Part-time teachers and parents' evenings

(25 Posts)
GraceGrape Wed 21-Sep-16 22:22:30

I am a (primary) class teacher in a job share. My contract is 0.6 so I work 3 days a week. We have parents' evenings coming up later this term. One of them is on a day I usually work, the other isn't. In my previous school, job-share teachers split the parents' evenings so each teacher did the parents' meetings on the day when they usually worked. At my current school, both teachers are expected to attend. I don't have a problem with this, but I do have a childcare issue as the meetings take place on a day when I don't have existing childcare arrangements. I had hoped to get a family member to come up and babysit but unfortunately they're not available. DH is also a teacher, so wouldn't be able to get back from work in time and won't be allowed to take time off.

DC1 would have to go to after-school club (£15) and I would have to book an extra half-day at nursery for DC2 (about £25). I don't know whether I can expect to claim for the additional hours I'm working or if I'm just expected to attend the meeting on the additional day without pay. At the very least, WIBU to ask them to pay me enough to cover my childcare costs so I'm not out of pocket? What do other part-time teachers do?

LunaLambBhuna Thu 22-Sep-16 14:32:50

I had this issue a few years back. I consulted my Union and it was made very clear that I did not have to attend on my day off.

The problem nowadays is that where so many schools are academies, they can make their own rules and have their own contracts drawn up.

I think it's fair enough to ask to be paid otherwise like you said, you're out of pocket.

LillyBugg Thu 22-Sep-16 14:35:42

This document is really useful...

NUT

You don't have to work the parents evening on your day off and if you do you should be paid or have time in lieu for it.

melonribena Thu 22-Sep-16 14:37:56

I work 0.6 and have always done one parents evening, usually the longer one.
Why are you obliged to do both?

onlyconnect Thu 22-Sep-16 14:51:21

I think you should do the parents evening. It may be that you don't "have " to but as a part time teacher you need to be flexible I think. I'm 0.6 and frequently go in for things where I could get away with not going but if you want to feel like and be treated like a professional you can't take a jobsworth attitude IMO.

noblegiraffe Thu 22-Sep-16 16:29:08

Technically you should have a breakdown of your directed time for the year and what you are required to do compared to a full time teacher. If they want you to attend a full time set of parents evenings then your directed time should be reduced correspondingly elsewhere.
It would be nice if they could give you an afternoon off to compensate (probably more likely than extra money?)

But usually schools just squeeze as much out of you as they can and hope you won't complain.

GraceGrape Fri 23-Sep-16 00:28:56

Thanks all. It just seems to be the done thing in my school that job-shares attend both meetings. We are in the unusual position of having a lot of job-shares in our school so it can be difficult to ask for pay if others are happy to go along unpaid. I'm going to go ahead and ask anyway though, in light of what you've all said.

GraceGrape Fri 23-Sep-16 00:31:19

Just to clarify, I don't want to be a jobsworth about it, but don't want to be out of pocket paying additional childcare costs. If I could get free childcare then I wouldn't have a problem going to the meeting.

80sMum Fri 23-Sep-16 00:35:48

It wouldn't be at all unreasonable for you to ask the school to reimburse you for your out of pocket expenses.

JeanPadget Fri 23-Sep-16 21:07:15

A few years ago the DH introduced a new initiative at my school, and the head ordered everyone to be at the first meeting. It was a day on which it was absolutely impossible for me to get childcare, so I politely refused, and he got shirty. I then quoted the TPCD at him, and he huffily said that he knew perfectly well he couldn't force me to work on a day when I didn't usually, but as it was a new initiative he would like as many people there as possible. I pointed out that if he'd said that in the first place, rather than issuing a diktat, then he wouldn't have antagonised so many part-timers stroppy cow, I am

I don't think it would do any harm to remind your management that you don't legally have to go in on a day you are not contracted to work (what if you had another job?) and to ask for out-of-pocket expenses.

Ditsy4 Fri 23-Sep-16 21:14:54

Have you considered asking one of the TAs?
Our part time teachers are expected to come in and the two teachers do it together. Some of the TAs go in some don't. It was expected of all but a few kicked up a fuss a few years ago and now it is by choice.
If I wasn't going in I would gladly watch a colleagues children so it might be worth asking even if you offered to pay them . It would be cheaper than nurseries!

BikeRunSki Fri 23-Sep-16 21:18:15

Not a teacher, but I used to job share (public sector). If my line manager asked me to come in on my non-working days (v rare, maybe once or twice a year) for a meeting or training etc she would let me claim expenses for additional childcare (as well as paying me!). This was public sector. I'd say that goodwill cuts both ways with working on non working days.

Lapinlapin Fri 23-Sep-16 21:20:06

It's really difficult, but when I was 0.5 (secondary) I had about 6 or 7 parents' evenings /evening events I had to go to - which always occurred on my days off. A real pain with sorting childcare, but I managed. Harder in your position if your dh is also a teacher.

Munstermonchgirl Sun 25-Sep-16 09:02:18

By all means ask for your expenses to be covered. However I do think it's give and take.

I'm a secondary teacher and full time, and tbh sometimes p/t posts can impact unfairly on f/t staff. I teach a core subject so usually 4 lessons spread out across the week. One year about half my classes were split to accommodate p/t staff (so, for example, instead of having one year 9 class for all for of their lessons, I'd have two year 9 classes for two lessons each, with a part timer picking up the other lessons on their days in)
Tbh apart from the fact it's more difficult and less satisfying to teach bits of classes, it also added to my workload (getting to know and assess double the pupils' work) report writing. And yes, parents evenings when I'd have twice as many kids wanting appointments.

My school has now moved to the fairer position of allowing p/t when it's a job share, so there are 2 staff who want part time hours and to share classes. It was acknowledged that it wasn't acceptable for a p/t job to impact unfairly on a f/t member of staff

I know your situation is a little different as it is a primary job share, but I would recommend give and take because it's in your interests to keep things running smoothly. Also if I were a parent, bearing in mind at primary school the kids are with the one teacher almost all day, I would expect to see both job share teachers at a parents evening. Contractually they may not have to both attend, but I wouldn't be happy if I felt the feedback was compromised through not speaking with both teachers. It makes sense that if working p/t hours is important to you, you try to make it work for everyone else it may impact upon.

Longlost10 Sun 25-Sep-16 19:24:53

I think you should do the parents evening. It may be that you don't "have " to but as a part time teacher you need to be flexible I think. I'm 0.6 and frequently go in for things where I could get away with not going but if you want to feel like and be treated like a professional you can't take a jobsworth attitude IMO.

But there are thousands and thousands of little and big things that teachers "don't have to do" but are expected to do anyway, and teachers like you that think you are doing the right thing by giving extra are actually a huge part of the problem. I used to be like you, and never listened to anyone who tried t o persuade me otherwise, thinking I was doing it all for the kids, etc etc etc. I've now seen the error of my ways, "the kids" need professionals free to concentrate on teaching, not being ground down by unreasonable demands every day.

On principle, do not do it.

BluishSky Mon 26-Sep-16 20:45:36

Agree 100% with longlost

converseandjeans Wed 12-Oct-16 22:34:24

I'm 0.6 and work every day of the week for bits and pieces of the day. Last year I had Tuesday and Thursday afternoons off & there were 13 evening things I had to attend over the course of the year which were all on a Thursday. I just went in for all of them - didn't think to question it. OH teacher too so really tricky (with a dog in the mix). I don't think it's that unreasonable to do them in primary as it seems there are only about 6 per year. Worth asking for help with childcare - but as someone who had to pay out loads over the years extra due to being timetabled in every day, a one off doesn't seem too bad.

d270r0 Wed 12-Oct-16 22:50:58

As a part time teacher, previously I just went to anything relevant without thinking about it.
However this year the head has told all part time staff that if we have any extra frees (apart from 10% ppa) that he will not pay us during those frees, despite it already being September and many of the frees being trapped time. And has lowered our part time pro rata, and therefore to say, our pay, as a result.
Needless to say we are NOT impressed.
So now I have taken the directed time sheet and decided I am ONLY going to attend my pro rata this year. Apparently things that count towards directed time can only be on the day you normally work. Other things including Insets, parents evenings, meetings etc. on different days cannot count towards directed time, they should pay you to come into them.

d270r0 Wed 12-Oct-16 22:53:10

Also if it is on a day you do not normally work, they should pay you for travel time as well.

converseandjeans Wed 12-Oct-16 23:26:21

d270r0 yes I agree - I am much like you. This year I have trapped time and they want to use me for cover when it suits rather than me have a rota slot. I also had to go in unpaid for the first inset day which was my day off. This is the first time in 5 years I have had a day - alternate Mondays so not amazing but some progress. And yes it makes me feel less inclined to go above and beyond!

SarahMused Fri 14-Oct-16 07:00:54

If you are under STPCD you do not have to attend inset days or anything else on days you do not normally work - many part timers work elsewhere or have other commitments that can not be rearranged. If you do go in you should be paid - a minimum of 4 hours I believe.
On days when you work part of a day any requirement to attend after school meetings/parents' evening etc should be 'reasonable'. So you could argue that this would not be the case if you only worked in the morning and were expected to attend something after school. Trapped time is also supposed to be kept to a minimum. Basically they are not allowed to treat part timers less favourably than full timers.
Things may be different if you are in an academy, for example. But the principle of treating full and part timers equally and fairly still applies.

TeacherBob Fri 14-Oct-16 18:15:58

I think if I was part-time I would want to go to parents evenings. If they are deemed important enough for all the parents to meet the parents and discuss work/targets etc, it would be important enough for me to be there.

BluishSky Sun 16-Oct-16 22:34:02

If they were that important, they would be arranged to suit. Or arrange every parents' evening for a Sunday. Then it would be fair on everyone...

MistresssIggi Thu 20-Oct-16 22:43:17

That's actually a great idea Bluish, and a good way to explain to full time staff what you're actually talking about.
To the poster who talked about how we need to, basically, keep things sweet because we want to be part-time, remember that there are many people working part-time because that is what the school wanted to employ them to do - it doesn't only go one way.

blaeberry Sun 23-Oct-16 00:57:52

As a parent with children with job-share teachers, I would want to speak to both of them at parents' evening. I think this is important enough that the school should have a formal agreement with teachers (when offering the job) that this would be the case not just relying on them asking you sweetly to put in extra time.

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