlands, teachers will do an hour's teaching followed by an hour prep/marking - it is possible, it does make sense. I left teaching because fed up of not having time for my own kids, not even time to put them to bed properly. Something has to happen, the time pressures on teachers are not sustainable - even experienced teachers ( ie those who can prepare/plan quickly) are regularly doing days of 8-8, plus more at home in evenings and weekends. Holidays nearly all spent working or recovering from exhaustion.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 20:06:55

You have a contracted number of hours (1265) over 195 days, Greythorne.

I've already done my hours for the year (as has every teacher I know), so I'm knocking off now...grin.

JassyRadlett Tue 02-Apr-13 20:09:06

Heggie - sorry, was doing bedtime. Honestly not trying to be antagonistic or make a 'point' beyond saying that the general public tend to view teachers' quoted salaries as annual salaries, therefore including holiday time (which according to the terms if your contract is unpaid). Expressing that salary as effectively not an annual salary, but for (a large) part of the year only invites anti-teacher types such as the Daily Mail to do the maths, express your salary as a a higher FTE for the full year and use it as another stick to beat teachers with by overstating your true salaries in that way.

Honestly, I think it's just not an argument that will be terribly helpful to teachers in the long run. I have massive sympathy for teachers. Long hours, huge class sizes and a ludicrous amount of admin. But some people will look for any stick possible to best teachers with - unfairly in my view - so perhaps don't hand them this one as well.

I have now worn out the stuck metaphor. You would never guess mr job involves working with language all day.

JassyRadlett Tue 02-Apr-13 20:11:07

STICK metaphor. Gah.

MrsHiddleston Tue 02-Apr-13 20:11:10

I'm going against the grain here by the looks of it where the majority of posters are defending the teachers and their demands for a 4 hour teaching day.

But seriously what do you think the rest of the employees in this country do for similar if not less renumeration?! So you all work 60-70 hour weeks, so do a lot of other people. You don't get time for lunch, neither do a lot of people. You experience hostility and violence in your employ, so do a lot of people.

You don't like it, do something else, stop holding the education of our children to ransom with your inappropriate, wild demands.

whokilleddannylatimer Tue 02-Apr-13 20:13:25

As a TA I did the following.

Delivered and differentiated intervention programs.
Assisted with planning.
Basic marking.
Prepared resources.
Some whole class teaching while teacher did Pp time.
Supported and differentiated work for children with specific SEN.TA covered every playtime (big school)
I got no morning break, no afternoon and half an hour at best at lunch.

For this I got paid 13k PRO RATA PA so around £6.26 an hour x 30 is 187 a week but only for term time weeks, this was then divided by 52 so I actually came out with just over 7k PA!

Do teachers do this or if their contract says 23k do they actually get that PA?

TheNebulousBoojum Tue 02-Apr-13 20:13:57

Can't see anyone here asking for a 4 hour day, just less paperwork.

mumnosbest Tue 02-Apr-13 20:15:08

I teach primary ks1 and yes a lot of this does resonate with me. In particular the working Sundays and nights (3 young dcs means work only happens after bedtime). I do find it impossible to plan, prepare and assess 22.5hrs teaching in 2.5hrs but don't think it's teaching time that needs to be cut. More proffessional judgement and less formal assessment and levelling of children, less recording, reporting and lengthy planning would all help.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 20:15:30

MrsH - have you read the thread? Very few posters are "defending demands for a 4 hour teaching day".

The majority are talking about the cutting of bureaucracy and saying that the NUT is doing itself no favours by focusing on this particular (non) issue.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 20:16:20

I don't know anyone outside teaching who has to cope with what teachers deal with every day.

Dh never suffers abuse, nor works a 70 hour week. Neither does dp or sil, or bil and sil, nor the other bil and sil. None of them

Wishiwasanheiress Tue 02-Apr-13 20:16:47

Like many roles (police, nursing etc) those in the public have little to no understanding of the actual intricacies of the job, just what they see. So, if it waddles quacks and flies its a duck.

You need better marketing people because the NUT are ridiculously bad at it leaving u open to the DM types all the time. It's sad as generally the public support you and then a headline like this suggested comes out and all we public just think "you have to be effing jeffing?!?!?" and don't read further to see the issue behind the facade.

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 20:17:29

I think this latest motion from NUT makes most teachers cringe.

They really know how to put the nut into nutters.

I teach in an independent school, where our full-time teaching load is 80% - actually what NUT is asking for. It feels about right.

However, we do all our own cover, invigilation, duties, admin, display, prep, etc, etc. We don't get TLR payments. It's expected that you will be involved in the full life of the school.

A typical job "in industry" will nominally be for 37.5 hours per week with a 45 minute lunch break - so 9 till 5.15. If you based teaching duties on these hours, you would have 4h15 for lunch, registrations, PPA, clubs, meetings. With these figures, it would be hard to convince hard-working professionals in other sectors as to the onerous nature of teaching - especially when in reality they are working 45 - 50 hour weeks.

Of course, they are getting paid a lot more than teachers with equivalent qualifications and experience, but then don't get the same holidays.

I would be interested to hear what other teachers are finding is so consuming about paperwork. Resentful paperwork, that is. I am Director of Studies in my school and I do all the data analysis - the subject teachers provide it, though. All the major paperwork tasks are carved up by SMT, so subject teachers and HODs just do what they need to inform and improve their own teaching (which they are happy to do)

mousebacon Tue 02-Apr-13 20:17:57

Look again, MrsHiddleston. Most of us have said the 4 hour cap is unrealistic and would prefer a reduction in paperwork.

TheNeb How would you reduce the paperwork?

I can see that ever changing 'new strategies' as a result of new governments coming in and attempting to pretend they are 'doing something about the state of education' whilst blaming schools and teachers for all of society's ills to deflect criticism of their own policies is paperwork-creating.

Perhaps we can stop that for starters. But what else?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 20:19:03

"You don't like it, do something else, stop holding the education of our children to ransom with your inappropriate, wild demands."

Dear me, that's a bit of an exaggeration. How am I holding the education of our children to ransom?! Silly me, here I thought I was, turning up to work every day and doing my job as normal.

So, MrsHiddleston, you are effectively advocating slave labour. Some people work long hours for no pay, so teachers should too. Is that really the society that you want to create?

Last time I went to a union gathering, the unions were advocating equal rights for private sector workers too.

This isn't about us vs. them. Divide and conquer, and playing into the hands of politicians. It's about deciding what kind of society we want to live in and fighting for it. I don't want tired, stressed out teachers any more than I want tired, stressed out ANYONE in ANY job. (I certainly don't want to be operated on by tired and stressed out doctors and nurses!!)

People are much more likely to do their job effectively if the terms and conditions are reasonable, and we know from looking at other teachers in our teachers that our system is rather silly.

Nobody is saying that other jobs don't have it bad too?

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 20:19:55

Mrs Hiddleston

My headmistress at school was called Mrs Hiddleston. smile. Very inspirational woman.

missorinoco Tue 02-Apr-13 20:21:46

Sorry if this has been answered, but I couldn't see it when I scrolled through.

Is the 35 hour week what teachers are theoretically paid for? As in 08.30 to 15.30 five days a week? Or is that a figure I have mistakenly latched on to.

Clearly teachers work more than this, and yes, to some extent all professionals do, but there should be a sensible balance between teaching time and other professional activites required by the job; if teachers are having to work one of every weekend day in term time to keep up with their work then the balance of teaching and other professional activities is wrong.

If one is not going to increase the non teaching hours of the working day, then job descriptions should clearly state a more realistic working week, which will reflect less pay per hour.

(I'm not going to be as unrealistic as to suggest a pay rise to account for the hours worked, but I totally think you are worth it.)

mousebacon Tue 02-Apr-13 20:21:57

I do all my own paperwork polly from the assessments themselves to the updating of the files to the inputting onto the ict system and then the analysis afterwards. No admin support in our school.

Our ht has decided she likes a nice Venn diagram to go with the step grid to show who is/isn't on track for each subject. Oh joy.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 20:22:23

Oops, pressed post too early.

We're just saying that teachers would be better at TEACHING if there was less unnecessary paperwork. Is that such an unreasonable demand?

whokilleddannylatimer Tue 02-Apr-13 20:26:36

What im trying to ask is if teachers did have four hours a day teaching time wouldn't it make it harder for teachers? You would still have the same amount of curriculum to cover in less hours, wouldn't that make it MORE stressful?

mizu Tue 02-Apr-13 20:27:48

What about all those teachers who work in FE who work as hard but earn so much less?

I love my job and am HoD but in the last few years time has become a real issue and staff where i work are constantly stressed and strung out with low morale.

My personal experience. I have no time in the working week to talk to my co HoD, no time to discuss anything. I have about 20 minutes for lunch between classes - that is getting out of one class and setting up another - and if I am lucky getting to go to the toilet.

I teach 7 and a half hours on a Tuesday (eve class too) and then start teaching again at 9am the next morning. All different classes with differentiation needed and ILPS etc etc.

It is hard work. But i agree with other posters, it is not teaching time that needs to be cut - the best bit of my job is being in the classroom - it is the endless paperwork that usually has to be done 'just in case' for inspection.

I wish sometimes that we could just get on with our jobs of teaching instead of being bombarded with so much paperwork and so many targets.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 20:29:33

I don't want less teaching time, I love teaching. I want less paperwork.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 20:29:35

Starlight - I am finding, this year, that the majority of my "paperwork" comes from:

1. Data analysis - as outlined above, approx. 45 mins of creating of pivot tables in Excel and analysing progress for each teaching group (I have 12) and year group (I have 7) per half term. It is meaningless because no one ever looks at it, so it's for my own benefit but I am not allowed to just do what I see fit - the argument is that OFSTED require this kind of evidence of progress.
2. The fact that I am teaching 2 new KS4 courses this year. This is a direct result of the government messing around with exam specifications. I teach level 2 BTEC and GCSE at KS4. Both have new specs for teaching this year. The new BTEC is so completely different from the old BTEC that I can use neither planning nor resources from the old one.
3. New OFSTED framework with its emphasis on increased differentiation ("outstanding" requires "personalised learning") I teach 310 different children every week. That's an awful lot of "personalised learning" to plan for.

I don't have to create lesson plans in the detail given by posters above - it seems that the demands depend on different schools. However, we are all driven by the constant changes the current government is making in policy. We all know that OFSTED could drop in with no notice, and I'm quite sure that every one of us on the this thread knows of schools whose grading has dropped under the new framework. In my area, a lot of schools have had OFSTED in since September, and only one (widely known as one of the best state (grammar) schools in the country) has retained its Outstanding grading. It's a pretty unpleasant cloud to be going to work underneath, and I believe it's the main motivation for many HTs giving out these onerous tasks. We had a review (not OFSTED) in just after Feb half term. They didn't look at my sodding data analysis when they observed my lesson. But I have still been asked to do the same analysis at the end of the term we've just finished.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 20:31:53

No whokilled - as an example, I teach secondary English.

This year, I teach 1 x year 11 group, 1 x year 10 group, 2 x year 9 groups, 1 x year 8 group & share another, & share 3 x year 7 groups.

If our school hired another teacher, the whole dept. could each 'drop' a part group (eg. I could lose the year 7 group I teach twice a week, or the two year 7 groups I teach once each).

This would reduce contact hours to the level the NUT are advocating, & I'd then do a better, more thorough job with the remaining classes.

However, it would obviously cost the school an additional salary.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 20:34:36

(...but I agree with everyone else that I'd rather keep my current teaching load & radically reduce the pointless paperwork!)

raininginbaltimore Tue 02-Apr-13 20:34:49

I have worked in the private sector and state sector. The private school was a highly sought after, high achieving one. The only difference between that and the state- smaller class sizes (22 in lower school and 15 at GCSE), parental involvement (if you rang a parent about behaviour they responded) and as a main scale teacher I had six hours of prep time a week. Now as a HoD I get three a week. And I was trusted to teach. And in many respects the teaching wasn't as high quality as state sector, lots of textbook lessons and lecturing by other members of staff.

But there was time to adequately plan for he needs of your students. You knew your class and could mark work regularly and effectively.

I teach 450 students a week. I cannot possibly effectively differentiate and mark for those students every week.

Iwaswatchingthat Tue 02-Apr-13 20:34:50

I think what most people don't realise about teaching is how draining constantly being with children is. Of course they are lovely and a joy etc. but it is this part of primary teaching I find the most exhausting - the constant dialogue and of course each child has their own specific needs which must be met.

All parents understand how tiring their own children are, yet when it comes to teachers all of a sudden being with 30 children all day is perceived as not the most difficult part of the job and all focus is on paperwork. I don't really get this.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 20:37:25

I teach in an independent school, where our full-time teaching load is 80% - actually what NUT is asking for. It feels about right.

However, we do all our own cover, invigilation, duties, admin, display, prep, etc, etc. We don't get TLR payments. It's expected that you will be involved in the full life of the school.

Apart from the TLR payments, you are describing your average state school primary teacher.

I can't believe you think state school teachers don't do these!

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 20:50:42

I keep hearing about the burgundy book - and I am coming from a senior school perspective.

Do state school teachers do exam invigilation or not, lunchtime supervision or not, cover week-in-week-out or not?

Arisbottle Tue 02-Apr-13 20:52:19

No exam invigilation, lunch time duties in return for free dinners.

chicaguapa Tue 02-Apr-13 20:52:49

I stopped reading when I saw the first mention of gold-plated pension tbh. hmm I'm sure there's a lot of independent thought on this thread so apologies if I'm ignoring yours, but when people start trotting out bollocks word for word that they've read in the media, their argument has been immediately undermined and I know that they know not about which they talk.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 21:00:08

Do state school teachers do exam invigilation or not, lunchtime supervision or not, cover week-in-week-out or not?

KS2 test invigilation - absolutely. Lunchtime supervision - as SMT, yes. What do you mean, cover - you said you taught an 80% timetable, so do you teach 80% or lose that to cover absence? I am often pulled in my management time (10%) to cover colleagues' absences, yes.

whokilleddannylatimer Tue 02-Apr-13 21:00:19

How do we get rid of the paperwork then, hire admin? Hire markers? Does the education system/country have that kind of money to achieve that? Where do we cut money from to do so?

Would admin cause more problems than help? My mum works for the NHS, she spends loads of time correcting the admins mistakes.

I don't know what the answer is tbh.

difficultpickle Tue 02-Apr-13 21:05:03

I didn't realise that teachers holidays were unpaid. However the recent press coverage about pensions made me very envy. I'd love to have that sort of pension. I'd also love to have a job that gave me access to that amount of unpaid holiday. Unfortunately I'd be a rubbish teacher.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 21:06:00

Just leave us alone to teach. Stop requiring me to spend more time proving that I am doing my job than actually doing it.

50% of teachers leave within 5 years citing workload as a major reason.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 21:06:55

As a non-SLT secondary, it's no to exam invigilation, lunch duties and/or clubs in return for free lunch (not that I want to eat the canteen food...) cover - allegedly not, but in reality yes.

Rules are different for SLT. Once you're on the leadership pay spine, the terms and conditions are different.

I am HoD and HoY. I teach 38/50 per fortnight. Standard teachers do 43/50. We all have tutor groups. I also have a timetabled mentor meeting with the NQT in my dept once per week (taking out 2 of those 12 non-contacts) plus a mentor meeting with a Yr 11 girl once per week (2 more gone) I run after school clubs on 2 days (currently - when we're doing school shows it's 3 days) until 4 or 4.30.

I don't mind any of this. I have been teaching for longer than all but 1 of the SLT at my school but have no desire whatsoever to go up to SLT as it will take me out of the classroom. I love teaching, and am very fond of almost all of the 310 students I currently teach. The paperwork, I could happily leave behind.

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 21:09:35

I moved into SLT this year and I really love the days when I have a full timetable - no one can get to me!

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 21:11:31

"I'd also love to have a job that gave me access to that amount of unpaid holiday."

I absolutely LOVE teaching but there is no way I'd do it without the holidays. If I didn't know I could collapse and get some sleep at the end of each term, I'd quit tomorrow.

MrsHeggulePoirot Tue 02-Apr-13 21:12:37

I teach in an independent school, where our full-time teaching load is 80% - actually what NUT is asking for. It feels about right.

How many students do you teach in total out of interest if you don't mind me asking?

ivykaty44 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:13:19

I thought it was illegal not to get holiday pay? So what you are saying is if a teacher is on 24k per year then the three months they don't work they get docked the 6k and receive no pay for the weeks they are not working? So really there annual pay is not 24k but 18k

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 21:14:23

I don't need to look at their photos when writing reports wink

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 21:16:21

No, Ivy, teachers get a paycheck for each of the 12 months of the year.

"Not getting paid for holidays" is political bollocks. Ignore it.

mumnosbest Tue 02-Apr-13 21:19:35

heggiehog exactly what you said. I'd quit too!

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 21:20:19

Yes, ignore every single other person other than PollyEthel - she clearly knows more that everyone else put together.

whokilleddannylatimer Tue 02-Apr-13 21:20:52

IVykaty as far as I knew teachers did get the 24k but this was pay for their contracted hours so they did get the full 24k rather than 18k but felt as the 24k is payment for their contracted hours they are not being paid holidays.

Willing to be told I am wrong its just how it was explained to me at school.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 21:21:20

It's not political bollocks, it's true.

MrsHeggulePoirot Tue 02-Apr-13 21:23:16

See for me Polly that has been the real killer this year - I only teach 0.6, but have about 180 Students due to increasing class sizes. My sixth form classes this year have had nowhere near the amount of individual support and feedback the year before had as there are just too many. In the last term I have really focused on them but at the expense of marking next to no key stage 3 classes. I just can't fit it in. I spend an awful
Lot of time replying to emails from students with queries as there isn't the time in lessons so this was the only solution. They attempt questions - take a photo of their work on their smartphone and email it to me with their query... If counting hours I work this is the sort of thing that gets left out of my hours count.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 21:28:36

Of course teachers will leave if they don't get the holidays- you can't work those hours without the breaks. Feenie is quite right about 50% within 5 years because of the workload.

StickyFloor Tue 02-Apr-13 21:29:09

At parents evening I was invited to look at my kids' books and saw that for every single worksheet they had done there were detailed comments from the teacher ......... now I understand that she has to do this to satisfy the wankers from OFSTED .............. but how sad that she has no time to actually go through the work with the children so the comments that she leaves are read by absolutely noone except a parent at parents evening and the OFSTED inspector. So where my dd was getting 1/9 in maths day in day out the teacher had written in detail where she was going wrong, but told me openly that she didn't have the time to go through this with dd, but I could do it at home if I wished. What an absolute farce. So yes, clearly teachers need more time to teach and less on meaningless paperwork.

WRT to the holiday issue I genuinely do not understand all this about holidays being unpaid. You are employed to do a job and there is a salary that goes with it. This is true of any job with an annual salary. You don't hear any other profession saying well, I earn £25k to be an office manager working 50 hour weeks, but sadly my 5 weeks annual holiday are unpaid.

JumpHerWho Tue 02-Apr-13 21:31:14

Agree with all the other teachers on the thread saying don't reduce our teaching hours, reduce the ridiculous amounts of unnecessary, pointless paperwork.

Marking, feedback, planning and assessing - all fine. Data analysis, producing schemes of work and full lesson plans and everything written down to the tiniest detail as proof that you're doing your job - not fine. Out of my PPA time, the vast majority is spent not planning, preparing or assessing as it should be, but replying to demands for analysis of this that or other thing. It's all about Ofsted... every visit to our Satisfactory school (oh sorry, not stisfactory any more...) results in a further list of bullshit tasks teachers and dept heads need to produce to demonstrate and prove that we are doing our jobs sad I too love the days when I have a full teaching load - no one can bug me for a random paperwork task. NUT have sadly got it wrong here and will win no friends in the media. Playing into Gove's hands.

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 21:33:51

That's what our contracts state, StickyFloor - we are contracted for 195 days per year.

StickyFloor Tue 02-Apr-13 21:35:24

"You can't work those hours without the breaks"

Sorry, but that is why teachers are so frequently demonised in the media and by parents who work those hours but do not get those breaks. Try working those hours with just 5 weeks holiday a year, and then you will understand why teachers who try and raise legitimate issues about the pressures placed on them will not be properly heard; at some point they always claim to be overworked and overtired and those working outside of teaching will shout them down.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 21:36:12

We are contracted to work 1265 hours over 195 days. Our pay is worked out on this basis. (& on this largely fictitious basis, it's not a bad salary, to be fair).

The 1265 hours are what is called directed time: ie. my HT can direct me 'ravenAK, go & teach gothic fiction to year 9, top set, in room 12' or 'ravenAK, attend a meeting about <erm...some bollocks>'.

Examples of 'directed time' breakdowns can be found on pages 9 & 10 here.

How I get my marking & planning done, aside from the 10% of my directed timetable which is theoretically set aside for it, is my problem, & is unpaid overtime - evenings & weekends, basically. There's absolutely no way I ever do more than scratch the surface whilst in school.

Our wages are then paid on 12 occasions over the year, to make it easier to budget. No idea when this was put in place, but it's obviously sensible for everyone's convenience.

Some (well, most) teachers 'save up' big jobs eg. marking controlled assessments, writing new schemes of learning for the hols.

Others work several hours a night/all weekend in term time & take their hols off with a clear conscience.

So no, holidays aren't paid. I have no idea why this is so contentious: it's a simple statement of fact re teaching contracts.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 21:38:21


You are misunderstanding. The officer manager's 5 weeks annual holiday are not unpaid, so why would they say that? The holidays are part of their terms and conditions.

Part of a teachers' terms and conditions is that we are only contracted to work term-time, which is why our salaries are low compared to similar jobs with the same amount of training, responsibility, stress etc. Because there is a substantial part of the year that we are not paid for.

Yet the British public thinks that we work short hours during term time and get all these lovely paid holidays on top. We don't. And if it weren't for those holidays that people despise us for, nobody would do the bloomin' job! I wouldn't work 70 hours a week all year round for £21.5k, after 5 years of training/education to get there. No way!

ivykaty44 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:39:44

I am contracted to work 156 days per year and get 144 hours holiday paid for by my company, my salary is paid over 12 months and I get the same amount of money each month.

So if you are contracted for 195 hours and paid for only the 195 hours surely that is illegal?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 21:41:47

I'm not going to play the "woe is me" game with you, StickyFloor.

If you think that ANY teacher could deliver quality first lessons all year round, working 70 hours a week, without breaks, then you are deluded.

Our children deserve better. I've worked abroad in countries where teachers have to do those hours all year round and it's not a pretty sight. You'd find teachers passed out on the floor in the staff room. Is that what you want for our children and our schools?

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 21:42:59

I have the same pay scale whether I do supply or am contracted.
As a supply teacher I am payed for the hours I work- I get a higher rate because I don't get any pay in the holidays. On a contract I get less because *the same*money has to stretch over the holiday. Perhaps that explains it. Teachers do not get paid for the holidays and the government couldn't afford the extra money needed if holidays were to be shorter.

chibi Tue 02-Apr-13 21:44:28

i would agree to be paid less if i could have it in writing that

a) no more articles implying i work 20 hours pw would be written

b) people would assume that i was Not an evil workshy malingerer out to ruin the lives of children until i proved otherwise. currently it feels like the opposite

c) randoms who have not set foot in a school since they were pupils would acknowledge that actually, they do not know my job, or its best practice inside and out, and just possibly after 10 years at the chalkface and a further degree in education i maybe know one or two things myself


ivykaty44 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:46:02

no exotic - that is more confusing

if you are paid more by an agency to cover you not getting holiday pay - then why are the other teachers on contracts paid less but paid all year around?

surely if no one is getting holiday pay you would all be paid the same?

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 21:46:29

I can't see why people want exhausted, demoralised teachers, teaching their children - I certainly don't.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 21:47:42

I don't work for an agency- I work for the LEA - the same as when I am on a contract.

chicaguapa Tue 02-Apr-13 21:48:17

DH has 3 periods a week for PPA. 1 is spent being a PGCE mentor, the other is taken for cover every week. So he only gets 1 a week. After school is spent at ridiculous meetings when the time could be better spent doing actual marking, planning etc.

I often mention my friend who's a teacher and I recommended the mooncup to as there are 2 days a week she absolutely does not have time to go to the toilet to change a tampon due to her timetable. confused

However, I've always seen the workload as a yearly workload which is condensed into a very stressful high-pressured 195 days. I don't think you could sustain that level of pressure if you weren't ever more than 6 weeks from a school holiday (or 7/8 weeks in the autumn term).

I've also realised that DH only gets a comparative 12 weeks holiday a year as the bank holidays nearly always fall into the school holidays so he doesn't get those as extra like most people in other jobs.

Plus there is often a perception that teachers get INSET days off, which they don't. My DM STILL has to be reminded every time that just because the DC are off, DH still goes in.

ivykaty44 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:48:34

so why do you get different pay? if there is no holiday pay you would surely be paid the same regardless?

StickyFloor Tue 02-Apr-13 21:52:50

I think that teachers should be paid more, respected more, freed from the shackles of OFSTED and allowed just to bloody teach which is what they have trained for.

But I think this issue of holiday pay is hugely contentious because the public think teachers are lazy, and claiming that you are unpaid for holidays really doesn't help as it means the real issues won't be heard.

Over a 12 month period you receive a salary and within that you have to work in the classroom, and work at home and work at weekends and in holidays and the rest of the time is your actual holiday. It doesn't really matter what your contract says.

How many people do you think are working with contracts that say they will work 35 hour weeks but actually they work 60 or 70 hour weeks too and also take stuff home at the weekend and in their holidays? So what?

You have a job to do and a salary that goes with it for the year.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 21:54:23

A supply teacher gets paid for the hours worked- they fill in a form. The disadvantage is that you get no chance of earning a penny in August, December is a lean month etc. A contracted teacher wouldn't want a month without pay and so they get less in the term to cover it. You can't do that with supply because you don't know when you will work.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 21:54:36

@ivykaty44: Because supply teachers get the same daily rate as any other teacher, ie. their salary dependent on pay scale/195.

So a supply teacher gets 'whatever that is' for each day worked, whether (s)he works one day or 195 in a given school year.

A teacher on a contract gets 'whatever that is' x 195 then divvied up into 12 lumps, paid each calendar month.

So if exotic & I both taught in the same school on the same day, & assuming we're on the same point on the scale, on paper she'd get more on a supply contract for that day. But if she taught all 195 days (possibly in several different schools) we'd both earn the same over the year.

orangeandlemons Tue 02-Apr-13 21:57:26

I never get time to change a tampon either. I thought it was only me!What people who claim that plenty of other professions do the same hours don't seem to get, is we are dealing with loads of kids every day.

How would some of them feel dealing with a few of their own kids alone for 5 hours a day every day? Then add in about 25 of someone else's children too and imagine how knackering that is. Then you have to get them to concentrate/pay attention/ remove phones/ wipe tears/ sort out arguments/wear correct uniform/ blah blah x 30 of someone else's children day in, day out....

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 21:58:52

Oh, fgs. But we are NOT PAID for the holidays and it DOES affect our salaries so it IS relevant. It's not like it doesn't make a difference to anything, it does.

As a side note:
Especially when every year you have to put up with the let's-get-rid-of-all-holidays and all-teachers-are-lazy-and-only-work-9to3 argument from the media, which fuels the perception that we all sit around earning £37k a year or something ridiculously lovely like that, and get lots of paid holidays on top. We don't.

Perhaps this is something that you have to be a teacher to understand because people just aren't understanding the issue and how it affects things.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 21:59:10

ivy it's not hard. Let's imagine a teacher gets paid £19,500 per year, £100 per day. A teacher on a contract in a school gets £1,625 every month. A supply teacher might work for one week in one school, then three weeks in another, then have no work for a month and so on. That might be the supply teacher's own choice, or maybe there's no supply work available or maybe it's the summer holidays. The supply teacher would get £500 for the week in one school, then £1500 for the three weeks elsewhere then nothing for the week with no work. With me so far? IF the supply teacher worked on all 195 available days in the school year, then she would earn £19,500- the same as the contracted teacher. She just wouldn't get it in 12 equal chunks.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 22:03:00

RavenAK put it very clearly- I can't believe that anyone can't understand it after that.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 22:03:08

Sorry, should have said, that would mean that the contracted teacher actually got £53.42 per day if you divide it by 365.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 22:03:40

Also, I would love to know who all these people are working 70 hour weeks like everyone is claiming? As a teacher I am a graduate (obviously), which means I have a lot of graduate friends.

I have amongst my friends - teachers, bankers, journalists, accountants, lawyers, GPs, nurses, charity admin staff, managers, company directors. Etc etc etc. NONE of them work the hours that I do. Except the bankers, who make a heck of a lot of more money than I do. Tens of thousands more.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 22:05:56

heggie don't go there. We do ourselves no favours claiming that no one works as hard... DH and I have similar qualifications. He is a management consultant. He does as many hours as I do, if you even it out over the year. He gets paid 3x what I do, of course, but he works bloody hard.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 22:11:56

"We do ourselves no favours claiming that no one works as hard..."

That's not what I'm saying. Why can't you even talk about these things without someone taking it the wrong way? It's madness.

I am asking a genuine question. Because I either have a lot of lucky friends or there's a whole heap of jobs out there that I know nothing about.

I am ignorant here, please enlighten me as to what these jobs are, so that I can avoid them if I quit teaching, ha. My Gp trainee friend has to pay horrendous training fees and works long hours but she was surprised by how long I was working for.

Makes me wonder, what else is out there?

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 22:13:08

"He gets paid 3x what I do, of course, but he works bloody hard."

Ah, so he does get paid more then? Are there jobs similar to teaching pay levels? What hours do retail managers work, is their pay similar?


exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 22:15:44

I think that the difference is that when you are in the classroom it is like being on stage, everything is concentrated on the teaching and the children- there is no moment to yourself. There is no time to do any other part of the job and yet they all need to be done.

EvilTwins Tue 02-Apr-13 22:19:47

I see where you're coming from, but having been involved with discussions about teaching both on MN and in RL, it is pointless (and a bit arrogant) going down the "no one does as many hours as me" route. The obvious retort is "get a new job then" DH does work as hard as me. He gets paid more (I spend it on shoes grin) but I get more time off. I have plenty of friends who work similar hours to me, and plenty who don't. I have plenty of friends who earn more than I do, and plenty who don't. Go back over the thread - lots of people who are ignorant about teachers' day to day routines, and getting criticism for it (along the lines of "don't comment if you don't understand") So don't fall into the same trap.

BranchingOut Tue 02-Apr-13 22:22:36

Reads thread and thanks her lucky stars that she is no longer a teacher...

Out of curiosity, I went up to the PC and opened up a set of planning from my last year as an infant teacher (a few years ago now). Planning for 5 mathematics lessons? Ooh, 1537 words.

Tethers has it spot on - the stuff that most other people call work is what teachers are expected to begin at 3.30pm each day.

On my working days now I reply to emails, have informal conversations with colleagues, think, read documents, assimilate information, plan and manage activities... As a teacher, all this was supposed to be done after school when I was already exhausted from dealing with 30 young children for the most productive hours o the day. You know that feeling when you have been to an all-day meeting and are exhausted from too much talking, interacting and being on your feet? That is the average day in teaching.

All the talk of great pensions is pie in the sky. I will be very surprised if many of the teachers who were my contemporaries will make it through to retirement.

heggiehog Tue 02-Apr-13 22:25:10

I love teaching but I am planning my escape route. The day they start messing with either the holidays or the pension (more than they already have), I'll be gone.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Tue 02-Apr-13 22:27:19

evil, I have to translate (via google) in to Czech, Japanese, Slovak, French & Polish for just one of my classes. In that class I also have a high energy boy with Downs Syndrome, two boys with Asberger's, an autistic boy, three more with IEPs and a couple more with targets for behaviour and/or learning. This is an ICT yr8 class of 28 pupils in an outstanding school. I imagine some teachers have many groups like this in much worse conditions than me. I raise my hat to you because it IS time consuming and imo not always a cost effective use of time. I might spend an hour or more per week doing the translated work & still get NOTHING handed in worthy of a mark from the Czech boy and French boy (sometimes they are absent so it is a complete wast of time). Aside a little and this is a genuine question not adding fuel to the fire - when did we last have a pay rise? Colleague reckons 2010 but it seems longer than that.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 22:27:28

In a nutshell BranchingOut.

Grockle Tue 02-Apr-13 22:29:02

I love teaching too but it has contributed to my being quite unwell & although I'd like an escape route, I am currently unable to find one that I would enjoy anywhere near as much as I love teaching.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Apr-13 22:29:36

The day that they start messing with holidays is the day that teachers will leave in droves.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 02-Apr-13 22:49:12

I read these posts and so glad I am out of teaching. (FE) I don't think teachers get the respect or recognition they deserve. It is a calling as we see so often just on here let alone rl.
If I need help, advice, I ask a teacher on here who is only too happy to help. Also tes is also good.
Teachers helping parents in their free time, of which they get so little.
Although I don't use schools anymore (my dd is H.ed) in case anyone knows this here. I have total respect for teachers and would and have supported any stance they have taken to make their conditions better.

I think you are a credit to your profession, I know I told you on a thread you were on once, but your commitment to those dc was amazing.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 22:49:20

I agree with everything the NUT said - it definitely reflects my experience.

BUT my first reaction to this was Nooo! When you go to university on some courses you only get 15 hours a week face to face with a tutor - and it isn't enough.

Imo, the answer is not for there to be less teaching, but to have more classroom assistants and admin support - and to stop changing the curriculum every five minutes. Why not make more use of parents, too - those who want to be involved and who have the time - especially in primary schools.

nonameslefttouse Tue 02-Apr-13 22:50:07

I think the whole school day and terms need to be re-looked at personally, our children are sinking down the educational league tables for me it would be better for everyone to take a step back and look at the system for the benefit of the next generation. I am all in favour of extending the school day and reducing holidays, our school has just extended the school day, starts 5 mins earlier, breaks for lunch 5 mins later and finishes 5 mins later, sorry but I really don't see the point in this at all

Like any profession there are good and bad teachers, the bad ones should be delt with more swiftly, education is something I feel we should give priority to it is every bit as important as the NHS in my eyes and at the minute in my opinion failing so many children.

Teachers are professionals and as such should be paid as professionals, and lets face it we all remember influential teachers. I don't understand why every teachers has to lesson plan when they all teach the national curriculum, could teachers not share and just tweak? Also I don't its fair that every child seems to be pushed in to mainstream education, in many cases its not fair on the child nor the teacher or the others in the class.

yellowhousewithareddoor Tue 02-Apr-13 22:52:21

Branching out what do you do now?

Feenie Tue 02-Apr-13 22:53:27

our children are sinking down the educational league tables

Read this before you start talking about league tables.

Solopower1 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:00:47

Nonames you have to plan each lesson as you often can't do what you did with the same level class last year, as it's a whole lot of different individuals this time round and the curriculum has changed again!

But there are some lessons you can just tweak, of course there are. But no matter how fast you are at it, marking a set of 30 books can easily take three hours. And that's just one class. Most school teachers wil have five or six classes a day.

ravenAK Tue 02-Apr-13 23:35:00

Ah you see I don't need to write detailed lesson plans in order to teach, nonames.

I need to do it because erm. Hang on. There'll be a good reason definitely.

Oh yes, because my boss says I must.

We do genuinely, in order to be effective, have to write detailed schemes of learning every time the curriculum changes, though, & on a rolling programme of new resources for any subject which requires topicality - eg. for English language GCSE exam practice I have to find new, up-to-date non fiction texts & produce interactive resources to go with them regularly. It's incredibly time consuming - maybe 50 hours of work to produce resources for a unit of 12 teaching hours.

A great deal of sharing does go on, formally & informally, but ultimately you get better results with fewer shortcuts.

I'm not moaning - I love writing & producing resources!

(Data analysis & report writing...not so keen).

NeverFinishWhatYouStarted Tue 02-Apr-13 23:57:10

Does any other profession have to justify their work practices and salary to the general public in the same way teachers do? When have you ever heard people querying, say, a solicitor who charge £££ per hour even though the client only met him/her for 20 minutes? Why is it so hard to believe that, as well as the pressure of managing a couple of dozen children at a time (never work with children or animals? hmm), lots of invisible work goes on behind the scenes. And plenty of that work, while required, has zero impact on teaching and learning.

Folk need to realise that having attended school does not qualify you to comment on how teachers work. I've been in hospital but I wouldn't dream of demanding a breakdown of a HCP's working day/week. The taxpayer gets excellent value for money from all the public services in the UK.

neverputasockinatoaster Wed 03-Apr-13 00:19:01

I don't want less time in front of the children! That's the bit I'm good at, the bit I love!

I want less time filling stupid planning proformas that make no sense, detailing every word I will say, every question I will ask.......

I want to spend less time jiggling around with data.

I want to spend less time sitting in meetings with management being asked why child X isn't making expected progress (because she's never at school) When I say why I'm asked what I'm going to do about it.... I teach mornings only - said child is in one of my morning groups and I have taught her about 3 times since Christmas as she is so often late..... SMT suggested I might think about catching her after lunch to give her the input she misses...... I don't work in school in the sodding afternoons. I went to PT hours to prevent myself becoming ill FGS!

And to the person who said there are plans etc online. Yes, there are but mostly they are made by people who think differently to me and usually make no sense to me (the fault lies within my brain - I am aware of that) so I spend longer making sense of them than I do planning my own lessons!

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 00:20:32

Oh I don't know, Never. I'm very happy to tell people what I do.

The problem is that they don't often stay long enough to listen to it all ... smile

HotelFromage Wed 03-Apr-13 00:58:00

I am a 40 yer old Nqt. I work just 2 days a week, yet in term time I work 9 -1am four nights a week. This is to plan and mark for just 2 days worth of lessons. It is hell. I have 2 kids and think I have made a massive mistake going into teaching, and my school isn't too prescriptive about planning. Some of the paperwork I've heard about people having to provide in other schools is just ridiculous.

There is evidence that reducing class sizes doesn't have much of animpact unless you go below 15. I think the key thing which needs to be done to improve educational outcomes is to give teachers more time for marking, so that pupils can have proper, timely feedback on their work. This has been shown to have a greater effect than reducing class sizes.

I worked in the private sector before I went into teaching and would now go back in a heartbeat.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 01:21:22

You remind me of myself in my probationary year, getting up at 4.00am to plan my classes, and falling asleep at table in the evening, in the middle of a meal, waking up with food in my mouth. Poor you. I hope things get better for you.

Happy days. Not. That was over twenty-five years ago, and I don't have to work anywhere near as hard now, though I still end up working most Sunday evenings

montmartre Wed 03-Apr-13 01:32:42

Teachers in Denmark have 150% PPE time (i.e. 1,5 hours prep and marking for 1 hour of lesson). 10% PPE seems not enough to do the job IME.

BranchingOut Wed 03-Apr-13 07:02:10

Yellow house: I now work for a public sector/voluntary organisation. Love it!
Hours are normal, I switch off from work at the end of the day and I have not missed a day of work through sickness in over a year.

reastie Wed 03-Apr-13 07:08:41

square I work around 11 hours a week over 3 days. I come in over 2 hours early on one of the days and an hour early on the other 2. I work through my lunch hour and breaks (which equates to nearly 2 hours over the 3 days). I have to leave when I finish teaching to collect DD from family whom I rely on for childcare.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 07:45:25

I don't think that anyone wants less time with the children- that is the part they like and the reason they became a teacher- it is all the paper work that they want to cut down on. It is such a waste - so much is written and it is rarely read- no one has the time to read it. It isn't even a help to the lesson- a few cryptic notes are as much as you need.
You can tell what is wrong with the profession by the fact that I now work with schools occasionally on a voluntary basis- and the other people who do the same are ex teachers. Where else do you get people doing the job for free in their own time for sheer enjoyment when they don't have to? You don't find lawyers saying ' I'll come and work for 4 hours for fun' but I don't want to be a paid lawyer!
All the ex teachers that I work with say the same- loved the classroom but fed up with the paperwork and the constant government changes. It wouldn't be so bad if we could have ten years or so without a other initiative.
The week before last I worked with a class of yr 4 children. It was very relaxed. I arrived, greeted the children and staff and helpers that were with them and explained the day. They went off on an activity. I set mine up- it takes a while because it is practical and hands on. I then had about 10 children and ran my session. Then the class went off for lunch and I was able to have a relaxed lunch with my two colleagues and then I did the same session with another 2 groups. It wasn't boring because although the same activity different children made it a very different session. I had a great time, the teacher thanked me and said they had a great time. They went off, I packed away and went home. No paper work.
A teacher with a class obviously needs some paperwork but I can't see why they need so much except for Ofsted and they would do the job so much better if they had time for a simple thing like a lunch break.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 07:55:23

I meet ex teachers everywhere- all saying the same - they got out because of the workload, otherwise they would still be in the job they loved.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 07:57:40

And if I had to do paperwork and records for my voluntary work then I wouldn't do it. I am quite prepared to talk to anyone about what I do, but I have no written work.

KnockKnockKnockPenny Wed 03-Apr-13 08:12:05

I get so fed up with the endless harping on about holidays.
Yes we get a lot of holidays.
No we don't demand them. It is the nature of what we do. We teach CHILDREN.
CHILDREN need holidays.
Therefore we get holidays (and only when we we are told we can so forget family occasions, spontaneous trips, holidays that don't cost an absolute bloody fortune because we can only go at peak time).

Supply teachers or peripatetic teachers don't have contracts with schools, therefore their pay is only term time. They have no choice but to be out of work for the school holidays. Not their choice.

We get paid for a year, it is divided, like everyone else, over the weeks of the year. It effectively means there that yes, there is pay going to our accounts during the holiday but it is part of a whole. We could NOT be paid during the holidays and only get paid during the term but that just means our weekly pay during term time would be greater and we would still receive exactly the same amount per year. It makes more sense for it to be spread into smaller amounts over the year.

What do teachers do after 3.30 each day when they don't have kids at school? Surely planning and marking can be done then?

And do they get paid for 52 weeks a year? If so then they need to stop moaning. I would happily work extra each night to have 13 weeks off a year. Do they also get full time wages or part time?

I work in the NHS and am shocked at how public sector workers don't realise just how easy they have it.

Most private sector workers work 8 hour days and often don't get a lunch break and often do unpaid overtime or take work home at night.

Yet again a union picks the worst possible moment to whine about working conditions to a public who already think teachers get an easy ride.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 03-Apr-13 08:46:35

I want to work in denmark.! I'm not great at languages though. What does Sweden do? They're often held up as being amazing.

Do Danish classes alternate teachers then? Do they teach a reduced time table?

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 03-Apr-13 08:56:43

Madame have you read this thread? Aris,bottle gives a good account and she is happy with teaching. She starts about 7.30 and works until midnight stopping for an evening meal.
Of course the planning and marking is done after 3.30 it can't be done while the students are there! So its roughly 8-4 at least in school and then several hours out of school. Plus parents evenings (I taught 5 year groups - that was every Thursday evening for 5 weeks in a row. Then come home and mark.

I love teaching but I do um and ah about going back. It does make it a lot harder when everyone is teacher bashing and thinks we clock off at 3.30!

lisson Wed 03-Apr-13 08:56:50

50 hours per week = Monday - Friday 8am to 7pm with an hour for lunch. long hours and not well paid, but at least the commute is usually short.

Where does all this working through the night and working every Sunday come in?

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 09:06:07

It is posts like the one by Madamecastafiore that make me thoroughly glad that I have left teaching.

mercibucket Wed 03-Apr-13 09:20:02

'You can't work those hours without the breaks'

You can work those hours in a different kind of job without the breaks. I did it easily, I actually had 2 full time jobs in admin once, started at 7am and finished around midnight, it was fine. Try that in teaching and you'd last a week. There are other jobs I think would be similar. I would not fancy call centre work for very long days as it wrecks your voice like teaching does, or something like casualty work I imagine to be very high stress as well. But if you happen to have many other types of job, don't imagine teaching is the same. It's very draining. I always think it's like performing, and it's always interesting to see the number of comedians and actors who are ex-teachers.

You'd all love the french attitude - they're barely in school most of the week.

heggiehog Wed 03-Apr-13 09:29:17

Why do people like Madamecastafiore bother posting if they haven't bothered to read a single word of the thread?


heggiehog Wed 03-Apr-13 09:30:09

"Most private sector workers work 8 hour days and often don't get a lunch break and often do unpaid overtime or take work home at night. "

Just like teachers then? Except we work longer hours than that.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 09:41:01

Oh and one more thing... those nice long holidays. If I'm not catching up with work I'm often in school anyway. This Easter I've spent one day already clearing out stuff and getting resources ready. I'm planning another day next week to go and put displays up sad

orangeandlemons Wed 03-Apr-13 09:44:48

I went in yesterday to help my a level students. Am marking tomorrow and Friday. Planning next week

rosy71 Wed 03-Apr-13 10:13:00

The 1265 hours are what is called directed time:

Teachers also have non-directed time which is basically time spent working outside directed time. This will be any preparation, marking etc which needs to be done in holidays, weekends or evenings. I've never heard anyone, other than on here, say that teachers don't get paid for holidays. Teachers are salaried which means you get an annual rate, not payment for contracted hours.

Startail Wed 03-Apr-13 10:46:53

What ever the rights and wrongs off this, it's going to be seen by non teachers as ridiculously Lazy.

I know it isn't, I've spent time helping in school, I know that primary teachers end up working through break and into lunch time. You are basically putting on a show for 5 hrs. a day, with an audience that doesn't necessarily want to be there and are quite capable of damaging themselves or others if you let your eye off the ball. It's mentally very tiring.

If some one throws in a lunch time or after school club it's easy to have six or seven hours with no chance to switch off at all.

Trouble is we all remember secondary teachers who throw the text book at us and said do page 4 and get your partner to mark it.

Teaching just isn't like that anymore.

However, this is not the time for the NUT to raise this issue in this way. Everyone is seeing their wages fall in real terms. Teachers campaigning for better pensions, pay and conditions is one thing. Shorter hours, especially in a school holiday is not going to gain public support.

Arisbottle Wed 03-Apr-13 11:02:07

Madamecast I actually said I was happy to work every evening because I do not work in the holidays. It is a trade I am willing to make . I also posted quite clearly what I am doing between 3.30pm and 6pm.

AgnesDiPesto Wed 03-Apr-13 11:17:58

I have a child with autism who has to go to mainstream as the LA has closed all the alternatives. The teachers have no time to get to know him (he rarely speaks except in 1:1 so making time for him is essential). They don't have time to come to meetings with visiting professionals (eg speech therapy). They don't have time to plan work for him. They don't actually teach him much at all - all his teaching is delegated to his 1:1 helper who is not a teacher. Evidence shows this is very common and leads to much poorer outcomes for children with additional needs. As the Govt has decided children like mine have to go to mainstream they must also recognise the specialist training, planning, assessment and 1:1 time that will require. There should be recognition teachers need ongoing training. I have worked in private and public sector and every job has included time in meetings, training, supervision etc outside of my core work probably taking up a third of my time. Teaching is no different. At the moment I have to in effect home educate my son outside school hours and just send him to school to mix with other children, I have no confidence he is actually being taught properly while he is there. Not because of any lack of will by the teacher but because of all the other demands on their time which will always take priority when my son is seen as having 1:1 to take care of him.

Solopower1 Wed 03-Apr-13 11:40:22

Agnes, I agree with your post - it also reflects my experience. mainstream is exactly right for some, not for others.

As a teacher, you could have a third of your class with different sorts of special needs - all of whom need specially designed learning activities. Hence the prep time.

garlicballs Wed 03-Apr-13 11:54:21

At my direct-grant grammar - in the 1970s - teachers taught for six hours a day. They were certainly busy the rest of the time, and did way more than an 8-hour day on average.

There's more to teaching than sitting in front of a class. Four hours of that, plus all the other stuff, sounds reasonable.

InSearchOfPerfection Wed 03-Apr-13 12:27:09

Perhaps before starting a campaign like this it would be good the show people what preparing a lesson means. To show how much needs to be written down. How much ofsted and the like expect teachers to do.

Because having worked in quite a few industries, I have never encounter an industry that was so inflexible. And I have never seen someone doing a talk having to write down south in the first place. Actually some one who be writing so much and sticking to it would be likely to be the most boring speaker ever.

InSearchOfPerfection Wed 03-Apr-13 12:29:11

And t hijavr also rarely seeing people working so long hours either. Especially when you bear ions that hols ate actually used to do some preparation work anyway so are not hold as such anyway. That's called working from home instead of the office bit it's still working.

As a daughter of teachers, I spent most of my school holidays in the schools they worked in, emptying cupboards, making tubular bells, stapling displays, counting workbooks, whilst my parents did lesson prep and marking hmm

Sometimes they let us play with the equipment. Mostly it was just doing chores though.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 14:18:03

Now I feel really bad for my DCs sad

You make your kids clean out cupboards too? grin

At least I got to spend time with my parents I guess. I never quite understood the working world as an young adult. WTF do you MEAN I only get 4 weeks not at work? Are you fecking crazy?

whokilleddannylatimer Wed 03-Apr-13 15:17:32

The school I worked in and dcs school must be really lax, I live next door to dds school, the gates have been locked for a week and a half, no teachers cars/no teachers. Opened today and caretaker in but only to let builders into playground. During week caretaker unlocks at 8, teachers are in between then and 8.15 , head leaves at six and is last one out apart from caretaker, when I pick dc1 up at four on music lesson night most teachers come past me going home.

The school I worked in was same, teachers sat chatting/eating in staff room having a cuppa at play and dinner. At home time people were mostly out by five.

Everything still gets done so I don't get it tbh.
Obviously they do lots at home instead.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 15:23:14

starlight my dcs are cupboard cleaners in training. I think you have to work up to that level of responsibility. At the moment they are pencil sharpeners and general sorters though ds 8yrs is pretty handy with a laminater grin

whokilleddannylatimer Wed 03-Apr-13 15:28:24

Obviously the answer would be get rid of red tape, stupid tick boxes and replace the NC with basic guidelines and let teachers teach rather than teach and show a billion ways they have done it.

I don't think the hours thing was the right way to go at all for NUT though to be honest. The vast majority of people who have no idea about teacher will be confused

My mum is a theatre nurse dealing with life/death everyday, working three hours plus overtime a day on a regular basis on top of a nine hour shift, bagging people to keep them alive, being verbally/physically assaulted, having to tell people their family have died. She gets paid less than dds teacher.

Im not saying anyone should be paid less, more in fact but what I mean is the NUT are doing teachers no favours to the uninformed public like her who was a bit wtf at the report about four hours even though her best friend is a secondary teacher.

backtoblighty Wed 03-Apr-13 15:28:38

As a mother first, and a teacher second, i can only work part-time due to the demands of the job. It's sad that if you work a 40 hour week as a teacher (and that's EVERY one of those 40 hours working - no Facebook time like in many offices!) you probably cannot deliver consistently outstanding lessons. An outstanding lesson takes at least an hour to plan if you are to cater for every child in the class.

This is only possible if other tasks are reduced & paperwork is slashed!

Blu Wed 03-Apr-13 15:45:28

MadameCastiofiore - which magic gremlins in a school do you think kick in at 3.30 to put up all the classroom displays of work (something checked by ofsted....), mark books, plan lessons, have staff meetings, fill out endless progression documentation showing each child's ability, write reports, have meetings with parents, plan out of school trips, plan incoming visitors and activities, manage discipline matters, complete child protection documentation and answer queries from social workers and Ed Psychs etc etc?

4 hours teaching a day is 6x40 minute lessons. In a secondary school, 3 or 4 of those lessons may result in homework to be marked - that's 90 - 120 pieces of work minimum to be marked, corrected, graded and recorded on the system.

I would rather teachers had time to plan lessons, and mark work and think about what pupils need, rather than be madly chasing targets and working minutely to the governments prescriptive demands.

goingupinfumes Wed 03-Apr-13 17:04:37

OK I'll get flamed for this I know, but could some teacher answer a question for me please.. I've read the whole thread BTW but what I want to know is teachers talk about lesson planning taking up time. The school my DS go to has the same lessons year on year, so my eldest DS learnt about XYZ and now my youngest is doing the same lessons??

So could someone explain to me why lesson planning takes so long when the school my DS go to rolls out the same lessons year on year.

goingupinfumes Wed 03-Apr-13 17:05:38

BTW I think a teacher webcam would be a grand idea as someone said up thread "I wish parents knew how much we did" I for one think that would be great then we can't moan about inset days ever again.

Arisbottle Wed 03-Apr-13 17:24:56

Goingup I don't spend as long planning as much as everyone else on here . I teach roughly the same lessons which are tweaked .

ChunkyEasterChick Wed 03-Apr-13 17:31:48

goingup at my secondary school, whilst we might teach roughly the same topic in lessons each year to say, a GCSE class, the actual content of the lesson would vary. So, for example, the exam board has removed part of a topic, so you tweak the lesson so you'd delete some bits, add others & try to make it flow. You might have a different ability class to last year, so you'd have to emphasise some bits & not others. You might have students with EAL, SEN etc so you have to maybe change an activity or how you approach or assess a task. The list goes on and on... Even if the lesson is pretty much planned and changes little, you might have to tweak things. Or at least, that's what good (or aspiring to be good) teachers do/try to do.

cloverleaf Wed 03-Apr-13 17:32:32

People don't always realise that the preparation, marking and assessment demands can be significantly more than the 8.45 - 3.15 teaching time. With 30 children in my class, marking can be a nightmare. Imagine you give yourself just one minute to open each book, check and mark every calculation they've written, write a comment on how they did and set a target for how they could improve etc. then multiply that by 30 there's 30 mins marking time then multiply that by at least 4 lessons and you have a minimum of 2 hours marking per night.

reastie Wed 03-Apr-13 17:36:37

goinup to add to chunkys comment - also you tweak the lesson based on the group you have. Ihave some lessons I've planned which work great with certain classes/groups of students but would not work with others. I need to alter how I deliver the material based on the group I'm teaching. This is the case with every lesson. I'm not a robot throwing out exactly the same lesson year upon year - there's always variation based on the students and how they respond and their needs.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 17:39:22

The school my DS go to has the same lessons year on year, so my eldest DS learnt about XYZ and now my youngest is doing the same lessons??

You do swap year groups! You don't have 40 years in one school in one age range (dreadful for the DCs if you do) and even if you do then what you are teaching changes. You are teaching different children-you suit it to the children that you have. You differentiate. No two years and classes are going to be the same. As a teacher you would get thoroughly bored-you constantly find new resources, new ways of doing things.
I am convinced that people would be happy with robots!!!

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 17:40:25

Sorry-cross posted with reastie-I see that she immediately thought robots too.

Mumsyblouse Wed 03-Apr-13 17:55:38

starlight perhaps your parents are younger than mine, but both mine were teachers and i can assure you that once the summer holidays started, they almost never went into work, perhaps one day prep before going back. I do agree the administrative workload has increased though as I have the same in my own job (without the holidays).

'You differentiate'

Perhaps to some extent and for some. No-one differentiated for my child with SEN. If he couldn't do it they way the teacher wanted to teach him then we were told by the school it was because he wasn't capable. sad

Arisbottle Wed 03-Apr-13 18:14:47

I rarely go in during the holidays. I have to go in for results and during the last week following results and I may take a day to sort out my room. Most of the teachers at my school are similar. I am away for the whole of this holiday so will not be going in at all. Will be away for most of the summer holiday as well.

My mum and dad just hit retirement age. Would that make them younger?

They always taught in rough schools though. Not sure if that makes a difference.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 18:18:00

Wow clover you're good to mark each piece in just 1 min! it would take me double to decipher my yr1s its scary when you think thats 4hrs of marking!

reastie Wed 03-Apr-13 18:23:56

I thought that too about clover marking quickly! Takes me ages to mark work and think of useful comments for students to work towards achieving.

PollyEthelEileen Wed 03-Apr-13 18:25:00

I think an awful lot of teachers here are over-egging the pudding wrt lesson planning.

Lesson planning is a big deal in the first year, no question. Undoubtably in the second year, the teacher will pick up at least one new class, so has to put a lot of energy into lesson planning there. After that, previous lessons all come flooding back.

If you are good at organising your computer files, it should be pretty easy to find the lesson from the previous year and tweak it for the new class. If you are diligent about reflecting on lessons, any less successful parts can be removed or adjusted.

Personally, I spend an hour a week, on a Friday, planning my lessons for the following week. I just hand-write my outlines into my planner and write out technician orders (science teacher). I also print out any student sheets that I will need. It seriously takes me an hour tops. I have 9 different student groups, with 2 - 4 lessons per week.

My focus on planning is to make sure I have any resources I might want ready - so practicals, worksheets, A/V. I like to be responsive, however, to pupil questions, so will divert from my outline plans, rummage in my cupboards, do quick YouTube searches etc.

Formal lesson plans are useful in observed lessons as you make allowances for things going wrong, eg student not bringing their textbook to the lesson. You are over-prepared with resources. After that, they can easily take away the spontaneity and the spirit of the lesson. There is also only a downside risk in that you can only deviate from them.

'and i can assure you that once the summer holidays started, they almost never went into work',

Worse. Half their class was always in our house during the holidays too.......

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 18:30:53

When I started teaching I didn't go in during the holidays except the day before the autumn term started. It is a different job now- there will be a list of the days the school is open. Teachers will be in this week.

Feenie Wed 03-Apr-13 18:30:59

Again, not very applicable if you teach primary - even if you are lucky enough to stay in the same year group, the curriculum is constantly changing.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 18:35:11

I think that it is very different in primary PollyEthel. If you are doing Science you have no technician, you have to get all the equipment yourself and make sure it is sorted. A class of 7yr olds will not sit quietly for five minutes while you sort it out.

clam Wed 03-Apr-13 18:47:29

To answer the original question: do I, as a teacher, agree with the NUT's position? No, I don't. I think they're bloody stupid to highlight this as an issue at the moment when the biggest bugbear in education at the moment is the target-driven agenda from Gove, Wilshaw and Ofsted. Sort them out and teachers would be a lot more content.

BranchingOut Wed 03-Apr-13 18:48:32

Polly, teachers are not doing this level of planning because they want to (I was generally quite happy teaching on the fly, if needed!). They are doing it because that is what is required during SMT planning scrutinies.

PollyEthelEileen Wed 03-Apr-13 19:14:01

I am SMT (academic) and never expect detailed lesson plans unless it's a formal observation (when a lesson plan is a recommendation rather than a requirement).

As for setting up science practicals, there are very good lazy teacher approaches. I am a firm believer in students collecting, setting up, and washing up their own equipment. I only ask my technician to do what the students can't do for themselves.

PollyEthelEileen Wed 03-Apr-13 19:16:42

Following on from Clam's comment...

Not only is NUT asking for a reduction in contact time, they are also demanding a halving of class sizes. What planet are they on? They are a laughing stock. NUTters.

EvilTwins Wed 03-Apr-13 19:40:51

Polly - you are very lucky then. As I said upthread, I'm teaching two completely new KS4 specs this year. I can't tweak last year's lesson plans for that. At KS3 I can, to an extent, but my school has changed from sets to mixed ability at KS3 this year which has meant major tweaking. Also, terms are different lengths, there are different demands from SLT. The other thing, of course, and given that you're SLT I find some of your comments rather odd, OFSTED has changed its framework TWICE since September, so what was fine one or two years ago is not anymore.

PollyEthelEileen Wed 03-Apr-13 19:49:52

I'm not a servant to Ofsted

Feenie Wed 03-Apr-13 19:51:23


<Falls over laughing>

Arisbottle Wed 03-Apr-13 19:52:12

I am a member of SMT , we have made clear that we so not want to see individual teachers writing new lessons to fit in with the latest OFTED whim. Departments have been given time to create new schemes of work , although again we suggested that where possible tweaks should be made.

To be honest we would rather be rated good by OFSTED and have teachers who enjoy teaching and have the energy to do so, than be rated outstanding but have knackered demoralised staff.

Springsister Wed 03-Apr-13 19:55:24

Agree with the NUT that there needs to be a cap on time spent on admin, inputting data, responding to emails, all the charts and graphs...
I'm happy to do current amount of teaching and ppa, its all the other stuff

Springsister Wed 03-Apr-13 19:58:03

Class sizes are an issue though. Marking 32 students in a class is a heavy workload compared with the 26 when I first started teaching.

BranchingOut Wed 03-Apr-13 20:34:12

I was a member of SMT and SLT myself for that matter! However, when I was an 'ordinary' class teacher detailed planning was required of me; when I became a member of SLT I was, to my regret, unable to persuade the HT and other members of SLT that a more time-saving approach would be sufficient....

EvilTwins Wed 03-Apr-13 20:58:17

grin Feenie.

goingupinfumes Wed 03-Apr-13 21:27:20

exoticfruits Your comments above the school my DS go to you do have exactly that situation there is a teacher who has been there for 30 years teaching the same year groups, there has been no change with 50% of the teachers over the last 10 years -the benefit is we have lovely older strict teachers no messing around, but the lessons they are teaching year on year even some of the parents remember!!

goingupinfumes Wed 03-Apr-13 21:28:09

sorry forgot to add hence my question about planning taking so long, my DS school may just be unusual but it's why the planning time always baffled me slightly.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 21:30:42

I'm not sure how they manage that- I have had to change my lessons completely in that time scale.

wherearemysocka Wed 03-Apr-13 21:31:11

I don't think the NUT are doing teachers any favours here - so many people think teachers work 9 - 3.30 and this isn't going to help.

We need to get parents on side and moaning about what a lot of people think is a pretty cushy deal isn't going to get that. Why are we not talking more about how Ofsted isn't fit for purpose, how Gove is bullying schools into becoming academies, the English GCSE grade boundaries, how the education of our children is being used as a way for Gove to make a name for himself?

cloverleaf Wed 03-Apr-13 21:43:30

I agree, i can't mark a piece of work in 1 minute! I was just trying to illustrate the point that marking can take hours and hours. I have a year 1 class and think the majority of the time i mark is a total waste of my time. It would be far more beneficial to spend the time on preparation. Who am i marking for exactly? The children can't read it, it's an impossibility to feedback to each child on every occassion. It's become a farce in my opinion. I think we are partly to blame for not standing up and saying so. I cope by thinking in simple terms, what do i want these children to achieve by the end of the year and what skills do i have to teach them to get there. I also believe the degree of differentiation is pointless and often detrimental, the children often become confused and i certainly do! I don't think i'm an incompetent teacher, i'm a realist and wish there was a bit of common sense in the profession.

ivykaty44 Wed 03-Apr-13 22:05:30

EvilTwins - so why then did exotics write this:

As a supply teacher I am payed for the hours I work- I get a higher rate because I don't get any pay in the holidays

then you write that
IF the supply teacher worked on all 195 available days in the school year, then she would earn £19,500- the same as the contracted teacher. She just wouldn't get it in 12 equal chunks.

a higher rate is just that a higher rate - yet you state that you both would earn the same daily rate just that you pay is divided differently

so do you get the same rate of pay or does one of you get a higher rate of pay?

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 22:11:11

The same rate,but as a supply there is nothing in the holidays. RavenAK explained it perfectly at 21.54 yesterday.

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 03-Apr-13 22:18:04

"I don't see why teachers can't be more like consultants and use their training and pedagogy skills to 'manage' TAs and LSAs."

A valid point if you are lucky enough to have a full time TA. LSAs are there for an individual child so shouldn't be asked to do admin tasks.

I teach 2 1/2 days a week (paid for 16 hours, work 40) and have a TA for 3 hours of that time. In that time I need them to support groups in maths and English lessons, carry out 2 x reading interventions, a social skills group and hear individual target readers. More than they can do in that time so I think I would be taking the piss asking them to mark books or help me plan, put up displays etc. tbh. This is in primary.

I love the job, it is the paperwork bogging me down and I am a very efficient person, there is just too much to do.

EvilTwins Wed 03-Apr-13 22:19:01

What exotic said. It's the same daily rate but a contracted teacher would have their 195 days divided into 12 equal chunks whereas a supply teacher would get it in uneven chunks depending on when they had actually worked. I was a supply teacher for about a year. Term time pay was great. Holidays meant no pay- much like other temp jobs.

ivykaty44 Wed 03-Apr-13 22:19:56

So as a supply teacher there is no pay in the holidays - and as a contracted teacher there is no pay in the holidays either as was stated on this thread teachers do not get paid for the holidays

and you get the same rate of pay when you work - if you are on the same pay scale

I only asked how come you didn't get holiday pay as it is illegal not to?

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 03-Apr-13 22:21:20

Just curious- teachers, did the NUT actually ask any of you about this or have they based it all on a very small and select group?

exoticfruits Wed 03-Apr-13 22:27:55

People will keep trying to prove that teachers are being hard done by over holiday pay. Teachers want the holiday- not the pay.

I've read the first 9 pages of this thread and wanted to chip in to say I massively respect teachers.

I honesty do not know why they're so disrespected - these people have our children's education in their hands so why treat them like shit? Yes, I'm sure improvements are needed - we can say that about every profession.

But the wide scale demonisation - it's on a par with benefit bashing and it's horrid.

EvilTwins Wed 03-Apr-13 22:31:12

ivy there's a difference between no pay FOR the holidays and no pay IN the holidays.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 03-Apr-13 22:47:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsHeggulePoirot Wed 03-Apr-13 22:58:25

polly how lovely you are 'not a slave to ofsted', as many of my friends that have moved to teach in the independent sector tell me this is a massive improvement to their daily lives. They also find teaching much smaller classes and having more time a generally much more pleasant experience.

Sadly those of us in state schools don't have that privilege. Everything we do seems to revolve around the next possible inspection. Every new initiative or policy introduced is prefaced by 'if/when ofsted come in...'. I don't have to produce as detailed lesson plans at my school (secondary) as others do on a daily basis but I still have to plan, continuously asses, run detentions, deal with parents, mark, provide data, write ad rewrite sows every year based in the latest change to the spec, exam system, class size or whatever else it might be.

It seems to me that teachers with some kind of middle management responsibility in the state sector are the worst off. The most work with the least time, being pulled in all directions. I am sure there are some schools out there with amazing SLT, who do make life easier for their staff, just sadly not that many as they are in turn under pressure to be seen to constantly 'improving' things.

ivykaty44 Wed 03-Apr-13 23:26:30

eviltwins - do teachers get holiday pay - a simple yes or no answer would be great?

I am asking do teachers who have a contract to work in a school get holiday pay?

I am not asking do supply teachers get paid when they are not working.

Mumfortoddler Wed 03-Apr-13 23:40:55

Let teachers decide what to teach, and take away the bureaucracy stopping them from being able to.

I don't think the issue here is about 20 hour working weeks, its about constant government interference.

I think that teachers can't teach well when they do more than 30 hours of face to face a week because they are exhausted, its emotionally, physically and mentally draining teaching and anyone that says its not clearly has never taught.

I don't think we should shorten children's school days, just create more teaching jobs, so that the load is spread between more teachers and so the important wrap around, such as research, prep, marketing and parent liaison is built into the role. A one size fits all approach to education has to end, starting with this government pulling out of constantly dictating what should be on the Curriculum.

Mumfortoddler I spoke to my teacher mother earlier who recalls being told about a school where one member of a department did less and less teaching, and more and more marking, until he was teaching no classes and the rest of the department was doing next to no teaching. Same salaries, everyone happier.

I gather that other European countries eg France and Germany keep discipline and marking/administrative tasks away from teachers. I'm sure that's tempting.

*the rest of the department was doing next to no marking, obviously.

Must go to bed.

MrsHeggulePoirot Thu 04-Apr-13 00:03:52

ivykaty it was explained by ravenAK earlier on the thread and very clearly. The answer is no. Teachers do not get holiday pay. We are contracted to work 195 days that is our term time.

cheesegirl Thu 04-Apr-13 00:13:17

Other teachers can cover whilst the main class teacher is out of class marking, planning, assessing and preparing lessons. That's what happens currently anyway.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Apr-13 00:15:21

thank you for answering

I had always thought it was illegal to not pay 5.6 weeks/or pro rata holiday pay so it surprises me that this is allowed and the union do nothing about it. Thats was why I asked.

Is it easier/faster to mark maths and science work than english or history work?

MrsHeggulePoirot Thu 04-Apr-13 00:29:13

ivykaty these are the terms and conditions if you want to read them. No mention of holidays anywhere.

starlight - I teach Maths, and I imagine it is much easier to 'mark' the work in my subject. I can also read out answers for example for students to mark if my class are sensible enough. However I still have to collect in books and look through all of them, making comments about what is good, what their target is to make progress etc, etc. of course if they have marked lots wrong, I still have to write detailed notes about their method and explain how to do it again, set corrections and check these next time I take in their books etc... This is however for me very preferable from my point of view to reading hundreds of essays!

cheesegirl Thu 04-Apr-13 00:43:29

I am a primary school teacher. I work 2 and a half days a week, teaching in a Year 2 class. I work very hard, from 8 to 6 on my 2 full days and 4 evenings a week, as soon as my son has gone to bed. I have been teaching for 15 years and the workload has massively increased. I do not think education has got better because of it. All I see around me are tired, stressed and unmotivated colleagues, who are fed up of being told how shit we are by Gove and Ofsted. We don't want to be praised, we just don't want to be attacked. I applaud the NUT's call for a 35 hour working week. It would go some way to recognising the workload of teachers. I think the way to achieve it is by having qualified teachers covering class teachers for their non-contact time, unlike the present system in most schools, which is to have unqualified teachers or classroom assistants covering classes. I don't think parents know the full extent of how often classes are covered like this. At the moment it seems like no-one is allowed to talk about improving any working conditions because of the economic climate, but if teachers don't speak up for ourselves, no one else will do it for us.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Apr-13 01:23:17

Page two

a teacher employed full-time must be available for work 195 days/1265 hours (the figures for the previous two years having been 194 and 1258.5 respectively due to additional public holidays);

So I take it your pay is decreased when there are extra bank holidays?

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 02:00:35

No - that refers to some ghastly wedding, or was it the Olympics? At least one of the two was within normal school holidays, I think, so made no odds to us. In fact, I seem to recall both were & then we broke up a day early 'in lieu'?!

Either way, we had an unusual extra day off. Very rare for BHs to affect us at all, other than May Day.

We're paid for 195 days. Last year, we were only required to work 194, hence the parentheses to show that this was an unusual circumstance.

Sometimes we also disaggregate days (eg. if the obvious finishing date for a term would be a Monday & the caretakers can't open up on that date, is one example I recall), so we lose one of our INSET days & make it up in 'twilight' sessions.

In my fourteen years of teaching, there haven't ever been additional bank holidays, occurring outside of usual school vacations, which have affected teachers' pay, I don't think.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 03:20:08

Of course teachers get holiday pay - 28 days.

The oft-mentioned 195 days is "directed time" - specific time that the HT directs the teacher to be on duty. Teachers also have to do non-directed time because they need to to get the job done. How teachers manage their non-directed time is up to them.

coorong Thu 04-Apr-13 07:35:03

I spent many years working in a very busy newsroom (radio television) with half hourly deadlines and everything in between and retrained as a teacher. I now barely get time for lunch (detentions / tutoring sessions / duty - ie catching smokers etc / calling parents / sorting practically for the next lesson), but worse is toilet breaks. I know call centre workers have difficult daily targets, but the problem with teaching is the absence of truly "uninterrupted" time allowing you to get your head around things.

And until recently teaching was one of the few professions you took home with you (ie before smart phones etc). Small business do their accounts at home, but as a journo, I left the office in the office. Sure I might have felt stressed, but I certainly didn't do lesson prep until 11pm many evenings.

A minority of people really do believe that teachers arrive and leave at the same time as themchildren and nothing else goes on. What do you think happens with all the other stuff - do we simply "magic up" the lessons, behaviour codes etc (which parents demand).

MrsHeggulePoirot Thu 04-Apr-13 09:49:08

polly, link is for short notice teachers in independent schools I think. Not for permanent teachers in state sector which is what we were talking about.

MrsHeggulePoirot Thu 04-Apr-13 09:52:56

The link I posted earlier is the current pay and conditions document for this year. No paid holiday time in there. We are one of (the only?) profession where holidays are not part of our terms and conditions. I am not sure why we are still discussing/disputing this fact?

cheesegirl Thu 04-Apr-13 10:18:05

Why is it so terrible for a Union to want to improve working conditions for its members? As a member of the NUT for 15 years, I have seen our working conditions eroded slowly over the years. As has happened in all working environments. Our ancestors fought hard to achieve better pay and conditions for workers and it's all just being gradually taken away.
Why do people always have to say "Everyone has it hard - you're nothing special" - we should all be fighting for better pay and conditions. Everyone should have longer holidays, everyone should have shorter working hours, etc. People should support the teachers in their fight for a better working life.
And I say to those NUT members who are bad-mouthing the NUT: If you don't agree with what your elected executive are proposing - go to local meetings, get involved yourselves and fight from within for what you believe in - otherwise get out of the Union.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 04-Apr-13 10:39:21

Hello all

We thought you might like to know that we've got a guest blog on this topic today, from the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

whokilleddannylatimer Thu 04-Apr-13 10:47:18

Its not terrible cheesegirl but I don't think the wording helps.

When everyone is struggling , to read teachers only want to work four hours a day (because that's how the vast majority of those uninformed will read it) will not gain any sympathy or support.

I KNOW that's not the reality but Joe blogs working ten hours a day on nmw will see it like that.Never mind that half the population will think it means kids finishing earlier.

The nut need to approach it another way, let parents know teachers want more contact time with children but less red tape, less having to bow to ofsted, less testing, making it things parents will understand.

Arisbottle Thu 04-Apr-13 11:31:52

I agree that the wording could be better but I do not think that limiting contact time to 4 hours a day will be as revolutionary as many people imagine. We are talking for standard primary school teachers - two extra hours a week. Although I guess that means two extra hours when you are not creating work for yourself as well.

Whenever I teach a five period day - which I rarely do now I tend to have one lesson that "needs improvement" I do think it is a good starting point to improving the work life balance of teachers.

One thing this thread has taught me, and most others on here, is that I am very lucky to be in the school that I am. I have been getting tired lately and thinking of moving schools. I think I will stay put.

fl0b0t Thu 04-Apr-13 11:54:17

I have to say that I agree with creatureretorts

I am not a teacher, though I know many, and I have spent much of my working life working in and with Schools as an outside agent. I have all the makings and skills to be a teacher, and yet I'm instead middle management in a charity. Why? Because having seen the workings of schools from the inside, I know that there is no way I could do it. I love children and I've worked with them and volunteered with them for half my life. But I could never be a teacher.

We should give a little more respect to our teachers, they do a fantastic job. Imagine your work (if you're not a teacher), being a constant meeting or training course, between 8:30am and 3:15pm. In the "breaks" you're preparing for the next bit of the course, and at "lunch" you're looking after the delegates outside (who are of course, running, shoving, screaming and fighting)- doing conflict resolution, running a gardening workshop (which you know nothing about) and administering first aid. Then at the end of the day, you have two of the delegates lawyers who want to talk to you about how their client has been misrepresented during the previous day's course. After that you are running a short extra workshop for Poetry (which is not your specialist subject). After that you have a meeting with the other trainers (whilst eating your lunch), then you must collect up the work from the day, and mark it, whilst preparing the sessions for the next day. Some of the sessions will be repeats from last year, some you will have to alter because of the makeup of your group (including three new people, 6 who don't speak english very well, two who are disruptive and one with special needs), and two of the sessions you are in the process of entirely re-writing as the course outline has changed from last year.You realise you have not had a wee or a drink since 10am. It is now 10pm and the caretaker is locking your building. The Boss calls you into her office for a chat about your behavioural management during the previous week's inspection.

Ok, so that might not be every single day, but yes it's a stressful job in which teachers are pulled in too many different directions, and placed under a huge amount of pressure.

Schools are often quite unplesant environments to work in. Sad to say but large groups of women (particularly in primary schools) who can be particularly nasty to each other, especially when under pressure.

The benefits are long holidays, which are especially handy if you have children yourself.

The reason the general public feel like teachers are "paid for their holidays" is that they are paid a salary every month, even on those months they are on long holidays. The UK minimum holiday allowance is 5.6 weeks paid leave per year (can include bank holidays), whereas teachers have 13 (?). This is fixed as to when it can be taken.

Starting salary for teaching is £21,588 pa (according to Department for Education, outside of london), which if it's Pro Rata'd (i,e you're NOT paid for your extra holidays above and beyond 5.6 weeks) would be £18,515 per year.Which it's not. So actually the salary, pro rata (i.e £21.5k if you worked a full 52 week year, but you are only working a 44 week year plus 5.6 weeks holiday) would be more like £24.5k (? I question my own dodgy maths!). But even if my maths is hoeky, you get the point!

I for one want to see teachers (especially good teachers) rewarded for their hard work. I want to see educations standards rise, especially in deprived areas and in communities that typically don't achieve well academically. And I think teaching is a very important job, that we are all too quick to do down, or complain about with no experience of what it's like to lead a classroom of 32.

At the same time, I would like to see teaching time rise, support for teachers increase and teachers being able to work the number of hours they're paid for. If you work in the public/private/third sector and get paid a 37 hour week but work a 50 hour week- good for you, have a bloody medal. However, just because you do it, don't expect other people to do it, or think you know anything about the pressures on other people in other jobs.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 13:08:20

MrsHP, the article is not for independent school teachers, if you read on.

The point of posting it is to show that there is an element of holiday pay.

Everyone is entitled to 28 days per year (pro-rata). It doesn't come up for regular teachers because the 28 days comes out of school holidays, so pretty much used up by February half-term.

It becomes important for supply teachers and those working part year (eg maternity leave).

Most teachers can live in blissful ignorance to this - and it shows.

SORRY Polly blush. I have just read it again and can see that it means an independent group did the review not independent schools. I completely misread that before, apologies.

However, that link you posted to does only apply to supply teachers., and the particular link you posted from 2008/2009 was talking about the possible changes that actually ended up occuring much later I beleive. As I have said earlier, and others have explained much more clearly that me teachers are only contracted to work 195 days/1265 hours. We do not get paid holidays. We get paid for 195 days per year, but this is divided into 12 equal payments across the year.

The pay and conditions document (which I linked to earlier) clearly shows there is no mention of holiday pay for teachers. Supply teachers (or short term teachers) are entitled to some holiday pay if they are employed through an agency due to the application of the Agency Workers Regulations that came into force on 1st October 2011. If however a school employs a supply teacher directly they they just get paid 1/195th of their equivalent salary for every full day they supply for.

exoticfruits Thu 04-Apr-13 16:51:38

I have never seen the point of working for an agency-I always worked for schools direct- and the pay was nice and simple.
If there was holiday pay I can see that it would be easy to shorten the holidays -but as it stands it is much too expensive an option ,and won't happen.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 17:03:21

When I worked as a supply teacher (directly for a school), my paycheck itemised pay for the day and holiday pay.

All employees in this country are entitled to a statutory 28 days holiday (full time). It is naive to think otherwise.

lisson Thu 04-Apr-13 17:07:08

28 days including Saturdays and Sundays?? Usually people just say 20 days and they mean Monday to Friday.

Feenie Thu 04-Apr-13 17:12:45

All employees in this country are entitled to a statutory 28 days holiday (full time). It is naive to think otherwise.

Really? I must be very naive then, knowing that the armed forces, the police, teachers and the civil protection services are exempt from this - because our contracts state contractual holidays, instead of statutory paid ones.

Statutory minimum leave is 5.6w or the equivalent. That is 28d if you work five equal days a week.


eg if temping you can be paid in lieu of leave. And those can include bank holidays.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 17:49:47

You are correct Feenie about police (and perhaps other emergency workers) but you are not correct about teachers.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 17:51:43

28 work days.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 17:53:26
Feenie Thu 04-Apr-13 18:30:39

polly. What does that link show? It says 'almost all workers', nothing about teachers. Please can you tell me where in the pay and conditions document for teachers it mentions holiday pay. I certainly woul have loved to have accrued holiday pay whilst on maternity leave as that link suggests site case for almost all workers but sadly as a teacher I can't.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 20:39:15

It shows what you don't want to believe!

The workers who are not part of the statutory system are from the armed forces, police and other people in civil protection services. This does not include teachers.

Don't believe me - look here

Hahahaha! Have you read it?!? If that applies to teachers I'll be putting my request for my 5 weeks holiday in the summer term. Lovely, will be nice not to pay full whack for holiday stuff.

It says that workers entitled to holiday can choose when to take it, that your pay and conditions document MUST state about holidays and pay.

I am going to bow out now polly as you are not reading the teacher pay and conditions that both Feenie and I have linked you to. But keep linking I general information about 'most workers'.

This thread was originally about the 20 hours proposal.

Feenie Thu 04-Apr-13 20:58:53

The citizens advice link says almost all workers. Your second link says 'Most workers have the right to take a minimum amount of paid holiday', and that 'some workers are exempt'.

You still haven't shown us where in our contract it says statutory holiday pay - and it would have to, because the time when we can take it would be restricted, obviously. It doesn't, because our holidays and our pay works differently as laid out n the document.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 21:00:33

As I said, you don't want to know.

If you are working part year, it would be in your best interests to understand your holiday pay. If you stop work before the end of the Easter holidays, you may not have used up your 28 days yet.

Feenie Thu 04-Apr-13 21:06:11

It doesn't work like that - and if it did, it would obviously have to be clearly laid out in the extensive pay and conditions document.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 21:07:17

Oh, mercy!

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 21:09:41

Didn't we do this last night?

Teachers' pay & conditions are in the public domain. Several other posters have provided you with links. I am currently looking at my pay slip, which I've fished out of the bottom of my briefcase, & which contains a comprehensive breakdown of my pay & deductions, including an unpaid half day off to attend a funeral, an extra payment for running a revision day at half term, & my childcare voucher deduction.

We don't get holiday pay.

PollyEthelEileen Thu 04-Apr-13 21:12:07

If you look at any payslip for a regular employee in any job, it doesn't show holiday pay.

orangeandlemons Thu 04-Apr-13 21:14:27

You get paid for extra revision days? We don't. angry

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 21:15:59

My husband's does, as does his contract of employment.

Honestly, we are paid to work 195 days.

I could resign tomorrow, be back in the same school in September on supply, & be paid <current salary>/195 for every day I chose &/or was needed to work.

As one of my colleagues has done this year after his emigration plans fell through.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 21:21:18

I know orangesandlemons, not everywhere does.

A few years ago I got sent home at lunchtime on a revision day - only 2 of the 5 kids who'd signed up turned up, & Deputy Head decided it was a waste of money to pay me for the afternoon.

Having paid for a day's childcare, this actually put me out of pocket, so next time I was asked, I said no thanks.

After enough of us did the same, it was agreed that you sign up a minimum number of students & then you get paid for the day.

I still barely broke even though - 4 hours @£30 (plus another 4 at least preparing the resources) & I paid my CM £80 to have my 3dc for the day, so forty quid for 8 hours work - not even NMW. Definitely wouldn't be doing it unpaid.

Raven - do you mind me asking if you charge your students for these revision days? Thinking about setting something up next year, but I hadn't got round to thinking about it yet!

DH's pay and conditions clearly state holiday pay and entitlement (non-teacher) too.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 21:51:35

Nope Hercule, comes out of school budget.

We are a noted 5 A*-C factory, so borderliners get pressganged into attending! A lot of it comes out of Pupil Premium I think.

Thanks Raven!

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Apr-13 22:10:14

I deal with teachers pay. Teachers are salaried and as such are treated as every other salaried employee in the country, they get paid to work a contracted number of days a year .
These days are divided into contact and non contact hours in their case most of these hours are worked in term time.Under the burgundy book to work out an hourly rate you would add statutory holiday entitlements, but there is generally no need to do this. The salary is then divided by 12 and paid in equal instalments.

Holiday pay is generally only shown separately if you are paid on the basis of an hourly rate or if you do shift work.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 22:22:48

ALL the 1265 directed hours are worked in term time, outtolunchagain.

It's a requirement that schools produce an annual breakdown of directed hours - I posted a link to some examples upthread. I helped draft ours for this year.

Most schools allow a 'cushion' of 20 hours or so, for contingencies, but my HT couldn't suddenly announce that he wanted me in for 3 days next week because there's a shortfall in directed time, for instance. Because, y'know, I'm on holiday & not being paid...

& my dh is salaried & his pay slip does, definitely, specify which proportion of his monthly wage is holiday pay. This might be because he's at a level of management when he's often working from home or works away from home, but it's clearly demarcated when he books time as holiday.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:32:02

The pay and conditions document (which I linked to earlier) clearly shows there is no mention of holiday pay for teachers

it clearly does on page two - if you do not get paid for holidays then bank holidays would not need to be mentioned. the additional bank holiday was in term time so you would have needed your pay reduced if you do not get holiday pay? So was your pay reduced?

Now we have outtolunchagain stating that teachers are like every other salaried worker in the country - well every other salaried worker in the country get holiday pay included in their pay as it is illegal not to give holiday pay.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Apr-13 22:43:11

I am salaried and my pay slips do not show - definitely - not show holiday pay and I do get holiday pay. I am contracted to work 156 days per year if they want me to work extra then it is in my unpaid holiday time and they need to pay me to do so which they do as overtime. I still get 6 weeks holiday pay which is .4 above the legal requirement.

it is just not all my holiday is paid- the 6 weeks is paid and the rest is unpaid

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 22:57:00

If it makes you & Polly happy to decide that some spectral & unspecified chunk of teacher salaries is actually secretly holiday pay, that's absolutely fine.

You haven't convinced me, I'm afraid, & I'll be continuing to rely on my contract, the pay & conditions which are in the public domain, & my payslips for more reliable advice.

Why do you want to think we receive pay for part of the holidays? I'm a bit bemused as to why this is important to anyone who isn't a teacher, given that quite a number of experienced teachers on this thread are confident that we understand our pay & conditions.

I've slightly lost track of whether you were originally wanting to cut our pay, increase our hours, or just call us a bunch of whingeing bastards for the hell of it...wink.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 23:00:32

Oh hang on, I think I might see the confusion!

The extra BH was mentioned last year because it was an anomaly in contracted days - we normally have to work 195 days, last year it was 194.

Not linked to pay.

Last year was the first every time I got a day's paid holiday in my opinion with the extra bank holiday. Gotta love Wills and Kate!

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Apr-13 23:07:03

I asked the question and time and again I was patronised and given a different answer - then linked to something that I was told would show clearly that holidays were not mentioned- yet it was, den someone who works with teachers pay state that she would add holiday pay

I didn't come along to want to cut your pay increase your hours or call you a bunch of wankers for the hell of it

I came to read and then ask a question as couldn't understand how come the law could be broken.

I have been polite and have tried to get to understand whether you really do get holiday pay or you do not get holiday pay?

I only asked one question - seems strange you can't keep track wink It is me that can't keep track with so many conflicting solutions to the one question

Just because your holiday pay isn't mentioned on a pay slip doesn't mean you do not get holiday pay

But you still haven't answered the last question - did you get docked a days pay in 2011 for the extra bank holiday?

TryingtobelessChunkyChick Thu 04-Apr-13 23:07:28

If I get holiday pay, does that mean I'm owed 12wks annual leave from my 2 lots of ML? Can I tack it on to the end of my year's leave and not go until 2014??!

outtolunchagain - I am not sure what you are talking about with the hourly rate. The burgundy book clearly sets out different conditions for teachers paid a full time salary and those paid an 'hourly rate'. You can't work out the hourly rate of a full time teacher - so I am very confused as to how you think you could do this? Polly might also like to read the burgundy book as it clearly sets out in there what proportion of salaries are the minium that should be paid for a term of service and what the resignation dates are. Again no mention of holidays and certainly no way that we could randomly resign and claim some owed holiday time...

Ivykaty. No we don't get paid for holidays we get paid for our contracted hours. Usually these are 1265 hours/195 days in a year. Last hear our contracted hours under the school pay and conditions document which doesn't mention holiday entitlement anywhere on that page our contracted hours were 194 days/1258.5 hours (or something similar). If you want to think of it as we did get paid for the the extra bank holiday feel free - it was a brucey bonus day off in my opinion.

TryingtobelesschunkyChik - some people seem to think so! And according to the document Polly linked we can ask our employers for days off willy nilly, as we apparently are allowed 28 days a year. Just working out whether going back later in September or finishing earlier in July works best for me... then I'll also claim back my holiday pay tacked onto my mat leave... grin

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 23:22:51

I have ivy; I answered it last night, & tonight.

Again, no, the extra BH did not affect our pay. Which is why this year's P&C document specifically mentioned it as an anomaly in days worked.

It fell during school holidays, so didn't affect us at the time, & was then tagged on to the end of the year as a disaggregated day 'in lieu' by my LA.

This is SOP whenever, for example, an INSET day is inconvenient. One year term finished on the Friday, we were due to have INSET on Monday, but the caretaker hadn't been informed & was flying off on his holidays. We were given the option of making up the time as twilight sessions or carrying it over to the following academic year.

All that was unusual about last year's BH was that the LA agreed, on a discretionary basis, to finish a day early at the end of summer term as we hadn't 'gained' it like the rest of the UK, since we were already on holiday.

Can't say I paid much attention at the time - we just broke up on Thursday, not Friday.

& as repeatedly explained, it did not affect our pay.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:23:53

I think they've got a case. They certainly should not be working more than 48 hours a week amortised over the year, according to EU regulations, and I know an awful lot of teachers who put in more than that even allowing for the fact that kids aren't in school for 13 weeks of the year.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Apr-13 23:24:07

I was only talking about the hourly rate in the context of a comparison for someone who is not a teacher , although we do sometimes work this out for notional reasons it is only notional.

The NUT document Maternity Matters actually sets out the method for accruing teachers AL at para 4.9.Although this particular document deals with maternity the principal applies to all teachers.

difficultpickle Thu 04-Apr-13 23:24:32

So if you don't get paid for holidays does that mean you get no pay cheque in August? It must also mean you are free to take alternative employment for the non-contracted hours? I get paid for 1,610 hours (I actually work vastly more hours than that). On top of that I get 210 hours paid holiday plus 56 hours paid bank holidays. However I also have a clause in my employment contract that stipulates I am not allowed to have a second job.

If you are contracted to work so few hours then I assume you are permitted to supplement your salary over and above those hours. 1265 hours equates to 36.14 working weeks for me leaving 16 weeks free. That's a lot of free time.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 23:25:15

'although we do sometimes work this out for notional reasons it is only notional.'


difficultpickle Thu 04-Apr-13 23:27:07

In my job we are asked to contract out of the EU working time directive. We don't have to but we are expected to (and everyone I know has). A 48 hour working week isn't viewed as excessive in my employment. In fact it is a normal, not overly busy week.

difficultpickle Thu 04-Apr-13 23:28:24

I reckon I do about 2,400 hours a year on average. Maybe I should retrain as a teacher.

Yes we can take other jobs as out contracts only state 1265 hours, none of which is paid holiday. Feel free to read out pay and conditions documents , they are freely available on the Internet and have been linked to a few times now despite no-one believing them seemingly.

I know a number of primary teachers who work as holiday time nannies to supplement their pay, teachers who do bar work or other seasonal work in holidays. Not many and usually those with no children of their own and in their first few years when they pay is lower.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 23:31:34

Bisjo - our annual salary, based on 1265 hours of directed time over 195 contracted days, is paid twelve times a year, for convenience.

This is a long-standing arrangement adhered to in most countries (although some US states apparently allow you to opt out & just be paid, each calendar month, for the proportion of contracted hours which fall within it, so that WOULD mean no August pay check, lower pay in December/January).

We can take on additional employment, yes - I'm a GCSE examiner. Several of my younger colleagues do private tuition. In theory one could pull pints/stack shelves over the summer, but you'd hit emergency tax & it'd be unlikely to be worthwhile.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:31:55

48 hours a week in a job like allied health professions, teaching and so on is generally a terrible idea. They are physically gruelling jobs a lot of the time. People can and do keel over.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Apr-13 23:33:00

The salary amount paid for those 1265,hours a year incorporates an amount for the 28 days AL that teachers are entitled to under the Working Time directives. In other words the salary includes 28 days of paid holiday but because this not separately identified as such many teachers do not understand this .

This is clear because a teacher on maternity leave continues to accrue their AL and is entitled to take this in addition to maternity , as explained in the document that I referred to in my prior post.

ravenAK Thu 04-Apr-13 23:34:07

By all means, bisjo - give it a go.

Think it's about £9k for the PGCE so you'd need to factor that in, but we do need a constant supply of fresh meat to replace the 1/3 of teachers who drop out or burn out within 5 years of qualifying.

Arisbottle Thu 04-Apr-13 23:34:13

Bisjo teaching is a fantastic career, please do join us. I worked out that I work approximately 3200 hours a year.

I know of quite a few teachers who have other jobs in the holidays to supplement their pay.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Apr-13 23:35:36

I used to have to work as a journalist in the holidays to make ends meet. I was permanently overtired though, a lot more than people who were journalists f/t and so on, and my friends who were solicitors, office workers, etc.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Apr-13 23:37:11

In fact it clearly states that where teachers resign at the end of maternity leave and are not able to take their annual leave then they may be entitled to a payment in lieu of their AL if teachers were not entitled to paid AL then clearly this would not be the case.

difficultpickle Thu 04-Apr-13 23:47:39

Gosh, not sure I'd fancy a 70 hour working week every week I work in a year! How many years have you been working like that Arisbottle? It must be shattering to live like that. I am on call 24/7 for every day I work but I'm not actually working 24/7. Of course there are times when I'm away on business and could technically clock up a working week of 168 hours, although 120 hours is probably more realistic for actual working. Don't like to do that too many weeks a year though as it is truly destroying.

I would make a rubbish teacher. I think you have to be passionate about your subject and able to communicate that and inspire children who may not be that interested in what you have to teach them. I can count the teachers I had like that on the thumbs of one hand. The rest were a mix of very average and downright dreadful. I'm better off sticking at something I can do very well indeed than doing something that I know that I would be mediocre at best.

I wonder what the drop out rate is for teachers who have done something else prior to becoming teachers? I think it must be quite hard to go from being a pupil/student and then teacher all in a very similar environment.

ravenAK Fri 05-Apr-13 00:16:15

IME, at least in recent years, the most resilient teaching recruits (but also often the most cynical about doing it for a few years in their early 20s to enjoy the holidays, get a decent credit rating for a mortgage & then drop off to have a family/do something better paid) are 'second generation' - one or more parents was a teacher, so they know what they're letting themselves in for & have an 'exit strategy' all worked out.

I went in after working in industry for years, & our drop out rate is higher I believe.

People who've been out of school for a few years seem to have relatively rose-tinted memories of school - let's not forget we're generally the geeky swots who were in well behaved top sets - & somewhat higher expectations when it comes to work/life balance.

All of the above is purely anecdotal, though.

Arisbottle Fri 05-Apr-13 08:03:56

Have been teaching about 8 years, did something else previously . I work far less than other teachers, am the lightweight option on MN. The hours are manageable because of the holidays .

I went into teaching to have time with the children , it had worked out for me .

outtilunchagain can you tell me which paragraph and section that is in please? I can't find it anywhere... Is it in the burgundy book or pay and conditions doc? I've looked in both and can't see it...

Ok I've found this which I think sort of explains it relatively well.

It clearly states that teachers do not have a contractual entitlement to paid annual leave and says that the

It also says that under the working time regulations teachers are entitled
To 28 days statutory leave, but that the WTR don't explain how this works for the teaching situation. What this means is that it only affects mat leave in certain situations.

The fact remains though that teachers don't get any paid annual leave.

outtolunchagain Fri 05-Apr-13 11:14:12

Hercule that advise is out of date it has been superseded by the 2012 advice I think you will find

PollyEthelEileen Fri 05-Apr-13 11:15:34


There are two types of holiday rights - statutory and contractural. Teachers get statutory rights - honest!

A teacher's contractural responsibility is to take these statutory holidays when the school is closed.

Then yet gain can you link me to where it says this?!?

outtolunchagain Fri 05-Apr-13 11:17:08

The para is actually in the supplementary info in the NUT document maternity matters para 4.9.I think you probably need the 2012 edition.

polly where in our contract does it say that? If it was a contractual responsibility it would be in our contact AND IT ISN'T - feel free to read the doument and point out where it is. It may well be different for independent school teachers though.

outtolunchagain Fri 05-Apr-13 11:19:50

The thing is because the rights are statutory rather than contractual they will not be in he Burgundy book which is about teachers' contractual rights .

Thanks - It says exactly the same, just more succinctly.

outtolunchagain Fri 05-Apr-13 11:28:24

Sigh sad

forheavenssakes Fri 05-Apr-13 11:37:09

Following this with interest. Seems obvious from the Maternity Matters document that teachers' annual salary comprises directed hours (i.e term-time hours you are contracted to work at direction of head teacher), additional hours (that are self directed) and statutory holiday leave according to the working time directive. Employers can specify when this leave is taken and for teachers they have to take this statutory leave during school closure. As the number of days of school closure vastly outweigh the number of paid days of annual leave a teacher receives it would only ever become an issue during maternity leave.

outtolunchagain Fri 05-Apr-13 11:38:53


PollyEthelEileen Fri 05-Apr-13 11:39:01

You are correct, FHS. smile

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Fri 05-Apr-13 11:40:56

But the public perception is that teachers are paid for all 13 weeks of holiday which is not true.

PollyEthelEileen Fri 05-Apr-13 11:44:57

A note about the 1265 hours of directed time...

This is not an expectation of working hours. It is time directed by the head teacher. In line with other professions, teachers also have to spend non-directed (time and place at the teacher's own discretion to support their own teaching), subject to an appropriate work/life balance.

When someone goes over 1265 hours, they are not suddenly working for free. They are simply doing what is needed to do the job.

PollyEthelEileen Fri 05-Apr-13 11:47:06

Teachers get an annual salary.

forheavenssakes Fri 05-Apr-13 12:01:17

exactly Polly!

ivykaty44 Fri 05-Apr-13 15:11:10

There would be no need to give bank holidays in lieu if you don't get holidays - you were already off work so didn't miss out unless you get holiday pay and then the time needs to be given to fall in line with every other worker being entitled to 29 days in 2011

Teachers who resign and do not, therefore, return at the end of their maternity leave period may, in some cases, be entitled to additional payment in lieu of their accrued annual leave entitlement.

This is from para 4.9 there would be no need to do this if teachers don't get holiday pay.

It seems (paragraph 4.9) to suggest that teachers get 28 days holiday pay, which is the legal requirement

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Fri 05-Apr-13 15:45:08

But the majority of people think that teachers get 13 weeks holiday pay which isn't the case

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 05-Apr-13 19:57:46

Hello again

We've got another guest blog which might be of interest - this time from London's Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, who says that teacher's unions are still in thrall to a 'leftist' academic agenda.

sashh Sat 06-Apr-13 09:16:33

If they're not able to do it in that time then they work later/make up the time at weekends etc as those of us in other professions do.

Of course you cannot plan 5 hours teaching in 2 hours.

And when do you fit in the talking to parents, or even e-mailing them. Planning assemblies/school trips etc?

When do you have that sit down with the pregnant teenager and tell them that yes they can do their GCSEs, their life is not over.

Or when do you help the 16 year old fill in forms for a council flat because new step father has kicked them out?

What about a 7 year old who has broken a bone playing, do you want someone to go with him/her to A and E?

What about child protection when you hear a 16 year old boasting about his sex life with a 14 year old?

It's not just about teaching and planning, there is so much in teaching that is not about teaching and that totally takes over your time for, maybe a few hours, maybe a day.

I know there have been loads of Philpott posts, but who do you think has been drying the eyes of those children's friends? Who has been explaining to the classes what happened and reassuring the other children are not going to die the same way.

It's the kind of thing your training /experience does not prepare you for, either as a teacher or a parent.

BoffinMum Sun 07-Apr-13 10:00:10

I think it's hard for people to understand how unpredicatable and messy life in school can be. Yes, you can do a bit of planning but you may have to throw half of that out of the window if the children appear to need something different when you get there.

Compared to university life it's a lot more challenging. Now I can spend, say, 2 days preparing a one hour lecture. It has to be prepared to a very high standard, but once it is done, it is done, and I can probably reuse it with only the most minor tweaks. And I won't have to parent the students while I try to deliver it.

Solopower1 Sun 07-Apr-13 18:14:25

It's clear that teachers' workloads vary enormously, probably depending on what subject you teach or whether you are primary or secondary or HE. (Polly preparing for the whole week in one hour !!) Not sure a teacher of Modern Languages could prepare one 40-minute lesson in less than an hour, especially if there's marking involved. I certainly couldn't mark one child's work in one minute as someone else does, especially when you have to look at every word!

PollyEthelEileen Sun 07-Apr-13 19:53:47

Planning precedes a lesson, marking follows it.

To me, planning is sorting out my resources, and I can easily do a whole week in an hour. The rest is in my head. As an experienced teacher, I can recall delivering the same lesson, so only need to adapt what I have done previously to current students, or eliminate the bits that weren't so great.

Solopower1 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:13:14

Well, I can't do any of that.

Luckily I have a good manager who doesn't make me feel inadequate or inefficient.

Just saying.

Arisbottle Sun 07-Apr-13 22:07:43

I am quick but I couldn't plan a week's lessons in an hour, you will have to offer inset Polly. For a standard teacher on 22 lessons that is less than 3 minutes a lesson.

Tasmania Mon 08-Apr-13 00:17:50

Please don't let this be like the GP contract fiasco of 2004 where it resulted in them being paid more for less work...

BoffinMum Mon 08-Apr-13 08:28:29

Polly, may I tentatively suggest, with the greatest respect, that if you are planning a whole week in an hour, you are not keeping up with the research base for your professional activities, nor are you comparing your work sufficiently to that of peers outside your school, nor are you refreshing your resources adequately, nor planning differentiation sufficiently. I would advise revisiting your professional practice.

PollyEthelEileen Mon 08-Apr-13 08:48:00

I can differentiate in my head. The only time I write down differentiation is when I am being observed. It still doesn't take long to do this.

I update resources when I write my schemes of work.

I don't need a lot of gimmicky resources, tbh.

I imagine have much smaller classes helps too. Is your independent school selective as that too makes a massive difference.

I can't plan in an hour for the lessons I teach. If I was full time this would be 25 lessons a week - 2 mins per lesson really?!?! All my resources over the 10 years I have taught are now electronic but every year my classes are different - different students, different abilities, different sizes, different strengths, different weaknesses, different SEN, different ways of learning. I therefore spend time planning all my lessons, many of the resources themselves I can tweak, but I am always looking to improve on last year and make my lessons as good as possible
For my classes this year. In my opinion this is the lost important part of my job and often the most enjoyable - sharing resources with colleagues and talking about how we might teach them. Maybe it is the nature of the subject.

TryingtobelessChunkyChick Mon 08-Apr-13 15:32:57

I can't plan my lessons in an hr, as a part time teacher, even with previously saved ppts and other resources. It takes me at least 2mins to read through the previous lesson LP and ppt. Changing the LOs to suit my class adds another minute, altering the order of activity to suit my students adds another 1 at least, then consider setting h/w etc etc.

Might I suggest that by not considering "gimmicky" resources Polly you are not planning lessons of a good or outstanding nature, because part of those requires making us of 'new technology' and in our school, that means being up-to-date with iPad apps that might be relevant or getting students to use a bit of software on their laptops, neither of which were possible 3yrs ago, let alone 10yrs ago? For me, even as a technophile, that would take longer than 6mins per class per wk. We also avoid worksheets & textbook work now too...

PollyEthelEileen Mon 08-Apr-13 15:39:33

Ha! I am the iPad queen in my school!

BranchingOut Mon 08-Apr-13 16:56:06

Polly, I dont think your situation is representative of the vast majority of teachers.

It has been a long time since anything other than detailed written planning was acceptable in primary schools.

EvilTwins Mon 08-Apr-13 18:25:43

Polly, you're coming across as an arrogant twit. Anyone who can plan a whole week of lessons in an hour is not doing it properly and should be embarrassed, not boastful.

orangeandlemons Mon 08-Apr-13 18:57:52

Wish I could plan a weeks worth of lessons in an hour.....

exoticfruits Mon 08-Apr-13 19:07:26

Me too, orangesandlemons.

PollyEthelEileen Mon 08-Apr-13 19:23:10

I am not being arrogant or boastful - just saying what it's like for me.

There's enough boasting on this thread without my joining in grin

BranchingOut Mon 08-Apr-13 23:02:06

Although, polly's example does raise an interesting question - how long should planning take, in a better world, in order to leave space for all the rest of the job?

ravenAK Mon 08-Apr-13 23:31:48

I actually think planning should take nearer an hour than a weekend for a week's lessons, fwiw.

I'm certainly not convinced that the reason that most of us take a tiny bit longer than 60 minutes/week is due to inefficiency, but the ratio of 'planning I actually need to do to teach effectively' to 'things I have to do to evidence that planning for scrutiny by a third party' is definitely lower than it should be.

Hmmmm I don't know. I think that planning and then teaching are the most important things in my job - they are the things that make the most difference to the learning and enjoyment of my pupils. I think I could fairly easily cut out most marking of books entirely in my subject (maths) with very little effect on pupil progress. I can give them the answers (and often do to check themselves), I can look at method and overall setting out etc mostly in lessons and mark thoroughly half termly tests.

I find having dropped responsibility after mat leave that my teaching and lessons improved enormously when I had nothing to concentrate on except my subject again for the most part. I tend to plan with a colleague and we spend a fair bit of time talking through each topic and how we will structure it, we talk about how they learn it, what order does t need to be done in, what links to other topics, what misconceptions how we are going to tackle these etc.. We share all the resources we have and then we create out lessons and generally share again before teaching them. Interestingly our two year 7 classes have an average of about 10% higher in every single test this year which I don't think is coincidence.

I don't think it should take forever and of course I
Do reuse resources but I do not think it is right to spend two minutes per lesson .

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